GAINcast 90: Relationships > Rules (with Clay Erro)

For decades, Clay Erro led one of California’s most successful high school football teams. Behind the success and the strong culture was not a set of rules, but strong relationships. Cooperative endeavors require relationships to flourish, not rules. In this episode of the GAINcast, Erro explains his instruction manual for building a relationship-based team culture and how he put it into practice.

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Notes and Quotes

Erro is the former football coach at Enterprise High School in Redding California. He is the winningest football coach in Northern California history. In addition, he coached track and other sports, and is a GAIN faculty member.

The philosophy
The instruction manual
  • 21:00 – Axiom #1: we not me.
  • 23:20 – Axiom #2: no excuses. “You cannot function in adulthood with excuses.
  • 27:15 – Axiom #3: no messengers. Directly communicating helps create conversations.
  • 33:45 – Axiom #4: no sympathy groups.
Additional points on building team culture
  • 39:00 – Reflecting on the overall approach and putting it into practice. “Cooperative endeavors require a lot of effort.
  • 42:00 – Peripheral benefits of Erro’s approach.
  • 44:15 – Examples of putting peer coaching into practice.
  • 49:15 – Games are opportunities.
  • 52:15 – Feedback from former players.

To hear more about these topics you can listen to the full episode above. If you like what you hear on the GAINcast, don’t forget to give us a review and subscribe on iTunes.

Further Reading

The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:

  • Don’t forget to join HMMR Plus. Sign up and get access to numerous webinars, online meetups, articles, our sports science newsletter, and more. We are also brought to you by the GAIN Network. Don’t forget to check out the updated GAIN Network site, which includes free video of the opening keynote from GAIN 2017.
  • Vern wrote about Erro’s approach in a recent blog post.
  • We have covered the topic of team culture on several episodes including GAINcast 8, GAINcast 52 with the Carmel Swim Club, and GAINcast 66 with Chris Webb.