Chalk Talk – Key to Success


When your whole family is focused on college football every Saturday in the fall, and your granddaughter just wants to know “how much longer” and “where’s the Dipping Dots concession,” it’s time for indoctrination.

Last football season I signed myself and Maddy up for The Bill & Bill Chalk Talk series.  Each Saturday at 10:00 am we made our way over to the weekly conference.  Bill Lewis and Bill Reagan got out the old-school projector with the clear acrylic sheets and the colored pens, and shared all the data and info that over 60 years of combined college football coaching experience can shed on the day’s game.

We started with the history: How many times have these two teams met? What’s the overall win-loss record? What’s the recent history?  What about common opponents? Any emotional ties that could swing the game one way or the other?

chalktalk1Then we got to the analysis: Who’s the leading rusher? Average yards per carry? Shotgun or Pistol? Is the QB a run threat, capable of short, quick passes? long balls? both? What’s their weakness? Based on the personnel count, what defense do we need on the field? If the personnel count is 12, then you know they have 1 running back and 2 tight ends and 2 wide receivers. With that knowledge, you’d be able to call the appropriate defense.

The wrap up was always the Keys for Success: What do we need to do to be successful? Key 1 is always “take care of business” (do what you do best and execute it perfectly) and protect the ball (no turn overs).  Other Keys are specific to the opponent. Stop the running back? Shut down their best receiver?  Blitz and keep the quarterback out of rhythm?

When Chalk Talk was finished, you were ready for the game. Of course, you were set to watch the game, not actually play the game. I learned a lot; Maddy learned some too (That’s a projector! Why aren’t they using an electronic white board? If Notre Dame is 7-0 when the Pope is in the US, why doesn’t he have a season ticket?)

But the real take away was the process.  When I started to think about all the effort that was poured into that one-hour of Chalk Talk and the logic of the process, I realized that the process was the Key to Success. The logic of the process—history, analysis, actions—can be applied to so many situations. Whether you are planning a family gathering, launching a new career or managing any project, applying the process by

  • gathering the history,
  • analyzing all the data, and
  • planning your actions

is a smart move.

And if your work involves construction project management, the Spitfire Project Management System can help you apply that process. To learn more, contact us for a free demo.