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How Pat Fitzgerald creates ownership at Northwestern

Last night we saw a tweet from Pat Fitzgerald that caught our eye.

What you see is Northwestern's Leadership Council gathering to pick players for their off season draft. The team competitions, called the "Wildcat Games", include players competing in daily challenges ranging from weight room activities, to winter conditioning events, to academic and community outreach activities. The Leadership Council players will serve as the captains of their teams, which will stay together through spring ball.

Teams are composed of players from both sides of the ball and all classes.

The Leadership Council is a group of guys that the staff has in place to help create ownership, measure the pulse of the team, and help to make important team decisions. It's composed of high character guys that have excellent leadership ability, and players that will hold their teammates accountable for their actions and expect the best from their them at all times.

It also serves as a great way to build team chemistry, as it gets guys interacting with players on the opposite side of the ball, and mixes the seasoned veterans in with the newcomers to make sure they know the standard that is expected of them during the off season.

Developing a Leadership Council of your own for your program, whether it's the high school or college level, is a great way to create ownership at every level. Fitz and his staff have seen the results that it can have on the team with their results on game day, including their first 10 win season season since 1995 this past year (and just their second one in the history of the program).

Author: Doug Samuels
Doug Samuels has been with FootballScoop since 2011. Samuels joined the FootballScoop staff after serving as a college scout as well as an assistant coach at the college level, where he was fortunate enough to have coached every offensive position by age 24. Samuels is a lifelong Michigan State fan, no huddle enthusiast, and currently coaches high school football in West Michigan.