Rohan Smith reveals ‘fourth and goal’ mentality behind Leeds’ Super League surge

ROHAN Smith has revealed the American football inspiration behind Leeds’ Super League revival.

That means treating every play as if it is fourth and goal, whether they are in attack or defence.

Leeds boss Rohan Smith revealed Alabama American Football coach Nick Saban is an inspiration


Leeds boss Rohan Smith revealed Alabama American Football coach Nick Saban is an inspirationCredit: GETTY IMAGES

The Rhinos have roared into fifth place since the Aussie came in with them looking miles off the play-off pace.

Now people are talking about them as dark horses for the title and boss Smith lifted the lid on what makes him tick.

The Leadership Secrets of Nick Saban by the former Alabama college American football coach.

Messages include: “Mediocre people hate high achievers and high achievers hate mediocre people, I don’t think it’s about who you play, I think it’s about who you are.

“Everybody should take the attitude that we’re working to be a champion, that we want to be a champion in everything that we do. Every choice, every decision, everything that we do everyday, we want to be a champion.

“Discipline is not punishment. Discipline is changing someone’s behaviour” and; “There are three things we can’t have: We can’t have complacency. We can’t have selfishness and we can’t lose our accountability.”

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Smith said: “I’m listening to Nick’s book, one of the lines about that Alabama team is, ‘Everyone in the organisation treats it like it’s fourth and goal every day.’

“So if you know that sport, that’s pretty critical. Every day’s important, it’s about making it count.

“Fourth and goal goes both ways. It’s that mentality of big plays, critical moments and preparing hard every week.”

Smith, whose side faces Huddersfield tonight, has not only brought renewed vigour at Headingley, going both ways.

Smith's men have surged into the play-off places


Smith’s men have surged into the play-off placesCredit: SWPIX.COM

And getting captain Kruise Leeming – who he believes could make England’s World Cup squad – back is huge for their chances, after growing during his spell on the sidelines with a foot injury.

He added as his men have three games to seal a top six place: “It gave him more of a chance to spend more time with me and the coaching staff and understand the direction we’re trying to take the team.

“We chat daily about how our team operates. I’ve re-enforced some themes and thoughts but we’ve gone tit-for-tat in some conversations.

“It’s always conversational and working out the best way forward. Kruise has had some good suggestions and helped other players with their game.”

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