How ‘The Ring’ Changed Alabama Coach Nick Saban’s Pregame Preparation

nick saban the ring horror scary movies pregame

Getty Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

After a scary movie kept some of Nick Saban’s players up at night, the Alabama Crimson Tide football coach learned an important lesson and changed his pregame preparation, a new book reveals. “The Leadership Secrets of Nick Saban” author and AL.com editor John Talty talked about how the horror film “The Ring” impacted the coach during an August 3 interview on the “Andy Staples Show.”

During the interview, Staples brought up one of his favorite stories from Talty’s upcoming book about the Alabama coach. Staples recounted that after Saban’s LSU team pulled off an upset over Kentucky in the Bluegrass Miracle in 2002, the players watched an unusual movie the night before their next game at Alabama.

“They saw ‘The Ring.’ Which, by the way, ‘The Ring’ is probably the scariest movie I’ve ever seen in a theater. I remember watching it with my wife, being terrified,” Staples said. “A little girl crawling out of a well through your TV.”

Talty added, “Nick Saban doesn’t really make mistakes. I’m not sure if he thought it was going to be inspiring or if he thought it was going to be a ‘Lord of the Rings’ type thing. That is a legitimately scary movie. … To see it the night before a game, was not a great decision obviously. And one of the guys talks about how multiple starters didn’t sleep well that night because they were scared.”

Talty said that Saban still tried to use “The Ring” to inspire his players. “He always tries to work it into his pregame speech or mission,” Talty told Staples. “I love that he tried to work ‘The Ring’ into his pregame speech.” The movie and speech definitely didn’t help the Tigers as they lost to the Crimson Tide 31-0 the next day.


Staples Said Saban’s Experience With ‘The Ring’ Changed How He Operated


How Alabama Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban TicksAuthor and AL.com editor John Talty joins Andy to discuss his new book, The Leadership Secrets of Nick Saban: How Alabama's Coach Became The Greatest Ever. The book takes a deep dive into how Saban's coaching style evolved from his early days as a college and NFL assistant to now, when he has seven national…2022-08-03T10:00:24Z

Staples explained that in the book readers learn that Saban, “Used that ‘Ring’ experience and it changed how he operated with regard to the movies. This is like the most Nick Saban thing ever. Basically, after that he took much more control over the movie or made sure somebody else did.”

According to Staples, before Alabama played Texas for the national title in 2010, Saban used a staff meeting a few days before the game to talk with his other coaches and staff about what movie they would play the night before. “It went from, ‘We can’t take them to ‘The Ring’ again,’ to ‘We’re going to approve this and make sure it’s right.'”

Staples added, “They would custom cut the DVDs, the movies, because they had to fit into a window. Saban didn’t like long movies. As one of his former staffers put it, ‘We’re not sure if the kids knew why they were trying to find Private Ryan, because we cut that part out.’ … It’s amazing, he thinks about this stuff all the time.”

Talty said, “I think that’s in part what separates him. Because in someways that feels almost like something a micromanager would do, but he still has enough control over the big picture. I think he’s so smart about how he does think about those little things but not getting into the weeds on every little tiny thing. There are some things where he’s like, ‘Alright, I trust my guys, do your thing.’ But also, I am going to think about this because it is important. … He wants to make sure the guys come out the right way to start a game.”


Talty’s Book on Saban Is Set to Be Released on August 9


John Talty wrote a book about Nick Saban and joined us to talk about itWhat is Nick Saban like behind the scenes? We talked to John Talty of AL.com, who recently published a book on the GOAT, about that and more ______________________________________________________________________________________ ~-Links-~ Website – supertalk.fm/ Twitter – twitter.com/SuperTalk Facebook – Facebook.com/SuperTalk Instagram – instagram.com/supertalk2022-07-20T04:24:06Z

Talty’s book, “The Leadership Secrets of Nick Saban: How Alabama’s Coach Became the Greatest Ever,” is scheduled to be released on August 9, 2022, according to Amazon. It’s the first book for Talty, who is the senior sports editor and SEC Insider for the Alabama Media Group. He’s been covering Alabama and SEC football for more than a decade.

According to Talty’s publisher, “Leaders of any kind, including coaches and beyond, stand to gain great wisdom and inspiration by learning from his success. In The Leadership Secrets of Nick Saban, senior sports editor and SEC Insider for Alabama Media Group, John Talty, highlights the keys to Saban’s winning strategy and offers readers a blueprint for paving their own paths to success using the esteemed coach’s leadership lessons.”

The book’s publisher adds in its description, “Through original interviews and never-before-heard anecdotes, Talty charts Saban’s journey to college football’s mountaintop and reveals some of the magic behind what keeps him atop it. You’ll get an inside look at what it’s like to work or play for Coach Saban, including the mottos and motivation strategies he uses to inspire his organization. … Whether you want to build a winning culture on the football field or as a leader in a range of professional arenas, this book is a comprehensive guide to refusing complacency amid success and how to find the right people committed to building a legacy with you.”

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