Ken Norton Jr. visits 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne)


running up that hill
Jan 3, 2007
in Wonderland, with my Alice

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. (USASOC News Service, June 16, 2011) - Coach Ken Norton Jr., linebacker coach for the Seattle Seahawks met with senior leaders from 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), June 9, to discuss how to reach overall team success from the perspective of Operational Detachments Alpha (ODA) within the Special Forces Community—garrison and forward deployed.
Officers and senior non-commissioned officers across the battalion offered their team's operational experiences and continued team-building methods to Norton who is eager to enhancing the motivation of his own program for the linebackers of the Seattle Seahawks.
"The intent is to focus on the individual's roles and responsibilities in support of the overall team; finding the motivation in each individual player, [Soldier] and working through all other factors involved," said Coach Norton.
Team sergeants and leaders around the table enhanced Norton's understanding of the team aspect of the Special Forces' role and how important the overall success of the team influences the end-state of everything they do.
When asked by Norton if teams have weak links, one team sergeant replied with, "Being on a team you learn the expectations of that team's environment; no one wants to be the weak link; a team is a self-strengthening, competitive component—we build one another up and put the pressure on to be successful."
"The command intent prioritizes where the training focus needs to be," said Lt. Col. Dennis Heaney, 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) commander. "Team sergeants assess where skill sets are of the team and determine training focus on what needs to be done to be mission ready."
Another team leader replied to the same questions with, "Our mission depends on each member of the team doing their job; as leaders we re-enforce confidence, training, experience—it has to be about the team; that's what makes us successful."
Norton spoke with the leaders about motivation, success and the overall intent of the mission, or in his case the game—in it to win.
The overall intent of the visit was Norton trying to find new ways to make the team and the individual player's he coaches better focused, better motivated, better team players; the intent was made clear to strive for goals and be proud of what they do.
"The difference about our organization in comparison to every other organization outside of the military is that we're playing with real bombs, real bullets, real guys that want to kill us; if you aren't on your game someone will die; that's what keeps guys motivated," said a team sergeant from 2nd Bn., 1st SFG (A)

Seattle Seahawk's Linebacker Coach Ken Norton Jr., center, along with Special Forces Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), gather for a picture in front of the battalion headquarters at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, June 9. Norton collected methods and concepts of team building skills from the unit and his team leaders to assist in Norton's Seahawk's Linebacker training program. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Aubree Clute, 1st SFG(A) Public Affairs)