The Meaning of DAWGWORK, with Eric Henderson

Eric Henderson is the defensive line coach of the LA Rams. His unit, which includes the 2020 Defensive Player of the Year, Aaron Donald, is perhaps the best in the NFL.

A big part of the Rams defensive line's success comes from Eric Henderson's coaching philosophy. He calls it DAWGWORK, which is a mentality that leads to peak performance and dominance!

For Eric and his unit, it all starts with the mindset that embraces DAWGWORK. To be the best at what they do, Eric's players need to not only work the hardest, but also the smartest. Most importantly, they need to be very coachable, and have the humility to accept constructive criticism and instructions. Eric's drive to constantly improve his players is summed up in his motto, "Either you’re getting better or you ain’t.”

To reach this standard of DAWGWORK, they need to be extremely motivated. All of the pain and sacrifice needs to be worth it to them, which means they must love the grind and desire to be the best. Their goals must mean more to them. They must want it badder than anyone else!

This level of work ethic, training, and preparation is what separates DAWGWORK from regular work. But DAWGWORK is more than just what you do during training. It is also what you do in games to bring out the best in yourself and dominate one play at a time. It's about giving your absolute best effort, while also playing with perfect technique and discipline. This is how you maximize efficiency and production on the field.

One of the key components of DAWGWORK is being ruthless. To be the best, you need a killer instinct where you stop at nothing to reach your goal as quickly and as powerfully as you can. This is what puts the DAWG in DAWGWORK. This isn't always pretty or nice. To be a DAWG, you can't feel bad about embarrassing your opponent. This doesn't mean you have to be a bad person. It means you have to sometimes take the emotion out of the game, take competition less personal, and focus entirely on taking care of business on the field. A DAWG can still be friendly off the field, but on the field, they are beasts!

DAWGWORK isn't for everyone. Few are willing to sign up for this kind of work. As a coach, Eric Henderson looks for players who are hungry and mature enough to handle DAWGWORK. Once he has his players, he pushes all of them, no matter their status, to reach and maintain the same standards for the entire year.

As an athlete, you need to ask yourself if you're ready to put in the DAWGWORK needed to succeed and reach your dreams!

Author's note: I want to say thank you to Eric Henderson, who helped me write this blog post. You can follow Eric on twitter. His username is @Coach_Henny.