Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Our Troubles Can Train Us!

Posted by admin November - 12 - 2018 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

I know that some of you are dealing with the disappointment of a season unfulfilled. For whatever reason, it just didn’t turn out like you’d hoped it would when you started back in the August. Too many injuries; bad breaks; bad attitudes…. whatever the cause, you’re looking back at your season with a lot of regrets. Let me, perhaps, cast a different light on things for you.

I love what Pastor Bob Gass said in his daily devotional a while back. “Contrary to what you may thing, the ideal environment for your ‘players’ is NOT one that’s devoid of problems and trials. Though it’s hard to accept at the time, your ‘players’ NEED the minor setbacks and disappointments that come their way. How can they learn to cope with problems and frustrations as adults, if their early experiences are totally without them?”

I hope that you are a coach who cares just as much as building character as you do about winning football games. If your main goal as a coach is to win games, then your focus is too small! Long after your players hang up their helmets for the last time, they will remember the atmosphere of your program. Nobody can have as much impact on a young man’s development as his coach. To pretend that your influence doesn’t matter… you’re just kidding yourself. You have a responsibility to teach your players to win with class but, also, to accept defeat with dignity. It’s those defeats that build strength of character.

Have you heard the tale of the 2 trees? A tree that’s planted in a rain forest is rarely forced to extend its roots downward in search of water. As a result, it remains poorly anchored. When even a moderate amount of wind comes, it can be easily toppled over. However, a mesquite tree (of which I saw hundreds recently when my wife and I toured the Canyon Lands of the SW) planted in a desert is under stress right from the earliest growing season. It survives by driving it’s roots 30-50 feet into the earth in search of water. Overcoming adverse conditions allows the mesquite to stand up to all types of situations.

I encourage you to take those losses this fall and use them to help your players learn to be, as the Bible says, “more than conquerors!”

POST-SEASON’S “TO DO” LIST

Posted by admin October - 30 - 2018 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS

For a lot of you out there, your regular season is coming to a close. For those of you going on to the play-offs: Good luck and God bless you!

Whether your season has just ended or you’ll be wrapping up things in a week or so, there are a couple of things that need to go on your “to do” list that you might need to consider adding. The one I want to mention today is in my book, 101 Little Things, but it’s worth highlighting here. Why? Cuz it literally changed the program that I headed up for 22 years. It can change things for you too. That single event was our Senior Post-season (gloves off; no holds barred!) Evaluation Meeting.

Within 2 weeks of our season ending, I would call in the Seniors. At one point, I even took them out for pizza. I had 1 question for them and I prefaced it by saying this, “You guys are done. Your football career at WBHS is over. So anything you share with me tonight will have no effect on your playing time next year. You’ll be gone! Sooooooo… be as honest and forthright as you can. OK? Here’s my question: What do I need to do to be a better leader for this football team? What can I improve upon?” I gave them a piece of paper and a pen and let them write things down for 2-3 minutes… then we began.

You’d be amazed at how insightful these guys can be. Yes, I got some silly suggestions. I got some answers that were impossible to implement. But, if you have established a good relationship with your players and… you are willing to receive some constructive criticism, you might get a gem that’s a “program changer!” Here are a couple that our seniors shared with me at different times during my career:

Early on, when I first instituted this meeting, I was still searching for answers. It took 5 years to “turn around” our program. It had fallen to mediocrity and it took some changes on my part to get us over the hump. At one of our first meetings one of the seniors kinda gulped and shyly said, “Coach J… don’t get me wrong but, you’re too nice!” What?! I sat there dumbfounded. “Please explain,” I said. He had a little more confidence now and stated, “You’re just too nice. You need to be tougher on us. We’re football players. You can’t let us get away with some of the stuff you overlook.” It hit me like a ton of bricks! Why? Cuz he was right! I wasn’t showing tough love; I was extending soft love. We needed more discipline. I needed to hold kids to a higher standard. That off-season I began reading about many different successful coaches programs and how they conducted them. It changed everything for our program. I did not become a martinet but I did demand more from the players (and coaches) than I had before. It paid dividends starting that next year.

Later on, at another meeting, I learned why I always had that nagging sense that our players were not putting out in practice as much as I wanted them to. No matter how hard I pushed, it always seemed like our team was hitting on 7 cylinders instead of 8. I got my solution from a senior. He told me that I needed to move Conditioning period to somewhere on the practice schedule other than at the end. I asked why? “Cuz, guys are holding back during practice because they know you’re going to run us hard at the END!” BOOM! Another lightning bolt hit home. I saw exactly what he was talking about. The next year I revamped the practice to look something like this: 1- Team Flex. 2- Kicking Game. 3- Conditioning! 4- 5 minute Water and Rest Break! The results were dramatic from day 1! Till I retired, that’s how practices started.

Oh, I always communicated to the team WHY we were doing it this way. It is so very important to explain things to your players. Tell them what you’re going to do and WHY you’re doing it. It’s good to be up front with them. It builds trust and respect.

CREATING A CULTURE

Posted by admin October - 22 - 2018 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

A lot of what I’m going to share with you came from our pastor’s, Michael Brueseke, talk yesterday. It was powerful and very informative!

Here’s the first KEY statement: “A leader creates culture.”

and the second: “It’s the leader’s values that he uses to create that culture.”

I met with a young coach yesterday and presented these 2 statements to him. He wanted to know how he can continue to challenge his players to want to strive for championships… when they seem happy with just a winning season. No matter where your program is right now, I suppose this is a question that every HC wants answered. Perhaps I can shed a light on this critically important issue.

After I presented the young coach with my 2 KEY statements, I let them “marinate” in his head for a full minute. Then I asked him, “So… what are YOUR values that you possess and enforce that create your program’s culture???” He could not respond! I told him to think about it for awhile and then send me his list.

I will use one of my core values to illustrate this point. My core value is/was: HUSTLE. I have always felt that a player (or team of players) who out-hustle the opponent has a greater chance of success. It breeds enthusiasm and an esprit de corps that tight-knit groups (think U.S. Marines!) possess.

OK… so I value hustle. So what? It’s the next step that is key. Because you are talking about laying foundation blocks on the “building of success” here! It requires persistence and, in turn, repetition.

PERSISTENCE: It’s like being a parent… raising a child. If you want to establish a behavior in your child, you have to take a “never give up” attitude. Kids aren’t going to learn to be respectful or hustle unless you constantly stick to your guns about reminding them to say “please” and “thank you.” It took years of sticking to our guns (my wife and I) but we have two of the most respectful young adults (our children are grown) you’d ever want to meet.

REPETITION: You have to constantly reinforce your value. If when I called our players up at the end of practice to surround me… and there were a few stragglers who simply walked or jogged over… they ALL got sent back where they started from and we repeated the action. I’d blow the whistle again and this time ALL of them better come running! It occasionally required that I’d have to repeat this “do over” routine but they got the message.

“NEVER give up! NEVER give in!” The second part of that adage is just as important as the first! It’s with this attitude that you can successfully build a winning culture. I’m convinced of it!!! How do I know? It took 5 years for me when I first became a HC to refine and define what my core values were. Once I did, I was totally committed to seeing those values built into our players’ character. It led to 10 championships and an 80% winning record over the next 25 years!

Respect or Like?

Posted by admin October - 18 - 2018 - Thursday ADD COMMENTS

I got into a discussion with another coach the other day. We were talking about how a coach motivates his players. My point was that it’s not a short-term thing. That, for instance, a pregame pep talk is not what I would call motivation cuz the effects are short-lived. Motivation is, I believe, creating a mind-set in one’s players’ minds where there is a long-term effect on their behavior. This is only accomplished when the HC creates a culture that focuses on discipline, accountability and respect.

Discipline: just another term for self control; i.e., the ability to regulate one’s own emotions, thoughts and behavior. This self control must be instilled by others; it doesn’t come naturally. A coach has to demand discipline from his players and coaches. And, he must demand it on a consistent basis. You set standards and then you have to uphold them. When I coached, we had a firm and fast rule that there would be no cursing on the part of coaches and/or players. If a player was overheard using a cuss word, a coach would tell him to “drop and give me 15.” 15 push ups for an Unsportsmanlike penalty. I’ve seen other coaches attempt to instill the same requirement on their team. However, if its ignored and no punishment (control over the bad behavior) is consistently handed out, the cursing continues!

Accountability: This is a “cousin” to discipline. Its relationship is exemplified in my No Cussing example above. Players (and coaches) have to be held accountable for their actions. Where it becomes really effective is when the players “buy in” and they too are now holding their teammates accountable. I heard of a local player who transferred to a different school this past summer. The reason he left the school (a successful program, by the way) was because this player refused to work hard in the off season weight program. The veterans wouldn’t stand for it and gave him a hard time about his laziness. This is accountability.

Respect: The discussion that I led off this post with morphed into HOW does a coach “change the culture.” My main point was that players must respect the coach and the coach must respect his players. And… there is a HUGE difference between respecting and liking!!! An insecure coach is going to try to win over his players by getting them to like him. It probably means that there’s little discipline and accountability in that program. What a coach needs to strive for is respect. That is attained by being trustworthy. What the coach says, he does. You can care about your players (and you should); but caring also entails holding players to a high standard — on and off the field!

I had a group of players approach me during a break between practices one year. I could tell that they had something on their minds and were a bit reluctant to say what they wanted to say. I smiled to get them to relax and jokingly said, “hummmmmm… I can tell by the looks on your faces that this must be serious!” That broke the tension. One of the veterans then said, “Coach J, the guys and I were talking and we have a question for you.” “OK,” I replied, “Fire away.” The player said, “We’re just wondering how you’re able to be so tough on us and be so focused during practice but when we’re off the field, you’re happy and joke around with us.” I was flattered. I knew right then that I was being transparent. Our players saw me for who I am. When it’s time to work, I’m all business. When work time is over, I enjoy relaxing and having fun.” I think that this is the attitude you need to present to kids.

We are role models as coaches. We’re going to have an impact on our players whether we want to or not. It should be a positive impact!

“I’ve Drunk the Koolaid!!!”

Posted by admin October - 10 - 2018 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

The more college football games that I watch, the more I see the influence that Gus Malzahn and his Delaware Wing T roots have on Offensive Coordinators. I watched my Hokies of Virginia Tech get their “backs broken” by Notre Dame the other night when ND broke a 97 yard run vs. the vaunted Bud Foster defense. Guess what the play was? Buck Sweep left!!! The TB took the ball, started left… stuck his foot in the ground and made that 90 degree cut behind the back-side pulling Guard and went 97 yards UN-touched! It was classic Malzahn “Spread Shotgun Wing T!”

Our offense was always built around a powerful running game. I learned this from my former HC, Lou Holtz. You can throw it around all you want but… when it comes to crunch time, you better have an effective ground game or your chances of winning decrease significantly! We also ran most of our Wing T offense out of the base under-center Delaware formations (100/900 and Red/Blue.) It was effective for us because we mixed in some of the Spread Shotgun Wing T. What I’m realizing is that: even in the 3 years since I retired from coaching, the game (even on the high school level) has evolved. All you see anymore is “spread” offenses. I was opposed to this until I visited practice at my local high school where I used to coach.

They’ve been struggling. The HC is a Double Wing/Wing T guy from way back. The offense was just not clicking. Two weeks ago, he turned over the reigns to one of his assistants and the guy installed the “Spread.” Watching practice yesterday, I saw an energy that was missing a month ago. The kids were running around and everyone was having fun playing up-tempo. Four and 5 wide-outs with motion and shifts. I said to myself, “THIS is what kids like to play these days.” It’s what they see on tv; it’s what they play on their football video games.

My title this week is indicative of the feeling I left the practice field with yesterday: “It’s time to convert! It’s time that I start promoting the Spread version of the Wing T.”

When you can still run multiple formations with lots of shifting and motion, you’re utilizing the principles of Delaware Wing T football. When you can still run buck sweep; trap and waggle/bootleg, you’re utilizing Wing T base plays. One of the beauties of Malzahn’s concepts is having both zone/reach blocking and power/down blocking as integral parts of his run game. Defensive linemen today are so well-coached in “beating the zone/reach” block that when O linemen block down, it looks like the D lineman needs to move with him. That plays right into the down blocking scheme!

Then you add play action passes and a “bombs away” attitude with your drop back game (4 verticals), you have an offense that creates all kinds of problems for DC’s!

I’ve been won over! Yes, I have drunk the koolaid. I’m still a Wing T guy but, I’m sold on the effectiveness of the Spread concepts!

Make-up Games

Posted by admin September - 17 - 2018 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

As most of you know, the area south of us in North Carolina and South Carolina is under water from the rain of hurricane Florence. In Tidewater Virginia, though, we escaped the fury of the storm… THIS time! However, all of the games were canceled last Friday. Now everyone is scrambling to re-boot their schedules. It kinda reminds me of the time I was stuck in the Atlanta airport when a thunder storm swept through. Once the airlines started rescheduling flights, it was a mess! The same thing is happening here— not just this week, but for the next 2 weeks.

Some teams are making up Friday’s game tonight; others tomorrow; some on Wednesday. That will affect the regularly schedule games for this coming Friday. And when you reschedule that one, it affects the ones for next week too! We’ll leave all that to the AD’s; but, I might add… you, as the HC, should be allowed some say so in how your schedule is reset. Be proactive and go speak to your AD and/or principal and let them know what your feelings are before they make a final decision. You have a stake in this thing and your voice should be heard.

What I want to share with you is HOW you prepare for those “short” weeks… when you have multiple games to prepare for. The first rule is: take 1 game at a time! Stay focused on your current opponent as you practice with your players. However, there’s nothing wrong with getting a head start with scouting your next opponent. Request Hudl video now… and start breaking it down. You do all of this while you tell your players that: “YOU have one focus! Get ready to play the best game you can play THIS game.”

Setting up a practice schedule can become a problem too. You have to decide a couple of things: 1- which drill periods you’re going to reduce in time or… eliminate altogether. 2- Which “day” do you eliminate? That is, delete your “Fundies Day” (typically Monday for the teams that I coached) or not have your “Run Through/Pregame” practice. I think it is important to keep things as similar to a normal practice week as you can.

The normal weekly practice schedule for the teams that I led went like this: Monday: Fundies (both sides) and Introduce the Scouting Report. Tuesday: Big O Day. Focus on Offense with a 20-25 minute period for Team Defense. Wednesday: flip the script and make it Big D Day… with a 20-25 minute Team Offense period. *NOTE: We practiced Special Teams every day! Then Thursday was: “Play A Game” Day. This was our Dress Rehearsal. I talk about this at length in my book, 101 Little Things. Check it out!

So… let’s say your play on Monday and your next game is Friday! You have 3 days to get ready. The first thing I’m deleting is “Thursday.” I make sure that I point out to the players on Tuesday that we will a) keep to our normal schedule as much as possible then b) we will not have our regular “Dress Rehearsal” on Thursday this week. Remind them on Wednesday too.

The other issue is how much contact do you put your players through when there’s a short week. If you’ve been reading these posts for a while, you know that I’m not an advocate for much body-on-body “full” contact during the week anyway. However, rarely did we ever go out in anything less that full gear. Why? For protection. All it takes is for one Scout Team player to slip and nail your star RB in the thigh with his shoulder pad… and your star is now injured going into the game! (Yes… it happened to me more than once! You’d think I would’ve learned.) The only time we didn’t go out in full pads were weeks where we had an extra day of practice— playing on a Saturday instead of Friday night. But, that’s a different topic!

My “5 P’s of Success” come into play sooooooooo often! You’ve got to get your team properly prepared. That means having a plan for the whole week before practice starts the first day! Organization is the bed rock of preparation.

“Learned Laziness”

Posted by admin September - 10 - 2018 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

I had an epiphany last week on the practice field at the local high school that I’ve been helping with this season. My role was supposed to have been as a “consultant” to the head coach. What this basically means is that I make recommendations and he makes decisions. It has been a very good relationship. However, because of this close relationship, the (paid) assistant coaches were being ignored. This became clear to me last week.

We were in the middle of offensive 7 on 7 while the O line was at the other end working on pass protection. The HC is also the O line coach so he was 50 yards away. I was the one running the 7 on 7 drills. (Remember… I’m only a consultant.) At one point during the drill, I sensed God’s Holy Spirit nudging me to “take a look around.” What I saw was very disturbing. The assistant coaches were basically gathered on the sideline talking among themselves. It was a real wake up call for me.

Later that evening I called the HC and told him what I had observed and… to let him know that I would not be attending practices anymore. At least for a couple of weeks. My desire to “get to work” and keep practice moving had caused me to over-step my level of responsibility. As my wife told me later that evening when I explained the situation, “It sounds to me like you’re a Coach— NOT a Consultant!” She was right. So, I explained to the HC that he was going to have to shake up his staff and get them out on the field and coaching. They do a great job during Individual period. They’re good, young coaches. By removing myself from the practice field, they are going to have to step up and step in and contribute a lot more during Group and Team periods. What I had taught them was what psychologists call learned laziness! They could step back and do nothing because “Ole Coach J” was going to run the show for them.

The HC has had to speak up several times during subsequent practices to get the assistants to get out of their comfort zone and continue to coach/teach/encourage/correct throughout the entire practice. Why does he have to do this more than once? Because a habit had been formed. One does not break a habit with one try. He will probably have to speak up numerous times throughout the next few weeks until it “clicks” in the minds of the assistants that… “Coach J is not around to step in and do my job. I need to get busy.”

It is imperative that a HC understand that he has to “coach the coaches” before he ever thinks about coaching the players. I learned this from one of my coaching mentors. Get your staff organized and make sure that they are clear about the expectations that you, as HC, have for them. If they are not meeting those expectations, you will need to remind them during practice. If a coach continues to fall below the level of your expectations, then a private meeting is in order. If that does not change things, it may be time to plan on letting that coach go and find someone else who wants to work!

This should occur during the off-season. Monthly staff meetings need to include a period where your expectations are stated, then discussed. But, unless the HC is disciplined enough to stay on his staff once practice begins… there are going to be people who will always look to take the easy way out. The HC is responsible for his assistants. He is the one who has to lead the team. And that “team” includes the coaching staff.

Meeting with Parents

Posted by admin September - 6 - 2018 - Thursday ADD COMMENTS

One of the big issues that coaches have to deal with is parent conferences. It is important to have a policy in place as to how/where/when you will meet with parents and then… communicate it. I have recently seen some HC’s “jumped” by irate dads after a game— right on the field! This should not happen. There is a way to control this situation but you have to be proactive.
Most every coach has a preseason parent meeting these days. It is important to present your guidelines for how you’re going to conduct your program. If you need a format, check my book. My Player/Parent Policy Sheet is listed in there. Anything from how you will deal with injured players attending practice to how a player letters should be covered. But, let’s focus on parent meetings.

It is important to keep an open door policy when it comes to dealing with parents. You need to let them that you want to help them; that their son’s well-being is important to you. Once you establish this, you must also let them know that if they want to meet that there is a time and place to do it.

You will not meet after a game or practice. Your mind is on other things and you can’t focus on their concern. After a game is also an emotional time and it’s best not to discuss things of a personal nature then. This is all in the spirit of wanting to help. So ask for their cooperation. Then…. if you are “jumped” after a game, for example, you can say, “Mr. Jones. According to our team policies, which I know you are aware of, I will not hold conferences with parents after games. If you would like to talk with me about your son, please call the school on Monday morning. We can talk when I can get to a phone or you can make an appointment to come in. Thank you. I’ve got to get into the locker room now.” And… WALK AWAY! Don’t get drawn into a heated situation where you may say something that you will regret later.

If you don’t have a stated policy about parent meetings. then tell the parent that this is not a good time to talk. “Sir, please call and make an appointment on Monday.” And, again… walk away.

OK… so they make an appointment the right way and you’re there in your office. How do you conduct yourself? There are 2 guidelines that you need to enforce: 1- we will discuss this calmly and 2- you will not discuss another player with these parents.

1- Things can get out of hand quickly if you allow the parent to become emotional. A raised voice or cursing are warning signs that emotions are getting high. You MUST remember that you are in charge of this meeting and you set the ground rules! If things get out of hand, you can give ONE warning. After that, the meeting ends and you ask them to leave. Do NOT meet with parents when you are alone. Have an assistant coach sitting outside or if you’re in school, know that there’s someone available if you call for support.

2- Parents are usually upset with a) the amount of playing time/starting their son is getting (or not getting!) or b) why is Johnny Jones playing and my son isn’t?! That’s where you draw the line. Again, firmly but politely, you state, “Mr. Smith, I do not discuss other parent’s children with you. You would not want me to do that with another player’s parents… so I am will not discuss it here.”

What you can tell the parents is what their son can do to improve his chances of getting more playing time. Share with them specific things that he needs to work on. There’s nothing wrong with saying that. Try to keep it in a positive vein.

I always tried to be positive but honest. Most parents have an overblown view of their son’s talent level. I would tell them something like, “Yes, your son has the potential to play college football. In my opinion, though, I don’t think you can expect a Power 5 conference school to offer him a scholarship. If he wants to play Div. 2 or 3, I can contact coaches on his behalf and see where that goes.”

You’re going to occasionally get that dad who played a little high school ball and has coached Rec League… and he listens to sports talk radio, so he knows a LOT more than you do about coaching football. I would sit there and listen but would conclude by reminding them that “the principal hired ME to coach this football team. I appreciate your input but I need you to understand that I am the coach and you are the parents. Please encourage your son to work hard and have a great attitude. Those are important attributes that we can work on together.” I don’t agree nor do I disagree. I thank them for their time and tell them that I have another appointment. The meeting is concluded.

The KEY here is: you are in charge and you have to control things… including your own temper! Be cooperative; be understanding but… don’t be a push-over.

Story-telling

Posted by admin August - 29 - 2018 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

I remember once hearing a pastor say that people love to hear stories. They relate to stories. We’ve had stories told to us since we were little kids. Jesus was the greatest story-teller who ever lived! If you’ve ever read any of the four Gospels in the New Testament, you know that they are full of stories that Jesus told…. to illustrate a key point. You as a coach should try to do the same thing!

This came up last week when one of my former assistants called to tell me that I need to write a new book… loaded with the stories I used to tell the team. He’s young and he wanted a resource to go to to find an appropriate story to share with his players when he needed to illustrate a point to them. This request made me realize what an impact my “stories” had— that a new head coach would want to tap into the same source to motivate and challenge his kids.

My best resource for stories has been “longevity.” I like to listen to podcasts and I like to read. So, I am exposed to a lot of different ideas. Listening to many different pastors’ sermons has helped me form a library of stories. A book on “Sermon Illustrations” has been one of the best resources I have found. Obviously, you can find anything on the internet today. Just search “story-telling!”

Why are stories so impactful? I think it’s because people can easily relate to them. We like to hear things that touch us emotionally. I like stories with a surprise ending. One of the best assistant coaches I ever had used to tell me that “you want to create a paradigm shift in peoples’ mind.” A twist at the end of a story causes people to think. That means that you have captured them intellectually as well as emotionally. For me, if it can include something from the Bible, then you have touched all 3 aspects of our being: emotions, intellect and spirit.

Finally, be an effective story teller if you’re going to use them. I understand that there are professional story-tellers out there today! You can hire them to read to the children at a birthday party. The best story-teller I’ve ever heard is my wife! She does such a great job with our grandkids. Her voice inflection; her change of modulation; her use of different voices for different characters in the book she’s reading to our 3-year-old granddaughter is literally captivating! This comes from 34 years as a 1st grade teacher, I suppose. She’s just really good at getting, and keeping, your attention. You need to do the same thing if you’re going to tell a story. Make your presentation full of enthusiasm. And… practice in front of a mirror before you present it to your team!

Head Coach: Active or Passive?

Posted by admin August - 24 - 2018 - Friday ADD COMMENTS

I have talked to several HS coaches this summer who’ve told me that they have adopted the “college model” for their staffs. They have hired an OC and a DC to run their respective sides of the ball and… call the plays on game night. In most instances, I think this is a mistake.

On most HS staffs, the HC is the most experienced and the most knowledgeable coach on the staff. Yet, he is turning over the responsibility of running his team to a less-experienced/less-knowledgeable coach. The most fun I had as a coach was 1- preparing my team for the game (developing that game plan) and then 2- going head to head with that DC on the other side of the field! I loved the competition; I loved the chess match that unfolded during a game.

I was always my own OC… for 30 seasons. There were times that I took a more active interest in our defense— even a couple of times that I had to step in and call the defense. But, hiring a qualified DC was always my first order of business. I wanted a coach whom I could count on to handle the defense for me. Honestly, I would’ve been bored if I’d have just stood around on Friday nights with nothing to do. The same went for practice.

One season, I tried not coaching a position. I would wander around the practice field observing, correcting and exhorting players and coaches while they worked and I watched. Can you spell BORING with me! I got into coaching because I like to coach!!! There are few things more gratifying than showing a player how to do something correctly and then he goes out the next play and does exactly what you showed him to do! I made changes at mid-season.

I have advised coaches even into the regular season to makes changes in their staff’s responsibilities if things weren’t going well. If you as a HC are dissatisfied with the job that a Coordinator is doing, call him in and have a 1 on 1 conference. Tell him a) what he’s doing wrong and b) what he needs to do to rectify the situation. If things still don’t change, perhaps it’s time to make a move. It might mean that YOU, as HC, take on a greater role but… that’s why you make the big money!!!

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