Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Archive for June, 2013

Welcome Change!

Posted by admin June - 25 - 2013 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS

The Boy Scouts’ motto is a good one: “Be prepared.” I discovered that it is also on my family’s coat of arms from Scotland— so I try to live it every day. Interestingly, in the Bible, God told the Israelites in the Book of Exodus to “Eat… fully dressed as if you were going on a trip… have your sandals on and your walking stick in your hand.” In other words, “Be ready when I tell you to move!”

Maybe there’s an area in your life where God is telling you that it’s time to move… but, fear is causing you to hold back. Don’t! Change is evidence of growth. What worked for you yesterday can be a recipe for disaster tomorrow. You can’t become who God has called you to be if you insist on staying as you are. It’s been said, “Only fools and dead men don’t change. Fools won’t and dead men can’t.” Change isn’t the enemy. Once you start seeing yourself as a lifelong learner (in whatever field or endeavor you have undertaken), you will look for ways to improve. When you take this perspective, change becomes your friend.

Learn from the people you meet. Go after new ideas. Discover ways to push yourself. God wants to direct your path. One of my favorite Bible passages is Proverbs 3:4-5. To paraphrase it, it says that if you truly trust the Lord with your life and acknowledge His presence, He will direct your path.

Youth Football Camp

Posted by admin June - 18 - 2013 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS

I am conducting a youth football camp at my school this week. We have guys from grades 5 through 8 working with us. We have a bunch of great kids but I am concerned about the lack of interest in playing football that is becoming more prevalent throughout our area… and, from what I’m reading, throughout the country. The alarm has gone off and the “experts” are painting football as dangerous for young boys to play. Fewer and fewer kids are coming out for the football teams because of it.

I have a tendency to subscribe to conspiracy theories! (I still am not convinced that Oswald acted alone!!!) How this “plot” to discredit football has arisen is disconcerting to me. I understand the importance of safety in the game— any game. When I played Little League baseball (waaaaay back when!), we weren’t required to wear batting helmets. THAT has changed! But why football is under such a strong assault bothers me. Where is this coming from?! There seems to be a lot of people who “have it in” for football. It is up to coaches to preach and teach safety to their players. More importantly, to sell it to the parents. The moms are reading and hearing about all of these catastrophic injuries incurred while playing football and they are discouraging their sons from playing. Why football is being the sport that’s singled out, I’m not sure. But, we need to stand together as coaches to show people that: yes, it is a violent sport but we are doing everything we can to protect our players by teaching safety first.

Our players deserve it first and foremost. But, the sport we love deserves it too. Make sure you are teaching proper technique. Big hits are obviously a part of the game and people get excited about them; but, not if they are performed in a potentially dangerous manner to the player involved.

Keep your head up and block and tackle with your shoulders! As coaches, stress technique. If you see a player in a dangerous situation, stop the action and make a point to your team that this can’t happen in a game.

We’ve got to regain the confidence of the public (parents in particular) that we can play the game aggressively without taking undue risks. The game of football is too great a game to let it fall into further disrepute. Come on coaches… coach it up the right way!

Graduating with Honors

Posted by admin June - 5 - 2013 - Wednesday 1 COMMENT

It’s that time of year. Remember the feeling when you heard your name called and you proceeded across the stage to receive your diploma. Somebody spoke the words, “Congratulations on your graduation.” You’d done it. All the hard work had paid off.

Now, multiply that feeling a thousand-fold! Picture yourself standing in the Presence of the One who will award us with the crown of righteousness while the saints of the ages look on. Paul wrote about that day when he said in the Book of 2 Timothy: “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown.” Let’s look at how we can “graduate” this life with honors.

First, by living an unselfish life. I read that “there’s no greater obstacle to the life that God has planned for you than selfishness.” Self-promotion and ego pollute our souls and destroy relationships.

Second, by living a sacrificial life. The gift of salvation that God offers through Jesus Christ is free, but… graduation with honors costs dearly. I wrote last week about the suffering that St. Paul had to deal with throughout his ministry. Yet, he never gave up. He got discouraged but he never gave up. Paul sacrificed it all for the cause that he believed in and lived out every day of his life. Intimacy with Christ was his consuming passion. Paul decided that, regardless of the cost, graduating with honors was worth it.

Finally, by living a focused life. Great achievers stay focused on their goal. They filter out the extraneous and hone in on their target like a missile. Paul had a strong faith in God and the purpose God had called him to. He wrote this cool verse: “Fight the good fight of the faith… in Jesus Christ.” He knew that it wasn’t enough to be strong in faith, you must also be strong in your “fight.”

Have you ever let fear, criticism or past failures dictate your direction? They probably caused you to drift aimlessly through your days. Graduating with honors required focus. It requires singleness of focus. It requires forgetting past failures and, instead, having intense anticipation of future success. One of my favorite Bible verses challenges me and encourages me every day! It is Phillipians 3:14… “Looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to receive the heavenly prize.” Put on your own “full court press” and you too will one day graduate with honors. But… let Jesus be your Head Coach.

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