Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Archive for January, 2014

“All In!”

Posted by admin January - 22 - 2014 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Our pastor is preaching/teaching a new series entitled All In! It’s based on a book by Pastor Mark Batterson from Washington, DC of the same name. I am reading the book and it is powerful. I recommend it to all of you.

This “All In” concept is a strong exhortation to “burn the ships” and make a 100% commitment to whatever your task is. Then, once you’re all in, it’s time to go “all out!” If you don’t know the story of “burn the ships,” it concerns Cortez when he and his men landed on the shores of what is now Mexico. They had sailed from Spain and Cortez knew that the only way he could get his men to realize that “there’s no turning back now” was… when he got all of his men and supplies, weapons and horses ashore, he yelled out to the few remaining men in the water to ‘burn the ships!!!’” He was making sure that they were “all in.”

I have a friend at church who has been leading a non-profit organization that builds backyard playground equipment for children in our area who’ve been diagnosed with cancer. He also had a landscape and lawn mowing business on the side that paid the bills. Just a few months ago, he decided that he was going “all in” with this non-profit. He brought on a Board of Directors, hired an Administrative Assistant and… most significantly, SOLD all of his landscape equipment. There was NO turning back now. He has gone “all out” now to make sure that this organization works and these kids get to enjoy a back yard full of playground equipment.

How about you? What is God calling you to do? What is your job? I know that most of you who read this are high school football coaches. But, I hear from others in different walks of life from time to time. Have you made the decision to go “all in” on whatever your job is? As our pastor said this week: “there is no ‘Plan B’ if you are truly going all in.” No fall-back plan; no way back. You are in it all the way and… you’re in it for the long haul. As Winston Churchill exhorts us: “Never, never, never give up… and, never give in!”

Finding Assistant Coaches

Posted by admin January - 13 - 2014 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

I’ve had some guys resign from our staff since the season ended. All for good reasons but… it’s hard to see good people go when you’ve learned to count on them. More importantly, they fit well into our program and the players liked and respected them.

The problem is… finding quality replacements. I don’t know what it’s like in your part of the country but, around here, fewer and fewer young guys are going into teaching and coaching! To find a young guy who’s got some background in football usually means I have to find somebody in the business world. That precludes him from being involved in all of our football-related activities. Just getting to practice on time is an issue! We don’t start till 3:20 each afternoon. These guys work a regular job… so they often can’t arrive till 4:30. It’s a problem.

So, what is the answer? I’m not sure there is one. I’m not going to hire a “second-rate” coach just because I need an additional coach. If it means coaching “short-staffed” I’ll do it. I will take a guy who may not know as much about football as I’d like but who has strong character, relates well to kids and is willing to work to learn more about the positions I want him to coach.

Don’t turn away a guy who is eager just because he’s not experienced. And… don’t ignore a guy who hasn’t played a lot of ball! Some of the best coaches I know didn’t even play college football. A coach is first and foremost a communicator. Which means he’s a strong teacher. A good teacher knows his subject and is able to communicate it in such a way that his students/players understand it and can execute it.

Finally, make sure you know why does the guy coach? I’ve mentioned before Joe Erhmann’s Inside Out coaching philosophy. If a guy is coaching to build his own ego… I don’t think you want him on your staff. We’re coaching teenagers. They need coaches who care about them and want to help them succeed. If a guy’s not in it for the kids (first), I can’t use him on my staff. There’s nothing wrong in having some personal pride. But, when “ego” trumps cooperation, you’re going to have problems. When it’s about “me” and not “we”— it can be as bad on your coaching staff as it is if you have a player who has this attitude.

Choose carefully. Choose wisely!

Please “Be Passionate” About It!

Posted by admin January - 2 - 2014 - Thursday ADD COMMENTS

It’s a new year! Time for a fresh start! Are you ready to kick off the new year with a fresh attitude and high goals? If so, remember this: Passion is the starting point for all achievement!!! There has never been anyone who achieved anything of value, who wasn’t passionate about it. Passion is the fuel that drives you toward success.

One of my favorite Old Testament Bible stories is about Nehemiah. Nehemiah was passionate about rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls. When his enemies tried to sidetrack and discourage him, he said to them, “I am doing a great work…. so I can’t come down” (off the walls).

No doubt the road to success is cluttered with detours, problems and disappointments. If we don’t have the right mindset, our dreams can die right there. We will find that some days our “passion meter” will be sitting on empty. On those days it’s important to remember that God is still there to guide us along the way. He doesn’t just give us a hope, a plan, or a dream and then just leave us. My wife has a magnet she keeps on our refrigerator door. I love what it says: “God. Help me to remember that there’s nothing that’s going to happen to me today that You and I together can’t handle!” When you’re running on empty, go back to Him and ask for the strength to keep moving forward. Between your dream’s inspiration and manifestation, there’s going to be a LOT of perspiration!

So get up every morning, draw on God’s grace and take one more step in the direction of the thing you know God has put you here to do.

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