Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Archive for December, 2018

How Do You See Yourself?

Posted by admin December - 20 - 2018 - Thursday ADD COMMENTS

Kudo’s to Pastor Bob Gass and his writing staff for bringing such important messages each morning in their devotion book, The Word For You Today!  It inspired these thoughts I want to share with you today.

I love the fact that, you may not even believe in God, but… the wisdom of the Bible can still guide your life.  I find so much practical advise throughout the Word of God.  The devotional this morning focused on a story from the Old Testament book of Numbers.  It is a powerful testimony to the way that our self image (how we see ourselves!) can impact how we see  the world… and, ultimately, how much success we enjoy in our endeavors.  If you want to check out the full story, it’s found in Numbers, chapter 13.  The verse that I want to focus on is verse 33.  Let me give you some background.

Moses had sent out some men to scout the land (today it’s Israel) in preparing to cross the Jordan river and settle there.  Moses wanted to get the “lay of the land.”  The 12 scouts that he sends out returned after exploring the land and this was their report:  “We saw giants.  We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes…”  Welllllllllll… that was the report of 10 of the 12 scouts.  Two of them, by the names of Joshua and Caleb, were adamant that the Israelites should “go up and take the land that God has promised us.”  Joshua and Caleb saw the same giants (there really were giants in the land!) but believed that with God’s help they could defeat them.  Guess which report the people chose to believe???!!!  If you guesses the naysayers, you are right!

Stinkin’ thinking leads to a rotting away of our self confidence.  And a lack of self confidence is a major factor in explaining why so many of us fail at achieving important goals that we want to accomplish.  Joshua and Caleb had a winning attitude.  They spoke life.  They spoke the language of a winner.

The words that we speak are a result of the thoughts that we have.  Our words create our feelings and generate our actions.  If our action is that of “running away” in times of stress (giving up!), it’s root cause started with stinkin’ thinking.  

We can interrupt (and change) this process by speaking life to ourselves.  As a Believer, I constantly have to remind myself of how much the Lord loves me and wants to help me.  He believes in me so I need to believe Him.  Jesus is my source of strength.  What’s yours??!!!

Team Mom(s)

Posted by admin December - 11 - 2018 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS

A local HC was lamenting to me the other day that with his seniors leaving the program, he is also going to lose his very valuable Team Mom!  Cuz her son is a Senior!  He said he even asked her if she would come back next year.  No such luck.  Her son is graduating and she is done.

Now he has to go out and “beg” someone else to take over the duties of being Team Mom.  I suggested that developing a Team Mom is just like developing players at the (very important) Quarterback position!  You need to have a younger one in the program that you bring along.  When he’s ready to step in to the starting role, he already has a good idea of what is expected of him and what he needs to do.  The same thing goes for the Team Mom position.

I was fortunate that when I coached at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, I had tremendous parental support.  I inherited a Team Mom who’d been trained by the previous Team Mom as to what was involved in doing her job.  The transition was seamless.  The moms taught me the right way to go about this.  They already had the transition process in place.  A designated “Team Mom In Training” was learning the ropes during the season prior to her taking over the head job.  Those ladies had even put together a “Book” (it looked like a scrapbook!) of information and tips to help guide the Team Mom throughout the year.  They even had a little ceremony where they “handed off” The Book to the next Team Mom!  It was pretty cool.

It was so nice to know that I didn’t have to go looking for a new Team Mom each year.  The moms were actually training to take over.  A couple of years they even worked at Co-Team Moms.  That was fine with me.  They got the job done and nobody was overwhelmed by all of the duties they had to perform.  They were always nice enough to get my final “seal of approval” before the new Team Mom was inaugurated; but, I’d already seen the “mom in training” in action so there was never a problem.  It was always nice to pick up the phone to ask the new Team Mom to accept her new role knowing that she was willing and able to take over.

It’s another of those little things that you need to take care of it or it can become a big deal if you don’t!  As a Head Coach, you need to be able to delegate.  Having a player’s mom who can handle things like pre-game meals, your team banquet and such is a tremendous burden off of you.  Meet with your moms and explain how you want to do this.  When they know that they are doing it for their boys as much (or more) than they’re doing it for you, I think you will find that you will get a LOT of cooperation and help!

Senior Meeting

Posted by admin December - 5 - 2018 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

I highly recommend that you have a post-season meeting with your seniors on your team. Ask them 2 questions: 1- what do they recommend that you, as HC, do to improve the team/program? 2- What can I, HC, do to be a better leader. Get out a tablet of paper and pen and get ready to write stuff down. However, be prepared! Cuz “it” may be coming!!! What is “it?” Things you might not want to hear!!!

There are 2 typed of criticism: constructive and destructive criticism. One will increase your confidence; the other can destroy it. You’re probably going to get some of each when your seniors begin to offer their recommendations. Be cautious in how you respond to destructive criticism. You may not like it, but there may be a kernel of truth in what that senior has to say. In fact, don’t respond at all. Just write it down and say “thank you.” and… move on. If they see you losing your cool, they’re liable to shut down and then you’ll get nothing.

I did this exercise for years when I was coaching. I wanted to hear what the seniors had to say. Their career was done so they didn’t have to worry about any reprisals for speaking their mind. Good! I wanted them to speak freely. It was the only way I was going to be able to grow as a coach.

Early in my career, a senior said “Coach J. You’re too nice!” Huh? What? Too nice? I had him explain. What he was basically saying was, I was letting the players get away with too much. I was being soft on them. They wanted me to toughen up! Not become a screamer/yeller or over-react with a lot of punishment drills… just demand more from them. I took that to heart and during the off-season I developed a Player Policy Sheet which laid out the expectations I had for our players. If they could not (or would not!) conform to these new policies, they would suffer the consequences. Of course, some of them began to test me immediately. It took some time, but once they realized that I was not going to let them get away with stuff anymore, they buckled down and starting living up to the new expectations I had for them.

All of you should be looking for ways to improve— your program in general and you as a coach. This meeting can be an extremely effective means of gaining some valuable information from those who have IN your program and observed you daily. Suck it up and hear them out!!!

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