Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Archive for August, 2019

“The First is Worth 3!”

Posted by admin August - 31 - 2019 - Saturday ADD COMMENTS

I just realized that I haven’t written in a couple of weeks. If you are not aware, I am back coaching FULL-time and it’s consumed quite a bit of my time and focus since practice started the first of August.

Being the Offensive Coordinator instead of the Head Coach has been an interesting transition. First off, I work for one of my former players— who is like a son to me! Learning to take orders instead of giving them has been interesting! He’s an excellent leader and I’m enjoying every minute of it!! The best part is: I get to call the offense without having to worry about all the “mess” that the HC has to contend with!

We won our opener last night and played pretty well for a first game. I said something to the players the other day that my coach told us some 50 years ago when I was playing in high school. It’s as true today as it was back in the 60’s. (That’s the 19-60’s…. not 18!!!) He told us that “the first game is worth 3 games!”

What he meant was: this first game has “carry-over power” for the next 2 weeks. If you win, your team comes away knowing that they can have a good season; but, they have to “clean up” mistakes. However, if you lose the opener, you are in an uphill battle already. Adolescent males’ self concepts are pretty fragile. Those who tie their self-worth to how well their sport goes will have to deal with the negativity that comes from losing that first game. It’s going to affect the next 2 weeks.

Sooooooooo…. how do you deal with that first game in terms of the mental side of things? I think it’s important to show the mistakes and make sure they get corrected on the field. If you won, you use those mistakes to show them how they can improve. If you lost, I think you compile a playlist to show the players how close they came to victory… if only they hadn’t produced all those blunders. Take the “negatives” and turn them into “positives.” Berating or embarrassing the players won’t help much.

Beliefs

Posted by admin August - 5 - 2019 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

I’ve often felt that “motivation” is waaaaaaay over-rated. The idea of a fiery half-time speech propelling a team to rise above how they played in the first half has been over-played. Changing a belief with one speech may cause a quick spike in adrenaline but… when the players come “crashing down”… they’re going to be flatter than they were before the speech!

It’s why I’ve always given my “pep talk” on Thursday! Give them something to “chew on” for 24 hours… but not try to “fire them up” just before they go out on the field to play a game! Yes! a lot of enthusiasm and excitement is important but… I never wanted my team “sky high” before a game.

I did, however, convince our players that a fired up underdog might stay with us through the first half —on adrenaline alone! But, “just keep playing your game, guys!” We will begin to exert our authority in the 2nd half– when the game is on the line.

Our pastor shared something in his message a week ago which has “rattled around in my head” since then. Here’s what Pastor Michael Brueseke of Community Church @ Western Branch said: “Once a lie is believed in our mind, it’s hard to remove! However… once a truth is believed in our mind, we must feed it to keep it there!!!”

First… I wonder why that is a truth?! Is it because we are so susceptible to negativism and falsehoods that we “buy into” anything that sounds bad? And yet, we start saying positive things (to ourselves) and we must continue to feed those thoughts or… they tend to erode and pass out of our mind.

This is why, for me, I continue to read/study/meditate on God’s Word. The Bible is full of truth and is my source of life. I let God’s Holy Spirit “speak LIFE” to my mind by reading a little of the Bible each day. In that way, I’m letting the Word of God take up residence in my mind so there’s no room for the enemy’s thoughts to overwhelm me.

It will work for YOU too!

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