Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Archive for October, 2020

P.R.I.D.E.

Posted by admin October - 20 - 2020 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS

Our new Head Coach is doing a great job of communicating to our players during these crazy times. Our city allows him to work out with the kids twice a week. No contact but they can do drills. A guy here in the area who owns a Training Center for high school athletes came up with a brilliant idea: He started a “league” in the area so the schools can at least play 7 on 7 each Friday. It is outside the jurisdiction of the Virginia High School League. Guys are getting a chance to compete in the “off” season.

Something that our HC passed along to the players a couple of weeks ago showed a lot of wisdom on his part. Not only is he a great X’s and O’s guy but he cares about building character in his players. Thus, when he presented his acronym for PRIDE, I was all over it! I have built my “Character Coach” talks around each of the words that each letter represents. Let me show you…

“P”= PERSEVERANCE. One of my favorite Bible verses is Phil. 3:14. It exhorts us to “press on… towards our goal.” By telling us to press on, God is saying that there is going to be press-ure! We must push through it. Remember the children’s book, The Little Engine That Could. That little engine persevered!

“R”= RESPECT. This is something that we all clamor for. We want respect! I shared the “Golden Rule” with the players. I saw a few eyebrows go up when I said, “if you want people to show you respect, then FIRST show it to them!” That got them thinking. I pointed out that the Golden Rule actually was something that Jesus stated in the Bible.

“I”= INTEGRITY. Oh how this character trait is missing in society today! At one time, to say “a man is only as good as his word” was a truism. Not so much anymore. Challenging young people to be honest and to exhibit honor is a bit of an anathema in our culture today. I still emphasized how much respect a person who shows integrity can earn.

“D”= DETERMINATION. I shared on here a while back about Stephan Curry’s story about The Stone Cutter. Check it out if you don’t know the tale. It is a prime example of what determination can get you. “Never, never, never give up and never give in!” Keep on Hammerin’!!!

“E”= EXCELLENCE. Let everything you do be done with excellence. Don’t settle for average. Strive to be the best you can be. I saw a young man at the fitness center this morning who had this printed on his t shirt: “Proud… but still working hard!” Sooooooo good! If we are striving for excellence, we don’t have time to get puffed up. We appreciate what we have accomplished because we know that we went about achieving our goal the right way. You should feel good about yourself and your accomplishment because you achieved it with hard work and integrity!

Renewing Friendships

Posted by admin October - 12 - 2020 - Monday ADD COMMENTS

I haven’t written in a couple of weeks— been busy writing my book! I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was encouraged to write my memoirs. A 22-year career as HC at Western Branch High School in Chesapeake, VA has produced a lot of stories about some great players and some even greater times.

This past weekend I enjoyed renewing friendships with players from my other HC experience. I came out of retirement (my friends will tease me and say that it was the second time that I came out of retirement!) to take the head coaching job at nearby Nansemond-Suffolk Academy in Suffolk, VA in 2011. It was 5 wonderful years. Yesterday, one of those players got married. I was honored to have been asked to be the Officiant for the occasion. Yes, in my spare time between retiring and coaching again… I studied to be a pastor. In 2014, I was ordained as a Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When Tim and Madison asked if I would be their minister for the wedding celebration, I immediately said yes!

The groom is a former NSA player. His Best Man is a former NSA player. And two of his Groomsmen are former NSA players. It was grrrrrrrrreat to be able to spend time with those guys. They are all now in their mid 20’s and doing well in their professional careers. To be there for Tim’s wedding meant the world to me.

Riding home today, I remarked to my wife, “That is what coaching is all about.”

She replied, “what do you mean?”

“Just seeing those guys and how well they’re doing brings a smile to my face. That they were glad to see me and spend time just sharing stories of our football seasons together makes all of the work involved worth it,” I explained. She just nodded and smiled. My girl is the consummate “coach’s wife!” She knows me better than I know myself.

The moral of the story for you younger coaches out there? Enjoy the time you have with your guys. Make a positive impression on them. They will truly always remember it. Whether it’s 5, 10 or 25 years from now when you see them again, they’re going to talk about things that happened off the field as much (or more) than the games. Build relationships that last a lifetime.