Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

“Buying In”

Posted by admin May - 11 - 2011 - Wednesday

I attended our school’s National Junior Honor Society induction ceremony last night. Our principal gave the keynote address. A LOT of wisdom in a 10 minute speech! It reminded me of 2 important things: 1- you can say what you need to say in 10 minutes and have a huge impact on your audience. Too many of us simply “like to hear ourselves talk!” That is a reminder to all of us that we probably say waaaaaaay more than we need to say at any one setting. Kids, yes adults too!, do a great job of pretending to be listening… when, in reality, most people are going to tune you out after 10-12 minutes. I read a study that says that this is the average attention span of people today: 12 minutes! How did this come about? We are trained to stop paying attention when a commercial comes on!!! Prime time TV shows break on the average every 12 minutes. It shows that all of us watch too much TV!
and 2- Stories have the greatest impact on your audience. You want to capture their “heart” if you want them to respond to your subject. Jesus was the greatest story- teller Who’s ever walked the earth. Think about the things that we remember most from the Bible— His parables. Stories! Stories appeal to our emotions. Capture the emotions, you capture the mind.
Dr. Fowler shared the story of “Johnny the Bag Boy.” If you have not heard it, “search” it on the internet. You need to read this story!!! In summary, Johnny heard a motivational talk and “bought in.” The motivational speaker was presenting her talk to 3000 people. One young man paid attention and “bought in” to what the speaker was encouraging people to do— and it changed Johnny’s life and those around him.

Dr. Fowler shared about how he’s been to teacher in-services and everyone was grumbling about why they had to be there. They had better things to do with their time. He’s been to principal’s conferences and they’re moaning and groaning about the same thing! Then, he attended a coaches clinic. 300 coaches crammed into a room… all with paper and pen in hand, paying rapt attention to the speaker and what he was presenting. Why the difference? Because the coaches were looking for that one “nugget” that could help them win a football game! They had bought in and were motivated to learn!

All of this made me think. What about our players? What about our parents? What about our assistant coaches? Have they “bought in” to our system? Out of a room of 3000, 1 young man “bought in” to what the speaker was trying to “sell.” Don’t be frustrated if you don’t see whole-sale changes in attitudes from your team. You see, sometimes it only takes 1 person with a great attitude (who’s bought in) to change the whole landscape! When you read Johnny’s story, you’ll see what I mean. (“Everybody wanted to be in Johnny’s line!!!”)

YOU can make a difference. One of my favorite quotes is ascribed to Winston Churchill: “Never give up… and never give in!” Take the time to create a library of motivational stories. Humorous, serious, poignant or perplexing… a story will capture your audience and pave the way for the people working with you to “buy in” to your system. Get that one young man on your side and you can do wonders!

Good luck and God bless you!

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