Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program


Posted by admin October - 22 - 2018 - Monday

A lot of what I’m going to share with you came from our pastor’s, Michael Brueseke, talk yesterday. It was powerful and very informative!

Here’s the first KEY statement: “A leader creates culture.”

and the second: “It’s the leader’s values that he uses to create that culture.”

I met with a young coach yesterday and presented these 2 statements to him. He wanted to know how he can continue to challenge his players to want to strive for championships… when they seem happy with just a winning season. No matter where your program is right now, I suppose this is a question that every HC wants answered. Perhaps I can shed a light on this critically important issue.

After I presented the young coach with my 2 KEY statements, I let them “marinate” in his head for a full minute. Then I asked him, “So… what are YOUR values that you possess and enforce that create your program’s culture???” He could not respond! I told him to think about it for awhile and then send me his list.

I will use one of my core values to illustrate this point. My core value is/was: HUSTLE. I have always felt that a player (or team of players) who out-hustle the opponent has a greater chance of success. It breeds enthusiasm and an esprit de corps that tight-knit groups (think U.S. Marines!) possess.

OK… so I value hustle. So what? It’s the next step that is key. Because you are talking about laying foundation blocks on the “building of success” here! It requires persistence and, in turn, repetition.

PERSISTENCE: It’s like being a parent… raising a child. If you want to establish a behavior in your child, you have to take a “never give up” attitude. Kids aren’t going to learn to be respectful or hustle unless you constantly stick to your guns about reminding them to say “please” and “thank you.” It took years of sticking to our guns (my wife and I) but we have two of the most respectful young adults (our children are grown) you’d ever want to meet.

REPETITION: You have to constantly reinforce your value. If when I called our players up at the end of practice to surround me… and there were a few stragglers who simply walked or jogged over… they ALL got sent back where they started from and we repeated the action. I’d blow the whistle again and this time ALL of them better come running! It occasionally required that I’d have to repeat this “do over” routine but they got the message.

“NEVER give up! NEVER give in!” The second part of that adage is just as important as the first! It’s with this attitude that you can successfully build a winning culture. I’m convinced of it!!! How do I know? It took 5 years for me when I first became a HC to refine and define what my core values were. Once I did, I was totally committed to seeing those values built into our players’ character. It led to 10 championships and an 80% winning record over the next 25 years!

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