Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

“Did everyone get to play?!”

Posted by admin October - 8 - 2013 - Tuesday

We’ve been fortunate the last 2 weeks that the teams we played weren’t as strong as us. Both games resulted in blow-outs. Both were also on the road… so my wife did not make the trip to see us play. I texted her the score at the end of each game and here was her response: “Congrats! Did everyone get to play?” I thought about that… cuz she’s been asking the same question for years! I finally asked her, “why do you always ask if everyone got to play?!” Her reply smacked me right in the face!

She responded: “Remember when Bryan (our son) made the Bronco League (baseball) All Star team that summer he was 10?” “Ummmmm… yes, I remember,” I replied. “Well, remember sitting up there in the stands with the rest of the parents watching the game while our son sat on the bench?” OK…. I’m thinking, yes I’m remembering that now. She paused for effect. “Remember, how we swallowed our pride and accepted the fact that maybe he wasn’t good enough to start but… good enough to make the team and get to play some?” “Yes, I remember.” “Well, Lew, remember how disappointed… then angry we became when the game they won by 8 runs didn’t even have any subs get to play?!” The old feelings began to boil up in me again as I thought back to that day some 25 years ago.

“Lew… that’s just how the parents of your players feel when they see you up by 4-5 touchdowns and their son doesn’t even get in for a few plays!” she said. I tried to alibi my way out of it with something like, “It’s hard to get everyone in when there’s a running clock.” But, I knew she wouldn’t buy it. And… I knew she was right!

Guys: even if it’s just 1 or 2 plays— empty that bench! Let those kids get a chance to play in a game! We had a boy in the game the other night for the last series on defense. He’s 5’8 and 145— we put him at defensive end and told him “go get the ball carrier.” He pulled a “Rudy!” Remember the last scene in the movie where Rudy got in and sacked the qb? That’s what happened for our player. The rest of the team went WILD on the sideline and that boy has an experience he’ll never forget!

Get ’em ALL in the game, Coach!!!

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