Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

DO Sweat the “Small Stuff!”

Posted by admin July - 5 - 2011 - Tuesday

I gave an outline of some major things that you as a HC should be putting together now that practice is within a month of starting up. One thing I did not mention is focusing on some “small stuff” that can run you ragged if you haven’t covered it with your staff.

One of the things that took me a while to learn to do was to delegate. I didn’t realize what a “micro manager” I was for a long time. It was wearing me out. All the “small stuff” around the stadium and locker room that needed to get done (sometimes on a daily basis!)…. I was doing it all and it was wearing me out!

I’m going to recommend that as you sit down to finalize what responsibilities you assign to your coaching staff ON the field that you also make assignments for OFF-the-field responsibilities. Most assistant coaches want to help out. They like to have their own area where they can be in charge. You assign a coach to be the Offensive Line coach don’t you? Then you should also assign, for example, a Locker Room Supervisor. You need a coach who will be sure that the locker room is clean before everyone leaves. He should also be patrolling around as the kids are dressing— to be sure they know that an adult is present and there will be no horse play.

How about your Equipment Room? How many days does a player come to the coaches office door needing a belt for his practice pants or a shoe lace? You, as HC, jump up and go to the equipment room to help him. You end up just hanging out in the equipment room the whole time everyone is getting dressed and you miss out on those last-minute reviews of the practice schedule with your assistants. You need to assign an assistant who is responsible for being in the equipment room before practice to help out the players. I just don’t think you can leave a student manager alone in the equipment room with players having free run of the place! Things can “sprout legs and walk out” too easily.

I recall the last few years I was the HC at the public school I coached at. We had raised enough money to buy a golf cart. We hooked up a trailer to it and lots of stuff was hauled out to the practice field on it. Somebody had to get it out of the garage and put it away each day. Guess who did it for 2 years— before he was smart enough to assign that duty to an assistant coach?! Everyone had gone home; I had locked up the locker room; I’m heading for my car and… there’s the stinkin’ golf cart sitting out! I finally wised up and assigned golf cart duty to one of my assistant. He loved driving that thing around!

These are just a couple of examples of some of the “small stuff” that can wear you down if you don’t delegate them out to assistants. They need to be done. They’re important. But… it doesn’t have to all be done by the head coach. Look around your program. Where are some “off-the-field” duties that an assistant can be doing for you? When you meet before practice starts, present them with their duty and thank them for helping out. You’ll be happy you did.

One Response to “DO Sweat the “Small Stuff!””

  1. Coach Ray says:

    Coach,

    I could not agree more with you on both of your last two post! Staying organized and delegating to your assistants is something that I know I need to work on as a new HC! We just started our summer camp and guess who got all the equipemnt ready for use… me.

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