Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

“Don’t Drink the Koolaid!!!”

Posted by admin May - 2 - 2018 - Wednesday

Let me rattle off a few names for you. Let’s see if you know what they have in common. Some may not be as familiar to some of you cuz I’m probably a lot older than you and my interest in sports goes back further! Here goes:
Michael Jordan; LeBron James; Allen Iverson; Danny Ainge; Charlie Ward; David Justice; Russell Wilson; and Rajon Rondo.

What do you think? What do these athletes have in common? Yep… the obvious point is: they are all professional athletes (or were.) They are all top athletes in their sport. What else?!! You may not know it but… they all have another thing in common: they were all multi-sport stars in high school!!! Yep! LeBron was an all-state receiver in high school. I saw AI play in high school. He may have been the most “electric” HS football I’ve ever seen!

My point? These athletes’ careers were not “messed up” because they chose to play two or more sports in high school. David Justice of the NY Yankees starred in 3 sports!!! Why is it then that young athletes today are being “pushed” to concentrate on 1 sport?? It is an issue that continues to bug me. And I’m not even coaching anymore! I guess it’s because my heart has always been to do what’s best for the kids!

I’m pretty sure I know the reason why many coaches (football included!) are trying to “brainwash” their players into playing only their sport. It’s simply because too many coaches are more concerned about their ego; they are more concerned about their winning percentage. So they “sell” their players on the idea that “if you want a college scholarship, you need to play _____ (my sport!) year round! In fact, if you want to crack the starting lineup here in my program, you’d better plan on being with me year round!”

Step back and say that again to yourself out loud. Does that sound like a coach who’s more concerned about the welfare of his players or… does it sound like someone who’s trying to make sure that he succeeds?

So, what’s the solution? Until parents stand up and tell these Travel Team coaches and AAU coaches and these personal trainers that they want their child to enjoy sports… so let them play what they want to play— not much is going to change!

If you are a coach fighting this battle in your school, try “name-dropping” the stars I listed at the beginning of this article. Do a little “hallway recruiting.” Speak to those players who you’d like to try football to come out and lift some weights… or throw the ball around with our QB’s. Let them know you are interested in them. Call their parents and discuss what I’ve shared here. Get them involved.

If you are a coach who’s “hogging” all of the athletes in your school… shame on you! Some of the best football players I coached played other sports. As long as the coach of that other sport didn’t attempt to get our football player to “drink the koolaid” and not play football anymore!— I was willing to work with any coach. There just aren’t that many great athletes around that we can’t afford to share! Loyalty to the school has been overtaken by the desire to see “my” program succeed. “The heck with the others.” Baaaaaad attitude!

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