Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Electric Light Bulb Wish Tree

Posted by admin April - 12 - 2016 - Tuesday

Our daughter-in-law works in the Admissions Department at the Savannah College of Art and Design. My wife and I got the grand tour this past weekend. She took us upstairs in the Admissions Building to show us where she works and what she does. We walked into a large room where they give prospective students and their parents a welcome message. When I stepped into the room I was overwhelmed by the sight of their “Wish Tree!” I wish I could post a snapshot of it that I took… unfortunately, I lack the computer skills to do it! So, I’ll have to describe it as best I can.

Imagine a big oak tree about 20 feet tall. The trunk, made of metal rods all intertwined together, is about 4 feet in diameter and the spreading “leaves” and metal branches must have been 20-30 feet wide. This was a BIG tree! From a distance, it appeared to have lights strung throughout the “leaves” and branches. However, when I got closer I realized that the lights were not “strung” throughout the branches but the “leaves” themselves were light bulbs!!! There must have been 1000 or more regular light bulbs all clustered together hanging from the branches of this tree. About 1/4 of the bulbs were lit. I asked my daughter-in-law to explain.

When prospective students come into the room they are given a card and a pen. They are asked to write down one of their dreams. Remember… these are high school seniors involved in this. They then go to the tree and attach their card to a string hanging down from a light bulb… that is unlit. They then pull the string to “light up” their wish! It’s left burning. Hopefully the student will matriculate SCAD and when that student achieves that dream/wish they are to return to the Wish Tree and pull the cord once again to extinguish their light bulb. All of this got my “creative juices” flowing! How could this apply to a football team? How could a coach use this as a motivational tool? And… BINGO! It hit me!

Why not get someone in the Industrial Arts Dept. at your school to build something similar? Have each player write down a goal for himself and for the team on a card. Tie it to the string from an unlit bulb and then… pull the cord and light up the bulb! Once all of the players have their “wish card” attached and their bulb lit, the tree remains lit until each player begins to achieve the goal/wish they wrote down.

It’s an idea that you hopefully can work with!

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