Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Evaluate ENTIRE Season!

Posted by admin November - 8 - 2016 - Tuesday

For a number of you, your season has come to a close. Others (a few!) are still in the (playoff) hunt! Good luck to those of you who are fortunate enough to still be playing. I want to speak to those coaches, though, whose season has come to an end already.

It was an interesting fall for me. I helped out “behind-the-scenes” with several teams around the country. A couple of them here locally in the Tidewater Virginia region and others from as far away as Minnesota and Ohio. Hudl, email and the phone are marvelous contraptions!!! Four of the six teams that I “consulted” with are play-off bound. The other two packed up their gear last week. One of the two teams that made the playoffs has already lost in the first round. It was interesting talking to this coach. He was just as “down in the dumps” as the two guys who didn’t have seasons good enough to make the playoffs. It brought up an interesting reaction on my part and, thus, I want to share it here:

Regardless of how your season went, don’t judge it based on one game! For the coach who lost in the first round, he was upset with himself and his team. I had to remind him how far the group had come. He went 7-3 in the regular season with 18-19 kids to play with! He upset a couple of schools who looked like on Hudl (when I watched the game on Saturday) had about 50 players! The team they went up against in the first round of the playoffs was in the same situation: A monster squad. He had 18. I cautioned him about NOT letting the last game leave a bad taste in his mouth.
“You need to look at your whole body of work, Coach,” I said. “Evaluate your season based on your season… NOT just the last game!” He received it well and assured me that he’d be building on what they accomplished this season.

Another coach whom I helped had high expectations coming into the season. Injuries and simply not enough team speed to compete against some very talented, fast football players spelled his downfall. He then had to deal with the added insult of having a parent question the “direction the program is going in.” I reassured him that he was 1- a good coach; i.e., he knows football and he treats his players (and staff) with respect and 2- he needs a few more “horses” before he can compete at the level of competition that his team faces each week. I did encourage him to get out in the halls and start talking to potential players; encouraging those who already play and… this is KEY: get down to the middle school that feeds into his high school and make his presence known down there. The lifeblood of a program is numbers! You have to (legally) “recruit” the kids whom you can legally talk to. I met the finest QB we ever had in our program at a middle school basketball game he was playing in his 8th grade year. I went solely to see him play and let him know that I knew who he was and was counting on him playing football at the high school the next year. That young man went on to start for all 4 years at QB for us; led up to 3 District and 1 Regional championship and our record for the 4 years he was our starter was 40-7! It all started because I took the time to go watch him play a couple of middle school basketball games.

CAUTION: Take some time off now that your season is over! I’ve said here and in my book— take your wife and treat her to a special “Get Reacquainted” weekend at a resort or getaway of HER choice. Spoil here and let her know how much you appreciate her support!!!

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