Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Find A Mentor

Posted by admin February - 19 - 2020 - Wednesday

I wrote last week about the new HC at “my” high school! He is still living and working in Northern Virginia (near DC) and we are in Tidewater (near Virginia Beach)… so he is trying to do a lot of things long distance! Thank goodness for cell phones and the internet!

One thing that I have been able to do for him, since I’m here in Tidewater, is to be an “adviser” to him. He shares his goals and vision with me and I respond. Then, at other times, I see something that he needs to take care of right now and I contact him. We have already formed a great working, and personal, relationship.

He said something today while we were on the phone that made me realize that I need to share this with those of you who follow this blog. What he basically said was, “I am sooooooo glad that I have someone with experience and wisdom that I can rely on to give me helpful advice when I need it. I bet every head coach wished that he had someone like you. Thank you.”

If you are a HC then you should take heed to what this new HC said. Each of you needs someone who is not on your coaching staff; i.e., an “administrative” person, who will be there to offer wisdom and helpful solutions when problems arise.

Most of you won’t know the name John Ballein. John coached with me at the high school level before he decided to head west to Blacksburg and Virginia Tech. His desire was to work at the college level and he would not be denied. He offered his services to Hall of Fame coach, Frank Beamer. Over the years, Coach Beamer developed such confidence and trust in John that he named Ballein the Director of Football Operations at VT. John was an invaluable support for Coach Beamer over the years.

Find someone (preferably older than you) that you respect and trust. Ask him to mentor you. Be sure he knows that you want him to be honest and forthright— no “bull jiving” as we used to say in the 70’s! When he observes a problem, you want to know about it. However, he is NOT a “spy.” But he is your “eyes and ears” of the program— observing things from the outside>in! Let the rest of the staff know your mentor’s role.

Don’t be a Lone Ranger head coach! Form relationships that afford you the support and encouragement you will need… particularly when the stress level goes off the chart!

Leave a Reply