Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Finding Assistant Coaches

Posted by admin January - 13 - 2014 - Monday

I’ve had some guys resign from our staff since the season ended. All for good reasons but… it’s hard to see good people go when you’ve learned to count on them. More importantly, they fit well into our program and the players liked and respected them.

The problem is… finding quality replacements. I don’t know what it’s like in your part of the country but, around here, fewer and fewer young guys are going into teaching and coaching! To find a young guy who’s got some background in football usually means I have to find somebody in the business world. That precludes him from being involved in all of our football-related activities. Just getting to practice on time is an issue! We don’t start till 3:20 each afternoon. These guys work a regular job… so they often can’t arrive till 4:30. It’s a problem.

So, what is the answer? I’m not sure there is one. I’m not going to hire a “second-rate” coach just because I need an additional coach. If it means coaching “short-staffed” I’ll do it. I will take a guy who may not know as much about football as I’d like but who has strong character, relates well to kids and is willing to work to learn more about the positions I want him to coach.

Don’t turn away a guy who is eager just because he’s not experienced. And… don’t ignore a guy who hasn’t played a lot of ball! Some of the best coaches I know didn’t even play college football. A coach is first and foremost a communicator. Which means he’s a strong teacher. A good teacher knows his subject and is able to communicate it in such a way that his students/players understand it and can execute it.

Finally, make sure you know why does the guy coach? I’ve mentioned before Joe Erhmann’s Inside Out coaching philosophy. If a guy is coaching to build his own ego… I don’t think you want him on your staff. We’re coaching teenagers. They need coaches who care about them and want to help them succeed. If a guy’s not in it for the kids (first), I can’t use him on my staff. There’s nothing wrong in having some personal pride. But, when “ego” trumps cooperation, you’re going to have problems. When it’s about “me” and not “we”— it can be as bad on your coaching staff as it is if you have a player who has this attitude.

Choose carefully. Choose wisely!

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