Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

“Give Them What They Want???!!!”

Posted by admin December - 19 - 2017 - Tuesday

An interesting trend has been occurring in high school football around here (Tidewater Virginia) for the last few years that I would say is one of the most troubling things to happen to high school football in… welllllllllllllll… forever! It’s the trend of players transferring schools because “the grass is greener on the other side!” How do you put a stop to this? I don’t know if you can totally shut it down… cuz there are always going to be parents who think they know more than coaches and “the best thing for Little Johnny” is to transfer to that “big name school” so he can get the recognition he deserves! and… that scholarship offer that he’d never get at your school!

How do you deal with this… without succumbing to my tongue-in-cheek title? Cuz… IF you “give them everything they WANT”… you’re just making it worse! The answer lies in something I heard Lou Holtz share in a speech years ago. I assimilated Coach Holtz’s strategy into my relationship with my players. It worked! Holtz says, “Show them that YOU are going to help them achieve what they want and you’ll have their loyalty.”

Notice it didn’t say anything about “giving them” anything. Coach Holtz merely pointed out an effective use of tapping into human nature to help you as the coach get what YOU want— your athletes staying with your program and NOT transferring somewhere else. Let’s explore this concept a little more.

If you are not having individual meetings with your veterans in the off-season, you need to start! You should talk about the previous season and do some goal-planning for the upcoming season. Note: This should include his OFF-season goals! Once you see what his goals are, you have the means of determining how you can show him that you are here to help him achieve those goals. It’s all about two things: clarifying what the individual steps are to achieving his goals and pointing out to him how YOU are going to be there every step of the way to help him achieve them! Once he knows that you are “in his corner” and will support and encourage him every step of the way, it’s a lot harder to be disloyal and thing about transferring.

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