Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program


Posted by admin October - 16 - 2015 - Friday

Homecoming, 2015! I’ve been leading teams into their Homecoming game since 1985! Let me share a couple of ideas that have helped us stay focused during the week and have ultimately led to a record of 23-3 in Homecoming games!
First off, you don’t need to schedule a patsy! You don’t want the toughest team on your schedule either! But… meeting with your AD and/or principal and explaining the benefits of winning Homecoming can help you in scheduling that ONE team that you have a good chance of defeating and… keeping your players focused on Friday night.

I tell them on Monday that it’s going to be an exciting week— lots of things going on that can take them away from preparing properly! It is the TEAM’S job to: prepare and WIN the football game!!! It is the rest of the student body’s job to prepare for the parade, dance, festivities, etc. I am pretty specific about keeping them away from all of that! Before I passed this edict, I had players who were staying up past midnight all week working on their club or class float. I shut that down pretty quick! The Homecoming pep rally must be attended and, in some cases, participation by the players is required. We sit together and I do NOT let them get all hyped up and jumping around! They sit there quietly and enjoy the fun. Adrenaline is a funny thing! If it spikes on Friday morning, a player will feel like they’re dragging for the rest of the day. When it’s time to get “pumped up” at gametime, they may be flat! Why? Lack of that adrenaline boost! Enjoy the pep rally but don’t go overboard in emotional outbursts!

During the week, I emphasize (particularly on Thursday) the importance of this game to our seniors! I look them square in the eye and tell them that THIS is the game they will talk about for the next 25 years! We’ve talked this week about carpe diem— Seize the Day! They only get ONE chance to play this game… don’t leave anything on the field. It’s interesting but, this generation of youth is what I call the “Do Over” generation! They are so geared to the false reality of video games that they think that there is a “do over” button in life… just like there is for their video games. It tends to create an attitude of “I don’t have to worry!” A little bit of fear can stir emotions and that’s what you want: an emotional reaction just before the game!

Just some thoughts. They’ve served us well over the years— just wanted to share another of our “Little Things That Can Make A BIG Difference!”

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