Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

“It’s Not WHAT You Do; But, HOW You Do It!”

Posted by admin April - 2 - 2019 - Tuesday

Agree? The title is something that I heard someone state recently about good leadership. The guy used this statement to make a point… a point that I did not (totally) agree with.

I do agree that too many leaders/coaches/parents forget how important delivery is! I recall the first time I heard a recording of Adolph Hitler giving a speech to the Nazi party faithful. I was walking down the Social Studies hall at our school. One of the US History teachers was showing a film. The part I heard was Hitler delivering his speech. I was so intrigued that I stopped and stood next to the class doorway and listened. Hitler’s passion and enthusiasm were so contagious that I found myself stepping into the entrance-way of the class to actually see him! It is important to know that I do not speak one word of German! I had NO idea what the man was saying. It didn’t matter. His tone of voice; his gestures; his volume were all so appealing that it didn’t matter that I didn’t understand what he was saying. It was HOW he said it… or rather (back to our title!) HOW he did it that had me… and the thousands of Germans in the crowd listening to Hitler in person… so enthralled!!! I walked away shaking my head— knowing how easily we can be “pulled in” by a charismatic leader.

As a leader, you are a role model. Your values are more often caught rather than taught. Your players are constantly watching you… studying you. It’s your level of enthusiasm; it’s the passion for coaching that inspires those under you. I’ve often said that “your attitude is contagious. Is yours worth catching??!!!!”

So… Yes! Never forget that HOW you do something is far more important than you may ever realize. It has a tremendous impact on those who work for you.

But… here’s where I disagree with the speaker’s statement that “WHAT we do isn’t as important.” YES, it IS!!!

You can be the most enthusiastic, excited, passionate coach in your district. But, if you and your staff don’t know WHAT they are doing, you’re kids aren’t going to win many games! They may be an emotional, fired-up team but… if they can’t execute, they’re doomed to failure! Your staff needs to know the fundamentals of football. Your staff needs to have effective drills and… be able to teach them. They must know when a player makes a mistake and effectively correct it. All of these “what’s” are just as important as the “how’s.”

Now… if you know what you’re doing; but, your approach stinks… you’re probably in for a long season too! It is having the proper mixture of the two that makes for effective leadership. That’s why the amount of each ingredient is critical to producing a delicious chocolate chip cookie. (MY favorite!) Mess up the recipe and the end result will not be pleasant! Mess up the “what’s” and the “how’s” and your chance for success significantly decreases.

HOW you do something is just as important as WHAT you do!!!

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