Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Joe Ehrmann

Posted by admin February - 16 - 2012 - Thursday

This guy’s name, Joe Ehrmann, keeps popping up as I talk with coaches. I read Jeffrey Marxx’s book, Season of Life, several times— it’s powerful! and recommended it to all of you who read these posts. It’s truly a life changer.

I just talked with a friend who met Ehrmann at a book signing in Dallas and bought a copy of Joe’s book and had it autographed. Cool!

I want to “borrow” from Season of Life and share some things for you as coaches/men to think about. Erhmann talks about the importance of teaching our players to become better men. Erhmann believes (and so do I— cuz I’m a product of it!) that our society does a horrible job of teaching boys how to become men… and “that virtually every problem we face in our culture can somehow be traced back to this failure.” Winning football games is our prime responsibility but, I believe that another of our responsibilities as coaches is to teach our players how to become better men!

He talks about 5 key components to becoming a better man. Get Marxx’s book and you can read about all of them. I want to comment on the first one. Erhmann calls it: “The 3 lies of false masculinity.”

Our society has built up 3 standard criteria that are constantly held up in our society as measurements of manhood. Erhmann says that, “those are the 3 lies that make up what I call ‘false masculinity.'” Those 3 lies are:
1- athletic ability
2- sexual conquest
3- economic success
The problem with these is that they set men up for failure! Why? Because they give us this false concept that what we need to do as men is compare what we have and compete with others for what they have. We compare; we compete. That’s all we ever do. Erhmann says that it leaves most men feeling isolated and defeated.

The first step in helping boys become real men is to tear down this false standard of the 3 lies! He offers a simple but powerful solution: 1- build and value relationships. “Masculinity, first and foremost, ought to be defined in terms of relationships. It ought to be taught in terms of a young man’s capacity to love and to be loved.”

Erhmann says that it comes down to THIS: “What kind of father are you? What kind of coach are you? What kind of son are you? What kind of friend are you? Success comes in terms of relationships.”

And, in my mind, the most important relationship any man should develop is his personal relationship with Jesus Christ! I was 32 years old before anyone ever made this clear to me. “Jesus wants to be your friend, Lew!” That blew me away. Build that relationship and you learn the importance of serving others. THAT in itself will begin to diminish the need to “compare and compete” all the time.

Sound strange to your ears??!! Good! I challenge you to embrace the idea(s) here and don’t just cast them aside. Check it out. You never know what’s behind “door number 2!” It could change your life!!!

2 Responses to “Joe Ehrmann”

  1. joe ehrmann says:


    Enjoyed your blog about me and other blogs you wrote. Much needed voice in football. FYI i have a new book out entitled InSideOut Coaching:How Sports Can Transform Lives. Season of Life is a description of coaching – InSideOut is a prescription of how coaches become healthy enough to be transformational and how to build a transformational program. Keep spreading the Good News – transformation is possible in sports, coaching and life.

  2. Coach Minor says:

    Coach Lew and Joe,
    I have both books and they were life changing for me as a coach and a father!
    Thank you for all that both of you do.
    Coach Minor