Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Leadership 101

Posted by admin February - 8 - 2017 - Wednesday

I spent a wonderful 24 hours Friday and Saturday in Virginia Beach at a Leadership Advance (our pastor says we never “retreat!” Always moving forward!!!) for our church leaders. I took copious notes and will share some here.

The opening talk was on “Great Leaders SELF-examine!” and our pastor’s opening line captured my attention! He stated, “I will only lead others well (help them fulfill their potential) IF… I first lead myself well!!!” WOW!!! So, that’s the first step to strong leadership: we have to be a strong self-leader.

Self-leadership requires self-awareness! It requires being honest with ourselves. We have to look inward, at our heart, and ask ourselves the tough questions: 1- Am I self-disciplined? 2- Do I know my shortcomings? 3- Am I willing to work to improve those areas of my life where I’m still coming up short? You have to grow yourself if you’re going to grow others. The BEST leaders lead themselves well!

Another important facet of being a strong leader is that leaders are raising up new leaders. As a head football coach, you should be encouraging and helping your assistants (IF they want to) to become head coaches. It really bothered me a few years ago when a former assistant of mine called me to complain that he’d spoken to his current head coach about applying for a head coaching position at another school. The head coach had “gone off” on him… berating him and “guilting” him about leaving. “How dare you leave me hanging like this,” the HC said! Come On, Man!!! This guy was looking for an opportunity to improve himself and all the head coach could do was think about himself. Wrong! As leaders we should make it a priority to be training younger folks to take our place. That’s what I mean by “leaving a legacy of (strong) leadership.”

Our pastor closed by sharing a Bible verse (paraphrase) from Proverbs. It should speak volumes to you. Proverbs 20:28 (paraphrase) says: “Good leaders build their organization on love and truth. For kindness and integrity are what keep leaders in a position of trust.”

I read several articles about Bill Belichick before the Super Bowl this past weekend. I found it interesting that, as big a curmudgeon as he appears to be publicly, his players reallllllllllly respect him. They know he is loyal and dedicated to making them the best they can be. Players LOVE to play for him! I think that is so important. Coaches write me all the time about how they can get more kids out for their football program. My response centers around making football something that they WANT to play. It starts with how you come across to kids. If you want to “sell” your program, you have to “sell” yourself. It goes back to that “self-examination” thing I talked about in the beginning of this post. Let me put it this way: Would YOU be somebody that you would want to play football for???!!!” Something to think about.

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