Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Lou Judd

Posted by admin March - 10 - 2014 - Monday

I have been receiving emails from Lou Judd at SportsLeader.com. I am very thankful that I have… though I don’t know how they turned up on my computer! His slogan is: STRENGTH = VIRTUE. Wow! You don’t hear that emphasized much in our culture anymore. You need to check out his web site.

He sent out an email the other day which listed “10 Ways to Show Respect to Girls.” It was addressed to teenage boys. I was struck by how many of the 10 recommendations were accepted as the norm when I was growing up. That was a generation ago! But, you know what? They were 10 recommendations which are sadly missing in today’s society. I forwarded it on to our players and their parents. Several moms wrote back to thank me.

We as coaches and parents have the responsibility to impart values to those who we are charged with leading. Part of it is modeling the behaviors for our players. If you don’t think they are watching you “like a hawk”— then try this during pre-season next August: have a Skit Day. We keep our players at school during the break between our 2-a-day practices. It is too much trouble to send them home after the first practice and expect them to make their way back to school for a second practice later that day. We take a long break between our practices. This would be the perfect time to divide the team into groups of 7-10; give each group about 20 minutes to plan their skit (they sit together as a group while they eat during the break); and then have each group present their skit to the team and coaches. The title of the skits should be: A Day in the Life of a ______ (your school’s nickname) Football Player.

The skits have to be clean. It should be presented in about 4-5 minutes. Make it funny but make it realistic. You can count on at least 1 or 2 of them poking fun at the coaches! THIS is where you will see how much they have been watching you!!! Some of your kids are so talented that they will even sound like you!!! Please don’t be like one coach I had who became infuriated that the players where “joking on” his way of teaching drills. If you can’t enjoy some good-natured fun, you lack the self esteem to be a coach.

Soooooooo… modeling behaviors to our players is critical.

The over-all effect is that your team’s atmosphere is one that is fun to be part of. Sure, we get pretty intense before and during games. But, we also talk a lot about self control and staying focused. One of the main tenets of my coaching philosophy has always been: “I’ll respect you (as a player); I expect you to give me the same respect back!” Cursing at kids is totally out of line. No wonder you hear it so much in our culture today. If teens hear adults using curse words around them… why shouldn’t they cuss too!

As the Sunday School song says: “Oh, be careful little eyes what you see!” and… “Be careful little ears what you hear!” “For our Father up above is looking down in love— oh be careful little eyes (ears) what you see/hear!” It’s your responsibility coach to set the example!

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