Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Meet and Greet!

Posted by admin January - 25 - 2011 - Tuesday

I continue to meet the nicest people as I get out in the school community. Attending the JV and V Boys basketball game Friday night at NSA (my new school), I had the chance to talk with the parents of several of our football players. Just getting the chance to make that contact is important. The response has been very positive and it just makes me more excited to hurry up and get August here so we can get started! “Patience… is a virtue,” says the Bible!

One of the parents that I met at the game is the Director of the local Pop Warner league that represents our school. I offered my services to him in whatever regard he needed my football knowledge. We talked about having me speak at the next “Dads night” coming up in a few weeks. We also discussed a mini clinic where I can introduce our offense and defense— hoping that some of the Youth coaches would want to install our system at their level.

Another important item discussed was having our high school players come down to a Pop Warner practice and maybe even “instruct” the young guys in skills. I want those young guys to feel a part of our school and our football program at an early age. While we were standing there talking, our AD came over and I mentioned, “do we have a Pop Warner Night at a Varsity home game?” She said “no, but that sounds like a great idea.” She is right there with me in wanting to promote the school and our athletic/football program. Great lady!

Finally, I went to a JJV (the equivolent of a middle/junior high school) basketball scrimmage. There is one young man on that team who is going to be a GREAT football player for us that I still hadn’t made personal contact with yet. I made sure that he knew I was there to watch him play… then we talked afterwards for a minute, too. I wanted him to see how important he is to me and our football team. This was the case last Friday too… as I saw a number of our football players either attending the basketball game or playing in one of them.

Coaches, it’s all about “public relations”— getting out in your community and making contacts with your people. How does the old saying go: “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” I’ve always felt that the “first impression is often the lasting impression.” If you’re in it for the kids, you will want to get out there and let them know how excited you are to be working with them! And coaches: this is NOT just for you new guys at a new job… this holds true for veteran coaches who’ve been at a school for a while. I’m from the school of thought that you don’t kiss anybody’s backside.. but, you want to make your program attractive so that kids want to play for you! They have waaaaay too many options available these days to occupy their time.

One Response to “Meet and Greet!”

  1. Sean Coultis says:

    Coach Johnston,

    Love your ideas about including the Pop Warner programs. I especially like your idea about inviting the Pop Warner teams to your games (Pop Warner night).

    One team in our area invites them to every home game. At halftime of the sophomore game, the youth teams come down on to the field (this must be so much fun for them). They announce the names of the teams and they sprint across the field one team at a time and the fans cheer for them (the teams are in their uniforms).

    Thought you’d enjoy.

    -Sean Coultis
    Varsity LB Coach Bolingbrook H.S. (IL)