Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Moving On

Posted by admin December - 10 - 2010 - Friday

I am going to retire from our school system in June. After 38 years, I just feel like the Lord is saying it’s time. What I will miss is coaching. In fact, I’m looking into some HC jobs in the area… IF they will hire me just to coach! We have 6 or 7 openings in our area for HS HC positions. That is a LOT. Someone asked my Principal, “Who do you think they will hire(at a particular school)? I hear that they’re going outside the system and do a nationwide search.” The person discussing it seemed a bit incenced that the school in question would do that.

My principal’s response was, “well, who’s qualified to be a HC who is in the city right now?!” The other guy could not come up with a name! Which leads me to my point of this entry: WHAT ARE YOU DOING, IF YOU ARE AN ASSISTANT COACH, TO PUT YOURSELF IN A POSITION TO BE “QUALIFIED” TO BECOME A HEAD COACH?!”

There are a couple of things that I want to mention to you. First, are you being the BEST assistant coach that you can be? Are you loyal to your HC? Would he recommend you for a HC position if it opened up? Do you do the “little things” that you notice need to get done to help out your HC… and without asking? Have you told your HC your desire to be a HC one day and would appreciate any jobs he can give you to help you train for that possibility? Do you back him up publically or are you one of those assistants who “knows” that he can do a better job than the current guy… and you have no problem letting people know it either!

Secondly, are you a “student of the game?” Have you studied the game? Could you coach any or every position on the field if called upon to do so and…. be the best/most knowlegable coach on the field? How many defenses could you run? Do you know your team’s defense inside and out? Could you call the plays for your team’s offense… and do it well? How well do you know the kicking game? Could you sit down with a college recruiter who comes through your school and have an in-depth discussion about football? All of this goes into the mental or intellectual part of being the best coach that you can be. It is necessary, I believe, to being prepared for assuming the role as a head coach.

Finally, what do you know about the psychology of sports? You can be the most knowledgeable coach around, but if you can’t motivate kids and your staff, you are NOT going to be a successful head coach. Have you studied the principles of motivation? How many books have you read on the principles of leadership? Are you an effective public speaker? It’s critical to be able to get into the mind of an adolescent if you want to be a candidate for a HC position. All of this carries over to the reputation that you have in your community. Are you respected by the players? Do the parents appreciate what you are doing for their child? Are you active in your community? All of this builds toward a resume that will get a hiring committee’s attention. Then, once you get in front of that committee, can you “sell” yourself and your vision? It takes preparation.

2 Responses to “Moving On”

  1. Coach Hargitt says:

    Great post coach 🙂

  2. Jon says:


    Just purchased your book a few weeks ago and I’m almost done reading it. Good stuff! You mention in your book having your assistant coaches scouting the next weeks opponents, but didn’t go into a lot of detail. What kinds of things do you have your assistant coaches look for while scouting that you wouldn’t get from watching film?



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