Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

“Root or Wings??!!”

Posted by admin February - 2 - 2019 - Saturday

I just read this and felt like it was too good to wait till Tuesday to write about it! “Thanks (again!)” to Pastor Bob Gass for some powerful words.

William Carter is credited with saying that “There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One is roots; the other is wings.”

When children (players!) know that they are loved unconditionally, roots are established in their character. Therefore, when life hits them in the face, they can stand up to the blows.

In the same way, when self-confidence and a desire to dream is instilled in your children, you are growing wings in their character. Once a child has that “will to overcome obstacles and have a winning attitude”… they are half-way to success! But if this “press on” attitude is not cultivated in their hearts, they are, unfortunately, half-way to failure.

As a coach/parent/teacher, it is imperative that you show those children in your charge that you have faith in them. They will, in turn, develop faith in themselves. But… when you constantly criticize or demean a child and his/her performance, it is likely that the child will grow up to be self-doubting, fearful of failure and present a negative attitude toward themselves and life in general.

When you encourage and show them that you believe in them, they’re going to go the extra mile to try and live up to your (positive) expectations! This is why when I hear coaches say that “I don’t care if my players (*and I need to add: they’re NOT your players, Coach! They’re not your property.) want to play for me or not!” — I cringe. Yes, I want kids to come out for the program I lead because they love football; but, my desire is that they also want to be part of a program that coaches are being positive, encouraging and… challenging. Most of the impact that motivation has on people stems from the fact that the person we are trying to inspire holds us in high regard.

What’s the old adage? “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care!”

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