Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Senior Meeting

Posted by admin December - 5 - 2018 - Wednesday

I highly recommend that you have a post-season meeting with your seniors on your team. Ask them 2 questions: 1- what do they recommend that you, as HC, do to improve the team/program? 2- What can I, HC, do to be a better leader. Get out a tablet of paper and pen and get ready to write stuff down. However, be prepared! Cuz “it” may be coming!!! What is “it?” Things you might not want to hear!!!

There are 2 typed of criticism: constructive and destructive criticism. One will increase your confidence; the other can destroy it. You’re probably going to get some of each when your seniors begin to offer their recommendations. Be cautious in how you respond to destructive criticism. You may not like it, but there may be a kernel of truth in what that senior has to say. In fact, don’t respond at all. Just write it down and say “thank you.” and… move on. If they see you losing your cool, they’re liable to shut down and then you’ll get nothing.

I did this exercise for years when I was coaching. I wanted to hear what the seniors had to say. Their career was done so they didn’t have to worry about any reprisals for speaking their mind. Good! I wanted them to speak freely. It was the only way I was going to be able to grow as a coach.

Early in my career, a senior said “Coach J. You’re too nice!” Huh? What? Too nice? I had him explain. What he was basically saying was, I was letting the players get away with too much. I was being soft on them. They wanted me to toughen up! Not become a screamer/yeller or over-react with a lot of punishment drills… just demand more from them. I took that to heart and during the off-season I developed a Player Policy Sheet which laid out the expectations I had for our players. If they could not (or would not!) conform to these new policies, they would suffer the consequences. Of course, some of them began to test me immediately. It took some time, but once they realized that I was not going to let them get away with stuff anymore, they buckled down and starting living up to the new expectations I had for them.

All of you should be looking for ways to improve— your program in general and you as a coach. This meeting can be an extremely effective means of gaining some valuable information from those who have IN your program and observed you daily. Suck it up and hear them out!!!

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