Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Small Beginnings

Posted by admin January - 2 - 2019 - Wednesday

I’ve been having conversations with a young first-year head coach over the holidays. He related how he was disappointed in their first-season’s record. They went 7-3! Made the play-offs. Won their first play-off game and lost in the 2nd round to an undefeated team. I asked him, “which part of all that success are you most disappointed in??!!!”

This post, then, is not for any coaches in this young coach’s situation. This post is for those of you who weren’t very successful in your first (or second) season of being a HC. My encouragement to you is a verse from the Bible! It says, “Do not despise these small beginnings… for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.”

You need to remember what I read from Bob Gass recently. He wrote that “great endings usually start with humble beginnings.” Building a successful program is just that… a building process. Some call it a grind. I don’t like that cuz it brings up negative connotations in my head. Yes, it was frustrating to build a successful high school football program. The first few years were not easy. But, I also found it exhilarating when I saw that we were taking steps in the right direction.

I adopted the philosophy (and, thus, the title of my book) that Little Things CAN Make a BIG Difference! One of my closest friends in coaching always reminded me to “pay attention to details!” That was easy for me because I’m a bit OCD anyway! Staying focused is never a problem for me. You need to adopt the same point of view.

And don’t quit just because things don’t look like they’re ever going to get better! In my first 5 seasons as a HC, we were 22-25-3. The last 25 seasons we were 177-56… with 8 conference, 1 regional and 1 state championship. Those first 5 were tough. But, it was those small beginnings that were the bedrock of persistence and determination which carried us to so much success over the next 25 years.

Do not despise small beginnings!

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