Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Stay Focused!

Posted by admin November - 15 - 2016 - Tuesday

I read this recently in my Bob Gass ministries daily devotional book, The Word For You Today. Sound advice for coaches and anyone else in a position of authority.

Gass writes, “Many of our endeavors in life fail for one reason— broken focus. We allow ourselves to get distracted.” Concentration is the key! We are failing to develop an effective “concentration span” in our kids because we let them watch too much TV. Our brains become accustomed to “taking a break” every 10-12 minutes. Why? Because that’s the length of time a TV program is on before they go to a commercial break! We need to shut off the TV and get kids to read… and not on a tablet! Open a book— a real book with paper pages!!!

Gass goes on to ask, “Where should you focus your concentration? (Answer): On your mission! And when you make a mistake, acknowledge it.” Ralph Waldo Emerson is quoted as saying, “Concentration is the secret of strength in politics, in war, in trade; in short, in all management of human affairs.” We need to “keep our eyes on the target.” There are too many distractions out there in the world… and none of them are going to help us be more successful. That’s why they’re called distrations! I’ve shared this before but it’s worth repeating: even with teens, it’s important to 1- get their attention and then 2- make sure that they are fully involved when you are coaching them. That’s why we use our “Ready- Ready” drill to get their attention. I make sure they are fully involved by a) watching their body language and b) asking questions! If I caught a player nodding off or mentally “drifting” I would ask him to repeat out loud (in front of the whole team!) what I just said! Or, if we were reviewing our game plan (and the players had already had a chance to study it, practice it and review it) I would ask a player to give everyone his assignment on a particular play. If the players know that they can be called on at any moment, it keeps them focused.

These are some practical ways that I helped players stay focused. I like what Normal Vincent Peale said about this. Dr. Peale pointed out that, “Positive thinking is how you think about a problem. Enthusiasm is how you feel about a problem. The two together determine what you do about a problem.” Bob Gass closes his devotion by pointing out, “And in the end, that’s what matters.”

Staying positive in your thinking helps you to stay focused. Staying focused is a key to success.

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