Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program


Posted by admin August - 29 - 2018 - Wednesday

I remember once hearing a pastor say that people love to hear stories. They relate to stories. We’ve had stories told to us since we were little kids. Jesus was the greatest story-teller who ever lived! If you’ve ever read any of the four Gospels in the New Testament, you know that they are full of stories that Jesus told…. to illustrate a key point. You as a coach should try to do the same thing!

This came up last week when one of my former assistants called to tell me that I need to write a new book… loaded with the stories I used to tell the team. He’s young and he wanted a resource to go to to find an appropriate story to share with his players when he needed to illustrate a point to them. This request made me realize what an impact my “stories” had— that a new head coach would want to tap into the same source to motivate and challenge his kids.

My best resource for stories has been “longevity.” I like to listen to podcasts and I like to read. So, I am exposed to a lot of different ideas. Listening to many different pastors’ sermons has helped me form a library of stories. A book on “Sermon Illustrations” has been one of the best resources I have found. Obviously, you can find anything on the internet today. Just search “story-telling!”

Why are stories so impactful? I think it’s because people can easily relate to them. We like to hear things that touch us emotionally. I like stories with a surprise ending. One of the best assistant coaches I ever had used to tell me that “you want to create a paradigm shift in peoples’ mind.” A twist at the end of a story causes people to think. That means that you have captured them intellectually as well as emotionally. For me, if it can include something from the Bible, then you have touched all 3 aspects of our being: emotions, intellect and spirit.

Finally, be an effective story teller if you’re going to use them. I understand that there are professional story-tellers out there today! You can hire them to read to the children at a birthday party. The best story-teller I’ve ever heard is my wife! She does such a great job with our grandkids. Her voice inflection; her change of modulation; her use of different voices for different characters in the book she’s reading to our 3-year-old granddaughter is literally captivating! This comes from 34 years as a 1st grade teacher, I suppose. She’s just really good at getting, and keeping, your attention. You need to do the same thing if you’re going to tell a story. Make your presentation full of enthusiasm. And… practice in front of a mirror before you present it to your team!

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