Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Take the Initiative!

Posted by admin January - 11 - 2010 - Monday

In looking at factors that produce successful high school football programs, many times it boils down to factors that produce successful HS coaches! At this time of year, it’s time to start “gathering steam” again as you get your off season program started. Some of you, however, may be finding it difficult to motivate yourself. A losing season last year; a proclivity toward procrastination; or a fear of stepping out into the unknown may be reasons why some of you have not gotten started like you should! We simply have to take the initiative and stop waiting for the optimum moment to get moving.

Too many of us are waiting for someone to come along and tell us what to do next. The story’s told of a man who was employed by a duke and duchess. One day he was called in to speak to his employers. “James, how long have you been with us?” said the Duchess. “About 30 years, Your Grace,” he replied. “As I recall, you were employed to look after the dog,” she said. “Yes, Your Grace.” “James, the dog died 23 years ago,” said the Duchess. “Yes, Your Grace,” said James, “What would you like me to do now?”

Why do we fail to take the initiative? Because we don’t realize the consequences of our inaction. The lesson here is: Nothing happens until you quit holding back! You can’t wait for everything to be perfect. You can’t wait until your fear subsides. You must take the initiative. Overcomers understand that momentum is your friend. As soon as you start moving forward, certain things become clearer and easier. And when the momentum gets strong enough, many of the problems actually take care of themselves.

You can only pray, plan and prepare for so long, then you must step out in faith and act. The only time over which you have any control is the present. The idea of “tomorrow” can be very seductive, but the promise it holds is often false. It’s starting, that stops us!!!

Dawson Trotman, founder of The Navigators, stated, “The greatest time wasted, is the time getting started.” The hardest part of writing a letter is writing the first line. The hardest part of making that phone call is dialing the number.

So how do you overcome this difficulty? You must schedule a specific time for doing what you don’t like to do or fear to do. Each time you follow through and do it, it will get easier and you’ll get better at it. Albert E. N. Gray, a successful insurance agent with the Prudential Insurance Company, states that the common denominator of success— that secret of success of every person who has ever been successful— “…lies in the fact that he formed the habit of doing things that failures don’t like to do.”

Notice that nowhere in his definition does Mr. Gray say that successful people like doing these things. He simply states that successful people form the habit of doing them!

Make a list of things that unsuccessful coaches don’t like to do. Then ask yourself: Is that me?! If so, you need to start forming some habits. As previously stated, schedule a specific time for doing what you don’t like to do or fear to do until it becomes a habit.

You must be willing to persevere. The Jordan River didn’t dry up the moment the Israelite priests stepped into the water with the Ark of the Covenant on their shoulders. God dried it up 26 miles upstream, so they had to wait till all that water passed by (see Joshua 3:14-17). Why did God do it that way? Because He sees the big picture. So trust God and take the initiative! And may God bless your efforts.

Thanks to KLOVE Christian radio for ideas from their daily devotional booklet, On the Right Note.

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