Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

“The First is Worth 3!”

Posted by admin August - 31 - 2019 - Saturday

I just realized that I haven’t written in a couple of weeks. If you are not aware, I am back coaching FULL-time and it’s consumed quite a bit of my time and focus since practice started the first of August.

Being the Offensive Coordinator instead of the Head Coach has been an interesting transition. First off, I work for one of my former players— who is like a son to me! Learning to take orders instead of giving them has been interesting! He’s an excellent leader and I’m enjoying every minute of it!! The best part is: I get to call the offense without having to worry about all the “mess” that the HC has to contend with!

We won our opener last night and played pretty well for a first game. I said something to the players the other day that my coach told us some 50 years ago when I was playing in high school. It’s as true today as it was back in the 60’s. (That’s the 19-60’s…. not 18!!!) He told us that “the first game is worth 3 games!”

What he meant was: this first game has “carry-over power” for the next 2 weeks. If you win, your team comes away knowing that they can have a good season; but, they have to “clean up” mistakes. However, if you lose the opener, you are in an uphill battle already. Adolescent males’ self concepts are pretty fragile. Those who tie their self-worth to how well their sport goes will have to deal with the negativity that comes from losing that first game. It’s going to affect the next 2 weeks.

Sooooooooo…. how do you deal with that first game in terms of the mental side of things? I think it’s important to show the mistakes and make sure they get corrected on the field. If you won, you use those mistakes to show them how they can improve. If you lost, I think you compile a playlist to show the players how close they came to victory… if only they hadn’t produced all those blunders. Take the “negatives” and turn them into “positives.” Berating or embarrassing the players won’t help much.

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