Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

The Season’s Over!

Posted by admin November - 7 - 2011 - Monday

Our season ended with a bang Friday night. Then, we had a “held-breath” 24 hours where we waited to see if we would sneak in as the last seed in our state play-offs! We needed 5 things to go our way and 4 of them did! But, alas, the 5th piece of the puzzle didn’t fall into place. RATS! but… Praise God anyhow! It was a terrrific year. We only went 6 and 4; but, if you’ve been following these posts you’ll know that we started out 0 and 4… then ran the table for the last 6 games.

My challenge to those of you who coach is to answer the same 3 questions that I am posing to myself now that our season is over: 1- What did I learn about myself? 2- What did I learn about my team/players? 3- What did I learn about coaching in general?
I’ll give you my brief answers to each for your perusal and comments (if you wish to make any.) 1- What did I learn about myself? First off, I learned that I have grown in my faith and the trust I have in Jesus is real. Even though we were 0 and 4, I did not give up. I did not blame God. I did not start having my “pity parties”— like I would’ve 6-7 years ago. I have been able to form a fire wall between my professional self and my personal self— which includes my spritual life.

2- What did I learn about my players? I have the greatest bunch of kids in the world to work with! They too, did not falter in the midst of a couple of devastating losses. They remained hopeful, worked hard and never pointed any fingers of blame. Once our Wing T system started clicking, there was no stopping us. We “stayed the course.” I did not give up on our system (though I did consolidate things) and I did not give up on our kids. We went out each Monday and kept working on getting better.

3- What did I learn about coaching in general? A couple of valuable things. One deals with being able to trust God in the midst of the hard times. I didn’t get down on myself, our staff nor our players. I remained positive and kept teaching. Which leads to my main point: persistence or determination are key factors in developing and maintaining a successful organization. We didn’t make wholesale changes. We kept looking for answers. We stayed with what we know and kept getting better at it. When things looked the bleakest, we stood together as a united front. We showed the kids that we believed in them and they in turn learned to trust us. At times, I lost my temper but they knew why? “I cannot coach effort!” When I saw them being lazy in practice is when I’d get upset. They might not have been executing the way we wanted but they could always hustle. We rewarded effort in our “Helmet Sticker Ceremony” (see my book!) and that in turn encouraged other guys to give that extra effort too. It paid off.

So… from my answers to the 3 questions, you can see why I consider a 6-4 season to be a verrrrrrrrrrry successful year. If you would like to write up your answers and send them to me for review and comments, please feel free to write. I look forward to hearing what you have to say. I mean… I’m sitting here today FULLY retired now and little to do but hang out on the computer. I’ll start reviewing game video tomorrow!


5 Responses to “The Season’s Over!”

  1. John says:

    Coach –

    Thanks so much for your many insghts which you dutifully share with us. I’m a better coach and Christian because of them. Don’t stop. 🙂


  2. Boot N Shoot says:

    Congrats on a good season Coach. Best wishes to you this off-season.

  3. Coach Minor says:

    Your words of encouragement have meant a lot to me this season. Form reading your blogs and “Season of Life” which lead me to”Inside Out Coaching” i have transformed my philosphy of coaching.
    Thank you.

  4. Coach Ray says:

    Congratulations on a great season. It is very encouraging to me, as a first year head coach in a brand new football program. We finished our season 0-9. However, to answer your quesitons…
    1. I learned that there is much more to running a program than there is to coaching, and that I cannot do everything myself. I need to trust in God and trust in my staff and players.
    2. I learned that my players really did buy into my philosophy of getting better each and every day. I know that the season would be difficult, but I preached to the kids about staying the course, fighting every down, and having persistance. They never quit on me. I have 14 of my 16 players back for the next 3 years… each one with more experience than when they started.
    3. Being a head coach has been a challange. I am in the process of finding 2 more coaches to replace the ones that are leaving. I will need to find coaches that believe in what I believe in.

    Thanks again for all of your support and encouragement! I hope that you will continue to post throughout the off-season, as you are teaching me a great many things.

    Congrats again!

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