Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program


Posted by admin March - 10 - 2011 - Thursday

As a coach, I don’t think that many of us have any idea how much our player’s (and coaches) emotions, self-esteem and hopes are influenced by what we say. If someone took a poll, would you be identified as an encourager or a discourager???

What you say can never be taken back. Once its out of your mouth, you can’t grab it and stick it back in. So, be careful. Watch what you say! Your words can build up or they can cut like a knife. Your words will be evidence for or against you one day.

Dr. Thomas Blackaby points out: “Words can leave scars for a lifetime. Many people will never forget some of the things you’ve said to them… both good things, such as words of encouragement, and bad things, such as criticism and rebuke. We need to make the best possible use of words so they bring blessings to others.”

So, are your words encouraging? Can it be said that there’s “nothing crooked or perverse… in them” (from Proverbs 8:8)? The words of the famous quote always resonate in my mind— particularly now that I’m back into high school coaching. It states, “nobody cares how much (football) you know until they know how much you care!” You can be tough-minded and strict with your players; but, if you are constantly beating them down with your words of criticism and ridicule, you can expect that they won’t be as willing to work as hard for you or support you.

I think of a couple of the football movies that have been produced over the years. Of course, it’s Hollywood so it’s not going to be entirely accurate; but, in the cases where the coach was a tyrant or egomaniac, the players rebelled. If you have not watched the movie, Facing the Giants I would encourage you to watch it in the near future. It is a Christian-based film. The lead character (the head coach of a high school team) has an epiphany that is life-changing. What happens afterwards as he relates to his players shows how our words can change a kid’s view of himself and motivate your players to greatness. Isn’t that why we’re in coaching? To help kids succeed? Is “it” about the kids OR… is it about feeding our ego? Think about it.

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