Coaching Football's "Little Things"

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What Are YOU Passionate About?

Posted by admin October - 3 - 2016 - Monday

No post last week. My wife and I spent 7 days on a Viking River Cruise in France. I retired last fall to give my wife the “first fruits” of my time… after 42 years of coaching. Fall is a great time to vacation but we never could travel because I was always tied up with football. The cruise was fantastic. I highly recommend Viking if any of you have a desire to take a European river cruise!

We met folks from all over the USA… made some good friends. One guy I talked to a lot is a huge U. of Michigan football fan. We talked a lot of college football and even got to watch Michigan and Wisconsin on his computer at 10pm Saturday night! (Paris is 6 hours ahead of us here in USA!) He was/is also a very intelligent guy who is a Child Psychologist by trade so we had some good discussions about children/teens and high school football players. A topic that came up that made me “dig deep” was the idea about passion. What are you passionate about? What are your players passionate about? Where does football fit into that scenario?

You who follow this site know how important character-building by coaches is to me. We called it the “double victory” when I was a head coach. We want to be victorious ON the field but, we also want to be victorious OFF the field! That means developing those character traits that help us succeed in life. I’ve always felt that, if a coach wants to incorporate it into his program, that… FOOTBALL (and sports in general) can be a great platform to show players how what we’re trying to teach them as football players can be applied as students, boyfriend/husband and worker.

Sooooooo… I ask you what are YOU passionate about? 3 things and… in order of importance!

For me, it was 1) Faith (in Jesus Christ), 2) Family, and 3) Football. I, at times, got those a little skewed but it always came back to being sure I had my priorities in the right order. It was the only way I could find peace when things weren’t going right with our football season. This gentleman I mentioned that I met on the trip even said one time, “Lew, I’ve noticed how a LOT of athletes and coaches seem to make their “faith” a big deal.” My response? “It IS! It’s often the only rock I have to hold on to when things are rough!”

From these things that I’m passionate about grew the thought of: IF these 3 things are so important… and, I want to do more than just win football games with my players; i.e., I want to make a difference in their lives, then…….. what do I need to instill in their character before they graduate? Three (more!) things came to mind:

What I wanted to instill in my players was: 1- Responsibility (or Accountability)— which is lacking tremendously in our culture today! 2- Relationships… with God (in the Person of Jesus Christ for me) and others and 3- Respect. Respect for authority, respects for others in general and… SELF respect.

We as high school coaches need to step up and take the necessary time to help our players see that there are waaaaaaaaaay more important things than just walking around school on Monday feeling good about themselves because they won a football game last Friday! As the coach in the movie Facing The Giants told his team: “IF your goal is simply to WIN football games, then your goals are too small!”

2 Responses to “What Are YOU Passionate About?”

  1. Greg YEager says:

    Great Post Coach!

  2. Greg YEager says:

    Great Post Coach

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