Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Archive for July, 2010

Little Things… that Can Make a BIG Difference!

Posted by admin July - 28 - 2010 - Wednesday 1 COMMENT

Hey Coaches: Just a quick “pitch” for my coaching book that you can order from this website.
It’s getting to be THAT time of the year. I think that the “best stuff” in the entire book is in this section: Pre Season. then the Regular Season material follows.

If you are looking for a ready reference as to how you can better set things up for your quickly approaching season, let me encourage you to invest in this book. I am also available to answer any questions or just be a listening ear from an objective standpoint for you.


The 212-degree Attitude

Posted by admin July - 19 - 2010 - Monday Comments Off on The 212-degree Attitude

This is a good story!

I don’t know if I included this story in my book (see button on this page for 101 Little Things… summary) but it’s an excellent story with a point to share with your staff and players.

When a company interviewed Tim Dumler by phone for a sales position, he told them that his goal was to become the number one salesperson. After meeting him in person, they were shocked to discover that Tim was legally blind. They agreed to hire him… never expecting him to succeed like he did. But, true to his word, within 6 years, Tim was the top producer in the entire company. Tim, despite his disability, has the 212-degree attitude.

What’s the 212-degree attitude? At 211 degrees, water is merely hot. At 212 degrees, it boils! With boiling water comes steam. And steam can power a locomotive. ONE extra degree makes all the difference in the world. It separates the good from the great!

Challenge your team to “turn it up” just one more degree… in effort, enthusiasm, dedication. It’s a positive message because it’s saying to your kids that you recognize that they are already working hard. But…. with just a little more effort, they can go from 211 degrees (where they are just “hot”) to 212 degrees where they are boiling!

How to hush a crowd in a second!

Posted by admin July - 16 - 2010 - Friday Comments Off on How to hush a crowd in a second!

I walked into our weight room the other night while an asst. coach was trying to quiet the players down so he could count out their push-ups. He was getting frustrated because they wanted to “chat with their buddy” between each set and with 45 kids in the room, it was a little frenetic! The more he yelled and threatened them with MORE push-ups, the less they listened.

I asked him to let me try something. As they finished a set, I spoke to them as they lay there on the floor. I said, “There is entirely too much talking between sets. You need to be focused and get as much rest as you can in the few seconds before you start your next set. So, here’s the deal. IF you are quiet while you rest, I will give you an extra 15 seconds to rest between sets. But…. if there is chit chat, we’re bracing up immediately and starting the next set. It’s YOUR choice. Here we go…. everybody up!”

They finished their next set, hit the floor and you could hear a couple of them around the room going “shhhhh! hush! be quiet!” You could have heard a pin drop. I counted out an extra 15 seconds, told them what a good job they did and off we went on our next set. We had little or no problems with idle chatter after that. When we did, I immediately blew the whistle and told them “Up!” and we started our next set. They got the idea pretty fast.

My point is this: I have emphasized numerous times in this blog and in my book that if you want to get a behavior repeated, reward it! As my daddy used to say: “you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.” It would be reasonable to think that the best way to get kids to “obey” (stop talking while they’re resting between sets) is to yell, scream, curse… threaten punishment. I wanted to show you in this example that there is a way to get what you want and they get what they want too: rest. I got “quiet” and they got extra rest. Everybody wins. Instead of it being a “power struggle”, it was an opportunity to examine how positive reinforcement can be a much more effective motivator of behavior than punishment.

Something to think about!

Hazing Prevention

Posted by admin July - 12 - 2010 - Monday Comments Off on Hazing Prevention

As the start-up time for practice moves closer for a lot of you, let me encourage you to make plans to prevent hazing and not have to deal with it after the fact! It’s a situation which can break down team unity and can get you, as Coach, in legal trouble if it gets out of hand!

First thing, you have to confront it head on! It must be a part of your over-all team policies and your players/veterans MUST know that you will not tolerate it! “0 Tolerance Policy!” If discovered, suspension is the only recourse.

But, for those of you who have read my book and other entries here on the blog, you know that I encourage you to find a “positive/encouraging” approach as opposed to having to hand out “punishment” after a rule is broken!

I believe that there is a simple and effective remedy to prevent hazing. It’s developing a “Big Brother/Little Brother” system on your team. Every senior… every veteran on your team is assigned a “rookie” or freshman to look out for. That Veteran must know that if something happens to his “little brother” then he wasn’t doing his job. It is his responsibility to look out for that rookie.

Take some time in choosing who is going to be assigned to which rookie. There are factors to consider in making your choices. Email me if you want some ideas or… if you have some ideas of your own that you’d like to run by me.

The KEY is: you want to “catch a Big Brother in the act”… of doing something good or positive and recognize it during a team meeting. Praise the heck out of that veteran for being a good Big Brother! Praise can be a powerful motivator. Ask the rookies to share with the team something that their Big Brother did for them. Or, at least, have them report it to you so you can tell everybody.

With the older guys taking pride in looking out for the younger guys, everyone feels a part of the program.

Something to think about!