Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Archive for February, 2013

“Whatever It Takes!”

Posted by admin February - 26 - 2013 - Tuesday Comments Off on “Whatever It Takes!”

The word diligence includes such qualities as hard work, honesty, persistence and striving for excellence. I like the way the New Living Translation of the Bible puts it: “Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.” (Proverbs 13:4) One expert says, “Success doesn’t come from being 100% better than your competition, but from being 1% better in 100 different ways.”

Columnist Dale Dauten says, “If you want to be creative in your company, your career or your life, it comes down to one easy step… the extra one. When you encounter a familiar plan, you just ask one question: ‘What else could we do?'” To succeed you’ll have to do more— more than you may want, more than your competition, more than you think you’re capable of.

I love this poem by William Arthur Ward: “I will do more than belong— I will participate. I will do more than care— I will help. I will do more than believe— I will practice. I will do more than be fair— I will be kind. I will do more than forgive— I will forget. I will do more than dream— I will work. I will do more than teach— I will inspire. I wil do more than learn— I will enrich. I will do more than give— I will serve. I will do more than live— I will grow. I will do more than suffer— I will triumph.”

You can’t do what’s easiest and still reach your goal. You must do more. You must do whatever it takes.

Down-sizing and Saying “Goodbye!”

Posted by admin February - 19 - 2013 - Tuesday Comments Off on Down-sizing and Saying “Goodbye!”

I had the unenviable task yesterday of telling one of my assistant coaches that I had to let him go. With the economy still being sluggish, our private academy has had to “tighten their belt.” The Headmaster informed our AD that two assistant football coaching positions were being eliminated. My AD worked very hard to convince the Headmaster that this could be devastating to our football program and he agreed to reinstate one of them. (I have a very supportive AD!)

So I was left to decide who I had to let go. It was not an easy decision. What I want to comment on to head coaches, bosses or anyone reading this who is in a position of authority: when it’s time to eliminate a position, remember this— you’re not eliminating a position, you’ll eliminating a person! That person has probably worked very hard for you for a number of years. He probably exhibited a commitment to your program. You must treat that person with the respect that he deserves!

What I am getting at is this. If you have to let someone go, do it in person. I think it’s pretty gutless and doesn’t show a lot of class if you just send him a text or an email telling him that he’s fired. No, it’s not easy to look somebody in the face and tell him that he won’t be coaching with you anymore, but… it’s the right way to do it!!!

So, if this situation arises… suck it up! Call the guy and make an appointment where you can meet in person. If he asks what it’s about, simply tell him that you will discuss it when you see him. You don’t need to go into it on the phone. Before you meet, I’d encourage you to plan out in your head what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it. The circumstances surrounding the dismissal will dictate the “atmosphere.” Have a reason as to why you are letting him go, express it and thank him for his time with you. I don’t belabor the point. It’s awkward anyway so I don’t spend a lot of time making “small talk.” Get to the point, thank him, shake his hand and be on your way. One thing I recommend that you DON’T do is say: “Do you have any questions?” This just opens a can of worms. You don’t want to go there. In your explanation of why you are letting him go, you have answered the single most important question he would have: WHY are you letting me go?

I had a meeting once where I had to fire an assistant and he got belligerent— very argumentative. I realized afterwards that it was my fault. I failed to do what I just recommended: I opened up my decision for debate.. and HE wanted to debate! I finally had to get very assertive and tell him that “this meeting is over. Thank you for your service to our program” and I got up and walked out. I did a poor job of being the one in charge of the meeting. I’ve since done a better job.

I hope that some of this will be helpful. It is never a pleasant situation but if you’re going to be a head coach who’s respected for your integrity and class then it’s important to handle an uncomfortable situation with as much respect for the other person as possible. As my wife always cautions me, “take the high road!”

“Look For the Honey!”

Posted by admin February - 12 - 2013 - Tuesday 1 COMMENT

I read in their book, The Laws of Lifetime Growth, authors Dan Sullivan and Catherine Nomura explain, “Continual learning is essential for lifetime growth. You can have a great deal of experience and be no smarter for all the things you’ve done, seen and heard. Experience alone is no guarantee of lifetime growth. But if you regularly transform your experience into new lessons, you’ll make each day of your life a source of growth. The smartest people are those who can transform even the smallest events or situation into breakthroughs in thinking and action. Look at all of life as a school and every experience as a lesson, and your learning will always be greater than your experience.”

I love the old Peanuts cartoons. In one, Charles Schultz showed Charlie Brown at the beach. He was building a magnificent sandcastle. It’s a work of art! As Charlie stands back to admire his finished product, a huge wave rolls in and destroys his masterpiece. In the last frame he says, “There must be a lesson here, but for the life of me I don’t know what it is.”

That’s how we often feel after a potentially disasterous experience. We go through it but we don’t grow! We attend meetings to help us or read books to find advice— then do nothing with what we’ve heard. Don’t get excited about a learning event— get excited about learning from it! We haven’t really learned until we’ve applied it to our lives.

A few days after slaying a lion, Samson returned to the scene of his conquest and discovered 2 things in the carcass: 1) Bees— that sting. and 2) Honey— that tastes sweet. The Bible says, “and he took thereof.” In life, we need to move beyond the pain and look for the honey.


Posted by admin February - 5 - 2013 - Tuesday Comments Off on GROWING INTO LEADERSHIP

As a leader, it is your job to see that things get done. But as the workload grows, you will have to find people with talents equal to the task. Otherwise, you will stop growing. So… what keeps us from seeking out the right people and delegating the right tasks to them? 1- Past hurts. Someone let us down so now we’re reluctant to trust anybody. 2- Pride. We don’t want to share the credit with others. 3- Perfectionism. We are not willing to be put at risk while people with potential learn on the job; so our vision bottlenecks and everything bogs down.

Interestingly, Moses had this problem with the Israelites. Here’s how he solved it: “Moses’ father-in-law replied, ‘What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Listen to me and I will give you some advice… select capable men from all the people… and appoint them as officials over others. Have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases, let them decide. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. If you do this… you will be able to stand the strain, and all the people will go home satisfied.’ Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said.”

If you want to be a good leader, follow Moses’ example!