Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Archive for July, 2015

What the Best Do Better Than Everyone Else

Posted by admin July - 22 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off on What the Best Do Better Than Everyone Else

I was just introduced to a great book by Jon Gordon, Training Camp. This should be required reading by every coach and player! Gordon calls it “A fable about Excellence.”

The inside jacket cover says of Training Camp: “Gordon reveals the deep truths and proven strategies that take the very best to the top. Training Camp reveals that the best performers— in any field— all share the same qualities…. these (traits) are not inborn traits; they’re skills and attitudes that can be learned and applied by all. If you want to be your best, Training Camp offers inspiring, real-life wisdom on what it takes to reach true excellence and how you and your team… can achieve it.”

I’m going to replace my tradition of the Word of the Week with examining the 11 traits that Gordon explains are the traits that the best of the best utilize to get to and stay at the top. Each one will be my focus with our team each week as we prepare for Friday’s game.

Check it out. It’s a good story (NFL undrafted free agent rookie trying to make the team) that is entertaining and inspiring!

Calling the Shots

Posted by admin July - 14 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off on Calling the Shots

This is going to step on a few toes… of good friends of mine who are head coaches! But, here goes!

You are a high school coach. You coach high school kids. You are not a college head coach. You cannot go out (at least most of you can’t!!!) and hire an OC or DC and pay him a couple of hundred thousand dollars to call your offense or defense. If you have a qualified coordinator, consider yourself blessed. You need your best coaches; your most knowledgeable coaches coordinating your game plans and… calling the plays on game night. To just hand over these verrrrrrrry important— perhaps the most important— aspects of your program to “lesser” coaches than you, the head coach, is doing your whole program a disservice.

A head coach in high school is not a CEO like many college head coaches. Again, your best coach(es) need to be your coordinators. One of the best (and most knowledgeable) coaches I’ve ever worked with told me this years ago: “Lew, nobody on this staff knows our Wing T offense better than you! You must be the one calling the plays! If there comes a time when you don’t have a qualified coach to handle the defense, you need to take that over too.”

If you really enjoy coaching and competition, how can you step back on Friday night and basically “watch” the game while 2 assistant coaches call the shots? It just doesn’t make sense to me!

So there you have it. I’d love to discuss this with anyone who is interested out there.

We’re less than 3 weeks away from pre-season practice starting. “Gettin’ ready cuz here we come!” I believe that’s Bachman Turner Overdrive for my 60’/70’s pop music fans!!!

A Week At the Beach

Posted by admin July - 7 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off on A Week At the Beach

We just got back from our annual family vacation to NC’s Outer Banks. It was a bit more exhausting than years past because we were on “shark alert” every time we went up to the beach. Our 9 year old granddaughter showed no fear of going in the water. We had to constantly monitor her (keeping her in ankle-deep water) while my wife and I watched the water for signs of “fins” in the water! I, myself, did not go in. I haven’t been in the ocean since the summer of 1975 when I saw Jaws for the first time!!! We did see dolphins one day which caused a momentary panic till everyone on shore realized it was dolphin fins and not a shark’s!

For my coaching friends, this is about reminding you that it is important to “get away” from coaching from time to time and spend quality time with your family. There’s no better time than now! A week away or a long week-end with your family can refresh you and promotes good will with your wife and kids. Don’t become sooooooo consumed with football that you forego the most important relationships in your life.

The same is true in-season. A wise coach once told me, “Even God took a day of rest after creating the world. YOU need to take a day off too.” With that, I canceled Saturday morning workouts and staff meetings. I spent time on Saturday with my family and watched college football with my son. There was still time during the day to look at some game film; but, my focus was on my loved ones. We’d get up on Sunday and go to church together. Once we got home, my focus went back to football. My family had gotten some quality time from me and I found I was even more fired up to get back to game/practice preparation after “getting away” for a while.

Try it… you’ll like it! and… so will your family!!!