Coaching a Great American Game

 Over years the sport of football has become eye-popping.  The romance between football and its fans has developed into quite the relationship.  I’m sure many just like you can imagine their football hero running, passing, catching, blocking, kicking, tackling or intercepting.   Is it only me or are kids no longer dreaming of becoming a railroad engineer or cowboy?  With the success of the AFL and greatness of the NFL the percentage of merchandise sold has increased incredibly.  Now everyone wants to be a player  but how about a coach?

 When was the last time you went into the store and purchased a Bill Parcells coaching jersey?  How about a throwback jersey for Landry or Lombardi?  Here at there are articles about organizational success, player development, motivation and helping to achieve goals.  But let's focus upon advice for the new coach.

 As I see it the community hires the coach.  When interviewing for a position it is implied, in a subtle manner, that winning is positive.  Player development and losing are negative.  You need to be positive!  It’s no wonder over 80% of coaches throw in the towel!!  Compare this stat to the percentage of businesses that close doors across America and it’s pretty apparent that with coaching the stronger get stronger and if you are weak in any way you are dominated.  So taking the tools you are given to mold a victorious team is a serious accomplishment at any level.

 Coaches need personality.  I’m a true believer in the old quote “The team takes on the coach's personality.”  Looking back over time this can be proven.  If you are a coach that is fortunate to gain a position (this pertains to the HC role) and slump into the community's expectations without forging your beliefs into the organization you are not the one coaching the team.  ALL coaches  need a philosophy to work from and stand by.  If an organization does not ask about your philosophy more than likely your input is not considered important for the true needs of the team.  As an asst. coach you need to examine the situation along with the HC’s personality.  Look for any keys that molding a true champion, on and off the field, is not the true desire of the program.

 Successful football is an educational process.  Anyone involved with the team on or off the field needs to recognize this.  If your team is continually defeated you should implement an educational / solution finding angle looking for the answer to produce success.  On the other end of the spectrum a victorious team may slacken in efforts and the program is no longer building or educational.  Here is the major point .. how can you, as a coach, change the gravitation of players to your organization rather than to a successful competitor.  Which coach do you think affects an organization more:  a) The one that is developing players to conform into a unit. b) A coach handed talented players and simply relying on the talent until it runs out?  Which of the above seems more inviting to you?  This answer will tell you if you are part of the 80% group mentioned above!

 Coaching is a hard road.  It involves morals, hard work, preparation, sacrifice and great determination.  This, coupled with your coaching personality/philosophywill draw the desired players and staff needed to achieve positive results.  If you can recognize talent within and are a true coach any team can become a successful organization.  It simply comes down to understanding the competence level of the staff and players you have.  Do not try to implement a system that your talent does not match.

 Over the years I’ve learned a million things (and remember few).  One is if a coach or player claims to know it all he is least qualified for the position.  Any winning organization relies upon each other and embraces the building blocks of knowledge.

 Yours in football,
  Coach Z

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