Saturday, June 22, 2019

Everything Matters In Coaching

I was recently speaking at a clinic and had the opportunity to talk about advancing in your career as a coach. It was a great opportunity to share some things that can help young coaches to avoid some common mistakes that can hold them back. We had a great Q and A session, and coaches in attendance told me it was very valuable. I wanted to share three important components to being a better coach.

1. Every Job You Do Matters, Do Them With Great Pride

One of the first duties I had was to line the practice fields.The first time I lined the fields I was miserable. I had a bad attitude and didn't do a great job. I decided not to put hash marks and markings for the numbers. When we went out to practice our receivers didn't know where to line up. The safeties and corners didn't know where to line up. The head coach ripped me in front of the team. After practice he called me into his office and told me that no matter what the job was, do it with pride. He said the reason guys get stuck not advancing often is that they are lazy. He told me if the fields weren't fixed I wouldn't have a job. That was an invaluable lesson to learn as a very young coach.

I had great mentors who taught me that if you want to be given the big jobs you really want, you've got to excel at the jobs you don't want to do. Every time I painted the lines after that I painted them like I was preparing an NFL Field. I learned to be meticulous and make sure the details were taken care of fully.

Every job you get matters. If you are assigned laundry treat it like it is the difference between winning and losing a championship game. And it should be easy, because it just might be the difference. If you are cleaning out the refrigerator in the office, take pride in how clean you get it. Don't do it just to check the box. Clean the refrigerator like it was going to be the difference between getting fired or keeping your job. It matters. I you are inventorying equipment, do it the best it can be done.

If you aren't willing to do the laundry well, you will never be a great OC. If you want to move into a coordinator or head coaching position where you will delegate some of those duties, then you must be good at the duties you will delegate. No one likes doing the laundry and cleaning out the refrigerator, but great coaches take pride in the jobs that no one wants to do.

2. The Weight Room Matters More Than You Could Ever Know

When I first started coaching I didn't love the weight room. It was at the end of a long school day. I was usually mentally and physically tired. David Diaz, one of the best mentors in this business said, "this is the place where our success is built." We will get bigger, faster, and stronger, but most importantly we will get mentally tougher in here. This is where we build our team. This is where we teach our players that details matter. If you don't coach hard in the weight room, you won't be able to coach hard on the field.

The weight room is so much more than just getting bigger, faster, and stronger. It is where team chemistry is built through hard work and accountability. It is where mental toughness is built through accountability. It is where players learn to sweat together in adverse conditions. It is where you get to coach the details to players. You get to have them focus on the little tiny details, which is vital when you get on the field in the fall.

The current head coach I work for, Joe Cluley, takes this a step further. Not only does he want us engaged, but he wants us to bring the juice everyday. When you come in our athletic period it is different. It has a different feel. Every coach greets every kid with enthusiasm as they come in. We all are excited, which in turn increases the excitement of the kids. If we were bored, the kids will be bored as well. We want this to be the most exciting part of their day. The athletic period should not be easy, but it must be electric. We bring the juice from the time the first kid enters our field house until the last kid leaves after practice. The more juice you bring, the more juice the kids will have. Bring the juice every single day. He also holds us accountable to holding our kids accountable.

3. Relationships Matter Most

Relationships are the most important component of what we do as coaches. Winning games is how we get to keep doing what we are doing, and it is important. We have to win to keep our jobs. But the most important thing we do is not win a game.  The biggest ting we do is impact young men through the game of football. We use football as a catalyst to teach accountability, teamwork, trust, and responsibility. We use the game of football to teach young men to put the interests of the team in front of their own self-interests. This all depends on the relationships we build with the men we coach.

The relationships start and end with unconditional love. We love our players as much on their worst day as we do on their best day. It is important as coaches that we never give up on a young man. We must see in them what they do not see in themselves. We must believe in them and find the greatness they have inside. We must take time to get to know them off the field. We are blessed to be in a situation where many of our kids need rides to and from football actives. This gives us a great opportunity to spend time with them talking about life.

Another great relationship builder is having your position group to your house for a cookout. We do this a couple of times a year to spend time with your guys away from football. It also lets them get to know our families. It allows your players to see you away from the game. It is a vital component to building relationships.

To make this work, you must care about your players as people. If you only care what they can do in a jersey you aren't a coach. At that point you are just a spectator. I don't care how much you can draw on a board. If you don't truly care about your players you need to do something else. One of the things we do is

If you want to move up in coaching, you have to be willing to do the jobs know one wants to do and do them well. You have to be a great teacher and coach in the weight room. And most importantly, you have to unconditionally love your players. You have to build strong relationships that will impact your players in the future.

Game and Practice Planning Preparation Resources

As you prepare for the 2019 season, I wanted to make available our game planning resources for you! These helped us to have one of the most explosive offenses at every level I have coached. Coaches from some of the top high school programs in the country use these documents to prepare. Coaches at more than a dozen BCS programs have also downloaded these documents to help them in their preparation.

Here is a link to my offensive game planning documents:
It includes everything from a scouting report template, to practice plans, to a two-sided color call sheet, and more! Each of the nine documents are fully editable and customizable! Order today and start preparing for your first game right now!

Here is a link to the defensive game planning documents. It includes 12 fully editable and customizable documents. These are what we used to post 6 shutouts when I was a defensive coordinator.

And finally, I put together a special teams resource. This has everything you need, included drill tape, practice tape, and game footage. It includes teaching presentations and scouting forms just for special teams!

If you want to learn more about installing RPO's, I wrote a book called Installing Explosive RPO Concepts Into Any Offense. I wrote it for iBooks, which includes cut-ups to reinforce the application of these concepts. In the book I give you a systematic process for installing 2nd and 3rd level RPO's. Coaches at all level of football tell me this is a game changer! The book can be found for iBooks here:

The iBooks version can be viewed on any iPhone, Mac, or iPad. It is a game changer in book technology! This book will give you everything you need to build RPO's into your offense!

If you don't have an apple device, you can order the paperback version! It is available on Amazon!

Follow me @coachvint on Twitter! 

I hope you found something in this post you can use with your program! Good luck this season! 

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