Caring as a head co...
 
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Caring as a head coach is what make the difference to your players.  

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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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High School
October 8, 2020 12:51 pm  
Posted by: @prodigy

With all of this said, I personally would not be opposed to taking a kid who did not want to play football and find him something to do that would be beneficial to him as well as the team. 

--Many times on this forum I have written that kids playing youth football is not the be all/end all.  It is not the determining factor in the quality of life that is experienced by the young man.  There are many, MANY kids who will get little from playing this game and whose time would be better spent in other endeavors.  I've written that many times and have believed it for even longer.  And while I still believe it to be true, what I was overlooking was my own contribution to their quality of life.  I'm not saying I'm the best coach for every child.  I'm not.  I'm not saying they will get more from me than from their art or piano teacher that they could instead be taking lessons from.  I am saying that we offer a thorough discourse on how to teach young men how to behave, the differences between right and wrong and an emphasis on the best way to do things.  I believe they are invaluable lessons to any young man.  If they are already getting that at home, then we are reinforcing it.  If they aren't getting it at home, then we are doing our best to teach it.  And since every task we demand from a player is simple to complete (note that I did not say "easy" to complete), all of our tasks and goals are reachable and completable, by ANY child.  I do not know of any other teacher who will demand more from them, have higher expectations and will be more exacting and challenging than I am.  In this regard, I think that every child will gain something positive from the experience.

However, sometimes kids and parents decide (for whatever reasons) that this is not for them.  I used to simply accept their decision.  Now, I fight it.  Of course, if their decision is firm then I will have to respect it.  But if I can talk them into coming back and giving this a try, and more importantly trusting me, then I will.  Is this a more challenging approach for me?  Yes.  Does it sometimes complicate matters when coaching is already complicated and challenging enough?  Yes, it can.  But I'm coaching with more experience now, with more vision, and with more confidence in my abilities to juggle 17 things at once.  Just like every year I would add something new to the CAL Program, I'm always looking to add something new to my coaching methodology.

I don't think that there is a "one size fits all" for kids who may want to quit playing football.  Each player is unique and thus each situation is unique.

--100% correct, Ken.

I only present some ideas here for coaches and parents to entertain to gain a better understanding of the dynamic, the pros and cons of forcing a player to finish out a season versus allowing that player to quit.  From a philosophical standpoint, I truly believe that there are no wrong answers or approaches, simply because one cannot know how the path not chosen would end up.  

--Agreed.  I only comment on this because I see how my own approach to this has dramatically changed through the years.

--Dave

 

 

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17398
North Carolina
High School
October 8, 2020 1:20 pm  
Posted by: @prodigy

I think everyone should seriously ask themselves WHY they don't want a kid to quit when he's not enjoying himself.  Do you really believe that the player is going to benefit by suffering through 3+ months of football?  Do you think that it's going to make him a better person?  Also consider that kids often have to suffer through school, deal with teachers they don't like, the social dynamic of other kids they don't like...and they still have to go to school.  They learn daily to conform and do things that they don't want to do.  They eat food they don't want to eat...all because they are children. 

Great question, Ken.  And it's NOT because I believe that, "If he quits now, then it's opening the door for him to be a quitter in other things."  No, I don't believe that to be true, regardless of how many coaches and parents may offer up that excuse as a reason not to quit.  

But it's a question that I address at my Parents Meeting:  "I ask you to be patient with me and our process.  I can promise you that this will be the most challenging physical endeavor that he has experienced.  And it may be the greatest emotional and mental challenge, up to this point in his life.  We will challenge him, physically and mentally.  And there may be times that he'll let you know that his effort is diminishing and that perhaps he doesn't want to do this because of how hard it is.  My challenge to you as a parent, is to use this as a teaching moment for your son.  We all know that there will be life experiences in the future that will be far more challenging than this.  And when he's faced with those challenges, you will be able to use this experience here to draw on.  You can remind him of how overwhelmed he felt, or challenged he was or disappointed in himself so that he wanted quit.  But that he stuck with it and look how things turned out: he won the MVP, or he made the big tackle in the big game, or he helped us to win the championship or whatever it was that the experience meant to him."

Do I think that kids are better off for having gone through our program?  I do now.  And just like you said Ken, we're going to have fun along the way and win championships even when they don't know that yet.  It teaches children that there can be something good waiting for them right around the corner, when they don't yet have the foresight or experience to see.

--Dave 

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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Prodigy
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October 8, 2020 10:36 pm  

@coachdp it will be a major regret in my life if I do not manage to listen to this parent meeting as an assistant some day.

 

If you show up for a fair fight, you are unprepared.


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Prodigy
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October 9, 2020 3:49 pm  

@coachdp from all I've gathered over the years, your approach is on an entirely different plain from 99.999% of the other coaches and approaches.  I'm in complete agreement with working together with parents on expectations and helping kids through the physical, mental and emotional challenges that we may throw at them.  I've watched kids walk away from the game for a variety of reasons...I myself, walked away from the game as a senior in high school.  The head coach was NFL Alumni...In the 4 years I was at the school, I don't think the JV or Varsity teams won a single game.  If there's any question, I think that the man was a horrible coach.  I can't recall him teaching much of anything except rolling off of the foot instead of false stepping.  I can't remember running any drills, just scrimmaging for the entire practice.  Despite the crappy coaching and lack of success on the field, I still loved the game.

If a kid loves the game, that's something we can work with.  If the kid doesn't enjoy the game, that's not really for me to fix.

If you show up for a fair fight, you are unprepared.


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Prodigy
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October 12, 2020 12:29 pm  

I finally received word back from Flynns father.  He's a junior in high school now.  He played freshman football and decided not to play again after that with head injuries being a concern.  So it's a kid who played a year for me, started another season under another coach, quit for a number of years and then tried again as a freshman in high school before bowing out.

 

 

If you show up for a fair fight, you are unprepared.


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