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Prodigy
(@prodigy)
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October 15, 2020 12:07 pm  

@terrypjohnson

Guess we hijacked @gumby_in_co ' s thread to sing the praises of DP.  Hey I guess that's one of the ups and the downs of forums...conversations are organic and dynamic...they go in different areas to explore the topic.

With that said, my apologies to Gumby...but I did want to throw out my CoachDP story, since we're on that topic at the moment.

First year assistant coach who had all sorts of ideas but my header wasn't interested in listening to anything I had to say despite his 1-7 season or whatever it ended up being.  It was pretty pathetic and I learned more about what not to do than what to do as a coach.  My 8 year old son who wanted to play football came home every night crying that he was the worst football player ever because the header and the other assistant were really that negative.  Meanwhile my 10 year old son on another team who did NOT want to play football was having a blast, he had a job, he was a part of the team for the most part and life was good for him.  His coaches ran Cisar's Single Wing and they made it to playoffs.  The previous year before I became involved, the team had made it to the second round of playoffs, got their butts kicked and feelings hurt by a double wing team that could hit.  Playoffs round 1 were a breeze...Playoffs round 2, same double wing team, same butt kicking occurred.

The coach tells me...wow, that doublewing team could HIT!  I've never seen such a thing.  Our kids have NEVER been hit that hard!  They were coming off of the field crying!  We need to figure out how to get our kids and our teams to hit like that!

 

Me being the type of person that I am, confronted with a problem, I sought out a solution.  I'm not sure what I ran through the google machine but I ended up stumbling upon a webpage that had listed all of the championships, the winning record and a photo of CoachDP wearing maroon.  There may have even been a link to his highlight film or something, I don't recall.  I may have tried emailing him or I couldn't find contact information...I just don't remember.  I found myself here on DumCoach and within a few days I crossed paths with DP.  Our first exchange here wasn't amazing.  If memory serves there was this nasty, ignorant and stupid-ass assumption that DP only managed what he managed because of the kids he was coaching (i.e. inner-city, extremely athletic etc.)  I can completely understand where an assumption like this comes from now...but back then, I thought maybe that was the best explanation and maybe I ignorantly said that and maybe DP corrected me on the forum...but we ended up getting on the phone within a day or two.  He talked, I listened and wrote as quickly as I could on paper, taking notes about all of the things he was saying.  
It's absolutely laughable now because I thought that a single 60 minute conversation with DP was going to unlock all of the secrets and the understanding that we needed to compete at a championship level.  I immediately took the highlight film and the notes from the conversation back to my sons coach.  I showed him the film, he thought it was amazing.  He was smiling the entire time, looking excited.  Then I talked about drills like "whose ball" and the smile went away.  He asked "Where does this Coach Potter guy...where is he from?  Where does he coach at?"

"Well, he's down in North Carolina..."

"Yeah...you can't do that stuff up here in New England.  That shit would never fly here."

"...but...but...there's more to all of this....it's all built around trust..."

"No, we could never do that here."

One season later I left that program, was involved with starting a new one built on the principles...and for anyone who is curious, it works...It will work on a boat, with a goat, in the rain, in a tree, in a box, with a fox, in a house, with a mouse, it will work here or there, it will work anywhere...but there's a lot to it and it all starts with a coach who cares.

 

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


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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October 15, 2020 2:03 pm  
Posted by: @prodigy

@terrypjohnson

Guess we hijacked @gumby_in_co ' s thread to sing the praises of DP.  Hey I guess that's one of the ups and the downs of forums...conversations are organic and dynamic...they go in different areas to explore the topic.

With that said, my apologies to Gumby

 

Nope. All part of the discourse. I'll probably summarize the effort at the end of the season anyway.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Posts: 4178
October 15, 2020 2:33 pm  

@prodigy

My first coaching experience is very similar to yours.  The HC was a rookie, too, so a lot has been forgiven. Still love the guy, but we made a ton of mistakes back then. In fact, John T Reed's "Top mistakes youth coaches make" looked like a scouting report on us.

It started with a statement that permeated that org like a sickness: "We are not a win at all costs organization". It was on top of the website, on the registration form and on the coaching volunteer from. Looking back, it essentially gave new coaches an excuse to suck. It gave us a reason to vilify coaches who were successful. "Oh, he's one of those 'win at all costs' dudes." It's a phrase I used to hear all the time. 

With the help of DP, Mahonz and a ton of other coaches that I won't start to name for fear of leaving someone out, I evolved from that mindset. I started to really understand the lie that it really is. The weird thing is that I've never been a very competitive person. I'm still not. But when I'm coaching, it's not about me. My players first, then the rest of the staff . . . I want them to succeed and achieve. Most importantly, I never want to have the feeling you get when you lead lambs to a slaughter. Sending a team of honey badgers onto the field is something I've always had control over. If I fail to do that (it happens sometimes), at least I know who is at fault and how to fix it.

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 17460
North Carolina
High School
October 15, 2020 5:50 pm  
Posted by: @terrypjohnson

I agree with Coach @rpatric, some youth coaches wouldn't adopt @CoachDP 's methods. As one coach in my league said, "I know football, I don't need some website to tell me how to do things the right way".

I don't think that's necessarily a unique response to the way that I coach football.  I think that's a common response of most "coaches," in regards to learning much of anything about the game.  Why are there only 7 people on this forum? lol.  I've said several times, "Telling a guy that he doesn't know how to coach, is as serious as his wife/GF/SO telling him that he doesn't 'measure up.'"  In other words, it's going to be taken "personally" even if they have no training at it.  It's as if they think that being a male makes them a good coach, or that they played the game, or that they understand the game because they watch it on TV.  I've spoken English for more than 50 years, yet I don't know the first thing about being a good English teacher.  It takes training, experience and a willingness to learn.  And most simply aren't prepared to do all three.

--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)
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North Carolina
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October 15, 2020 5:56 pm  
Posted by: @prodigy

Then I talked about drills like "whose ball" and the smile went away.  He asked "Where does this Coach Potter guy...where is he from?  Where does he coach at?"

"Well, he's down in North Carolina..."

"Yeah...you can't do that stuff up here in New England.  That shit would never fly here."

"...but...but...there's more to all of this....it's all built around trust..."

"No, we could never do that here."

What that HC meant was that HE could never do that "here."  Or anywhere else.  He didn't have the knowledge, gumption, wherewithal, etc.  But Ken is also in New England.  But Ken did it because Ken had the knowledge, gumption, wherewithal, etc.  It's not about where you are.  It's about who you are.

--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)
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Posts: 17460
North Carolina
High School
October 15, 2020 6:06 pm  
Posted by: @prodigy

One season later I left that program, was involved with starting a new one built on the principles...and for anyone who is curious, it works...It will work on a boat, with a goat, in the rain, in a tree, in a box, with a fox, in a house, with a mouse, it will work here or there, it will work anywhere...but there's a lot to it and it all starts with a coach who cares.

As much as I've disliked being a high school coaching vagabond (5 high schools in 10 years), it has allowed me to give our approach a try at a variety of places.  Our approach and philosophy worked for more than a decade at the youth level with one org.  But it's easy to question the chicken or the egg; is it the org, the talent, the coaching, etc?  And since that time, having coached at the 10th smallest high school football program in the state, as well as the 10th largest; at one of the richest high schools in the nation, and one of the poorest in the state; at schools with inner city kids, with rural kids, and with kids who had their own Land Rover, I've seen that it can work anywhere.  With 7-year-olds, as well as 17-year-olds.  But like Ken says, you have to care.  And it has to be really, really important to you.  And it helps that you know why it's important to you.  Because if you know why, then your kids will know why, as well.

--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)
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Posts: 17460
North Carolina
High School
October 15, 2020 6:33 pm  
Posted by: @gumby_in_co

It started with a statement that permeated that org like a sickness: "We are not a win at all costs organization". It was on top of the website, on the registration form and on the coaching volunteer from. Looking back, it essentially gave new coaches an excuse to suck. It gave us a reason to vilify coaches who were successful. "Oh, he's one of those 'win at all costs' dudes." It's a phrase I used to hear all the time. 

"We are not a win at all costs organization."  That is the built-in excuse for failure.

I take pride in not cutting corners to achieve victory.  I have to look at myself in the mirror every day. I want to know that I'm not a rule-breaker; that I have a responsibility to my players to model correct behavior; that I will not coerce them or use them to my advantage.  But the first words out of my mouth at the Parent Meeting (after introductions) is: "Make no mistake; We are all about winning."  Then I elaborate on what I mean.  "I want them to not only to win on the football field, but in the classroom, in their community, in the weight room, at everything they do."  Why would I wish for or settle for anything less?  Then I deliver the plan for how we're going to accomplish each of these.

When someone tells me they are "not all about winning," it is a warning.  Usually it's a warning that they have no idea what they're doing.  Or they have no control over performance.  I've asked several people about it.  This is usually how it goes:

Coach:  "Well, I'm not one of those guys that's all about winning."

Me:  "Why?"

And it pretty much ends right there because they don't have an answer.  They thought their opening statement told me everything I need to know about them.  But then, I'm a guy who asks questions.  And when I hear a statement that gives me pause, I want to give them an opportunity to explain.  Sometimes, they'll elaborate and "Well, I'm not a cheater."  And I reply, "I'm not a cheater, either.  But I am completely about winning.  And I'm completely about winning at everything.  What's the alternative?  To be about losing?"  

--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)
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Posts: 17460
North Carolina
High School
October 15, 2020 7:04 pm  
Posted by: @gumby_in_co

I evolved from that mindset. I started to really understand the lie that it really is. 

Yes, it's a lie.  Thank you for realizing that and calling it what it is.

When I was a kid (10?) my father taught me how to play chess.  (To win, otherwise why were we playing?)  Since I had no siblings in the house, the only person I could play against was him.  And he was good.  Certainly much better than a 10-year-old.  As a research engineer for NASA, he had an analytical mind.  And he taught me well.  He took me to places where I was able to play against his friends; other adults who really knew the game (or at least, were better than I was).  For quite some time, I could never beat them.  From there, I began researching articles about it.  By the time I was in the 6th Grade, I joined the chess team.  (Yes, there was such a group.)  And I joined them mainly because I already knew how to play.  And on Fridays, we'd go to other schools and play against their Neidermeyers.  And I never lost.  Not one time.  Because it was that important to me.  But the takeaway (from chess to football) is that the reason I was successful in chess from a strategic standpoint, was that I was amazed at how many opponents moved pieces, just to move pieces.  Or traded pieces, just to trade pieces.  A pawn for a pawn, with no reason.  Instead of trading a knight for a bishop or a rook, I was focused on how do I keep their king from moving.  If their king is surrounded by 4 of his own men, then that's 4 occupied spaces he can't move into. And if I can cover the other 4 spaces with only 2 men, then I win.  If he's at the back of the board, then he can only move 2 places and I can cover that with one man; makes it even easier.

In football, I have so many questions asking myself "WHY?" are coaches moving just to make a move, or trading a pawn for a pawn without reason(?)  Why make a move without understanding why you are making it?

--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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Dusty Ol Fart
(@youth-coach)
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Illinois
Other
Club Admin
October 15, 2020 7:32 pm  

I have NEVER attended a practice or game or coached with the expectation to lose!  The kids know everything we work on has been tried and tested over and over.  That being said sometimes beating our opponent was going to be a monumental task and take everything we have in order to do so.  But every offensive play and defensive series was designed to do exactly that...WIN.  

What I will say is, and my parents knew this, unlike many of my counterparts I play everyone who comes to practice and works hard to improve.  In my mind, at the Youth Level, its all about building skills and confidence.  Hard to do from the sideline.   I took attendance.  I noted who tried to hide during drills and brought them to the front of the line and matched them appropriately.  I never shied away from telling any player, regardless of perceived ability or value, to sit.  No Hero's, No Goats!  

I Coached in a Few Championships, never having won one.  However, we made it there because the Boys executed the game plans with great effort, ability, and confidence!  That's all I could ever ask for!    Players get the Credit...Coaches take the blame......As it should be.  

 

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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October 15, 2020 11:44 pm  
Posted by: @coachdp

It's as if they think that being a male makes them a good coach, or that they played the game, or that they understand the game because they watch it on TV.  

Every American male is born believing he can do 2 things well: 1) Coach football 2) cook outdoors

This post was modified 1 month ago by gumby_in_co

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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mahonz
(@mahonz)
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October 16, 2020 12:46 am  
Posted by: @gumby_in_co

@prodigy

My first coaching experience is very similar to yours.  The HC was a rookie, too, so a lot has been forgiven. Still love the guy, but we made a ton of mistakes back then. In fact, John T Reed's "Top mistakes youth coaches make" looked like a scouting report on us.

It started with a statement that permeated that org like a sickness: "We are not a win at all costs organization". It was on top of the website, on the registration form and on the coaching volunteer from. Looking back, it essentially gave new coaches an excuse to suck. It gave us a reason to vilify coaches who were successful. "Oh, he's one of those 'win at all costs' dudes." It's a phrase I used to hear all the time. 

 

 

You have to appreciate why that Org was in that mindset. Just a year prior to your arrival....their World blew up and the arrows were thick.

The Exodus was massive....pushing 50% especially with baseball. 

I refer to those years as the Dark Ages. 

Two years later enter Keenan Stage Left. He figured it was time football got back on track especially being that he was the only one that would take the job. The other Directors fell in line quickly.   👍 

Unfortunately you had left the Org by then. But it all worked out in the end. 

This post was modified 1 month ago by mahonz

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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Coyote
(@coyote)
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3rd - 5th
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October 16, 2020 8:11 am  
Posted by: @coachdp

"We are not a win at all costs organization."  That is the built-in excuse for failure.

Interesting this would come up now...   Talking with my HC the other night, he mentioned a mom from the other team in the championship consoling her kid, saying, "[Our team] cheats, ... just chasing trophies."    

We wondered what we did that might be considered cheating, and why playing to win the trophy was considered a bad thing, esp. in light of the bad behavior my her son's coaches, their illegal practices, and post-game parking fracas between those coaches and their fans. If her team wasn't chasing the trophy why was the kid upset at losing it?  HC said he didn't get the sense that she was concerned over her son's team averaging over 44 pts a game against the rest of the league; some of those games being shut-outs.   Hmmm.... 

Lomabardi said something along the lines of...   "We strive for perfection, knowing perfection is beyond human achievement, but in the pursuit of perfection we might just catch excellence." 

If there's a trophy out there, I want my kids to know what it's like to strive for it, to earn it, and enjoy the feeling of having won it the right way.

This post was modified 1 month ago by Coyote

Umm.... why does that 6 ft tall 9 yr old have a goatee...?


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Prodigy
(@prodigy)
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October 16, 2020 9:04 am  
Posted by: @coachdp

 

When I was a kid (10?) my father taught me how to play chess.  By the time I was in the 6th Grade, I joined the chess team. 

--Dave

Interesting stuff.  I probably missed the point you were making here because I was thinking "You don't have to play football.  Football isn't for everyone.  Maybe the Chess Club would be a better fit for some of you."

wow...just wow.  Also I'm surprised everyone else skimmed over this.

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


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 17460
North Carolina
High School
October 16, 2020 9:30 am  
Posted by: @coyote
Talking with my HC the other night, he mentioned a mom from the other team in the championship consoling her kid, saying, "[Our team] cheats, ... just chasing trophies."    

It's always the most prevalent excuse out there for losing.  I've never heard it at the high school level, but I heard it when I coached youth ball.  Everything from being accused of having an underground practice facility, to parents complaining when we wouldn't kick off deep, not giving the other team "a chance."  I was always amazed not only how juvenile the parent accusations were, but how they were building in the excuses for their own child to fail.  "Don't worry Honey, they're just a bunch of cheaters."

I dunno what was more ridiculous; their lies about us cheating OR the things they accused us of that wasn't cheating (on-side kicks, punting OOB, summer conditioning, etc.)

--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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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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October 16, 2020 10:06 am  
Posted by: @mahonz 

You have to appreciate why that Org was in that mindset. Just a year prior to your arrival....their World blew up and the arrows were thick.

The Exodus was massive....pushing 50% especially with baseball. 

I refer to those years as the Dark Ages. 

Two years later enter Keenan Stage Left. He figured it was time football got back on track especially being that he was the only one that would take the job. The other Directors fell in line quickly.   👍 

Unfortunately you had left the Org by then. But it all worked out in the end. 

Yes, I remember that well. It was not just that org, though. I guess "We're not about winning at all costs" is a marketing ploy to the worried moms who are on the fence about letting their kids play. Then they find out that their little tiger has to play against 8 "win at all costs" teams, which is bad news for the fluffy teddy bear teams. Jake's first game ever was a shellacking against a 2nd grade triple option team. I specifically remember 3 coaches on our staff talking through the entire game about "there is NO WAY they installed that offense on 3 practices per week", etc. So the marketing slogan had the effect of giving us permission to suck as coaches. And the fluffy teddy bears still got their faces ripped off.

I did my best "Keenan" impression at my son's new hockey org. I was a new board member and I brought some "radical" ideas about winning. I was told, "That won't fly here.", "Our parents won't accept that", "We're all about being 'family friendly'". So I asked a simple question: "Why can't we be family friendly while we're trying to win some hockey games." They looked at me like I sprouted a second head, then the dreaded, "We're not about 'winning at all costs'". I almost puked, then I almost walked out, but it turned out the hockey director agreed with me 100%. We turned it around for 5 great seasons. Then I left, Pres left, hockey director was fired (deservedly) and they are now back to being the lovable losers.

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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