OLD SCHOOL! Loss of my "Coach"
So there was this guy who ran T-Formation and growled like a Bear when we made mistakes. He made us Run Laps around the field carrying "The Rock" (which was literally a 20 pound Rock) that he brought to every practice. He was not against Taping the Ball in your hands to keep you from fumbling. Many of us carried "The Rock of Shame" around the field as penance! He had an assistant one year who actually played with Bronco Nagurski on the Bears. He called us "A Bunch Of Daisy's" when he felt we were no putting forth an effort. We ran til we couldn't run any more. We hated that Rock. Yet we were prepared to face our opponent. Why? Because we ran everything 100 times each practice! He drove a broken down VW Bug with our 1 tackling Dummy laid cross wise in the car. He demanded we get things right! His play book was but a few plays. His defensive demands were simple ATTACK THE BALL. Find it! Eat it! There were no Favorites! Yet he spoke fondly of all.
I guess I learned a few things from him as I followed in his footsteps. My Dad (Coach) passed away this last Saturday. He was my mentor and Coach. Some things are different yet many remain the same. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard! As cliche as it sounds, it remains a truism. I spent a few days with a young man named Kaseem who was one of the many taking care of him. After a on going discussion of "Football" I would have loved to have him as an assistant for next year. Dad said, you need to ask him to help. That was one of our last coherent conversations. Still Coaching from the hospital bed!
I am not necessarily like him as a Coach. Yet, my expectations of myself and the kids are as his! Play Hard, Hit Hard, Execute! We played an extremely good parochial school one year after much goading and testosterone laden back and forth. This squad had 3 eventual D1 and one future Professional player on it. They were a Juggernaut! Undefeated never scored less than 30 points. We played on a mud soaked field and lost 6-0. After the game their coach talked to him. On the ride home, feeling pissed and disillusioned, Dad said, why the gloomy face? I answered we lost! He said on a dry filed we would have beat em by 40! They had no answer for speed! They scored one time, we fumbled 4 times inside their 30. They didn't beat us, we beat ourselves! All things being equal, except of for the fumbles, I'm not mad, why should you be? They expected a Cake Walk and got a Knife Fight! He just grinned!
Not MPP... ONE TASK! Teach them! 🙂