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Maxing Out Your Staff

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GP
 GP
(@gpenn44)
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For the first time ever, entering an offseason with a full staff who should all be returning next year. So my goal this offseason is to carve our a defined role for each AC where they will be able to add real value without throwing anyone in over their head.

Like most of youth staffs we have some inherent limitations to work around. A little background:

AC1 - Pretty ideal AC - still needs more experience (just finished his 2nd year) but great instincts ("gets it"), asks great questions and is eager to learn. Takes constructive criticism very well and continues to improve. Also does bulk of our fundraising. He's a true gem.

AC2 - Most experienced on staff (more than me) but still struggles to master coaching points and troubleshoot issues. Very sensitive and takes even the most constructive criticism as a personal attack - passive aggressive responses. Stems from insecurity which also shows in getting overly frustrated w players for normal mistakes - eg in Team sessions saying "we worked on this! y'all just tryin to make me look bad!" Oddly "shuts down" whenever big games approach. That said, always there, helps with admin. Relates well w and genuinely cares about the kids who respect him.

AC3 - Typical "when I was in high school..." 1st year coach which might be more helpful had he played at DLS instead of a mediocre program in the middle of nowhere. Due to work schedule is typically 20-30 mins late for practice. Does have some good instincts and brings good energy. Has A LOT of suggestions, typically very generic ones that are telling of his lack of experience (eg championship week "we just need to line them up and hit all practice until they're mad"), despite not having learned the ins and outs of our schemes. All in all has potential but needs to drop the "I know everything from playing HS ball" attitude. I had a similar attitude my 1st year however I was a HC in a bad program so I got exposed / humbled in a hurry. I question whether he'll have a similar breakthrough since he won't be exposed in that way.

ACs 4 & 5 - Two 12U coaches we absorbed in September (when they couldn't field a 12U team). Nice guys and fairly reliable though both miss / are late somewhat regularly due to work schedule. Very, VERY passive. Had them work under ACs 1 & 2 this season so they could learn however they didn't pick up on things as I would have hoped and never really got to a point where they added much value. Just don't seem to have the confidence in their ability, understandably so.

In order to max out the equation, I must get everyone in the RIGHT role where they can add real value and be successful. Must account for ability, personality and availability. Then I have to coach them up so they can be effective in that role and approach w confidence (or in the case of AC3 who doesn't lack for confidence - not be contradicting scheme CPs, etc simply teaching what he knows from playing HS ball 10 years ago).

I welcome all thoughts, suggestions, etc.

"Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated." - Lou Holtz


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Coach Correa
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If I had any answer worth giving I would. But figured out some time ago at least at youth level you better be prepared to do it yourself and if you can get a couple guys buying in learning and  have the ability to teach then your triple the Coach. I've had a couple good ones certain places but they always came with some kind of shit with them. So I settle for guys that know nothing and are good guys willing to learn and that seems what's best for my needs. Don't know if this helps but just my thought on it.

Head Coach Tito Correa New Britain Raiders 14-U


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MHcoach
(@mhcoach)
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G

Knowing your staff as I do, this pretty much will be similar to what we said last night.

AC1- He is your DC I would also make him your OLine coach.

AC2- Make him Asst HC with no real position or responsibility. This way there is no hurt feelings & he can fill in where needed. He can flap his wings & quote silly phrases & all is good.

AC3- What position did he play in HS?

AC's4&5- Need guidance& some sessions at the Turkey's Nest.

Joe

"Champions behave like champions before they're champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners"Bill Walsh


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GP
 GP
(@gpenn44)
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Topic starter  

Agree Joe. AC3 was a LBer in HS.  AC1 coached our DBs in 2016 then became LBer Coach / DC this year. I was initially going to coach the DBs (was just me, 1 & 2 coming in).

We added #3 during Summer practice. He felt most comfortable with either LBers or DBs so I let him be the "DB Coach" though we worked the group together and thank God bc some of the stuff he was telling them early on would have gotten us torched - had no concept of what rotating C3 meant, etc.

He did improve w that group as the season went on so I think he can handle that group but needs better understanding of our coverages and underlying coaching points. Also need him to learn our O so he can contribute on that side. Although I suppose telling the OL they "need to block" and the RBs they "need to run HARD" is a contribution in some sense  ::)

He seemed receptive, albeit somewhat offended, when I pointed that out. He actually has potential so we need to have a real role for him on both sides to be efficient.

"Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated." - Lou Holtz


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GP
 GP
(@gpenn44)
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Topic starter  

The other thing aside from assigning roles becomes getting the most out of everyone.

Aside from AC1, these guys DO NOT respond well to constructive criticism. Take it personally, get passive aggressive, shut down, etc.

We expect players to constantly absorb constructive criticism without any type of attitude, learn and apply. Yet so many coaches, most of whom were players at some point, can't handle it in the least.

I don't get it and it's def something I've gotta figure out how to address w these guys.

"Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated." - Lou Holtz


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Dusty Ol Fart
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Staff?  I have a Cattle Prod does that count? 

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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Pantherlinecoach
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I was blessed these past 2 seasons with a defensive backs coach, like a technical coach at that position. Very rare at this age level. Very competent Defensive Coordinator and a good Oline coach to assist me there. We went 21 and 1 over the past 2 seasons, 2 Super Bowl appearances and 1 Super Bowl win this past Saturday. Won't know how to act if I got to Coach without those guys again.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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I welcome all thoughts, suggestions, etc.

Greg, keep AC1 and fire all the rest.

--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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mahonz
(@mahonz)
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G

Only one thing jumps out at me here.

I give one of my players a ride to practice every day. Last year he asked me....Coach....why does Coach Scott miss every Tuesday?

This has been the deal for many seasons but now that he was a 7th grader and fully understood the hypocrisy of... if the players miss practice they lose playing time so why allow coaches to miss every week? As we further discussed I soon realized this was upsetting to some players. I had no idea.

This season for our 8th graders all Part Timers on the Staff were fired. I am not sure how you address player attendance but it might be falling on deaf ears. 

Give AC1, 2 and 3 the bulk of all coaching duties while you float. Pride in ownership is an amazing tool. Tell AC 4 and 5 they are done if they are not there for 95% of all events. They can be a little late abut never be a no show. AC3 with his war stories....no biggie. There is one on every Staff. We all endure that guy.  No biggie that he is late but he should start every practice with 10 push ups and one for the team for being late. Sends a strong message to the players.

AC2 seems like the issue.  I'd give him an inner circle nickname like Coach Vagina and let him know about it....and call him "Coach V" when his balls start too disappear. And do this with a giant pat on the back and a huge smile. Lets him him that its nothing personal but you are being a little bitch.

My take.

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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PSLCOACHROB
(@pslcoachrob)
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It sounds like some of these guys need to be sat down and had a few things explained to them. Some might need to go based on the responses to that little talk. You need to coach your staff up. Don't expect them to do it themselves. They might but most won't unless you hold them accountable. Start having mandatory staff meetings. Talk to them about what they feel they are good at and how they can best help. You might not see some of their strengths or weaknesses. Then, based on whatever you assign them, give them information to consume inside and out. Scheme, drills, technique and how to go about presenting it. If they can't come back to you in a set amount of time and present it back to you then they are not committed. At that point, if they either go or become bag holders. And please, have the talk about the bs 'back when I played" garbage. No kid, anywhere, is interested. Not even a little.


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CoachDP
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--Okay, after reading the other responses, I'll take another shot at this.

AC2 - getting overly frustrated w players for normal mistakes - eg in Team sessions saying "we worked on this! y'all just tryin to make me look bad!"

--He's ridiculous.  Fire him.

AC3 - Due to work schedule is typically 20-30 mins late for practice.

despite not having learned the ins and outs of our schemes.

needs to drop the "I know everything from playing HS ball" attitude.

--Dunno how you tolerate any of that.  Fire him.

ACs 4 & 5 - both miss / are late somewhat regularly due to work schedule.

Very, VERY passive.

they didn't pick up on things as I would have hoped and never really got to a point where they added much value.

--Why are they even there?  Fire them.

--What you tolerate Greg, you encourage.  Your players are far more important than whether these grown men (who behave like irresponsible or frightened children) get their feelings hurt from being shown the door.  If you want a championship-winning team, find some championship-caliber coaches.  Even if these guys got past the interview process with me, once they were "exposed," I'd have shown them the door.  Can't believe you tolerate this, but to each his own.

I hired three ACs last year.  Only one made it to the beginning of the season.  The two others were gone before the end of July.  And neither will ever be allowed back.

--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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coachmiket
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It sounds like some of these guys need to be sat down and had a few things explained to them. Some might need to go based on the responses to that little talk. You need to coach your staff up. Don't expect them to do it themselves. They might but most won't unless you hold them accountable. Start having mandatory staff meetings. Talk to them about what they feel they are good at and how they can best help. You might not see some of their strengths or weaknesses. Then, based on whatever you assign them, give them information to consume inside and out. Scheme, drills, technique and how to go about presenting it. If they can't come back to you in a set amount of time and present it back to you then they are not committed. At that point, if they either go or become bag holders. And please, have the talk about the bs 'back when I played" garbage. No kid, anywhere, is interested. Not even a little.

I slightly disagree.  Now, if it's just some lame "back in the day, war story" where the sole intention is to make the story teller look like a stud, then yeah, most older kids aren't going to buy that crap and don't want to hear it.  But if it's coming from someone they have a little respect for and it's a story about how they found some technique to be effective or relates to what you're teaching your players, then I have no issue.  And I've seen players in multiple sports buy into those kinds of anecdotes.

I am also in favor of cracking down on the part timers.  Doesn't sound like they are really adding anything anyway, so if you're looking to max out your coaching staff, then wouldn't you look to replace the dead weight with something better?  Or at least follow the addition by subtraction principle?


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CoachDP
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I must get everyone in the RIGHT role where they can add real value and be successful. Must account for ability, personality and availability.

Yep.  If they didn't do that when they had the opportunity to do so, then what will be different about them/their approach next year?  Are they magical, where irresponsible grown men suddenly become responsible?

--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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I slightly disagree.  Now, if it's just some lame "back in the day, war story" where the sole intention is to make the story teller look like a stud, then yeah, most older kids aren't going to buy that crap and don't want to hear it.  But if it's coming from someone they have a little respect for

"Respect for?"  Read the descriptions of his staff again. 

And no, kids don't want to hear about some old guy talking about when he played the game.  Kids are way too self-absorbed to be interested in that waste-of-time story-telling.

--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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coachmiket
(@coachmiket)
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"Respect for?"  Read the descriptions of his staff again. 

And no, kids don't want to hear about some old guy talking about when he played the game.  Kids are way too self-absorbed to be interested in that waste-of-time story-telling.

--Dave

I wasn't really referring to his coaching staff.  Just talking in general.  Like I said, if it's a good coach that finds a way to relate it to something that is being currently taught I can see it having value.

I'm not talking about the Uncle Rico's that stand around at practice spinning a football in their hands talking about how they would have won states their senior year if coach had just put them in.


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