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Tips for becoming a better Coach!

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MHcoach
(@mhcoach)
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Joined: 10 years ago
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Topic starter  

Ok, since there is 1 day left in this year I figure it's a good time to go on a rant.

The greatest coaches have never invented a system, or designed a series. They have stolen them from someone else. So stop trying to reinvent the wheel & learn everything you can about what is already being done. Don't try to combine things, or muddle things. Find one system & get good at it.

Spend more time learning how teach & drill, then scrimmaging. Learn all the little finite details & figure out how to teach them. If you don't know ask, then question, but be logical.

Be willing to accept blame for your team not winning. Here is a truth I learned in my first year coaching. Players win games, coaches lose them. There are way too many easy excuses, instead be a man & shoulder the responsibility. It will make you a better coach & a better man in the long run.

Don't jump on a system or style of play because it's fashionable. We all watch games on TV, & the next day everyone wants to install what ever worked for that team on that day. Instead refine what you do & make your players better at it. Ask the tough questions of yourself & your team. Know why something isn't working, instead of giving up on it.

Learn drills, techniques, & practice plans from the best coaches you can. Find a team that is winning in your area & go ask if you can watch them practice. Coaches by nature love to share what we know, if you ask you will be surprised. Everyone has a HS or College team nearby that is successful. Go seek these teams out. It doesn't matter what system they run, you can learn how they do things & what they are trying to accomplish.

Learn to access your talent & do what's best for your team not an individual player. Remember it's a team game & the team must always come first. Too often coaches worry about the individual & loose sight that it's about team. This means never ask a player where he wants to play, he plays where the team needs him.

Never say anything you won't do. Threatening a team isn't coaching them, & all you have as a coach is your word. Therefore choose those words wisely.  If you tell them if they miss a practice they can't play then stick to it. Regardless of the reason, always be consistent.

Coaches have to work at coaching, that means you better be working when you are running drills. Constant correction & encouragement are needed. Be hard but fair, & push for perfection. Vince Lombardi always told his teams they would relentlessly pursue perfection. Not that they would be perfect since that was impossible, rather they would relentlessly pursue it.

Remember it is a game, if your team isn't having fun & enjoying it then something is wrong. Yes, winning is fun & losing sucks. Yes, hard work often isn't fun. There are ways to do this & still have a disciplined team.

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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Michael
(@michael)
Kryptonite
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 12890
 

"Coach, do you believe blocking is the key to offense?"

"I do, I do.  That's why every time we lost yards, you heard me yellin' at those kids, 'Ain't nobody blocking.'  On the triple reverse, I had to yell it EVERY TIME.  I hardly got any voice left."

Michael can not receive PM's, emails or respond to Posts. He passed away in September 2018. To honor his contributions we are leaving his account active. R.I.P - Dumcoach Staff.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 17931
 

Joe,

Good points.  I attended our youth org's coaches meeting yesterday.  I asked each one of them what was the most important thing they learned this year(?)  All I got were vague generalities.  As for their season recaps, they said they were all happy with their seasons (I never was) and each of them thought they did well.  For each loss, they had a ready excuse as to why things outside their control was responsible for their loss.  Everybody discussed their offense and defense.  Nobody discussed their special teams.  One 1st-year header remarked that he knew that his team was good enough to win the national championship and that he had no doubt he would have won his play-off game had he been at the game.  Another header told me that he wanted to ADD some Flexbone to his Double Wing, despite the fact that he's run the DW for one season.  I just have to shake my head sometimes...

--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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JrTitan
(@jrtitan)
Gold
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 1186
 

Great post.  It should be moved to the articles section and stickied at the top.

"They call it coaching but it is teaching...You do not just tell them...you show them the reasons""You have to be smart enough to understand the game, and dumb enough to think it's important."“…you have no bad habits to break...We either coach it or are allowing allowing it to happen.”


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MHcoach
(@mhcoach)
Diamond
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 7637
Topic starter  

DP

I just don't understand the thinking of some guys. When I was at Mint Hill we would have gone 14-0 & won the National & we would sit down & try to figure out what we could do better. This year in Florida 8A football, we went 11-1, best record in school history. We have already had meetings on what we need to improve, where we are going to learn what. I was on the phone with our OLine coach today for an hour trying to figure what we can do better next season.

I have been doing this for 37 years, & not a day goes by that I don't think about doing something better. I try to learn something everyday. I talk to coaches everyday, not only teaching but learning. How can you ever be content as a coach? I have won a State Championship, going Undefeated & Unscored upon, & I know I still could have done a better job. I know I make mistakes, & I take the responsibility for them.

Why is it so hard to say that you need to do a better job as a coach? Why is it so hard to say I don't know everything? I change & tweak things everyday, in order to find what works the best. In my conversations with you I know you do the same. Yet, we stick to what we do & what we know. The biggest thing I can say to young coaches is for them to learn to coach!

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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MHcoach
(@mhcoach)
Diamond
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 7637
Topic starter  

JR

Thanks, I appreciate the compliment my brother. Move it as you like, it was just a rant inspired by so many vacant posts.

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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dan82564
(@dan82564)
Silver
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 634
 

"Why is it so hard to say that you need to do a better job as a coach? Why is it so hard to say I don't know everything? I change & tweak things everyday, in order to find what works the best. In my conversations with you I know you do the same. Yet, we stick to what we do & what we know. The biggest thing I can say to young coaches is for them to learn to coach!"

To many Coaches with big ego's....


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Michael
(@michael)
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Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 12890
 

"Why is it so hard to say that you need to do a better job as a coach? Why is it so hard to say I don't know everything? I change & tweak things everyday, in order to find what works the best. In my conversations with you I know you do the same.

I started reading a book about exactly this type of thing last night.

Michael can not receive PM's, emails or respond to Posts. He passed away in September 2018. To honor his contributions we are leaving his account active. R.I.P - Dumcoach Staff.


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PSLCOACHROB
(@pslcoachrob)
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Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 12408
 

Joe,

Good points.  I attended our youth org's coaches meeting yesterday.  I asked each one of them what was the most important thing they learned this year(?)  All I got were vague generalities.  As for their season recaps, they said they were all happy with their seasons (I never was) and each of them thought they did well.  For each loss, they had a ready excuse as to why things outside their control was responsible for their loss.  Everybody discussed their offense and defense.  Nobody discussed their special teams.  One 1st-year header remarked that he knew that his team was good enough to win the national championship and that he had no doubt he would have won his play-off game had he been at the game.  Another header told me that he wanted to ADD some Flexbone to his Double Wing, despite the fact that he's run the DW for one season.  I just have to shake my head sometimes...

--Dave

Funny, I hear coaches and parents talk about Pop Warner national championships all the time. Almost all will never even come close because they are absolutely clueless what it takes. In all of our runs to nationals our goal was never a national championship. It was more along the line of running a 36 power just exactly perfect.

Hopefully you explained the differences between flexbone and dw.  😉


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Dusty Ol Fart
(@youth-coach)
Diamond
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 7702
 

Amen Joe and DP:

We did not fare as well as many folks expected us to this season.  Why?

We started from scratch, basic X's and O's. Completely new system on both sides of the ball with "Real Football" involved.
Ask Dave.. As I asked him more than once this season..Have I lost my touch?  What it was, and as Dave hinted to, is that this "Old Fart"  might have lost some perspective in dealing with young kids.  What did it mean?  The "OLD FART" had to adjust his ways a bit and be a tad more patient.  Did I change everything or anything really?  Hell No!!  What I really did was put more emphasis on the kids believe it or not.  I let them critique themselves more than I ever have in the past.
In stead of relying on my typical question?  What did you do wrong?  I expanded it to "WE" after each game.  I ask individuals what did you do wrong? I added to the team "what did we do wrong?"  I don't accept we played great after a 12 -8 win or any win for that matter.  We even drill it down with them after each loss as well.  What did I learn this season?  Regardless of  W or L when you really drill it down, they kids will be more than honest about their play.  That my friends, tells you what you need to work on come next practice.  We finished the season 5-1 after an 0-3 start simply based on that premise. 

WTF are you talking about?  It ain't about what I see, its about what the kids see or know.  I knew full well where we lacked. The answer to the question is is DO THEY? 

Best Tip I can offer is: Allow your kids to give you verbal and immediate feedback. Encourage them to critique themselves Win or Lose.  Keep them honest by all means but, drill down with them (Not the Coaches) and you will almost assuredly find out what you need to work on for the next practice.  As Frustrating as last season was for me as a Coach, for many reasons, from the feedback I have received from parents,  I can truthfully say my kids are better players than they were last season.   
       
Bottom line guys, that is my goal: Build it, Build it, Build it!!

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 17931
 

Hopefully you explained the differences between flexbone and dw.

Uh, yes.  Yes, I did.  And I also offered that he might want to get more accomplished at what he ran this season, before trying to ADD something else. ::)

--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: 11 years ago
Posts: 17931
 

To many Coaches with big ego's.

I dunno if it's a "big ego" so much as it's a clueless (lack of) understanding of just what is invloved to become really good at what you do.

--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)
Diamond
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 7702
 

I dunno if it's a "big ego" so much as it's a clueless (lack of) understanding of just what is invloved to become really good at what you do.

--Dave

Listen and Learn!! 
😉

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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CoachCalande
(@www-coachcalande-com)
Diamond
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 7059
 

These are things I am always trying to apply to my own situation and I suppose someone out there might find some of it useful:

- Nobody has all of the answers,  this is a game with constantly changing challenges. Its critical to remain a student of the game, keep an open mind and continue to grow as a coach. Those with huge egos who claim to have all of the answers, know it all, have a superiority complex and an attitude of "been there, done that" when in fact, they have not been there and done that simply will not survive in the field of coaching. Its important, critical to remain humble.  At any time, you can be replaced. Its happened to some NFL hall of famers, college greats and high school legends. Its just a matter of time before someone finds you replacable.

- Study the situations and challenges that are present in other programs and see what you can learn to apply to your own situation - however, no two programs can be a carbon copy as each has unique challenges and circumstances and hundreds of different personalities to cope with.  This is something that many inexperienced coaches do not understand- that each situation is different. ( see- nobody has all of the answers)  You can learn, maybe borrow one thing from another coaches situation and apply it to your own to make your situation improve.

- Sometimes you will hear criticism, listen to it. You may grow from it.  You may choose to ignore it, or perhaps recognize that the criticism was spot on and you can improve yourself and your team and program by responding with corrective actions. Knowing what criticism is accurate vs "fan speak" is part of the process in your growth as a football coach. Know that even the Sabans and Beliceks get criticized. You need a thick skin in this business.

- Know your own limitations, weaknesses and work relentlessly at making those weak spots your strengths.  Growth is mandatory each year, set goals and go after them relentlessly.  For example, last off season I spent hours studying clinic video on the 353 and on pass protections.  This year I am working very hard at studying off man coverage and developing long snappers, qbs and reading and attacking coverages. 

- Evaluate everything you do.  I want to make more out of "pre practice" and "pre game" to steal more time to develop long snappers, punters, kickers and qbs.  This is an area of focus.  Combining this with an eye on maximizing the availability of our trainer and my assistants is important.  Essentially, we don't want to waste any time, its the most precious commodity.

-  Know your personnel and work relentlessly to improve your players. Coach Mountjoy has repeatedly posted that "tough a#$%" kids win football games.  hes posted gems such as "coach the player, not the play" and  its GOLD. Improving the players means make them better football players.  Never stop coaching ball security, tackling and blocking and EFFORT.

- Know your schemes and philosophies, theres a reason behind every block, every step, every stance, every alignment and hang your hat on something so that you can grow with it over time.  If you stick with something long enough, you will know it inside and out and become an expert at it. Do not be wishy washy,  choose your personality and identity and go with it. " We do what we do and we are the best at it" is a proven way to success.  Each time you face an opponent you learn something about your own style of play and how to practice more efficiently.

- Hire good people, communicate your expectations, tolerate personality differences, tolerate different coaching styles and let your good people coach.  Hold everyone accountable but start with yourself.

- Keep in mind that football coaching is science and art put together, theres trial and error, theres personal touch and flair and ultimately it should be fun,  its always about the WANTING TO outwork others.  At the end of the season, you need to feel good about the energy and effort you put into it, regardless of wins, losses, scores,  and so on, did you work your tail off? Now, are you able to find ways to work harder and also smarter?  Can you accomplish the same things in less time ultimately allowing you to accomplish more? Is there a better way to skin the same cat?  This evaluation process is part of every off season.

- Remain analytical rather than emotional. Football is an emotional game, to avoid burnout and being spent in midseason, you need to keep your emotions in check remaining analytical with eyes on details and with open lines of communications. you simply must avoid panic at all times.  (avoid radical whole sale changes , make small adjustments to fine tune whatever you are doing)

- Put the kids in positions (and create situations) for  the best chance for success, think players not  plays and have your team prepared for injuries and eligibility issues. cross train your best subs to find ways to get them onto the field.  keep schemes simple enough that a kid can change spots on the field to help your team with a new matchup advantage.

- Preparation is always about getting the best performance possible from your Jimmies and Joes-  this is where you start each day. "what can I do to help make Jim and Joe perform better?"

- Build relationships with your players and your coaches, do not burn bridges, accept the good and bad in all of your kids, coach more good into them and coach the bad out of them.  None of them will ever be perfect and neither will you- but that just means you all have more work to do.

MOJO    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtcRmKnRcsA

Go to WWW.COACHCALANDE.COM  for Double Wing DVDs, Playbook, Drills Manuals, Practice footage and emagazines. Ask me about our new 38 special dvds!


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mozzini
(@mozzini)
Bronze
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 447
 

All good stuff.. I NEED MORE.. I'm 3 seasons into this coaching stuff! I love it! I want to get better at it! Any help will be MUCH appreciated!

Thanks guys

Phillipians 4:13


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