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November 25, 2019 11:41 am  

Haven't posted on here in a good year...actually thought the site was down for good (glad it's not!).

Anyhow, 6 years ago I took over a 14U team that had never won a game in this league (and lost by nearly 40 ppg every year).

First year, we made the playoffs. The next four years we lost close games in the Championship each year (and took all the Buffalo Bills comments that came with that).

This year started off REAL rough. When we went out to CT to Tito's Jamboree mid-August, we looked like we might not win a game this year. By end of August, we still only had 12 kids and had to cancel our Kickoff Classic - legit thought we may not have a season.

But with some MAJOR Labor Day hustle, we got a last minute influx of players first week of Sept (added 10 to make 22 total) and stayed very positive and patient through the growing pains. Finished the regular season 6-2 and crept in as the #3 seed.

Won our playoff game 18-0 against a team that handed us one of our losses.

Last Sunday, we won 32-12 in the Championship against the other team that had beaten us in the regular season.

Great feeling for our players and coaches after 4 years of coming up just short.

Major thank you to those on the board who have helped me become a better coach over the years. Specifically:

- Dave Cisar: Your WYF book was the first thing I read when I went from a former HS player who thought he knew everything to a 1st Year HC who realized he knew nothing. I had to pay for your help  😛 but appreciate it nonetheless.

- DP: To this day our MOJO philosophy and many of our EDDs are stolen from you. You also helped me realize that excuses are like...well, you know. Our late night diner discussions helped me focus on what I can control and forget about what I can't.

- Joe C (MH Coach): Could not be more blessed to have you as my coaching mentor. Your scheme-understanding rivals anyone at ANY level and learning from you has given me a HUGE advantage on that front. But you have taught me SO MUCH more that transcends scheme and we have a special bond being BK boys who coached in the same league.

Not sure what's next for me. As Joe knows, I have been itching to get to the HS level and was 99% sure coming in that this would be my last year in Youth ball. But regardless, it's been a great run and I really appreciate the Dumcoach board for putting me in touch with these guys (and more) who have helped me become a better Coach along the way.

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


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CoachDP
North Carolina
High School
November 25, 2019 11:51 am  

- DP: To this day our MOJO philosophy and many of our EDDs are stolen from you. You also helped me realize that excuses are like...well, you know. Our late night diner discussions helped me focus on what I can control and forget about what I can't.

Congratulations, Greg.  Years ago, I knew that you had the talent, determination and smarts to not only coach football, but to do it well.  You've shown it through the questions you've asked, the suggestions you've given and certainly when we've had the opportunity to sit down and break bread.  You've shown how dedicated you are to the craft of coaching, so your success was never in doubt.  You are ready for whatever level to take your gifts to, and I have every confidence that you will only be successful.  Congratulations, and keep taking it higher.

--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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Bob Goodman
New Jersey
Asst Coach
3rd - 5th
I, wing T, sidesaddle T, shotgun spread
November 25, 2019 3:54 pm  

6 years ago I took over a 14U team that had never won a game in this league (and lost by nearly 40 ppg every year).

First year, we made the playoffs. The next four years we lost close games in the Championship each year (and took all the Buffalo Bills comments that came with that).

This year started off REAL rough. When we went out to CT to Tito's Jamboree mid-August, we looked like we might not win a game this year. By end of August, we still only had 12 kids and had to cancel our Kickoff Classic - legit thought we may not have a season.

But with some MAJOR Labor Day hustle, we got a last minute influx of players first week of Sept (added 10 to make 22 total)

Have the players been turning over all those years, or did you wind up coaching a 19U team?

Is this a "grandather's ax"/"ship of Theseus" thing where the only thing connecting all those teams is you?


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November 26, 2019 4:17 am  

Have the players been turning over all those years, or did you wind up coaching a 19U team?

Is this a "grandather's ax"/"ship of Theseus" thing where the only thing connecting all those teams is you?

Haha I've been Coaching the 14U all six years. During that span, our 12U team has won 5 total games (yes, you read that right - for 3 years straight (2016-18) they didn't score a point). So there has been A LOT of player turnover.

Typical year we get 3-4 returning players, 3-4 moving up from our (usually winless) 12U team. Then we're hustling to fill up the rest, mostly with kids who have never played football before.

It's been an interesting challenge for sure. 

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


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Bob Goodman
New Jersey
Asst Coach
3rd - 5th
I, wing T, sidesaddle T, shotgun spread
November 26, 2019 4:29 am  

Haha I've been Coaching the 14U all six years. During that span, our 12U team has won 5 total games (yes, you read that right - for 3 years straight (2016-18) they didn't score a point). So there has been A LOT of player turnover.

Typical year we get 3-4 returning players, 3-4 moving up from our (usually winless) 12U team. Then we're hustling to fill up the rest, mostly with kids who have never played football before.

Then this is all the more impressive.  It's not "we" who made these gains, it's "I" (you), and most of the accomplishment was in your first year.


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32wedge
Virginia
Head Coach
Middle School
Single Wing, 3-5-3
November 26, 2019 4:43 am  

Then this is all the more impressive.  It's not "we" who made these gains, it's "I" (you), and most of the accomplishment was in your first year.

I think you are correct, Bob, but if GP was an "I" guy instead of a "we" guy, he wouldn't be a Champion coach!


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Bob Goodman
New Jersey
Asst Coach
3rd - 5th
I, wing T, sidesaddle T, shotgun spread
November 26, 2019 6:05 am  

I think you are correct, Bob, but if GP was an "I" guy instead of a "we" guy, he wouldn't be a Champion coach!

I don't think there is such a distinction.  It's one thing to come off a certain way in communicating -- here, for instance.  But the way we feel about ourselves -- we know what we know, there's no such thing as humility when it comes to your own opinion of yourself, because you can't hide either the good or the bad from yourself.  And that's the main thing: how you feel about yourself.  Everything else is just window dressing.


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32wedge
Virginia
Head Coach
Middle School
Single Wing, 3-5-3
November 26, 2019 6:31 am  

I don't think there is such a distinction.  It's one thing to come off a certain way in communicating -- here, for instance.  But the way we feel about ourselves -- we know what we know, there's no such thing as humility when it comes to your own opinion of yourself, because you can't hide either the good or the bad from yourself.  And that's the main thing: how you feel about yourself.  Everything else is just window dressing.

Bob, what's that got to do with the price of apples in China?

I wasn't talking about feelings.  I was talking about appearance and how a coach presents himself to his team and the other coaches.  A coach who talks in terms of I, me and myself and presents everything in terms his own abilities and accomplishments is not going to build the kind of teamwork it takes to win in the kind of situation GP coaches in. 

Of course he has to have confidence in himself and has to build confidence in his players in themselves and in their coaches.  You can't do that talking about me, myself and I.  You have to talk about what "we", the team, does and accomplishes together.


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CoachDP
North Carolina
High School
November 26, 2019 8:02 am  

(Laughing at Nathan trying to gain clarity with Bob.)  ;D

--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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November 26, 2019 9:06 am  

(Laughing at Nathan trying to gain clarity with Bob.)  ;D

--Dave

Haha. It's important to have confidence in yourself as a Coach but it's also important to understand the power of "we."

When I started, I was on my own so even when I added a couple ACs that first year, I basically tried to do it all myself. Not fun and burned me out.

Then I went to more of a dictatorship - telling everyone what to do. Slightly better results but didn't generate real buy in.

This season I took a more inspirational approach. I confided in my ACs that between my career demands and being a new father, I was feeling overwhelmed and needed more help. I asked them each how they were willing to step up, help more, etc. Held them accountable to it and tried to play to each of their strengths (and mask their weaknesses).

Was more effective with some Coaches than others - one in particular totally exceeded my expectations - but overall the buy-in was on another level this year.

The Coaches felt like they had real ownership. They were given the slack to make mistakes and learn. In both losses there were major coaching mistakes made where in the past I would have simply taken over - we prob would have won those (reg season) games and maybe even won the Championship but we def would have never gotten to the level we did in the postseason if I hadn't given them real ownership and allowed them to struggle through their mistakes (and then coach them up).

The players also have a choice each year whether or not to buy in. If enough of them decide to quit, join another team, etc. then there is no team (or individual coaching accomplishments).

Pete Carroll said "what if my job as a coach isn't so much to force or coerce performance as it is to create situations where players develop the confidence to set their talents free and pursue their potential to its full extent?"

As I have progressed in my coaching journey (and also my life journey as a man/husband/new father), this has resonated more and more with me. So while I do recognize that I have had a major impact on the results, the WE aspect isn't fluff but something I truly believe in, while also being confident in myself.

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


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Bob Goodman
New Jersey
Asst Coach
3rd - 5th
I, wing T, sidesaddle T, shotgun spread
November 26, 2019 12:31 pm  

I wasn't talking about feelings.  I was talking about appearance and how a coach presents himself to his team and the other coaches.  A coach who talks in terms of I, me and myself and presents everything in terms his own abilities and accomplishments is not going to build the kind of teamwork it takes to win in the kind of situation GP coaches in.

I've seen it done.  In fact Coach Dennis took that approach this season, and I believe he was effective in getting the attention and respect and output from our players.  He'd say things like, "I don't have to be doing this.  I have many years' experience coaching this and other sports, and if you don't want to take advantage of it, then let's not waste each others' time."  He even built me up that way, telling the players about the amount of experience and expertise I had -- something I'd never thought to do for myself.

In fact every time I read an example here about how coaching in a certain style, doing certain things for psychologic reasons, doesn't work, I know examples where it does.  Even an example I thought couldn't possibly work -- Coach Eric's lecturing the players a lot -- did seem to get the job done.


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32wedge
Virginia
Head Coach
Middle School
Single Wing, 3-5-3
November 26, 2019 3:49 pm  

I've seen it done.

That’s awesome, Bob.  Keep up the good work.


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CoachDP
North Carolina
High School
November 26, 2019 5:02 pm  

That’s awesome, Bob.  Keep up the good work.

😀 ;D

"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


ReplyQuote
November 27, 2019 3:44 am  

Haha, interesting philosophy Bob.

IMO telling people about your expertise is ineffective and comes off as insecure. Someone's level of expertise is typically pretty apparent in relatively short order, even to kids.

When I was a kid, we all knew which of our coaches knew their stuff and which didn't. The coaches we respected were never the ones pounding their chest about their experience or how much they knew or what a bad ass they were in their day. Same holds true in my professional experience.

Sometimes we can achieve good results despite a bad approach so I would just caution other Coaches reading this on taking that approach.

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


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Bob Goodman
New Jersey
Asst Coach
3rd - 5th
I, wing T, sidesaddle T, shotgun spread
November 27, 2019 5:09 am  

Haha, interesting philosophy Bob.

IMO telling people about your expertise is ineffective and comes off as insecure. Someone's level of expertise is typically pretty apparent in relatively short order, even to kids.

When I was a kid, we all knew which of our coaches knew their stuff and which didn't. The coaches we respected were never the ones pounding their chest about their experience or how much they knew or what a bad ass they were in their day. Same holds true in my professional experience.

Sometimes we can achieve good results despite a bad approach so I would just caution other Coaches reading this on taking that approach.

I'd've thought that too, but I can't argue when I see it work.  Maybe if I explained more about the circumstances that'd explain it.

Dennis had been coaching another at another level in our "league".  (Why the "L" in NBYFL stands for "league", I don't know, since that word is usually used for a circuit in which teams play each other; maybe they started out that way.)  Occasionally in past years he'd help us out, but usually he was coaching another team when we were practicing.

This year the club didn't have enough players to make sense trying to form a team at the level he'd've moved up to, so instead Dennis stayed at PeeWee and coached with us, making up for the loss of Coach Jeff, who left with his son Xander outside the school district our territorial rights cover.  Dennis was invited to take charge of our defense.  But that meant Dennis was practically a stranger to a group of players who'd otherwise been coached by the same set of coaches for years.

Dennis sensed that he was having trouble getting many of our players' attention and respect.  He really needed a lot of attention because he put in a whole new set of signals, plus the players had to pay attention to more coverage responsibilities as passing became more of a threat.  His slogan became, "If we listen, we will win."  His telling the players how valuable his experience and knowledge were, I think helped in that regard.  Maybe it wouldn't help in many circumstances, but it seemed to here -- and at any rate, it didn't hurt!

Also, Dennis is very funny and it probably took some kids a bit of doing to get used to his sense of humor -- you know, distinguishing when he was being serious.  One player who'd been playing up with his team the year before didn't return to our level this year because something Dennis had said had offended him.  You take chances like that when you're funny -- people can either love or hate you for it.  The remark as explained by the player's aunt (I forgot what it was) sounded harmless enough to me, but you know I'm rather blunt edged myself.  Dennis reminds me a lot of Coach Kenny, the most fun HC I've ever coached with, who also got great results.


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