You’ve heard the saying before and it is true. Coaching is coaching. If you can coach, you can coach at any level. I have had the good fortune of being invited to join training camp as a “visiting coach” with an NFL team when I was in between jobs, and I have had the pleasure of coaching my youngest son’s 5th & 6th grade flag football team. I also coached my middle son’s padded flag team. I have been an assistant, coordinator, and head coach at the high school level; and I have been a graduate assistant, assistant, coordinator, and head coach at the college level. I have worked at both scholarship and non-scholarship schools.
I have worked with great coaches and below average coaches at every one of those levels. Yes, there were a few coaches on that NFL team that were just off the charts in their ability to coach, but I worked with high school coaches who could have been very successful college coaches, and college coaches who could have been successful in the NFL. The biggest difference I have found is in how much time you want or are able to commit. As you know, the sun rises early and settles late during the summer months. Every day of that NFL training camp, the staff reported before the sun came up and departed long after it had set. We ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the training facility. It was great as a visiting coach, but sure would be tough on a family. The life of a college coach is extremely time consuming as well, even more so when you add recruiting across multiple states into the mix.
Over the past 30 years, I would say that I had the most fun back in 1991, as a part-time assistant at East Stroudsburg University while working 2 other jobs, living with 2 other coaches, barely able to pay the electric bill, but learning and coaching football every day. But I have never been happier than I am now as an Assistant Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at St Johnsbury Academy in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont coaching 2 of my 3 sons. We all dream about coaching in the “big time” but make the big time where you are.
Over the next three weeks, I plan to share some thoughts about how I make my current role “the big time,” to me. I hope after 30 years of coaching I can share some of the lessons learned and help you avoid some of the obstacles I encountered along the way. I don’t presume to have all the answers, but just as my mentors shared their lessons with me and helped me grow as a coach, parent, and person, I’d like to reinforce their efforts and share some thoughts with you. Hopefully, together we can explore ways to maximize the best the coaching profession has to offer. I look forward to continuing the conversation.
Contact Coach Rich Alercio at firstname.lastname@example.org