I have been blessed to have worked with great coaches in my career who have shown me the right way to do things. Even after coaching for more than 30 years, I will still consult my mentors from time to time when I am in need of advice or direction. One of my greatest sources of pride is when I receive calls, emails or texts from former players soliciting advice on something in their lives or with their teams. Years of speaking at clinics and producing instructional videos have given me the opportunity to be a resource for coaches from all over the country. Being a resource for others is one of the most rewarding parts of our profession. I regularly send information and schedule calls or visits with coaches to discuss schemes, concepts, culture, or model something we have done in our program. If there is something I can help you with, do not hesitate in contacting me.
Finding a mentor might seem like a daunting task, but it need not be. Odds are you have people in your life with the potential to help you grow personally or professionally. Think about the aspects of life, work, or a program element you’d like to improve and ask yourself who seems to be doing those things well? Ask them to get a cup of coffee, go for a run, or get on a call and relay their perspective on the topic and some of the lessons they’ve learned. Open-ended questions beginning with “What, Why, and How?” often open the door to perspectives you might not otherwise expect.
Another suggestion this time of year is to find a local college team and get their spring practice schedule. Most programs are very open to high school coaches visiting their practices, sitting in on staff and player meetings, talking with strength staff and observing practice and game video. These visits could turn into a member of that college staff being a mentor to you.Although I know many great coaches who take advantage of this regularly, it is far too often I talk to a coach who has never visited a college practice. The football community’s willingness to share is one of the most valuable aspects of the game. Coaches and staffs commonly open practices, schemes, video libraries, and other resources. Take advantage of the open door and willingness of others in our profession to share knowledge, and when the opportunity presents, do the same for others.
Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss team building, coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at firstname.lastname@example.org and share http://www.olineskills.com with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for your time!