I made a recent visit north of the border to Bishops University in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada with one of our international players looking to play college football in the US or Canada. Here in St Johnsbury, we are only about 45 minutes from the Canadian border, and folks in this area like to make the joke that “It’s like another country up there.” It may be another country, but we quickly discovered football is football.
During the visit, our player, who is from Finland and whose father is from Africa, met with the head coach whose parents immigrated to Canada from Egypt. Joining us was the defensive coordinator who though he played his college football at Central Michigan, his family came to Canada from Haiti. It was truly a multicultural group. Since I was the only person in the room not fluent in multiple languages, I was happy to hear that both classes and sports at Bishops are taught in English.
After touring their very impressive campus and athletic facilities, we sat down with the defensive coordinator to discuss their philosophy and schemes. Other than the 12th “X & O” on the board, there was nothing different from any conversation happening in any coach’s office in the States. Over lunch, we discussed the similar issues of coaching the millennial generation, dealing with the impact of social media, changing a losing culture into a winning program, and the impact coaches have on our players lives both while we have them, and beyond.
It may be “like another country up there,” but football is football and coaching our sport, building teams, and cultivating young leaders is the same no matter where you are, where you are from, or what language you speak.
Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss 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!