Focus on what you have, not on what you lost.
In Vermont, we still have an opportunity to play Fall sports, work with our athletes, and to motivate them to be the very best version of themselves on and off the playing fields. This year, that will include managing distractions like COVID safeguards, playing 7v7 football, wearing a mask during practices and games, and tuning out the naysayers.
Each season brings a set of challenges we must overcome. As the saying goes, “If it was easy… Anyone could do it.” Although this year brings a couple new twists, and what we see on the field may look different, what we do as coaches remain the same. We take a group of individuals, unite them, and develop them as a team. We set goals and build focus in our players to overcome obstacles and achieve those goals.
An email below, from a mom who has two sons in our program, provides me with the motivation to embrace what we have, seek the good we find in both the game and each other, and reminds me not to fret over things we may have lost (things largely outside of our control anyway).
“As an educator and parent, I understand the challenges and time this (7v7 Football) took. Sometimes the criticism overshadows the positive. My observation over the past couple years is that you and your team have cultivated a culture of brotherhood that at times like these surpasses the actual game. At least for my own sons the opportunity to still be part of that in a non-traditional manner is a true blessing.”
Helmets or not… Seven players, not eleven…the list of changes could go on, but the essence of developing a shared vision, shared values, shared understanding of where we want to go, who we want to be, and how we want to judge ourselves remains the same. The 2020 Hilltoppers will take the field with a sense of confidence, interdependence, and shared belief that together, we can do far more than any one could alone, and God willing, we will all carry those feelings and lessons forward for decades.
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 supporting this blog and joining our conversations, and as always, thanks for your time!