After sharing 10 Rapid Fire Game Planning Ideas and hearing my fellow panelists share theirs during last week’s Glazier Zoom Clinic, there was a Q&A session. The coaches in attendance asked the three most common questions I hear as a high school football coach:
- How do you change a culture?
- How do you deal with parents?
- What do you do for team building?
You change a culture by increasing the level of expectation and the demands on the players. Set your standards high, and hold them; those who are committed will remain. Those who are not will weed themselves out. Do not fret over those who leave. Better they leave in July than October. Let those who remain know you believe in them. Then make them believe in you by showing them your tireless commitment to their preparation.
Parents want to be involved. Let them. Give them something non-football related they can control and take it off of your plate. Our parents take turns hosting Thursday night team dinners throughout the season. After every home game, they organize a post-game tailgate in our reserved parking lot feeding all of the players and coaches. On gameday, they sell player pins (headshots of players on a pin) to raise money for our year-end banquet. These are all very important events to our program that our parents organize and lead allowing me to focus on preparing the team.
We do a team building event on the second day of training camp when we are only allowed a single practice and no walk-thru. Doing it early allows the new players to have a fun introduction to our program before things become more demanding in the coming days. When we have had a sponsor, we have taken the team bowling. When we don’t, we have gone to a lake or had coaches bring in yard games like cornhole, can jam, washer toss, and spikeball then let the kids play and compete. We do not organize the games. We let the players take the lead.
Through a life in football beginning as a player in the 1970s, I have seen what has worked and what has failed. These are a few things that we have implemented with success and I am always eager to share with fellow coaches.
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!