Like the Ohio State Buckeyes, we recognize player performance by awarding our players with helmet stickers. Players earn a sticker for among other things, kicking extra points. After our first game in 2019, our kicker was awarded 7 helmet stickers. After the meeting where the stickers were presented, the long snapper and holder came to me and lobbied for themselves to also receive stickers as they were as crucial to the extra point as the kicker. I had never thought of it that way… Having been a long snapper for extra points in college I knew how nerve wracking it was to have the pressure of a perfect snap on every point after touchdown attempt but I always looked at it as just doing my job.
Earlier this week I received the following email from a former player who long snapped for us long before we gave that position helmet stickers, reminding me of just how important that role is.
Hey Coach, I watched Cincinnati and Pittsburgh yesterday, and they had quite the finish. I remember I got an early chance to play at the Academy because of special teams. The long snapping job was one I always valued, even when I had the opportunity to play for you on the offensive side of the ball. I saw yesterday how much the typical fan likely undervalues the importance of that role. The Bengals snapper was injured, and one of their TEs had to snap. Evidentially, they had an XP get blocked, which would’ve ended the game in regulation, and then they missed a short FG in overtime. Both were due to slow/bad snaps. I’m not sure if you saw the highlights, but I wanted to share this with you. A nice reminder for kids to get to the field early before practice starts!
We’ve commented often how the game of football reminds us of our interdependence with teammates, and ultimately how working together, we are stronger than any of us could be by ourselves. Each of us has a role to play and a contribution to give for the betterment of the team. Long snappers, holders, kickers, even the sophomore linebacker filling a role on the scout defense who helps sharpen the starting offense… each of us has a contribution. Each must be ready when called upon whether in a game, in the classroom or in life. What role will you be called to fill? Are you ready to contribute to your team, family, club, church, or community…? Just like the long snapper, holder, and kicker…Together, we’re better than any one of us alone. Contribute to your team… Go earn a sticker!
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 email@example.com 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!