Preparing Your Mind for Winning When Coaching Youth Football
Youth football can be one of the best platforms for character development for young men. Unfortunately it also often has a very ugly side as well. If you follow the strategies and methods spelled out in my system, the likelihood of your team having significant success is very high. Of those that reported back to me last season, over 98% of the teams had winning records and over 72% finished in the top 2 places in their leagues. There were many miraculous worst to first turnarounds reported from teams from Philadelphia to
Hawaii. Unfortunately many of the coaches that reported back to me also had similar reports on the green eyed monster of jealousy that is part of the nature of fallen man that reared its ugly head against them. As far away as Panama in theCanal Zone, even South American youth football coaches are afflicted with this dreaded disease. While this affliction is at nearly epidemic levels here in the United States, us Americans don’t own the franchise on this ugly wart.
Many youth football coaches tell me at the clinics I give that I’m some kind of prophet. Rest assured I’m not, BUT I can usually tell you what your parents are going to act like and say when you start using my system and practice methodology. Down to the exact phrases I can predict what your opposition coaches are going to say in your league and almost always the results are the same. It really is uncanny, the guys just laugh and tell me these stories at the clinics, they all start off the same “When I read your book, I didn’t think what you said would happen to me, but it did, to the letter” then they go into long stories where the coaches are jumping in on each other trying to get the next word in, while all the assistants stand there smiling, laughing and nodding.
Well guys it all isn’t all fun and games, when you turn it around like that and are winning big every week, the jealousy monster WILL be there to try and devour you. While the usual sources of said jealousy are those malcontents that lose in nearly every part of their daily lives, you will also find it from some sources you may not expect. Youth Football coaches are some of the greatest guys in the world, those in it for the right reasons. But for those that aren’t, watch out, they can be some of the most catty, covetous malcontents you have ever met. I’m telling this to warn you, so you can expect it. You can do everything 100% right, be the nicest guy in the planet, be the most friendly, compassionate and giving coach in your league, it won’t matter. The malcontent is always looking to bring down others and make excuses for his failure. All you can do is to do your best, love him anyway and know that it is going to happen.
Even “St John” Wooden, considered one of the coaches with the highest levels of integrity, compassion, manners and morality in the 20th century had this to say about jealousy:
“I wonder why there are so many that want to build up the weak by tearing down the strong?
“I wonder why it is that many non-attainers are very quick to explain and belittle the attainers”
“I wonder why there are so many who cannot seem to realize that winners are usually the ones who merely execute better?”
“Never be selfish, jealous, envious or egotistical”
“A man makes mistakes, but he isn’t a failure until he starts blaming someone else”
Those quotes are all from the book “The John Wooden Pyramid of Success”
So coach Wooden, a man of integrity who built UCLA into one of the most incredible dynasties the world of sports has ever seen and did it with hardly any resources, had his critics too. This was a man who never used a curse word EVER in practice or games, who didn’t even bother recruiting players or scouting opponents and was always overly generous and accommodating to his opponents, the fans and the media. He had his critics even in the midst of winning 9 NCAA National Titles in a 10 year time period. Mind you his teams had very high graduation rates and GPA’s far above the student average at a school that was incredibly demanding and had no home court or home practice facility for over 17 years!
Those that can’t compete with your teams will throw stones and say the most outlandish things. Be prepared, it’s petty covetous human nature, whether it comes from opposing coaches in your league or some malcontent who never wins on an internet forum. I purposely would take the worst team available most years in my organization and put us up against overwhelming odds and win convincingly but always with a smile and with compassion for the other team etc. You may be able to win over a few, but know there are many that no matter how perfect you are, they will try to try to bring you down to make themselves look less inept as a coach. Remember that if you did what the other coach could’nt do and he is a covetous person, he is going to figure out some kind of excuse to bring you down to his level.
Don’t let it get to you, know that it’s not you, that covetous jealousy is a ‘they’ problem, not a “you” problem. For me I’ve never been that guy that couldn’t be happy for a friend that got that new Mercedes or a great job etc that was better than mine, but there are many our there that can’t and it’s sad. I always told myself do I really want that? and if so, what do I need to do to get it? Seems like a less stressful and less covetous way to look at things instead of making up reasons why my friend didn’t really deserve his new Mercedes or his great new job.
Until these malcontents have a deep spiritual change of heart or at least have read the book “Atlas Shrugged”, most of them aren’t going to change their minds, no matter what you do, But remember you should still try no matter how ridiculous the circumstances. I just got an e-mail last week from one of my biggest critics in the local area, a bit of a thorn in my side for the last 7 years. His teams went something like 1-36 combined against my
Omaha program once we changed systems. He was offering support and pats on the back for the clinics I’m doing, agreeing that Team Offensive Concepts and Implementation were sadly missing on the clinic circuit and that ours was the way to go. Sometimes you just never know, keep doing the right thing, no matter what and no matter how frustrating it may be.
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