More Youth Football Coaching “War” Stories
When we go out to do private clinics, we get a chance to hear some of the most incredible stories from you youth football coaches. Some of what you have to endure might have even made even Old Testament Job wince. I will never forget the story I heard last year from a youth football coach that was running my system for the first time. The head of his organization was against it from the start, the head honcho wanted this team to stick with his “tried and true” Power I. Now mind you, I have nothing against the Power I, we ran it in years past. BUT the Power I was not working with this grouping of kids and this organizations teams were losing consistently, losing big and most importantly, losing players.
Worst to Almost First
Well our friend decided to try our system out of near desperation after yet another losing season. His team went on to post a 9-1 record, a huge improvement over the 2 win season of the previous year. His team quadrupled it’s offensive production and had 9 different kids scoring touchdowns. You would have thought the head of the organization would have been giving this coach a golden wristwatch and keys to the city right? Nope, he told our friend, “You’ll never beat team X with that offense”, So our heroes team wins 9 games, makes it to the super bowl and loses the championship game, has fun, get’s all the kids involved and retains everyone and all the big cheese can say is “You’ll never beat team X with that offense” ?????
Last Place Coach Advises Super Bowl Coach
Mind you the critic’s team not only did not win a game that season, they only scored 4 touchdowns in THE ENTIRE SEASON. I kid you not, I’m not exaggerating an iota. The gaulle of someone with that kind of scrawny production criticizing a coach that had performed a 180 degree turnaround ? As unbelievable and ridiculous as this may sound, it is oh so true and unfortunately more common than you might think. Just be prepared to bite your tounge and be diplomatic, there are lots of parents and even coaches out there with no history of success that either think they know more than you or are so jealous of your success, will try and discount it at every turn. All you can do is smile, bite your tongue and hope they read a copy of “Atlas Shrugged” some day.
A ‘Silliness in Youth Football Coaching Award” Warranted
Another story that comes to mind involves another organizational head. I hope I have my facts straight on this one, if I don’t it is real close. Like many organizations, this one fields 2 teams at every age group. While the teams are supposed to be equal, they aren’t, all the returning players are funneled into the “anointed” team, all the leftovers and rookies go to our buddy’s team. Our poor friend knows the only way his team is going to survive with his “land of misfit toys” lineup is to do something different than the other teams in the league. He finds the web site, buys the material, drinks the cool-aid and becomes a believer. As you probably guessed, this team starts off slow, but by seasons end they are the most improved youth football team in the league ( almost all rookie players) and end up 6-2-1 if I remember right, even giving the “anointed” team a very surprising run for their money.
The following season it is the same story, all the best players are cherry picked for the anointed team all the rookies and less athletic kids are “dumped” on this team. On top of this, the organizational head is so concerned that the ‘leftover” team will beat his anointed team he took 4 additional players away from the leftover team just 1 week before their first game. Can you imagine? Well our friend ended up having a great season, they beat the anointed team and lost only to the eventual league champion, with a makeshift lineup. Coach told me lots of other coaches in the league would show up to watch his games, not to scout, but to see all the misdirection and precision ball movement of his offense with very average kids. He ended up getting a bunch compliments from a number of his coaching peers last year after these games. My hat goes off to coach for keeping his cool and keeping his focus on the kids and his end goal and not the organizational head or what he didn’t have for players. By staying positive even in the most difficult and silly of circumstances yielded the kids and coaches a season to remember.
Coaching Youth Football in an Upside Down World
Guys, youth football isn’t perfect. But know if your situation isn’t perfect or if you are getting your heels nipped by those afflicted by the green eyed monster of jealousy, you are not alone. Be prepared for it and expect it, even if you are doing everything right. Keep the end goal in mind and coach your kids up to their fullest potential. Unfortunately that jealousy flaw is part of human nature. Try not to take it personally.
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