Empowering Coaches Step-By-Step

Turner Gill- University of Kansas- Lessons for the Youth Football Coach

I spoke at the Kansas City Glazier clinic this past weekend. 
This was a pretty small clinic, but they had some good speakers, really enjoyed Rick Darlington from Apopka, FL- 6A school in Florida- Largest class- his defense stuff was great, couldnt stick around for his Single Wing stuff- I was on at the same time.  While most of the High School and College speakers X’s and O’s have a tough time mapping themselves well to pay to play, everyone plays no cut youth football, youth football coaches could have taken some of what new Kansas Head Coach Turner Gill is doing and apply it to how they were coaching youth football.

Turner Gill from KU was very interesting:

He trains his kids how to communicate and work with his staff and other players.If a player has any type of problem he must come and talk to the coaching staff, the coaching staff must be very specific with how the player can turn the problem around.

If a player brings up a problem to another player in the locker room, the gossiping player needs to be asked: Have you talked to the coaches about it?
If the player has tallked to the coaches then the next response is, if you are doing what the coaches told you to do, you will be alright. Gill mentioned a number of things he does in order to get his kids to “buy in”:
He wants his kids to know who he and his staff are.He wants his kids to establish a bond, a trust with the coaching staff and each other.He talks a lot about why. He doesn’t just tell kids to do things.
He and his staff at the end of practice share who influenced them the most and why.After all the coaches have done this over 3-4 weeks, the players do the same.
Coach Gill has 26 character traits he feels are important, the trait is defined and there is a scriptural verse at the bottom. Those are e-mailed weekly to all players and all recruits.

He does an eval of every player and sends it along with a personal letter to the player at the end of the season.

He has established an encouraging atmosphere from the laundry people to the OC/DC.

Coach Gill lets everyone from the receptionist to the janitor know that they are important and have a role in the success of the team, he lets them know their efforts are appreciated.
Coach Gill with “coach up” the receptionist who passes a player in the hallway who doesnt smile at the player call him by name and tell him hi etc.

They back the encouraging atmoshpere with positive visualization and technology, they get film clips of the players great plays and infuse that back to the playes with a personal DVD.
He talked about training his coaches and players to be “coachable”, he wont hire anyone that doesnt have a learning attitude or anyone that cant be humble enough to admit when they are wrong.
He’s looking for the same thing when recruiting players.

Coach Gill was not a very polished speaker, but you can tell he is passionate and confident about his approach to coaching.

It looks as if he may be the polar opposite of what they had before, not to dig Mangino, I think he is a great coach in his own way. Mangino coached circles around teams with lots more talent.

We do a number of the things coach Gill does as far as character development, that made me feel we were on the right track.  But we will add at least one thing from Coach Gill’s presentation, time well spent. It is amazing how he turned Buffalo around from the worst team in college football, to competitive in such a short time. Six last second OT or last play TDs you’ve seen from his teams the last 2 years- those kids believed in him and in each other. When you are coaching youth football, you must do the same. You have to get the players to trust and believe is you and each other in order to reach the teams full potential.

copyright 2010 Cisar Management. This article may be republished if this paragraph and link are kept intact. //winningyouthfootball.com

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