When is a youth football coach being over the top and when is someone simply being enthusiastic? When it comes to games and scrimmaging, where is the line in the sand?
While there may be a fine line with some of this, there are a few simple guidelines:
When people start paying attention and noticing you more than your players, you may have a problem. When you are playing a team you obviously are much better than, keep the celebrations to an absolute bare minimum. When you have a game clearly in hand, keep the celebrations to a bare minimum. Act like you expect your kids to execute, not like you’ve just hit a 1 in 20,000,000 lottery.
The guys that score their first and maybe only touchdown of their lives seem to lose their minds when they score, we kind of almost expect that type of behavior from them. However guys like Barry Sanders and Walter Payton didn’t make a big deal out of when they scored, they fully expected to score again later in the game or at least the season. As a leader of young men, lead by example. There is nothing wrong with encouraging your kids, but making a spectacle out of yourself and making a big deal out of things you expect the player to be doing can be counterproductive. Fist bumps and high fives do not have to be accompanied by trash talk or bellowing accolades, many times that is for the coach, not the players.
One way to determine where you stand with this, compare your actions with the coaches that have had consistent success in your league and those coaches you respect and admire. In Omaha that guy was Monte O’Hara, his team lost something like 2-3 games in the 8 years I coached in that League. When Monte’s teams won, he had a little smile on his face at the end of the game, it didn’t vary much from game to game, championship to championship. No raised arms, screaming, yelling or running around the field in jubilant celebration. In the league I’m coaching in now, there is another guy just like that who unfortunately is in administration and no longer coaching. The best ones don’t have to draw attention to themselves, because it isn’t about them and they know that.
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