Building a Winning Football Program We believe that the first step to winning is to motivate. We must put positive thoughts in the minds of our coaches, our players, the students, our parents, the faculty, the school administration, and our community. The goal in this area is to get everyone excited about the team. All players say they want to be Champions but there is a price and it begins in the mind. Many people hear, but only some listen. This is a fact and it would be good for you to remember that as you begin communicating what your vision, mission and goals are to players, coaches and community members. The coach must keep repeating these important things until significant others get the picture and in turn, they begin spreading ‘The Word.’ Be aware that not all players learn in the same ways. A very clever man called Aristotle decided that humans have five senses that are the most important for humans to survive in their world around them. He said that sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell were the most important. Other scientists say there are ten senses. They include pain, balance, thirst, hunger, and even humor. Your players are trying to survive in the football world and the coach needs to include various methods of communication. Some players are not good at learning by listening and some coaches teach by that method a lot. If you must insist on using verbal communication with your players, tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them again, and then tell them what you told them. The highly intelligent players will only have to hear something two or three times. The average intelligence player may need to hear it a dozen times. Others may need to hear it many times for it to register. It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Showing them a hundred times may be more effective than telling them a thousand times? Be sure to say what you mean. Experience has taught me that the team should be brought together after each practice and the coach should use a few moments to end the practice on a positive note. Do not sent them home in a bad mood to brood over for 24 hours. Find something good to tell them or remind them of their vision, goals or core covenants. Gather them in close and if you are wearing sunglasses, take them off. Tip the bill of your cap up so they can see your eyes. You know that more communication is non-verbal than verbal? Look at them. The number one reason players give for coming out for football is ‘to have fun.’ It does not hurt to tell a clean joke. Have a senior point out some underclassman that is showing good hustle. After this meeting all clasp hands and yell ‘Team’ or your motto. This helps in the bonding of the team. FIRST YOU BOND, THEN YOU BECOME A TEAM. To promote communication when the team is gathered together and a lot of talking is going on and we want their attention we do not blow a whistle or shout out ‘listen up.’ We say ‘Eyes’ and all players immediately clap their hands three times and are attentive. We say ‘Ears’ and they stomp their feet three times and are attentive. Now it is up to coach to use his communication skills to maintain that attention. Always keep in mind the seven second rule and use alternate methods of communication.
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Jerry Staton has been a football coach for over 50 years. He has taken several from decades of losing seasons to playoff success. His philosophy trains young students to be Servant Warriors who are ready to face the challenges of life. He believes that everyone should strive to be 'their' best; no one can ask or expect more. His system has been tested and is proven to be successful.
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