Well it’s that time of year again, another football season kicks off, most Head Coaches are upbeat ready for big things to happen this season, but in the back of their minds lays that nagging detail: It’s all about the Wins & Loses, will I get enough wins to keep my job?
I understand that winning is important to everyone, heck it’s important to me, if it wasn’t then we shouldn’t keep score. I understand that wins are the barometer of how successful a season is, but should it be?
What message are we actually sending to our players and young coaches. Win at all costs or lose your job? I know everyone will say no it’s not about the record, so why then do so many coaches get fired each year and it comes down to their record? Does the record show how successful that coach was in making his players learn the skills needed to be successful in life? Are you telling me that a person’s net worth or status in the community is based on his wins and loss record? No its based on what he does in life with the things he learned from his mentors, teachers, coaches, parents. So why hold the coach accountable only for his wins, why not look 10 years down the road and look at how successful in life his players are?
I know this sounds like a rant but it really isn’t, it’s a statement from a head coach who is trying to protect the game he so loves and the life lessons its teaches young men. I hear all the time from Administrators, parents, alumni that young coaches don’t care anymore about developing character in their players all they care about is winning on Friday night and yes I have noticed this myself, but who is to blame, when you make their success based solely on winning on Friday night you reap the results of your actions.
I ask you the administrators, parents and alumni to take into consideration the entire person (coach) what are his values, why does he coach? Look and grade them based on their overall actions, and how successful their players become in this world. I want to save this great game of football, it to me is the only game (sport) that instills everything one needs to become a successful member of society. (Teamwork, work ethic, character, competition)
Most coaches work for pennies, they spent their off-season and summer in the weight room helping their players develop the framework and body needed to be able to compete on the field at the level of competition that they play. Many say coaches are selfish they make their players work all year around, so they can win, but it’s not about making the athlete work it’s about building his body so he can be safe and avoid injury on Friday night. Coaches spend the season working 16 hr. days getting the program, assistant coaches and players ready to compete on Friday nights. They work hard all school year making sure their players get the grades, education and character lessons require to go on to College or into the world and become successful.
So I ask again: administrators, parents and alumni are we really getting our student/athletes ready to compete in life, have we taught the skills and character needed to survive in the real world, have we taught them how to fail? Have we taught them that in life you will fail? It’s how you deal with failure that matters. So how do we deal with failure? We send the message to our young students that winning is what’s important, not what you do with what you learned.
In closing I must state again I believe winning at any game you play is important, it’s what you strive for, it’s like life you compete to be successful, but who is to say at what stage do we decide who actually WON? Was it on Friday night or was it 10 years later in life – Food for thought from a Head Football Coach.
Coaches put the record out of your mind this season, concentrate on building successful players, teach your young coaches the value of the game and help them learn to teach character lessons to their players. You may still lose your job, but your rewards will come in the long run when that student/athlete contacts you and tells you he is now teaching to others what your taught him. It’s the circle of life and the reason we actually coach.
Administrators when making your decision at the end of this season take into consideration the whole person (coach) not just his win-loss record.
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