Role Of The Coach
As a football coach I view myself as an educator in the field of education. Many of the lessons learned on the football field will serve the players for the rest of their lives. Teamwork, sacrifice, discipline, hard work, perseverance, failure and success are all experiences that will be encountered on the football field and in life. My job as a coach is to help prepare our players for their journey through life by assuming many roles in helping these young men deal with these experiences. Father, brother, psychologist, disciplinarian, and friend are all roles the coach must be prepared to play in helping these young men grow.
It is not easy to be a student athlete. The rigors of the classroom coupled with the trials and tribulations experienced on the gridiron can at times be overwhelming for a young man. It is the job of the coach to help guide and direct his men through these rough times.
The game of football provides many opportunities for young men to grow into outstanding individuals. The lessons learned and values instilled because of participation in football should be facilitated b the coach. There is nothing more rewarding for a coach than to see young men grow before his eyes and become contributing members of society with the knowledge that he played a small part in their development. Helping young men reach their goals and fulfill their potential is what coaching is all about.
The Ten Characteristics Of The Exceptional Head Coach
During my collegiate career, I have been fortunate to work with several Head Coaches. This has been a tremendous experience for me in that each coach dealt with similar problems in different ways. All have employed different management skills and have had various levels of success. The following ten characteristics are traits that make an exceptional head coach:
I. The Head Coach must be a leader and a motivator.
There is a difference in leading a program and managing a program. The Head Coach must have a vision for the program and must communicate this to the team, coaches, staff, and the
University. The vision will only be realized if it is the dream of all involved.
II. The Head Coach must have great communication skills.
The communication with the players in this day and age is unique and is essential that one can relate to their problems. The communication with the staff must not be overbearing as to stifle opinion, but must be firm so there is direction. The communication with the boosters and alumni must be constant and nurturing for the support the team both financially and in the stands. The communication wit the administration must be truthful and forthcoming. Finally, the communication with the media must be carefully ongoing for they can influence others.
III. The Head Coach must be able to manage the program.
The Head Coach must be organized and meticulous in detail. He must understand what is significant and important. He must be time efficient and not tedious. He must understand money and budgets. He must be willing to work within the natural constraints and realize what is truly significant to the success of the program. There must be organization to carry out the plan to realize the vision.
IV. The Head Coach must be knowledgeable in the game.
Today’s coach must understand the basic premises of the game and must be creative in the nuances of the game to gain the differential advantage. The game today is ever changing and one must continually study and analyze the new innovations and employ and adjust them to your scheme. One must be open-minded and creative in order to teach the new complexities of the game.
V. The Head Coach must understand marketing.
The atmosphere in which college athletics operate today is much different than it was ten years ago. It is just as important to win as ever, but is also important to “fill the stands.” This is not to condemn the high ideals of the game, but we must accept the fact that we are in the “entertainment business.” Fans and booster want to see an exciting style of football being played. We are competing against other universities and other forms of entertainment for their attention. We need fan support desperately! They help the program with their attendance in many ways:
financially; creating a home field advantage; impressing recruits with a great fan base. In our fans eye’s it must be more than a game, it must be an attraction, an event, and the thing to do!
VI. The Head Coach must have an unquestioned work ethic.
You must be willing to ask more of yourself than anyone else. You cannot ask them to sacrifice what you are not willing to do yourself. This attitude will spread throughout the program if the Head Coach has the energy and enthusiasm to lead. I believe my desire to be your Head Coach lends itself to the enthusiasm and energy needed to take this program to the next level of excellence.
VII. The Head Coach must have experience.
The Head Coach should have been through as many situations as possible. I have had the to opportunity to work with many head coaches and learned from how they handled various situations and ran their programs. I have the experience of working at several universities at different levels of competition. I have worked for some of the most respected head coaches in collegiate athletics. I have watched and learned how they ran their programs and experienced with them their successes and failures.
VIII. The Head Coach must be morally sound.
I recognize the obligation that my profession has with young men that have been entrusted to me. I also recognize the scrutiny that the Head Coach, staff, and team are subjected to. I will take on this responsibility and hold the team and myself to the high ideals of the university.
IX. The Head Coach must be willing to recruit.
This is one of the hardest jobs that today’s collegiate coach must undertake. You must be willing to find great players that have the ambition to obtain a college degree. You must be willing to do it the right way. I am committed to this ideal and will hold my staff to the same belief. I will not compromise my honor to gain an unfair advantage. You must be truthful, sincere, and be willing to work harder than your competitor.
X. The Head Coach must believe in the high ideals of the game.
The most important thing learned in life is the concept of limitations. College student athletes are exposed to this each and everyday. The concept of pushing yourself to the limit and just when you think you’ve reached it you take another step. Soon, you realize the only limitations that you have are the ones you put on yourself. I believe in the high ideals of teamwork and the sacrifice for one another. The acceptance and realization of victories and defeats; the building of one’s character; the discipline and commitment that it takes to be truly successful; these are the lessons of college athletics.