It's that time of year again for football season, and it's time to get your coach on. Time to start thinking about teaching, motivating, drills, practice and best of all, making sure they all have the right equipment. But there is a method to all of this madness.
Even coaches are rookies, after all, we all have to start someplace, and if this is your first year, you've got a lot on your mind.
If this is your first year of coaching, you are going to be an assistant coach and you are going to make rookie mistakes. Whether it's special teams, linebackers, running backs, defense or offense, you must learn the plays for that side of the line and make sure your players know the plays too. The head coach will handle conditioning, you handle the mental aspect by making sure your players are ready to perform when they are on the field. Keep your head on the field and concentrate on what you are there for.
If this is your first year as head coach, good luck! For the most part you were more than likely an assistant coach, so you know how to coach a specific area of players. But now you are going to have to expand your role and coach all of the players as a group and not just a squad of receivers or linemen. You need to expand your knowledge of the game, both offensively and defensively, and not only do you have to keep the players motivated, you have to keep the other coaches motivated too.
As they say, practice makes perfect, but too much practice may cause a falling out between you and your players. You are not Vince Lombardi, and this is a different era of football no matter how much you want to go back to the good old days.
Practices must be structured, regulated, and the players need to have access to liquids so that they don't become dehydrated. Keeping players healthy is priority number one, and you must understand that there is a limit to physical endurance, particularly during hot and humid weather. Pushing people too hard, especially in school guided programs, can cause players to drop the program and alienate parents and teachers alike.
If you are doing youth football, practice needs to be more fun than work. Yes, the kids need to learn certain plays and the learning process begins with you, but take it easy. Fun first and if you can turn that into a good practice session, so much the better. Being together and thinking like a team is more important than anything else at this level of the game.
Sure, everyone thinks that players need to be motivated during games, but they need to be motivated at practice too. The harder you practice the easier the games will be, and that is one of the most unsung aspects of motivation.
Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone needs that fact pointed out in one way or another. But motivation comes from positive responses not negative tongue lashing. You will certainly let someone know if they blow a play, but you must equally let them know if they make a play as well. The more you reinforce their positive attributes during practice, the harder the player will perform on the field during a real game.
The Right Equipment
Everything about football starts with the right equipment. From jerseys to sweats, shoes and pads, it all starts there.
You have a team and they need to feel like a team, act like a team and perform like a team. The best way to do this is by matching equipment, whether it's shorts, outerwear jackets, or shoes ~ make them proud with a team logo emblazoned on.
SquadLocker gives you that oneness in dress and equipment that all teams need, from Pop Warner to the Pro's. Without the right equipment you are just a bunch of football players, but when everything is matched together, you are team players, and that's what SquadLocker is all about.