Our season ended and its one we’re all happy to have behind us for numerous reasons. One of the hardest parts of being in the first few years with a program is that you don’t have a history with the older groups of students. The influence from how “things used to be” remains and regardless of how hard things were and how unfairly players felt they were treated, when egos get the way memories from past years get very cloudy.
It takes several seasons to attract players and parents who will buy in and consider doing things a new way. Change is hard for everyone, however when the players on a team who are supposed to be the team leaders choose a rebellious path instead it’s miserable for everyone.
While we’re eagerly waving goodbye to the season we aren’t doing while so on vacation which many assume. Life doen’t stop. Yes, Ordell no longer needs to hit the road recruitng, but he still carries a full teaching load and there is a lot of coaching that continues for coaches after the last game.
Even though its bewildering to me that many still assume coaches only show up on game day to coach the game, it’s also still surprising when they assume that they only work during the fall.
Football is a Year-Round Job
Some players will go on to play other sports. This is great! But those who aren’t competing need to hit the weight room and begin to prepare for next season. Depending on what part of the country you live in, practices will continue for part of the fall or pick back up in spring. In Illinois they aren’t allowed to start organized practices again until the summer.
As I mentioned, Ordell carries a full teaching load. He’s not unique in this. In addition to coaching many junior high and high school teachers are in the classroom all day. At the small college level coaches also adjunct classes.
This also means they are grading papers, attending meetings, working on CEU’s and dealing with all the things teachers need to do on top of their coaching responsibilities. The only thing different about the Monday after the last game is that the team meets in the weight room instead of on the field.
We All Move Forward
Fall sports are odd because the seniors graduate from the sport, but they are still around for several more months. Former teammates will be in classes and sometimes in the weight room.
It can be challenging for rising juniors and seniors to step into leadership roles when the previous seniors are still around, but great coaches know how to cast vision with the next year’s team. They know that the best thing for next season is to get encourage those new leaders to step up as soon as possible.
Moving forward also occasionally includes saying goodbye to coaches. Whenever possible it’s great to have a staff remain intact, but it’s also important to do what’s best for the program and players. Sometimes coaches aren’t a fit for a head coach’s philosophy and other times coaches choose to move on. Either way it’s okay!
We Embrace Downtime
Our weekends are amazing the first few weeks after football. They aren’t completely empty, but they last for days instead of hours, so we are able to sleep a little longer, catch up on things we’ve put off like cleaning out the closets where we’ve stashed things the past few months.
The best part about downtime it watching all those amazing tv shows and movies everyone raved about all fall and planning a few more dates throughout the month.
While many others around a coaching family may ask “now what?” when we complete the last game our family breathes a sigh of relief and eases into the part of the year.
After a decade and a half of Ordell packing a suitcase and hitting the road recruiting we are embracing the high school post season. We are grateful for the weeks when we see our favorite coach a few more hours each week.
Editor’s Note: This content was originally published in October 2018, but has been edited and updated.