Tag: coaching

Father’s Day Gifts for Your Coach

Father’s Day Gifts for Your Coach

Father's Day Gifts for Your Coach

I was reviewing my Father’s Day gift idea list from last year and it’s another reminder of how different life is this year. I wonder if we’ll ever get to the point where we can plan a getaway without masks again. Will we have pit stops available where ever we stop? Is a road trip even fun if you have to wear masks everywhere you go? With getaways out of the question for 2020, I’m shifting this year’s Father’s Day Gift Idea list to focus on a few things for your coach that aren’t career-related and don’t involve travel.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Support His Hobby (even if it’s new)

It’s been a season of forced stillness and many people have caught up on projects around their homes while others have used the time to explore expanding their interests. It’s important to keep the balanced perspective that at some point athletics will start up full force again, however, there is always time for additional interests. This is especially important when hobbies are used as a way to decompress and reduce stress.

When you support a hobby that encourages self-care you love your coach well:

  • Pick up a new fishing rod, license, and bait
  • Pick out a new grill master tools and seasonings
  • Add a tool or buy the materials for the project he’s been working on
  • Buy those new hiking boots he’s been eyeing

Customize Something Useful

father's day gift

Do you have a favorite photo? Add it to a mug, travel mug, keychain, or another item your husband uses frequently.

Shutterfly, Walmart, and Vistaprint all have options that are affordable and great quality.

We’ve had a Shutterfly travel mug for several years. At one point we lost the lid and they even sent us a replacement.

Update His Wardrobe

I cannot stress this enough. If your husband has wanted to add to his wardrobe now is the time to do it. Go through those drawers and closets and see where the gaps in his day to day ensembles remain. You’ll find anything you want on sale if you price compare! Shop online and use Swagbucks or Rakuten to earn cashback on your purchases. Double your cash back benefits by shopping online at Kohl’s when there is a Kohl’s cash deal going or use a rewards credit card that you pay off right away to earn points and you’ll really stretch your dollars.

Monthly Subscriptions

I did a round up of monthly subscription ideas for Mother’s Day and there are just as many fun ones for men.

However, you celebrate your favorite Coach this Father’s Day I hope you spend time relaxing together. It won’t be long before we’re back into the thick of the season with full to overflowing calendars. Take time to let your man know how much you value his presence on Father’s Day and every day.

Authentically Coaching Gen Z

Authentically Coaching Gen Z

Authentically Coaching Gen Z

According to Business Insider Generation Z is the youngest, largest, and most ethnically-diverse, generation in American history. They currently comprise 27% of the US population. Pew Research defines Gen Z as anyone born after 1997. Gen Z grew up with access to technology, the internet, and social media, which has earned them the stereotypes of tech-addicted, anti-social, or “social justice warriors.”

Just like every generation, we can’t summarize Gen Z with one label or box them into a summary that’s a few sentences long. In many ways, their preferences are as diverse as their racial makeup. This makes understanding how to rally this generation around a common cause challenging at times in particular team sports.

Who Is Gen-Z?

  • 88% of Gen-Z is optimistic about their personal future. – Vision Critical
  • 42% of Gen-Z says they are happy. – Vision Critical
  • Gen-Z is expected to make up 30% of the U.S. workforce by 2030. – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • The average Gen-Z attention span is eight seconds, four seconds less than Millennials. – Vision Critical

What Matters To Gen-Z?

Winning and feedback rank first on the list of 10 things a 16-year-old thinks everyone believes adults need to know about Generation Z. Josh Miller explains that the generation of elite sports with stereotypical bleacher parents yelling at refs in the stands carries their competitive nature to their debate and robotics competitions as well. Josh says:

“We carry the mindset that we are not necessarily at school just to learn but to get good grades that will secure our place in the best colleges. Generation Z has been thrown into perhaps the most competitive educational environment in history. Right or wrong, we sometimes view someone else’s success as our own failure or failure as our success.

We are also accustomed to getting immediate feedback. A great example is the online grading portals where we can get frequent updates on our academic performance. In the past, students sometimes had to wait weeks or longer to receive a test grade. Now, we get frustrated if we can’t access our scores within hours of finishing an exam—and sometimes our parents do, too.”

Why this Matters in Athletics:

The country watched Operation Varsity Blues play out with fake athletic scholarships funding collegiate programs and in some cases, college coaches savings accounts. The parents who yell at referees during elite sports are going to also yell at the refs during high school athletic events. Parents and athletes who express frustration, when feedback isn’t immediate, is something coaches will need to manage or consider how to preemptive strike.

Players who are used to feedback will expect that to continue, however that doesn’t mean that coaches should make up inaccurate details about an athlete’s performance to appease them. Coaches must figure out ways to accurately communicate where players stand performance-wise and how to motivate them to keep working. While Josh feels that Generation Z brings competition to every aspect of their lives, the reality is, they aren’t great at self-assessing their performance against other athletes. Very few hold the skill to accurately self-assess, it takes maturity and life experience to hone this discernment.

Here are a few other things that matter to Gen Z:

  • 66% of Gen-Z says that product quality matters most to them when making a purchase. – IBM Institute for Business Value
  • 65% of Gen-Z sees value in discounts and rewards programs. – IBM Institute for Business Value
  • 71% of Gen-Z wants to see more diversity in advertising. – Facebook IQ
  • 68% of Gen-Z expects brands to contribute to society. – Facebook IQ
  • 61% of Gen-Z is willing to pay more for products that are produced ethically and sustainably. – Facebook IQ
  • 77% of Gen-Z feels more positive about brands that promote gender equality on social media. – Facebook IQ

Gen Z is Cell Phone Addicted

  • 55% of Gen-Z uses their smartphones for five or more hours a day. – Pew Research Center
  • 26% of Gen-Z uses their smartphones for 10 or more hours a day. – Pew Research Center
  • 73% of Gen-Z uses internet-connected devices to communicate with friends and family, followed by entertainment (59%) and gaming (58%). – IBM Institute for Business Value
  • 61% of Gen-Z has purchased a product via mobile in the last month. – Global Web Index

The Connected Generation

  • 74% of Gen-Z spends its free time online. – IBM Institute for Business Value
  • 66% of Gen-Z uses more than one internet-connected device at a time. – IBM Institute for Business Value
  • Gen-Z streams an average of 23 hours of video each week. – Criteo

The Power Of Influencers

Generation Z wants to be influencers just as much as they are swayed by them. Josh Miller says, “Given how socially aware and concerned its members are, Generation Z seeks jobs that provide opportunities to contribute, create, lead and learn.” 

“One of the best ways I have seen leaders engage with Gen Z is to ask them how they would build a product or service or design a process,” Carney says. “Gen Z has some amazing abilities to bring together information, process it and take action. When we do allow them to share ideas, great things happen.”

Contribute, lead, take action; these are all excellent descriptors of team players. The types of athletes coaches can depend on to step up and rally teams. But the players most eager to lead aren’t always the ones who other players are willing to follow. Coaches may need to help players develop discernment around leadership communication.

Consider these stats about Gen Z and Influencers:

  • 4 in 10 Gen-Z-ers say they are easily swayed by other people’s opinions. – Global Web Index
  • 54% of Gen-Z says social media influences them more than any other marketing channel. – CMO Council
  • 52% of Gen-Z trusts social media influencers for product or brand advice. – McKinsey & Company
  • 82% of Gen-Z trusts their family and friends for advice on products more than any other source. – McKinsey & Company
  • One in three Gen-Z-ers follows brands on social media they are thinking of buying from. – Global Web Index
  • 76% of Gen-Z follows an influencer on social media. – Morning Consult
  • 45% of Gen-Z follows more than 10 social media influencers. – The Center for Generational Kinetics
  • 73% of Gen Z-ers use their internet-connected devices primarily for texting and chatting. (Source: IBM)
  • 71% of Gen Z-ers watch more than three hours of online videos every day.
  • 75% of Gen Z-ers don’t consider college the only path to a strong education.
  • 89% of them also say that they aren’t keen on taking on debt to cover the costs of higher education. (Source: Forbes)
  • 77% of Gen Z-ers say a company’s diversity would be a deciding factor when they look for jobs. (Source: Forbes)


Above all Generation Z values authenticity. Kudos says, “Gen Z workers value authenticity over aesthetics. They respect companies that steer clear of gimmicks. Instead, they appreciate those that provide unpretentious and thoughtfully designed physical spaces.”

Authenticity applies to the products they buy and the people they listen to for advice. The best way to authentically coach Generation Z is by striving for authenticity.

How does this translate onto the athletic field? Coaches must have a consistent message and be willing to practice what they preach. For example, if a coach insists the team shouldn’t swear then the coach shouldn’t use any swear words. If the coach demands players are on time for practice and games then they should also be on time.

These small examples are just two of thousands of ways that coaches can portray authenticity.

NFL Adds Psychologists

NFL Adds Psychologists

NFL adds Psychologists - Lessons from the Sidelines

Recently the NFL announced they are adding psychologists to each staff. As a Coach’s Wife this is exciting news. I believe this has the ability to influence football at every level. According to their recent statements they hope to reduce the stigma attached to seeking help for mental health and create continuity of care. Additionally, Dr. Carr made the point that clinicians who enter sport environments with very little understanding of team culture stigmatize the role of the psychologist so training in Sports Psychology was important for this role.

From the APA:

Even for teams that already employ an on-site behavioral health-care provider, the NFL/NFLPA initiative represents a meaningful change, says Chris Carr, PhD, team performance psychologist and behavioral health clinician for one NFL team.

“It takes mental health out of the shadows and elevates the clinician as an important part of each organization’s success,” says Carr, who works as part of an integrative support team that includes sports medicine physicians, athletic trainers, dietitians, player engagement staff, and strength and conditioning specialists. In addition to providing comprehensive mental health assessments, Carr also offers treatment and referrals to specialized providers—such as a marriage and family therapist—when needed. Through presentations, he teaches team members skills such as goal setting, managing pre-performance anxiety and refocusing in the face of distractions. Carr also provides support and education to coaches and other team personnel and conducts mandated educational sessions on the hallmarks of anxiety, depression and substance misuse, as well as how to seek help.

Why I Love This

First, the NFL taking care of their own is important. However, this addition has come together is great and I applaud the investment.

Healthy NFL players have the potential to influence society. Generation Z is the loneliest generation and they are the most plugged in as well. They are the most likely to see news first on YouTube, Twitter, and SnapChat because they interact there rather than with the person next to them.

Studies show that there is a direct link between screen time and mental health and the less time our teens spend plugged in the better. It’s going to take a village to break the addiction of social media. And it begins with influencers speaking out and telling the truth in spaces where Gen Z will hear things.

When they understand the connections for themselves they are then able to speak factually and intelligently on the subject.

Leadership Starts at the Top

We can point our student-athletes toward positive influencers, but they will choose who they follow regardless of our encouragement. The larger the pool of players with platforms focused around community service efforts, respecting women, healthy marriages and families, entrepreneurship, healthy living, and continuing education the better.

Each athlete who is well-spoken, shows how much they care for their family and community and asks for help when they need support with their mental health teaches everyone around them that success is not dependent on sensationalism.

The more NFL players and coaches that seek help for struggling marriages rather than giving up, the more examples we all have to look to when we feel like throwing in the towel.

Who’s Next?

While there are certainly other industries that provide access to mental health care, I believe there are opportunities for many more industries to consider adding professionals to their staff or at least ensuring affordable co-pays with health insurance options.

Burnout isn’t going away anytime soon, and we could all use access to stress-relieving outlets in my opinion!

5 Indications Your Man is Born to Coach

5 Indications Your Man is Born to Coach

5 indications your man is born to coach

I think that one of the most surprising things about coaching people learn is that it takes a lot more than a love for the sport to have a successful career as a coach. It’s obvious from assumptions that coaches only work one day a week or a few weeks a year that those who are unfamiliar with athletics don’t understand a coach’s job description. But former athletes are also often shocked to learn all that goes on behind the scenes to prepare for practice and games.

Most coaches spend 80% of their time doing things other than actually coaching. They are watching film, practice planning, in the weight room, tutoring, doing grade checks, dealing with behavior issues, fundraising, teaching, taking care of game day preparations such as meals or travel arrangements, or washing jerseys and repairing equipment.

Still, those that have long coaching careers are usually cut from a similar cloth. There are a few characteristics that stand out as indications your man is born to coach.

Here are 5 Indications Your Man is Born to Coach

They Love the Grind

This may not be a phrase you are familiar with, but if you’ve been around coaches long enough you will understand what I mean. Even though it’s the middle of July, 100 degrees and 100% humidity, when it’s time to coach your man is up and out the door.

More than that, they are out there in the rain, snow, and freezing weather too because they understand that practice is a necessity. Coaches who are in the mix with their players sweating it out on the field and in the weight room are coaches who love the grind and born to coach.

They are Humble

The best coaches are constantly learning and growing. They are reviewing film and talking to other coaches to see if there are better ways to coach on a technical level amongst many other things.

The Washington Post summarizes humility in leadership well: “True humility, scientists have learned, is when someone has an accurate assessment of both his strengths and weaknesses, and he sees all this in the context of the larger whole.”

If someone isn’t willing to consider they may have weaknesses how can they better themselves? If they can’t improve themselves, how can their teams improve? Humility is key.

More Reading: Check out this article 10 Traits of Humble Leaders

They Understand it’s More than a Game

Billy Graham is often quoted as saying “One coach will impact more young people in a year than the average person does in a lifetime.” The instinct is to consider the positive impact that a coach makes, but it’s important to remember this goes both ways.

Coaches who shame athletes, only value their on-field success and care little about the character of the team also impact people. But are those the people you want influencing the next generation?

A key indication that your man is born to coach is that they have vision for how to use athletics to develop character in the players they coach. They understand that there are opportunities to teach discipline, finishing what you start, committing even when things are hard, teamwork, healthy communication, and leadership principles in addition to X’s and O’s and they look for ways to make an impact in a positive way in their athlete’s lives.

They Value their Staff and Volunteers

Rarely does a coach work alone. Whether they are partnering with boosters, athletic trainers, administrators or other coaches, coaches who are born to coach love to be part of a team.

Athletes will note how a coach treats those he works with, as will co-workers. Of course, the golden rule is a great one to live by, but it goes further in coaching. When a coach values those around him he is investing in his future career potential as well.

They Can’t See Themselves Doing Anything Else

On paper, coaching is a ridiculous career choice. The hourly commitment breakdown for 99% of coaches is $1 or less earned per hour. The lack of gratitude, the physical exhaustion, the time away from family. And that doesn’t even take into account that coaches are fired with minimal notice.

“Anonymous” Monday morning quarterbacks online, waking up to For Sale signs helpfully placed in your front yard for you, and strangers informing your children that their father is horrible at his job are all reasons to avoid coaching at all cost and yet, thousands of men willingly subject themselves to this craziness for one reason. They were born to coach.

So, if you are reading this and realize you are married to a coach who’s likely in his career for the long haul congratulations! This doesn’t mean your man will never consider any other job, but it’s likely the energy and joy he has around his job right now won’t automatically replicate itself in another career, so as long as coaching is an option.

Athletes and Social Media

Athletes and Social Media

athletes and social media

Have you read any of the stories surrounding the NBA and social media? In many ways, it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that basketball players are finding themselves hooked to Instagram and Facebook. But then again, when someone is earning millions of dollars doing anything doesn’t it seem odd that they would suffer from FOMO due to social media shout outs?

I think it’s safe to say that we all understand how harmful some aspects of social media are these days. Whether it’s the studies on increased stress, the jury who conviced the girl who encouraged her “friend” to kill himself, or the school policies that now include online bullying, it’s not all great.

Setting all that aside, take a minute and scroll through Twitter. Go ahead, I’ll wait here.

Ok, so now that we all agree there is a lot of cruel stuff out there on social, it makes sense that even NBA stars making millions of dollars would find themselves battling the harsh psychological aspects of social media.

Here’s the thing, how much harder is it for our high school and college athletes to handle criticism on social media?

After a tough loss the last thing a child, a student under the age of 18, needs to see is a barrage of shaming commentary criticizing them for being imperfect.

It is hard enough to receive correction from a teammate or coach. But to also have strangers feel the freedom to add their two cents (usually incorrectly) is not only unnecessary, but often harmful.

At the college level athletes are adults in the eyes of the law (barely) but with the pressures of college I ask again, is it reasonable to expect that student-athletes should handle the criticisms on social media better than that of NBA players?

What Can We Do to Support Our Athletes on Social Media?

Obviously we can’t drown out all the negativity. But there are several things we can do to help reduce the impact.

  • Don’t be afraid to report an especially aggressive harasser. While each social platform is slightly different, when a minor is involved they are quick to suspend an account.
  • Highlight the positives. Cheer on good grades, community service, hard work, amazing teamwork, and of course wins.
  • Make sure to tell kids in person how proud you are of them as well. Looking someone in the eye and making sure it sinks in will go a long way.
  • Make sure there is a team social media policy for students and parents. Post reminders as needed through the season.
  • Since it’s unlikely you will be able to keep athletes off social, remind them that cowards say things on social media instead of straight to someone’s face.
  • Focus on people trying to use their public profile for positive change. There is a reason why Stephen Curry received a lot of attention for his interactions with Riley Morrison
  • Teach your children to be wise discerners of the content they consume. Instead of listening to a short snippet of content help them to understand the importance of taking the time to research the true CONTEXT of the content BEFORE they share anything.

Setting Social Boundaries

As parents, we have a little more leverage over our student-athletes. The wrong posts could cost a student scholarship money at some colleges. Taking the time to have a clear conversation about what is appropriate to post and what should stay off of social media is important.

It’s also a great idea to make sure all accounts are private and settings prevent strangers from commenting or tagging your child.

While it may be tempting to also comment on your child’s behalf, I promise you this will go no where. Unless it is to remind an adult that they are harrasing a child, it’s better to just stay silent.

Ultimately, social media isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. There are signs of Generation Z stepping away from the platforms, but for now, it’s important we recognize that if millionaire NBA stars are struggling with social media, it’s likely younger athletes are too.

Dear Seniors

Dear Seniors

I’m writing over at Friday Night Wives today. Here’s a preview:

Dear Seniors,

Can you believe your last season on our team is over? It’s hard to put into words all the emotions of that last game, that last time stepping onto the field or court as a player for your school. Regardless of this year’s record, we both know it doesn’t reflect how hard you’ve worked the last four years. It’s impossible for two numbers with a dash in between to even attempt to reveal all the time, physical pain, exhaustion, frustration, excitement, exhilaration, and commitment of your athletic career.

When all is said and done, wins and losses are not what define a team. And while I trust you will remember some stats from your time here and the energy of game day, I want you to remember more from your time with us.

Seniors, here’s what I really want you to remember:

You will find yourself in team situations for the rest of your life. The camaraderie you share with your teammates is important. There is a brotherhood on a sports team that is like no other, but that way you treat a good teammate translates well to how you interact with co-workers and family members.

Read the rest here.

Progress is Undefeated?

Progress is Undefeated?


Progress is Undefeated

Recently I heard a quote that I can’t stop thinking about. “Progress is undefeated, we just need to fight for it.” It’s one of those statements that made me pause to make sure I heard it clearly, and then I thought about it for a while. Do I agree with the sentiment? Does it make even make sense?

I think the reason it caught my attention is that as a coach’s wife progress is something I focus on a lot. Whether it’s on the athletic field or with off-field team dynamics, when it comes to building a successful program progress is what we cling to for short-term wins and sustained success.

Maybe it’s my personality, but when it comes to progress I think we need to reframe success. Progress doesn’t always have to be a fight. In fact, much of life progresses forward without fighting. Every time we take a step towards a goal we make progress. Every choice that we make whether it’s a habit or something we force ourselves to do is still progress.

So, while I agree that progress requires action and movement I’m not going to go so far as to say we need to keep fighting. I think it’s important to let that sink in for a minute. Progress is undefeated as long as we take the next step. 

This distinction is an important one because we can not exist mentally or physically in a state of “fight”. Fighting requires increased adrenaline, heightened emotion, and a state of defensiveness. While it is vital to fight for progress when we are at the beginning of a new venture, maintaining progress requires that we continue to take action.

Consider what happens when you try to develop a new habit. If it is something like losing weight, reducing caffeine or sugar intake or increasing exercise there is a mental and physical battle that begins. We fight exhaustion one step at a time and if we continue to create a habit we see the positive results of our hard work.

Additionally, if we stop fighting and continue on with our habit we are still making great progress. It is ONLY when we stop or make choices that pull us away from our goal that progress is defeated. So, give yourself permission to drop the boxing gloves and shift from your defensive stance. It’s okay to step toward your goal without battling it out. But it’s not okay to stop taking steps.

Progress stalls when we pause. So keep moving, and pick up those boxing gloves when the hurdle is high. But know that all progress is great so keep going! And remember Progress is undefeated as long as we take the next step. 

Does Lawnmower Parenting Impact Athletic Performance?

Does Lawnmower Parenting Impact Athletic Performance?

Does Lawnmower Parenting Impact Athletic Performance_

I recently stumbled across an article about Lawnmower Parenting and I have to admit I was surprised. I’m very familiar with the term Helicopter Parent, but I’d missed this new term. As with most things these days Lawnmower Parenting is a more extreme version of Helicopter parenting.

“In the world of education, the term Helicopter Parent has become quite well known. In essence, these parents hover over their children, constantly pressuring them to accomplish tasks to perfection. A newer, and in my opinion, more damaging parenting style has developed over the past decade and become kindly known as Lawnmower Parenting. These are parents who constantly clear all obstacles from their children’s paths so they never have to deal with problems for themselves. ” Read the whole article here.

Teachers acknowledge the impact Lawnmower parenting is making in the classroom and their concerns are valid. The WeAreTeachersStaff published an article recently that highlights how damaging a student’s response to an obstacle is:

From We Are Teachers:

A child who has never had to deal with conflict on their own will not approach the first test they bomb in college and say, “Yikes. I really need to study harder. I’ll reach out to the graduate assistant and see if they know of study groups I can join or other materials I can read to do better on the next one.” Instead, they will very likely respond in one or more of the following ways:

  • Blame the professor
  • Call home and beg their parents to intervene
  • Have a mental breakdown or make themselves miserable
  • Write nasty reviews online about the professor and their class
  • Begin planning for the inevitable destruction of their college career/future
  • Assume they failed because they’re stupid
  • Collapse in on themselves and give up completely and stop trying

We have to accept that what is happening in the classroom is also a common occurrence on the athletic field. Here are few common examples coaches’ wives listed when asked about their lawnmower parent observations:

  • A team starts to lose and they give up
  • A player makes a mistake on a big play and falls down acting as if they are physically injured
  • Players yell at each other when a mistake is made instead of encouraging each other
  • A player gets angry at a coach when a teammate’s performance is praised over theirs
  • A parent calls a coach to discuss playing time even though the athlete has not talked to their coach
  • A parent suggests to a coach that they allow their child to play in a game even though they have not attended practice all week
  • Whenever something doesn’t go the way a player or parent expects they scream “it’s not fair”.
  • Conversations are replaced with immediate emails and calls to the principal, superintendent, and AD

Scholarship Considerations

Parents listen up!! If you have ANY hopes of your child receiving a college scholarship you need to consider how YOUR ACTIONS RIGHT NOW are impacting their chances. Yes, talent matters, but there are thousands of players competing for the same scholarships and many of them are equally talented.

Those that rise to the top are the athletes who understand how to fight through adversity.

Coaches are expected to be the tutor, grade monitor, motivator, and still coach a winning team. And while I agree they can have a big impact on an athlete’s performance in the classroom you parent 24-hours a day for 14-18 years. No coach is going to teach an athlete how to fight through adversity in a few months.

You cannot change 18 years of taught behavior in a season

The best way you can help your child earn a position on a college athletic team is by breaking the mold of Lawnmower parenting today. It doesn’t matter how many private camps or personal training sessions you pay for, an athlete without mental stamina will always be overlooked for one who understands how to respond in a hard situation.

Authority Considerations

Lawnmower parenting is a prime example of a reverse in authority between child and parent. Consider the example from the article of the father who brings his daughter a water bottle. It may seem like a great idea for the parent to show their child is more important than work, but consider the other side of the example.

When a child receives every request upon command even when it means prioritizing their needs over a parent’s livelihood what message does that send? It says that the child is the authority and decision maker in the relationship. Further, it can lead a child to expect that their needs are more important than every adult in their lives, including teachers and coaches.

Athetes who expect coaches will meet their every demand are not coachable. They are unwilling to see the world from any viewpoint from their own. How do I know? I see it play out predictably every year.

Does Lawnmower Parenting impact athletic performance? Yes, to the detriment of every athlete.

How to Lose a College Scholarship

How to Lose a College Scholarship

How to Lose a College Scholarship

It’s recruiting season, and even though this year Ordell isn’t the one sorting through game film and evaluating future players he is still interacting with coaches who are on the hunt for the class of 2018 and 2019 in some cases.

Recruiting is a never-ending process for college coaches, which means it’s always a topic of conversation. As we’ve settled into our roles here in the Midwest, several coaches have asked me key questions about our team. When it comes to recruiting, everything is intentional. It’s important to remember that less than 2% of high school football players will be awarded scholarships at any level of college football.

Coaches have massive pools of candidates to choose from, which means they can wait for the cream of the crop. The best candidates will receive the earliest offers and the best offers.

Here are the Quickest Ways to Lose Out on a College Scholarship:

  • Don’t take the ACT/SAT your Junior Year
  • Don’t lift weights
  • Don’t fill out the FAFSA
  • Skip School or classes
  • Don’t take AP or Dual Credit courses
  • Disrespect your high school teachers
  • Disrespect your high school coaches
  • Don’t return phone calls or texts from recruiting coaches
  • Don’t participate in extracurricular activities
  • Don’t be a good teammate
  • Don’t be a team leader
  • Lie to coaches about stats, grades, behavior, or anything they can verify
  • Talk poorly about your current coaches
  • Be stupid on social media
  • Get suspended

This list isn’t exhaustive, every year I encounter a student who has lost out on an opportunity in a new and unique way. 😉 The good thing is that every one of the items on this list is fixable.

Want to earn that top scholarship at your preferred school? Start in the weight room today.

Parents: Is Your Athlete’s Team Deadlocked?

Parents: Is Your Athlete’s Team Deadlocked?

football and family

One of the consistent things about coaching transitions is the shift of team dynamics. The timeline length may shift, but the phases are always the same.

Players and Coaches Transition Through:

  • Honeymoon Phase
  • Reality Check
  • Come to Jesus (Buy-In or Quit)
  • Leaders Stepping Up
  • Moving Forward

This process is one that needs to happen in order for each new head coach to develop the team culture to fit the philosophy they were hired to implement. And the reality is, the quicker a team moves through the first three phases the better off it is for the whole program.

At the high school level, a lot of this process is influenced by an athlete’s parents. It’s become very apparent that a parent has the power to encourage a team to a deadlock if they choose to allow their past experiences influence their child’s present opportunities. So it’s time for a gut check. It’s time to figure out if your team is in a deadlock.

How to Know Your Team is Deadlocked:

  • Do your conversations begin with “We’ve always done it this way”?
  • Do you bring up what the previous coach said/did as a rationale for why your child shouldn’t have to comply with the new coach’s requests?
  • Do you think or say “we will see” when someone says something positive about the new coaches?
  • Do you discuss the reasons why quitting is ok and include it’s new, it’s hard, or it’s different in the list?
  • Do you openly discuss the ways you think the new coach is handling things poorly?
  • Are you frustrated because you assumed things would change to look a certain way and it’s not happening?

If you can answer yes to one of these questions then parents, you need you understand you are contributing to a team deadlock. Further, you are hindering your child’s opportunities for future recruitment every time you keep your child living in the past instead of embracing the present. The best thing you can do for your child is to do your part to help break the deadlock.

How do you Break a Deadlock?

  • Understand someone has to make the first move.
  • Give the coaching staff a chance.
  • Buy in 100% and leave judgment behind.
  • Leave the past in the past.
  • Stop your child’s negative talk and help them see the bigger picture.

Change is rarely something that people embrace. Especially in situations where a coach leaves that parents and athletes loved it can be hard to move forward. But life is constantly changing and a sign of an excellent athlete includes the ability to excel under any coach.

You Need to Make the First Move

If you are waiting for your new coach to prove they want to coach your child’s team you’ve missed the point. When your coach accepted the job they committed to their livelihood being determined in part by your child’s athletic performance. They are already committed.

Now it’s your turn.

Break the Deadlock

  • Join the booster club
  • Bite your tongue when negative words bubble to the surface
  • Above all, encourage your child to embrace the change and buy in.


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