Even with the addition of an early signing day in December the beginning of February marks the time when football families around the country rejoice. Hopefully, with players announcing their commitments team numbers will look strong enough at this point that families get their coaches back for a few additional hours until spring ball starts.
This is our first time on the high school side of things, and this year it’s pretty anti-climatic. Players have either decided they won’t play football in college or haven’t yet committed to a specific team.
On the High School Side of Signing Day
On the high school side, there are a lot of opportunities to help players and former players connect with the teams and colleges that have the potential to be a good fit. Since the average guidance counselor will see a student less than 1% of their total time in school, a coach is going to have a better idea of what direction to point a student.
Additionally, it’s likely that over the years relationships have developed between coaches who recruit the same areas of the country. This means that high school coaches can learn about the way football programs are run. Coaching philosophies change with coaching staffs, and some players will thrive where others will wither.
Leading up to signing day at football coach can also tell a recruiter who they should avoid. Is your kid known to cause division? A recruiter wants to know that so they don’t waste their time.
The Actual Signing
One of the fun things that a high school coach may be invited to participate in is a signing day picture or announcement. Since some levels of football don’t allow college coaches to be in pictures and it’s nice to have a high school coach present.
It’s a fun ceremony that symbolizes the changing of the guard for the player, but for the team, this happened months before.
Hello vs. Goodbye
Regardless of when a player makes a college commitment or where they choose to continue their career, it’s a big deal for the player and his family. The opportunity to cheer former team members on is always fun, and the high school signing day is one way that happens.
Ultimately, signing day on the college side is about saying hello and welcome to the family. On the high school side, it’s about saying goodbye. We all know the difference in emotions between a hello and a goodbye. Some goodbyes are easier than others, but in athletics it’s unavoidable. On the high school side we celebrate what was and say see ya later which makes signing day less exciting for this coach’s wife.