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Lies we tell ourselves as coaches!

Updated: Jul 31, 2021

The last couple of months has been an awesome experience for me. I have had a chance to talk tons of defensive football with a lot of really talented coaches. Getting this website off the ground was a great learning opportunity and cleaning up loose ends in playbook, installation schedules, etc. made me focus on effective TEACHING!

TEACHING is the essence of what we do and we all know it. What has been cool for me to see is the commitment to development and teaching I see coaches making as they adopt "Eat the Captain." I am always interested to look at the analytics and see how much time coaches are spending in the Just Play playbook they have purchased. It will probably come as no surprise to any of you that the coaches that are spending the most time diving into the playbook and videos are the ones I get the most calls, texts, and emails from with questions. It's also funny how little small talk there is...straight ball with these guys and I love it! It goes without saying that a coach can only teach what he has taken the time to learn.

A lie we tell ourselves is,"My kids just can't learn all of that!" To that I would respond,"You are absolutely right!" Show me a coach that thinks his players can't learn and I'll show you a coach that is not learning himself. I bet these guys that are digging into new stuff and are excited about TEACHING are going to have a blast and their players are going to love getting after folks! The poor old guy that believes the lie that his players can't learn will continue to inhibit his players' opportunity to be great.

Here is a real life story:

Recently, in a defensive installation meeting with the entire defense I asked a defensive lineman in front all of his teammates a series of questions. Here is some background on the player:

  1. Below average student academically

  2. Very quiet borderline socially awkward

  3. Definitely not a "Leader" among teammates

  4. This is Day 1 Installation and kids have only had ETC Google Classroom to prepare. This is the first meeting.

Here is the conversation:

Me........."What does the Guard have on Casino when in Base personnel?"

Player..."I go to the strong side and I have a Spiderman."

Me........."What is a Spiderman?"

Player...."I line up on the guard and cross face to my target which is the hip of the center."

Me........."What do you do if that target comes to you?"

Player...."I stab him and get vertical."

Me.........."What if the target goes away from you?"

Player....."I chase the target and get vertical once I get to it."

Me........."What if the target pulls?"

Player....."I chase the target to the ball."

This is a player that we as a staff could say, "He will never be able to learn a bunch of stuff." And we would be completely wrong and would have cheated this player as well as our entire team.

Players CAN and WILL learn if we will LEARN and TEACH! Never tell or listen to the guy that tells the lie, "Our kids can't learn all of that." Be better, have tremendously high levels of expectation for coaches and players to LEARN! You might be shocked at what is possible.

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