What is a Coach?

A recent thread on the 4A board reminded me of this short piece I wrote 3 years ago for Bob Bacot and SCPrepfootball.com. Hope it says something to those who wonder.


What is a Football Coach.....

1. Selfless attitude
                  Must understand and accept that it ain't about
 him or his coaching staff, but about the guys bangin' heads on 
the field
2. Leadership skills
                  Like a good battle tested soldier, he must get 
them to do things they are not aware that they can do. For 
those of you that played, remember the first two a day workout? 
You had no idea you could run 20 straight 100 yard wind sprints 
without passing out until you had no choice... or the first 
time you found yourself in the 4th quarter with time running 
out and had one more shot to score to win it.
3. Unquestionable ethics
                  There are plenty of chances to do the wrong 
thing in this position. The true test is being able to do the 
right thing even when it doesn't benefit you or the team. 
Teaching that it is just as important to hold you head high 
in defeat as it is in winning.
4. Knowledge of the game
                  Many of you likely think that this belongs at 
the top of the list. I beg to differ. Without #1-#3, #4 doesn't 
matter. I've seen a lot of coaches who put 1-3 at the bottom 
of the list or take them off all together and very few of them 
are still coaching today.
5. Vision
                  You think John McKissick knew he would still 
be coaching when he first walked onto the field at Summerville 
over 50 years ago? You bet he did. You think he envisioned a 
winning program like Summerville has? You bet he did. Those 
things don't just happen. You want to see a gentleman and a 
class act, hang around this guy for a day or two. 
Many will argue the order I've put these in, but few will argue 
the necessity for these qualities in any adult that is leading 
our youth in any sport or activity. Having coached myself at 
the youth level over the last 25 years, I can tell you first 
hand how tough the job is. I can only imagine the pressure 
and politics for a High School Football Coach or AD, but 
that does not relieve them of the responsibility for teaching 
our young men that above all else, you have to be able look 
yourself in the mirror when it is all said and done. Those 
that have paid the price to teach the lessons and those that 
have been the benefactor of that teaching will rest easy 
knowing that they can be proud of who they are and in some 
small way, maybe not so small, relate that to a guy with a 
whistle around his neck and a ballcap on that kept telling 
you "You can do it", until finally you believed him.
How many people in your life can your look up to and call "Coach"?


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