Purposeful Work. Embrace the Discomfort. FINISH!
"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm"
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Enthusiasm | Coaching relies heavily on the ability to motivate athletes. This motivation is best achieved through positive and energetic instruction. It is important to set a positive tone. Positive energy is contagious throughout the program. Players are more likely to play with great energy if the coaches instruct with great energy. Players should be praised for good play and poor play must be corrected immediately in a firm but never humiliating way. Embarrassing players for their mistakes will not bring out the best in them. This will alienate players and cause problems with players/coach relationships.
Trust/Respect | The most important aspect of coaching is the relationship that is built with the players. This relationship must be one of mutual trust and respect. To earn the respect of the players, one must be able to back expectations with actions. For example, if a coach expects the players to be on time for all meetings and practices then they will expect the coach to be on time as well. There is no greater responsibility the coach has, then to model the proper behaviors on and off the field. Players will ultimately lose trust and respect for a coach that cannot practice what is preached. Another key to this trust/respect relationship is honesty. Athletes respect coaches who tell the truth. They may not like it but it is critical in the development of the relationship between the coach and athlete.
Strategic Discipline | In order to be successful over a period of time, players must buy into all aspects of the football program. The offensive and defensive strategies a coach employs, will only be effective if the players can execute them. It is important that the players understand the concepts behind the strategies and essential to stay consistent. For example, a disciplined run game is a constant of teams that I have coached. The players buy into the importance of a strong running attack because it is a consistent point of emphasis. It stands to reason that it is easier to master a few strategies then to master many. If your team has confidence in a few strategies then they are better off than a team that changes strategies every game. Stay disciplined with the strategies and tweak for personnel and opponent differences.
Coach Bill Ellinghaus (email | 630.428.6844)