Are you interested in coaching with the Jr. Eagles? Please complete the Coach's Application in the Forms/Handouts Tab and send it back to Dave Golnick (email@example.com
) or the Division Director at the level that you are interested in coaching. This year, we have worked with Jacobs High School to develop a Coach's Handbook that will be provided to each Head Coach. This will allow us to standardize the proper, safe techniques throughout the program to ensure success and development of the players.
The Football Coach
There is someone who you have to respect,
He faces the challenge without any regret.
When riding the crest, fans praise and cheer,
But if the team loses, cruel taunts he will hear.
Countless hours he devotes in preparing to win,
While his family is at home, all waiting for him.
In victory crowds beg for a shake of his hand,
In defeat, however, alone he must stand.
His players revere him, he knows what's best,
they render their utmost when put to the test.
No matter the outcome, he sits by their side,
Filling each youthful heart with courage and pride.
He tutors his warriors to fight to the end,
Yes this is their Coach, a builder of men.
Calling All Coaches
What to know before coaching your child
You register your child for football, and there's a space on the application to volunteer as a coach. It's an intriguing idea.
Why not take the opportunity to spend more time with your son, get to know his friends and show some young gridders what football is all about?
"If you have the knowledge or a talent for working with children, why cheat him or his friends from benefiting from your expertise?" asks Pat McInally, former punter for the Cincinnati Bengals, author of Moms and Dads: Kids and Sports, and founder of GoodSports, an organization that promotes sportsmanship, perspective and fairness.
But consider it carefully. The stakes are high when your child is on the team. Coaches take heat from other parents over who starts at quarterback, over playing time and just about everything else. Your child can feel undue pressure, and that can strain your relationship. "It's a thin line to maintain," concedes Fred Engh, president of the National Alliance for Youth Sports. "You want to coach so that ten years from now your son says you were the greatest."
If you do decide to coach your own child -- and coaching youth football can be very rewarding -- here are some tips from the experts about how to maintain a healthy balance.
1. Take a class.
Attend the training courses offered by the league, and seek out seminars or clinics that can help you with organization, teaching skills, safety and relating to kids.
2. Start as an assistant.
Get your feet wet by spending a season as an assistant coach. You can have a positive influence on your child and the team without bearing the burden of being the head guy.
3. Clear the air.
A preseason parents' meeting can thwart potential problems. Set clear-cut policies, and lay out the conduct you expect from parents. Some coaches flat-out say: "I'll talk to your kids about their desire for more playing time, but not to you." Whatever your policies, explain them well and be consistent.
4. Check your priorities.
If you want to coach so you can realize the glory you never achieved as a kid, stop right there. Your adult goals and aspirations have no place in youth football. Remember that it's a game. You are there to teach good fundamentals, sportsmanship, teamwork, commitment and to have fun.
5. Be a good role model.
Make sure your on-field behavior demonstrates respect for other coaches, players and officials. Don't just talk about sportsmanship and teamwork; lead by example.
6. Accept constructive criticism.
Be open to evaluation from other coaches, parents and your spouse. They may see that you're getting caught up emotionally and losing perspective.
7. Treat your child fairly.
Have equal expectations for everyone on the team. Don't be harder on your child than the rest. He's still growing, developing and needs encouragement just like the other kids. Ask an assistant coach to convey constructive criticism. Kids sometimes tune out their own parents or think dad is picking on them. When another coach corrects his stance, he's likely to listen.
8. Rotate your roster.
Be fair with playing time, especially when it comes to the skill positions. Other parents take note if your son is the one who never gets off the field or has far more carries than any other running back-even if he is the best one out there. Of course, your child has the same right to be quarterback as anybody. Don't make him sit the bench more than his fair share. Allow everyone the same opportunity to try various positions.
9. Leave your coach's whistle at the field.
Your child needs you to be a parent and give unconditional love and support. Never discuss his teammates at home, good or bad. Away from the field, relish just being a parent.
Mom of a Pop Warner Mitey-Mite, and wife of a high school coach, Amy Zintl is a freelance writer whose work frequently appears in Ladies' Home Journal, Parents and American Baby.
This article was reprinted with permission courtesy of Kickoff Magazine. To subscribe, click here.
10 Vital Tips For Coaches
Ten Things You Don't Learn in Coaching School
Original by Chuck Struhar,
Athletic Director, Long Reach H.S., Columbia, MD
Excerpted from Coach & Athletic Director magazine, published by Scholastic, Inc.
555 Broadway, New York, NY 10012 - used with permission.
I know, I know...you played the sport in college, took the CPR course, attended a clinic, and you are now ready to launch your career as a coach.
Well, after 30 years of coaching, I have discovered that there are always a few things that no one ever taught you and that are vital to your coaching success.
Here are the 10 things that someone ought to have taught you:
1. Not everyone will like you.
No matter how many games you win, not everyone is going to consider you the greatest coach who ever lived! Particularly the athletes you don't play, the parents of an athlete you had to discipline, or the opposing coach.
When criticism is voiced, ignore it. Do what you think is right...chances are it will be. If you intend to stay in the profession, you will have to learn to live with criticism. And as you achieve more and more success, you can expect to receive more and more criticism. The whole world doesn't love a winner.
2. Try to play everyone.
It is very difficult to play every athlete in every game but you have to make a sincere effort to do so.
Put yourself in the position of the one player who didn't get into the game. (Do you remember when you were that age?) Isn't he going to think that since you picked him for the team, you surely must have seen something in him that led you to believe he was a player. Sit down with him before the next game and let him know that you are going to give him playing time. Have an assistant remind you of it at the appropriate time.
3. Never run up the score.
I have been on both sides of the fence, and this is not what sports are about. Do not use the excuse that "there was nothing I could do." Wrong! There are many things that you could have done. Find a way to keep the score respectable.
4. Be on time...everywhere.
That goes for practices, games, meetings, and conferences. It will set the tone for your entire program. Always be the first one to show up and your team will pick up on it. It will be difficult to criticize a player for being late when you yourself are paying no attention to the rule. That kind of thing will detract from your professionalism.
5. Make sure you and your team look good.
Before each game, make sure your team is dressed appropriately and that they are wearing uniforms as they were designed to be worn. And, make sure that you are dressed to coach. Wear a shirt with your team/school logo. Be proud of your program and school. An old coach I admired used to call it "dressing out" for practice and games. Check the opposing team and coach. Do you look as good as they do? Believe me, people notice how you and your team look. Even old uniforms can look classy when worn correctly.
6. Improve yourself.
Make a sincere effort to read books about your sport, attend a clinic, write an article, speak to a youth group, hold a clinic, talk with another coach about your sport, watch a college practice, etc. Give something back to the sport. You and your program will benefit greatly.
7. When bad things happen, go back to fundamentals.
When you hit a losing streak - and you will - put the trick plays back in the playbook and get back to fundamentals. Spend time watching the superior teams in any sport and you will notice that they all have one thing in common: They are fundamentally sound. Go back and do the most basic drills, and good things will start happening.
8. Minimize your pep talks.
The longer you coach, the firmer this rule should become. When you have to talk to your team, do so. But, after 20 "when I was your age..." talks, kids will stop listening. Spend more time talking to individual athletes. One of the best things you can do is set five minutes aside each day to talk with one of your athletes about his/her value to the team. This practice will work wonders.
9. Never criticize the officials in public.
In 30 years of coaching I have encountered incompetent and downright bad officials, but never a biased one. Do not criticize them in the newspapers or in front of your team. It will merely give your team an excuse for losing. If you have a problem, take it to the supervisor of the officials and you will accomplish a lot more. Do it privately, and with respect, and you will get the issues addressed.
10. Spend time with the average players.
Let your assistants work with the superstars. You work with the athletes who will be batting 7-8-9 or the ones who have a 40% free-throw average. Make them feel important and they will improve by leaps and bounds. Your assistants will enjoy this practice, and your average players will appreciate the attention.
Coaching As A Parent
Every year in the U.S. as many as 20 million youngsters participate in formal sports programs and approximately 2.5 million adults commit their time to be coaches. In many cases community programs are starving for volunteers to coach. So, if an adult, usually a parent, is willing to commit the time, they automatically get the job. The prerequisite for coaching in youth sports? You must be a warm body and know how many players should be on the playing field at any given time.
The problem with this picture is that all too often frustrated adult jocks become coaches and pass on their pent up ambitions onto their nubile players making the sports experience for many children a negative one.
Many of these "frustrated jock" coaches utilize a teaching style that emphasizes a negative approach to modifying behavior. That is, they attempt to eliminate mistakes through the use of punishment and criticism. Example: "How many times have I told you to set the ball with two hands? Do you want us to lose the game?" This approach not only makes the child feel terrible about their mistake which in turn makes them even more nervous when they're in the same situation again, but it also provides a negative experience and increases the likelihood that child won't be back to participate next season.
When coaches understand that their role is an extension of parenting, they soon realize that there's a better way to teach kids, correct mistakes and make the entire sporting activity a positive and happy experience for the youngster.
An enlightened approach to coaching that is catching on in the Northwest is a program called "Positive Coaching". This "philosophy" of being positive in teaching sports to youth has been around for some time. There are various educators in the Northwest that have developed variations of "Positive Coaching" programs and have been presenting those throughout many Washington communities. However, two years ago the Washington Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect adopted the "Positive Coaching" concept as it was very clear that many abuses of children occur on a regular basis on the playing field.
Positive Coaching is characterized by a liberal use of reinforcement. Two programs that are currently endorsed by the Council have been developed by Dr. Frank Smoll of the University of Washington and John Devine, an educator and coach.
Smoll's research found that the single most important difference between coaches to whom children respond most favorably and those to whom they respond least favorably was the frequency with which they reinforced desirable behaviors. Smoll promotes looking for positive things and reinforcing them. He found that reinforcement, sincerely given, didn't spoil the child, but rather, it gave them something to strive for.
All too often coaches emphasize the importance of "winning" in your sports. However, a coach should focus on effort rather than the end result. Former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden best characterized this attitude when he said:
"When the game is over, I want your head up -- and I know only one way for your head to be up -- and that's for you to know that you did your best...This means to do the best you can do. That's the best; no one can do more...You made that effort."
Many people tend to focus on the negative side of mistakes. We consider them to be bad and should be avoided at all costs. Certainly, no one normally "tried" to make mistakes. But mistakes do have a positive side. They provide the information we need to improve performance and are important stepping stones to achievement. If coaches can convey this idea to young athletes, they can help them to accept and learn from their mistakes.
The "positive coaching" philosophy works. A youngster who is positively motivated welcomes and peaks under pressure, while the fear-of-failure youth dreads critical situations and the possibility of failure and disapproval. A positive coach always encourages their players to do their best. We can do no more than our best which is one of the most valuable lessons we can ever learn.
The Washington Council for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect has set aside funds to allow experts like Smoll and Devine to give "positive coaching" presentations to groups throughout the State of Washington. The Council believes that a child's experience in athletics should be both a fun and challenging one at the same time. These seminars, which are designed to give youth coaches the tools to work more effectively with young athletes, are intended to have that result.
In fact, it would eventually be a benefit to all youth athletic programs if coaches were required to attend a "positive coaching" seminar before participating as a coach. Knowing how to set a ball or serve it is only a small part of learning to be a good coach. The real key is learning how to motivate youth so that in the end everyone benefits from their experience in the youth athletic program.
Coaching Your Child in Youth Sports
(provided by Jonathon Buzby)
I have found two of the most challenging roles as an adult to be parenting and coaching children. This naturally makes coaching as a parent one of the toughest assignments you can undertake. Yet, as with parenting and coaching, being a parent-coach can be one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever encounter.
There are many reasons parents choose to coach. One is for the love of sports. There are many parents who coach before, during and after their own child plays sports. This parent probably played sports as a child and is a sports fanatic. A second reason parents coach is because their child will not participate if they are not involved in some way. Some children are accustomed to Mom and Dad being around all the time and do not take instruction well from others outside of a school setting. The third reason parents coach is because nobody else wants to do it. Without this dedicated parent the team might not exist. This parent may not have any sports experience, but is willing to take over the team for the benefit of the children.
Two of my proudest moments as a coach have been related to my role as a parent-coach. The first is when a mother told me it took her three practices to realize which child was mine. This told me that I was treating my child as a member of the team in all aspects of the practice. I instructed him as I did the other team members, spending as much individual time with him as I did with the other players but also insisting he follow the same rules as his teammates and not take advantage of Dad being the head coach.
No matter what reasons a parent becomes a coach the challenges are the same. The biggest challenge is how to treat your own child as a member of the team. Parents tend to treat their child in one of two ways. The first is by being harder on their child than the other team members. This is sometimes because a coach feels his/her child should lead by example. This might also be so the other parents won't accuse him/her of playing favorites. Regardless of the reason it should be avoided.
An example from my personal experience happened during a recent hockey game when I removed my son from the game because his shift was over and he began crying because he had not shot on goal yet. I became very angry ("no son of mine was going to carry on like that") and told him he wasn't going back in the game. I took a minute and recalled how I previously handled a similar situation with another player and realized I had made a mistake. I went to him and explained that "everyone has to play and take turns" and that he would get to go back in again when it was his shift. He quickly calmed down and returned to the game during his normal shift (he never did score). I learned an important lesson as a parent-coach that game.
The second way I have seen parent-coaches handle their own child is to treat him special. Special treatment is letting him always hit first or play a popular position all the time. This makes the transition to a non-parent head coach even more difficult and will upset the parents who paid money for their child to be treated as an equal player on the team. Your child has to understand that he will get to hit first or play point guard the same number of times all the other players do.
Treating your own child too harshly and favoring your child are two situations that should be avoided. One thing I've learned as a coach is to treat every child (including my own) like I would want my child to be treated if I weren't the coach.
My second proudest moment as a coach was when my son came over to the post-practice team huddle, put his arm around me and said, "Dad, you're a great coach!" I don't know of a parent or coach who couldn't be touched by that act of appreciation. It was a nice reminder that parents coach because they enjoy spending time with their kids and that your child will always appreciate you first and foremost as mom or dad.
You will be called upon to be a parent while you are coaching many times. It is difficult for kids to differentiate the roles of parent and coach and therefore you shouldn't expect them to never treat you like a parent during practices or games. An example would be when your child gets injured. Another player on the team might cry or get upset but probably wouldn't turn to you like he would his own parent. Your own child most likely will. He will expect you to act and treat him like a parent during these times and it is important that you do. If he falls and skins his knee at practice he expects you to treat him just like you do at home when the same thing happens. I tell parent-coaches to remember that "you'll be a coach for a season, you are a parent forever."
Another example would be when your child experiences the frustration of playing a bad game or losing. He won't want to hear your coaching speech on "lessons to be learned from losing" but instead will want to be consoled as a family member. I always make a point of avoiding "coach to player conversations" on the car ride home. Instead I make sure our conversation is as father and son whether we talk about the game or something completely irrelevant.
One last piece of advice I'll recommend is to take an opportunity to be a supportive parent-spectator for a season. This will give your child the experience of playing without you as a coach and might also give you some insight on how to treat him by seeing how he best reacts to different coaching styles.
No matter how many seasons you coach, being an effective parent-coach is a never-ending challenge. Keep these things in mind to help make coaching your child one of the best experiences you'll ever have.
Jonathan Buzby is the Director of Coaches Education for Special Olympics Delaware and is a volunteer coach for the Western Y.M.C.A. of Newark, Delaware. He has over fifteen years of experience administrating, teaching and coaching children in sports. He has written two books, "Coaching Kids: It's More than X's and O's" and "Raising a Sports Fanatic." For information on either book contact:
PO Box 1153
Football Coaches' Guide to Heat Illness and Hydration
We are about to embark on another season. One issue that often presents itself is hydration and heat illness for our players. Clck on the picture of the water bottle above and you will be linked to an article on the topic that I thought made sense. Please give me any feedback that you have on this issue or this article.
||Lake in the Hills-Algonquin Junior Eagles Youth Football