Who Are We? Creating a Championship Mindset Pt. IV
Let’s address respect first, since football is a sport that requires mutual respect to exist in order for its life’s lessons to manifest themselves within those who play and coach it. As a result of football being such a tough and violent sport, many coaches approach their profession with aggression. Aggression is a powerful tool, but when it is a blind response to adversity or failure it can establish an enormous road block to achieving a championship mindset. Many of us have likely seen this firsthand. We all know a coach (perhaps we have been this coach) who when he corrects a player’s mistake is so aggressive that his aggression seems personally directed at the player. Often this is done in the heat of the moment and, most importantly, in the presence of other players and coaches. We all know a coach (perhaps we have been this coach) who when he sees failure has unceremoniously yanked a kid from the field of play, or a drill, without an explanation or opportunity for redemption/improvement. What these actions do is alienate the player. They make him feel outnumbered. They make him feel small. They turn what should be a correction, a teaching moment, an opportunity for growth, into an attack on personality and character. When this happens respect disintegrates on the spot, and not only is rebuilding this respect a difficult task, but on field performance will invariably be affected. Since football is a sport that requires physical sacrifice from those who play it, players must respect the man asking them to make this sacrifice or they will not be able to make it – nor is it fair to ask them to. When this sacrifice cannot be made, games cannot be won. One more point upon which to chew. When the coach in the above situations did not treat his player with dignity or respect, who witnessed this? More often than not, the answer is EVERYBODY. We must always remember that, as coaches, our actions are constantly being observed and evaluated by those who play for us, and when we act in a manner that destroys mutual respect those actions are witnessed by those not directly involved in the interaction. In a sense, a coach who does this has shown his true colors, and everyone who sees it will be forced to change their opinion of their coach as a result, debilitating the creation of a championship mindset.
Coach Q, a.k.a Yann Kumin, is President of Operations for the Boston Institute of Football and Assistant Head Coach for the D1 Malden Catholic Lancers.
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