A Coaches Perspective on Coaching Style and Philosophy
I describe my coaching style as personal. I feel as a coach the performance, execution, character, and motivation of my team is my responsibility. The quality of these defined areas is a reflection of who I am, what I teach, and what I believe. Being a coach with this defined style, I am continually looking for ways to improve my program. I look for feedback from my players through their performance on the field, their execution of the skills taught, their display of character on the field and in the classroom, and their enthusiasm toward their responsibilities on and off the field.
My coaching style fits the philosophy I have adapted because it reflects me and what I believe are important entities of life. Through my twenty-four years of coaching, I have placed things in a priority which have developed into my philosophy. They are Faith, Family, Football and Friends.
I continually tell my players they too must prioritize. Faith is the most important area in my philosophy. An individual’s Faith, regardless of religion, is extremely important in their daily lives. I was raised a Southern Baptist and have learned many valuable lessons that have made me a better person, husband, and father. I have passed these on to my children and have stressed to my players that they too need the daily comfort of living within their chosen faith. Our Faith makes us strong during times of adversity and allows us an opportunity to reflect on our religious teachings.
Family is the next area of importance in my philosophy. I believe that the family provides a strong support system to players and coaches. It is extremely demanding managing family time as a player and a coach. As a father, husband, and coach it is my responsibility to provide for my family an improved quality of life as well as providing family time to my players. I stress to my players, other than their parents, their coaches are their greatest fans. I encourage them to spend their free time with their parents and siblings because of the very little time life provide us to appreciate family. The idea of creating a family atmosphere within my team creates an atmosphere of caring between players. I feel if the players sincerely care about each other they will over achieve to accomplish individual and team goals.
Football is what I have committed to as a professional . Just as my players have chosen to be a part of this special fraternity, we must commit to doing the right things on and off the playing field as players and coaches. Our actions in both environments have a direct impact on our football team and define our character. I remind our coaches that our players do look up to them and the example they lead by will be transformed into actions by our players. I remind our players there are small children who envy them. The children model themselves after players and the players are always in the eyes of small children. My commitment to football is year round. I plan every day for our players. We always want to give our players an opportunity to be successful. Success to me as a football coach is the “wins” but also what the young men, who came through our program, do beyond the playing field. It is important to me for our players to graduate high school, obtain an advanced degree and become successful professionals. The emphasis on goal setting is implemented into our football program by having our players identify their strengths and weaknesses. Identifying strengths and weaknesses provide the players an opportunity to overcome their obstacles by identifying their resources for help and advice.
The final area addressed in my philosophy is friends. Friends are a great support system for coaches and players. Friends will provide the necessary support for encouragement toward accomplishing goals. Personally, without friends I would not have continued to pursue my goals as a professional. There have been many times in my life where I have called upon friends for advice and support. Even though the time we call upon friends may be limited, it is important never to burn those bridges that keep friendships together.
In closing, many coaches have defined their philosophy and many have not. I believe it is very important for coaches to identify their style and philosophy because it is their trademark. A coaches’ trademark is designed to define what he/she is all about and what they stand. It is not our place to judge one’s style and philosophy when the success of the student-athlete is all that matters.