Being a successful football coach is more than just dialing up the right plays. It requires you to lead and teach a group of athletes; each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
You can get the most out of your roster by being ready to coach your team at both an individual and group level. Pro Tips spoke with high school coach Quincy Faison on how he handles coaching his players.
COACHING A TEAM
A successful football team builds comradery on the field. If the players are friends and trust each other, it can help lead to improved results.
“Team building is really important in any sport. And it’s really important in the sport of football,” Faison says.
A good way to help your team’s bond grow is by having events away from the field.
“We like for our players to be friends,” Faison says. “And so, we’ll have events off the field that start to foster that type of communication and that type of comradery with the players.”
COACHING AN INDIVIDUAL
Depending on the size of your roster, you may be coaching anywhere from a dozen athletes to more than 50. While coaching the entire group is important, you also need to be able to coach players on an individual level.
“I know it sounds cliché, but you’re only as strong as your weakest link,” Faison says. “And you need to be able to identify those links.”
When it comes to working with individual players, you need to handle these interactions on a case-by-case basis. What works for one player might not work for another.
“One of the ways that we help our players reach their full potential is understanding that coaching is not one size fits all,” Faison says. “You got to understand each individual player, where their weaknesses lie, and try to correct and help challenge those guys to work on those weaknesses so they get stronger.”
Every team needs to have a player that can step up and lead. Whether it’s game day, practice or the weight room, leaders can help push your football team to be better.
There are a variety of ways to identify leaders on your roster. Coach Faison offers two methods he uses to identify leaders or captains for his squad. The first is the player needs to be coachable.
“He’s got to be able to take construction, learn it and apply those constructions,” Faison says.
The second is that they need to be a self-leader. Wilson says it is important to find players who step up and take initiative to improve.
“He’s not the guy that’s going to try to be the coach, but he’s going to be a guy on the field that leads by example,” Faison says. “And that everyone else will follow.”
Coaching involves more than showing up on game day. By working with both your team and individual players during practice, your squad can be ready to deliver when it steps on the field.
Looking for some more football coach guidance? Check out this checklist for football training equipment essentials to make sure your team has all the right gear this season. Also, be ready to coach your team the fundamentals. Check out these Pro Tips on teaching the three-point stance and the breakdown stance.