This blog article will about the role of the football coach. Before we get into the principles, I feel I should add a disclaimer that this is an opinionated entry – these are my own personal feelings, so please, take them as you see fit.
The first and most important role of the coach is role model. This is true for any level of football, from Pop Warner to the NFL. Coaches have a very profound and unique impact on their players, and by extension the community around them. This impact can be good or bad, depending on the values and principles he instills in his players. Before any of us are football players, or coaches, or fans, or businessmen, or anything else, we are people, and our greatest responsibility lies in treating other people properly. Football coaches have a visibility above that of most others within the community, and when that visibility is used to present a hardworking, disciplined, high character individual, the community benefits. Furthermore, a team full of hardworking, disciplined, high character individuals is likely to be a good team; winning will take care of itself when the individuals involved have the right mindset.
The second role is as a trusted teacher. It is a coach’s responsibility to pass down the correct information. When an athlete hears a coach’s instruction, those words become law. The coach must seek out the right information. A coach who teaches fundamentals incorrectly, schemes incorrectly, conditions his players incorrectly, is doing a disservice to his players. A coach must be objective and proactive in seeking out the best coaching methods. Don’t be stuck in the past, using methods of yesteryear, because your players are members of a different era, one with more available research, science, and empirical data to improve the level of coaching.
The third role of the coach is to help the team achieve success. This is ranked last for two reasons. First, I believe it is less important than showing character and coaching the players properly. A coach who wins, but in doing so promotes bad character, a lack of discipline, and other undesirable traits, is really doing more harm to his team than good. A coach who sacrifices fundamentals and proper scheming for a win is really not setting a good foundation for future success; he is likely to fail sooner or later, even if he won early on by taking shortcuts instead of teaching good football. The second reason achieving success is third is because if the first two things get taken care of, winning will come easily. That said, achieving success is most certainly part of the coach’s job, one of the three roles I would list under their job description.
So, what are the roles of a coach?
1) Be a role a model, a benefit to the community.
2) Teach players the right way to play the game.
3) Lead the team to success.
Those are three thing I would list, and in that order.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPU's Alex Drayson writes the SPU Football Performance Blog.