One of the more exciting things about this upcoming season for our team is the implementation of a character development program. A few of our coaches and myself have worked for the past several months in the development of a particular “motto” and our “4 pillars” that are the foundation of that motto. After going back and forth with many ideas swirling in our meetings this spring we finally came upon our perfect motto.
Obviously this is not something that we created from scratch, but we fell in love with the concept of winning everyday. I reiterate to our players on a daily basis that everyday we hit that field, we practice and prepare so that when we step off the field at the end of our practice, we got better. This is important because it touches every athlete that walks on that field. It is not only important for our starters who take the majority of the snaps, it is also important for our back-ups and especially our scout team members. Since we have varying abilities on the field, this encompasses every player regardless of ability, as long as they are better when they walk off the field, than they were when they walked on the field that day, we are playing by our motto, “Win The Day”.
Webster refers to commitment as the “act of committing to a charge or trust”. We as coaches are committed to our players. We put in the time, the devotion the emotions that it takes to be a coach. We pour hours into preparing our players to the best of our ability for their upcoming opponents. We take to time to talk to our players on a personal level so that we instill trust with them. We go out of our way to do everything we can to make sure that they succeed on the field and in the classroom. We ask our team to commit to each other and to commit to our program. It is very difficult to get 70+ players on the same page and all going in the same direction. We are not perfect and we often have players that don’t want to commit themselves to anyone but themselves, but our goal is to get our team to commit so that on game night, we have all of our players using every ounce of their energy to perform to the best of their ability. So that they can walk off that field, win or lose, feeling as if they did their best and they did not let the guy next to them down.
Webster refers to discipline as “training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character”. Coaching high school athletes we often run into a multitude of attitudes and temperaments. This often shows up in the heat of the battle on game night. As with many high school teams, the players on the opposite side of the line of scrimmage often like to talk and try and get under the skin of our athletes. We are guilty of the same things at times, but with the implementation of “discipline” in our pillar system, we hope to eliminate those times when the aforementioned behaviors cost our team and our players on the field. The ability to keep an even keel and perfect our “moral character” will eliminate erroneous penalties and hopefully overlap in the classroom and in the hallways when the situation may call for it. If you wear our jersey, you are expected to be a man of character and be the better person. Take care of the problem in between whistles and within the rules of the game or you don’t take care of it at all
Webster refers to effort as “conscious exertion of power : hard work”. As long as our athletes are playing hard and putting forth their maximum effort at all times we ask them to, the results will take care of themselves. As a coach, one of the most gut wrenching things to go through is to see your boys out on the field being out-worked. It is one thing to lose to a superior team. When the talent on one side of the ball is over whelming, it is not an excuse to not work hard, but rather a reason to work even harder and when the scoreboard shows in favor of the opposing team, you can hold your head high. It is a completely different thing to be out-worked and see your athletes pushed around because they are not putting forth their maximum effort. We just ask that every time you set foot on the field, in the weight room, or even in the classroom, you put forth your maximum effort that will allow you to get better that particular day, and you can be proud and hold your head high knowing you did all you can do to succeed.
Webster refers to finish as “to come to an end: terminate”. This means applying all of the other pillars until the very end. We ask that our athletes apply the same amount of energy to all of our pillars from the very beginning to the very end of every game, practice and workout. To many games are won and lost in the 4th quarter to not address this issue. We want our boys to finish their lifts in the weight room, finish their drills at practice and finish on game nights as well. We don’t care if we are up by 40 points or down by 40 points, you treat every snap as if you are never going to be able to play this great game again.
As a coaching staff, we feel that if we can, as a team, address each one of these pillars in everything that we do on a daily basis, we will “Win The Day”, day after day.