Thursday, January 15, 2009

Put it in Perspective

Coaching college football takes a tremendous amount of time and hard work. It takes countless hours and years of dedication to develop philosophies and strategies that are used in each phase of the game. Coaches take years developing their teaching abilities both on and off the field in an attempt to develop and prepare their players to be the best that they can be.
The development of student athletes on the field is important in order to win games and championships however more important that winning games and championships are the life lessons that can be taught through athletics.
I recently attended the AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) clinic in Nashville Tennessee and heard several speakers talk about different strategies and philosophies that are concerned with the game of football however one of the most important messages that I took was from Tom Osborne. He was the former coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers who had many years of success and won several national championships. After his coaching career he went on to become senator of the state of Nebraska and has most recently accepted a job as the athletic director of the Nebraska. Osborne discussed the fact that when he was coaching his players often came from two parent households and the out of wed birthrate was at a very low percentage throughout the country. Today the backgrounds of players throughout the country are very different as the out of wed birthrate is very high as is the divorce rate.
As a result of these factors young people are growing up without support and guidance. One way to reach these young people is through their involvement in sports and the positive environment that coaches can create on both high school and college teams. I think that by being a positive role model as a coach and teaching young people the right way to do things is more important than wins and losses.
Listening to head coach Urban Myer of the national champion Florida Gators being interviewed after they won the game he said that he had a great deal of pride in his team but that he loved his team because of how close they are. An environment which is positive and supportive allows for strong relationships to be built and great things accomplished.

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