If you're reading this article, you are either a coach, parent or maybe even a player wondering if you are getting coached correctly. But to be honest, there really isn't a secret to coaching football or some kind of technique that will have your players winning the state championship. Coaching has always been about building athletes to not only play football but give them the skills to prep them for the challenges of life. The most important skill is building a players MINDSET so they can continue to learn and grow to be the best they can be which is why we love this game of football. Think about it, football has always been known as the game that teach you skills that can correlate in life and the most important skill you can learn is the belief that you can learn and better yourself. Winning and losing is important but understanding how to handle situations when it doesn't go your way or how to humble yourself but still celebrate a win is really the important lesson. Having the right MINDSET can make all of the difference in performance, handling life situations and goal setting.
One of the things I've learned in the my years of coaching athletes is that going through drills with no understanding or focus is like blowing air into an air mattress that has a leak in it. They'll go through the motion but not retain or execute when it matters cause they have no idea on how it benefits them. This is why MINDSET is very so important. The body will only react and do what the mind tells it to do. Always teach the WHY on every exercise, explain the benefits, the reasons and the different situations it can be used on. Coaching has always been about teaching and finding different ways for athletes to understand. If the athlete understands what they are doing and WHY, they'll focus and be locked in that moment.
But knowing is just half the battle. Athletes can know the WHY behind an exercise but breakdown when they can't get it right. This is why the DEVELOPMENT MINDSET is also important. Athletes need to know that there will be failure in every lesson and this is just part of the process for improvement. Building a DEVELOPMENT MINDSET isn't just something that will help athletes play football, it'll help them in life. Someone said that people always need to grow in order to feel accomplished and the only way to grow is to take on challenges that will be uncomfortable. The DEVELOPMENT MINDSET will put the challenge into perspective and turn the uncomfortable challenge into a game. Once they overcome this challenge, athletes come out more confident, driven and gain experiences in learning from their mistakes or even helping or learning from their teammates.
As a coach, the priority is to teach an athlete the skills that they can use beyond the game of football and the biggest is MINDSET. If an athlete can learn how to focus on what they are doing and understand that making mistakes is just part of the process towards improvement, this will correlate to the challenges they will face in life. Building the MINDSET of an athlete will always be a challenge in the beginning cause those that don't understand the concept will be confused with how it relates to football. This is why the small things like explaining the reason for an exercise, how it can help them and pointing out the mistakes so they can fix it is key to building a good football player but also keys to building a strong MINDSET.