It's that time of year at colleges around the country. A group of guys that coaches have seen mature from boys to men is about to graduate and enter the real world. It's a scary, yet exciting time for them, and as coaches, we have a duty to see that the transition is as successful as possible.
Tennessee's Vols For Life program is a program dedicated to providing player support and character education to Vols players. It's certainly is not the first of its kind, but it may be the most comprehensive and aggressive program out there that I'm aware of, and they do a spectacular job of promoting it.
The program concentrates on bringing in past players to educate and network with current players about life after football, and helps them with everything from the maturation process through their college years, to landing a job after graduation. It's a swiss-army-knife type of tool for players that has nearly limitless advantages.
Here, Tennessee VFL program is helping current players and recent graduates network with former players to learn about making the transition as a major college student athlete to a person in the "working world". If you aren't doing something like this for your players, you're doing them a major disservice.
While it's would definitely be a great recruiting tool to tell parents about on their initial visit, it's a much bigger statement to say that you make a continual commitment to your players beyond the four (or five) years that you have them under your wing.
What makes this kind of event unique is that it doesn't have to be just a football centered event. Get the whole athletic department in on it and multiply those connections and give your graduating players an even larger "landing zone" for success.
Check out the VFL Career Night below.