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7 Things athletic directors wish coaches knew

Athletic Directors have more responsibilities than could possibly be listed. They are key in keeping games running smoothly and managing insanely busy schedules. For most athletic directors, the best part about their job is the ability to help develop their coaches, especially because most are former coaches themselves.

50 long-time high school athletic directors provided the following insight about things they wish their coaches knew:

  • As the infamous coaching cliche says, "Its about Jimmys and Joes not X's and O's" Developing relationships while developing players in the weight room and on the practice field is most important. In today’s world the game needs to be fun for them. By building those relationships you have a better chance of making the game fun which in turn leads to more Jimmys and Joes.
  • We want coaches to create a culture and environment that kids want to be apart of We know that coaches already know the physical work it takes for their team to compete at their highest level, but it is important for them to create an engaging atmosphere so the athletes want to do the necessary physical work to be their best. People always get behind a winning football team, but they also get behind a football team that connects well with the other athletic teams, the school and the community.
  • Football is not the only sport in the school The last player on the tennis team is as important as the starting quarterback. They should relish the attention they get when other athletes and coaches are working just as hard. We like to see teams supporting other teams within our program.
  • Challenge your players but understand balance Don't be afraid to expect the best and challenge the kids with those expectations. Players rise to the standards that you set. The best coaches are the ones that challenge their players. However, Sometimes less is more. You need to know when to work them harder and when you need to change your approach.
  • It's important to make each kid feel like they have a role on the team  It might be only on the kick-off or on the punt team, but they should try as hard as possible to get each kid into a position where they can feel they contributed. This is easier to do in a sport like football. Your best athletes are going to play the most, and they should but find a way to get the fringe kid in for a play or two.
  • The scoreboard doesn't reflect the lifelong lessons that players learn All coaches are professional educators who have the daily opportunity to impact student-athletes physically, intellectually, and emotionally. Sometimes without even realizing it, the things that they say and do on a daily basis not only influence how our kids play, but also have the potential to shape the way they see themselves and the world around them. You can't measure the impact of football with any stat or number. It can make a person able to handle any adversity thrown at them throughout their life. Now more than ever, former football players are able to cope with life's adversity because they endured the rigors of football.
  • The power of positive coaching Coaching is about teaching. The most effective coaches are the ones that understand how to teach the game and how to be positive with kids.

Thank you to all of the awesome Ottawa-Kent Conference AD's that took time out of their busy schedules to provide this insight, especially my dad Scott Robertson.

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