Skip to main content

#CoachesCorner: Coaching veteran Mickey Matthews shares a "hard and fast" rule every head coach should adopt

Welcome to Coaches Corner, a new series from FootballScoop where coaches submit ideas to share with the rest of the coaching community.

Coaches can publish articles with their names attached, or anonymously if they wish.

Future Coaches Corner articles can be identified by the whistle icon with a square around it, like you see in the lower right hand corner above.

Today's #CoachesCorner is from former James Madison (FCS - VA) head coach and college coaching veteran Mickey Matthews. Coach Matthews is a three-time National Coach of the Year who helped two programs win national championships. As head coach at James Madison, Matthews won the 2004 FCS National Championship. In 15 seasons as head coach at JMU, Matthews' teams won 109 games. After serving as defensive coordinator at the FBS level for two seasons, Matthews most recently coached linebackers for the Dallas Renegades of the XFL.

I wanted my coaches to be extremely focused during practice - focused on their specific group.

Based on some experiences I had witnessed in my career I developed a hard and fast rule: As a position coach NEVER coach / correct a player who is not one of your guys. Allow the player's coach to coach/correct him. That is not your job. Keep your focus on YOUR players.

I did not want the receiver coach correcting the secondary. I did not want the offensive line coach concerned with the defensive line. Even if it was an undisciplined action by the player, allow that player's coach to make the correction.

One slight exception to this rule was with coordinators. Coordinators on each side of the ball had carte blanche to correct anyone on their side of the ball, but never correct anyone on the opposite side.

Because I was so involved with all phases of practice I could spot problems very quickly. I always instructed my coaches there was a place and time (always in private ) to have professional, man-to-man discussions.

If the problem could not be solved, obviously I would step in. That is very important. Any, and I mean ANY, disagreements between coaches would be solved in private, and never in the presence of players.

If you have an idea that you want to contribute for the new #CoachesCorner series, reach out to to be considered.