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"We do a father-son camping retreat, and then have our players take their mom on a date night"

Today, we released the first episode of The FootballScoop Podcast (you can subscribe via iTunes here), and in it we talked about a number of keys to building a successful football program with Shiloh Christian (AR) head coach Jeff Conaway and Ferris State (D-II - MI) quarterbacks coach / run game coordinator Dan Rohn. who won a number of state titles at Grand Rapids West Catholic HS (MI) after building the program up at Fremont HS (MI).

One of the topics of the podcast that we've already got a tremendous amount of feedback on already, has been Conaway and Rohn's creative program building ideas that includes both parental and community involvement.

At Shiloh Christian HS, coach Conaway explained that they do a father-son retreat every year, where they float down a river together, and later gather around a campfire. There, in a group setting, players are asked to share one thing that they appreciate about their fathers, and in-turn, fathers are asked to share something about their sons that makes them proud. The experience led to a number of fathers thanking coach Conaway and his staff for the opportunity to share that special moment with their son, and some even hugged Conaway and shared how it forever transformed the relationship that they have.

Conaway also did something similar involving the mothers in the program and their sons by having their sons treat their moms to a date night. The program would rent a local ballroom and players would dress up, pull chairs out for their moms, enjoy dinner together, and listen to a scheduled speaker together on a topic like "how to treat women" or another topic along those lines.

For Rohn's program at West Catholic, they did something very similar and also got the surrounding communities involved. West Catholic players and their fathers would head out into the community and put in a solid day's work doing community service for people, or businesses in need and afterwards they would go home and shower and then meet back up for a steak dinner and church service, followed by some team activities that dads would be a part of. In that meeting, Rohn also has guys that were interested in being team captains stand up and speak to the team in front of everyone and talk about what this upcoming season meant to them.

Listen to those ideas more in depth, as well as a number of other ideas that coach Rohn and coach Conaway share for building a successful football program below.