I hear from coaches all the time who have their own ideas on how a football team should be run. They just cannot get the head coach to listen!
This is a touchy subject. After all, the head coach is the man in charge. This is his time to shine. Not only that, he probably has more experience than other coaches on staff (though not always).
This episode dives into how to get your head coach to open up to your suggestions… and when to keep your mouth shut.
Part 1: The Head Coach’s Time To Shine
- Most football coaches want to be in charge one day. One of the big advantages of being the Head Coach is doing things your way.
- The Head Football Coach is the only name most fans know at the High School level. He is the only coach whose name gets in the paper. He is often the only coach who could lose his job.
- When you are just completely incompatible with a head coach, it is up to you to find another job. Never sabotage a program just because you think you know better.
Part 2: Know Your Role
- This sounds harsh, but often this question comes to me from very enthusiastic young coaches. They’ve listened to podcasts, been to clinics, and studied film. What you do not have is real world experience. Real world experience is everything.
- If the head coach is not putting players in danger, the disagreements are probably not that big. Wanting to run a different scheme, or organize practice differently, is not worth a huge fuss. These are relatively minor issues in the grand scheme of things.
- Step back and evaluate if the changes you want to see are really of importance for the program. Or are they just shiny new objects you heard at a clinic?
Part 3: Making Changes Without Being In Charge
- You can make a difference in how the program is run, even when you are not in charge. First, you have control over your own position group or your own team. Run things within that group just as you see fit (within the boundaries set by the head coach).
- Bring up suggestions and provide more information. If you can share a resource with the head coach about what you want to do, it may help to hear from another source. It could also completely backfire.
- Another great strategy for change is to plant the seeds. Do not be overly pushy with your ideas. That can lead to pushback. Let the idea rattle around in the head coach’s brain for a few days. They may come back and present the same idea as if it were their own. That’s OK, you just want change. Not credit.
- Look for opportunities to make change where no one is doing anything, or no one is truly passionate. If there is not a committed strength coach on staff, try to implement a new strength program. If pre-practice is a joke, steal 10 minutes to implement a new idea.
- I always wanted to be the man in charge too. Here are 12 Lessons I Learned As A Head Coach from Season 4 of the Football Coaching Podcast.
- From Season 9, Episode 11 of the Football Coaching Podcast – Coaching Staff Organization.
- For coaches just getting into the profession, check out Football Coaching 101 is Season 7 of The Football Coaching Podcast for ways you can contribute right away.