Well it looks like I just completed my third season of youth football. Each season I have been fortunate enough to be the assistant coach helping teach kids the fundamentals of football. We volunteer our time and comes with a lot of highs and lows. For myself I don’t have a “Dog in the Fight,” meaning I don’t have a son on the team. I have two little girls that play soccer. Why am I not writing about them today you ask, because there isn’t enough internet to talk about my angels. Back to the boys.
Not having a kid that plays allows me to evaluate and yell at each kid with equal passion. This is makes it fun but even better than that I can take joy in watching each young man progress during the season. This is the part that makes it worth while. We invest a lot of time discussing each kid and where their current strengths are on the field. This does not always mesh well with what the parents believe their talents are but that’s okay. The key is getting the children to learn as many positions as they can and learn enough not to get hurt on the field of play. Some kids will only play the line, others will play running back, and some will only play on defense. The key is for them to learn discipline on the field and understand what it is like to work and move as a team.
The foundation for the head coaches philosophy is to start with discipline, and playing hard. If we do the right things and play hard winning will be the by-product of this. Now I can also say that winning isn’t the first thought in our minds. Yes we do want to win every game but we also want the kids to learn the fundamentals of the game so that they can play at the next level. When I say next level I don’t mean the NFL, I mean the next level of youth football. NO YOUR CHILD PROBABLY isn’t going to make it to the league, but he can have a long and fun youth, highschool, and collegiate career if they play hard and stay disciplined.
The most satisfying moment of the season came in a game that we didn’t even need to win. In the current rules there can be a coach on the field to assist the players in getting set. This is generally necessary because the kids lack focus and tend to either false start or line up incorrectly or run the wrong play. We as a team prided ourselves in the focus and discipline of our team. This all came together in one gamer where for one series we gave the plays to the young QB while his center got the huddle together and let them run the plays on their own. They did this with zero error and was amazing to watch since it hasn’t been done at our level all season or after. For the coaching staff this was a major win because it showed that our boys were playing at a much higher level as far as fundamental football goes.
This year flew by just as the others had and we had a great time doing it. The parents were the best group we have had so far in the three years that we have been coaching. The boys grew as young football players tremendously and it showed. Some of the kids were very raw that we got this year. By the end of the season they were all playing at an amazing level. Our starting backfield developed into to amazing runners, which was great because the season before they barely got to touch the ball. The defense got more and more intense and as the season went on and they developed into a group that could keep us in any game. The maturity level that this team displayed was second to none. this group didn’t talk trash, they always played with extreme sportsmanship, and they worked together as a team. We never told anyone child that they were better then the other boys, never eluded to a favorite, never let anyone think that they were any less important then the next kids. All of the kids played a huge part in the success of the season.
The biggest props needs to go to the most thankless job in football and that is the offensive and defensive lines. The lines are the most important job in the game and with out sound play at those positions the defense can’t stop anyone and the offense will never move forward. This group worked hard together all season and to watch them move as one unit on both sides of the ball was amazing to watch. My hat goes off to them because we would have never gotten as far as we did if it wasn’t for the selfless play of those kids, who by the way never complained. These boys just put their heads down and grinded it out.
Many will determine that our season was not a success because we didn’t win the championship. I will argue the opposite. The season was a monumental success do to the growth of the boys this year. Hopefully we get to move up to the next level next season becuase I believe we have an amazing foundation and footprint to help develop great football players. Although we want to win, we want to develope first. Winning will come when these boys go to highschool and college. Yes I agree that winning is also an amazing tool and teaches great lessons, but more important is that losing teaches even more and always re-enforces that lessons that were put forth.
Congrats to the parents and players from this years Little Pro Eagles of the MOT youth football program. These boys had an amazing season and have come a long way and will be great next season when the return to the little pros or move up to freshman football. The MOT Youth football program is in a great place and has some great coaches coming up in its ranks. I am happy to be a part of it and always thankful that I get to play a part in teaching and developing young men into not just great football players but great people.
I want to personally thank the league and more importantly all the parents that stuck with us even when it didn’t look like things were working, I can tell you that once the boys excepted the lessons they began to win. This was all set forth by the head coach Donnie. He will never accept credit for doing great things but he puts in an amazing amount of time and energy each week to get these kids prepared to play football. I know this because I am not just his assistant coach but his boss, so I see it everyday, literally every day.
Lastly I want to thank my wife for allowing me to assist in coaching these kids, it takes up some of my time from the family but she knows I truly enjoy it even thought I don’t have a dog in the fight.