If the players in your program can consistently say what you are about as a program, you are ahead of most. In the face of the seemingly more urgent issues facing us like: how to break the press, installing our inbound series, monitoring grades, and lining up the ever-evolving calendar it is easy to fail in passing these things on daily. We all wish to leave a legacy that lasts beyond a single game, season, and career. We want our players to deeply internalize principles that will improve their lives and all of those that they touch. I believe that while the coaching community has had much more made available to them in the areas of culture and building young people, it is still a fight to teach the values we want to impart. Most coaches could identify what they want their programs to value if given time and a pen and paper. It’s another challenge altogether to pass those traits on to our players in a meaningful way.
While at a recent coaching round-table this past weekend a former assistant of mine, Luke Smith (currently at Norcross H.S.), made a comment that really stood out to me. He discussed how it has been an off-season goal of his to really identify what the values in his program look like in a practical way. When we say things like “honesty”, how does that come out in a practice or game? “Unselfishness” is another buzzword that so many rightly want to teach but have you specifically thought of ways it can be modeled, celebrated, and measured in your program? I have a ways to go in this department and believe that we can all get better at celebrating the right things. Everyone is going to cheer when our guys put the ball in the hole. What can we teach that will be of value over the course of a life? The next step for me is clarify what core behaviors come from our core values along with how I teach and measure them. Here’s to you having a great season where you leave no doubt that your impact will go far beyond the final buzzer.
If you’d like to reach out to Coach Smith his twitter is: @CoachSmithNHS