Top 10 Steps To Starting A High School Football Program
Starting a football program from scratch is not easy. Fortunately, there is a lot of material and guidance to help coaches and team members along the way. The goal of every coach is to create a strong, united, and successful team that knows how to cooperate and use its advantages.
In addition, there is hardly any other school year where adults and children treat football more seriously than during their high school years. This period can be life-changing for many young athletes. So, building a strong program and leading those kids to success is an honor.
Here are the top 10 steps to starting a high school football program you can be proud of.
1. Make a 5-year plan
Start by developing a vision for your program. You will dedicate several years of your life to forming a perfect program for a high school team. It needs to stand on a solid foundation. It includes team philosophy, mission, goals, and overall expectations. Break down those concepts into a five-year action plan. Be realistic.
2. Assemble coaching staff
Choosing the staff members and coaches for your program can be one of the biggest challenges on this journey. Any school will always have plenty of talented football players.
You just need to have an eye for choosing them. Finding coaches and staff members who are experienced, know what’s expected of them, and can work in harmony with each other is a whole different thing.
3. Build credibility
Credibility is the foundation that will keep your team (and your efforts) together. You may be the new coach in town who needs to earn a reputation first. Well, it is only possible to achieve this with slow but steady fair work on a team.
It means you have to take accountability for everything that happens on the tea, treat everyone fairly, never show a sign of favoritism, and so on. If you are the one to impose rules, you are the first to live by them.
Speaking of rules, there must be a lot of them. You better give your team and staff members a clear guidebook on what is expected of them and what you will never tolerate.
Establishing the rules and discipline from the very beginning will set the right tone and ground people. Young people especially need to learn discipline.
That’s why many of them have to run their assignments by WritePaperForMe so often. Deadlines and writing guidelines often come as a challenge. But living by the team rules can change them, shaping players into better versions of themselves.
5. Expand your team definition
The team is more than just your players on the field or your assistants. Everyone, even remotely involved in the work processes, from prospects to mascots, should always feel like a part of the team. In fact, such a concept also includes staff members’ wives.
Indeed, you better make an effort to create this family-like atmosphere within the team, where everyone knows each other and feels welcome. Such a feeling will also spread among the teammates and to the field.
6. Accept mistakes
It may take several years to build the program you are truly proud of. Though, even then, you won’t avoid mistakes. What is to say about the very first years of your program? It’s part of the job to expect and accept mistakes. Learning from them will make your team better next year.
7. Develop off-season programs
It is impossible to overestimate the importance of the off-season period for the team. A program plan should always consider training sessions for the very first off-season.
For instance, creating an intense, few weeks-long boot camp session will unite the team members, let them reveal their leadership and personal qualities, and keep them in shape throughout the summer.
8. Ask for parental support
Earning parents’ trust and support is another big step in creating a successful football program. They are a moving force behind their kids. If they are not on board with how you lead the team or what decisions you make, they will rebel or pull their kids out of the team.
Such tension creates unnecessary drama that affects your progress with the program. So, make sure to meet all of the parents, introduce them to each other, and maybe get them involved on some levels. Overall, establishing good communication will serve to your advantage.
9. Connect with the community
The support of the local community can mean a lot for the team. Having people know you, cheer for you, and appreciate your work motivates young people and coaches to do their job even better.
So, think of ways you can connect with the community and maybe serve it in some other way than football. Hosting charity events, helping the church, or other activities can earn you love and respect among the public.
10. Team evaluation
The team evaluation should always summarize the end of each season. However, it is not a one-person job. You better talk to each staff member, coach, and everyone closely involved in the process.
Such conversations will help you build a full picture of where you went right and wrong in the program.