SportsLeader is a virtue-based mentoring and motivation program for coaches. This blog shares stories from coaches all over the country transforming lives. For more information contact Lou Judd -

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Is Every Player on Your Team a Coach?

I have had the privilege of working with the Eminence (KY) High School football team for many years now. Head football coach Steve Frommeyer is truly one of the most humble and dedicated men I've ever met.

It is a very small school, about 60 boys in the whole high school. This year they started with 25 boys on the Varsity FB team. They don't have a Freshman or JV team ... if you're a Frosh you may be starting ... Lot's of playing time (smile).

Their motto for this year is "ALL IN" and it has been a constant reminder and a great source of inspiration.

We did a virtue camp with them a few weeks back and I was impressed with many things but one in particular was the whole team's ability to communicate without fear with one another. At Eminence every kid is a coach and a player.

I had never seen this so strongly before.

On many teams, when a kid does not know a play, which gap to cover ... they only look to their coaches ... or they guess preferring to get it from Coach instead of "looking stupid" in front of teammates and asking.

This culture is created by upperclassmen who make fun of the younger kids, complain or put them down when they do ask a question ... so within 1 or 2 days of practice no player dares open his mouth again.

It is here that boys and young men "learn" that communication = weakness in our warped culture.

How much better would your team be if the fear of communication did not exist?

Now Eminence has some talented players but ... by their first game last week: one player had quit because he prefers basketball and did not want to get hurt (guess he wasn't ALL IN), their best OL/DL player was out, their best RB/LB was out ... along with 4 other players injured. So they are playing a varsity game with 20 players, starting Freshmen ...

They won 22-0.

I'm guessing their strength of communication is pretty important at this juncture.

After the game, Coach Frommeyer, said the Father-Son Jersey night had as much to do with the win as anything else.

He has numerous players on his team with "difficult" family situations ... and the Dads stepped up. Hearing their Dads tell them they loved them, they were proud of them and that they believed in them filled their hearts, minds and souls with confidence and strength.

He also has a player on the team, a Senior, who just became a Father. This young man has never met his own father, has no idea who he is and whether or not he is alive.

He is struggling but he is constantly motivated "to not be a dead-beat Dad." He is going to school, working, playing football ... and all the while receiving no support from his Mom ...

His teammates are holding him accountable and are constantly reminding him that he needs to be 'ALL IN". No pity parties are accepted ... and he is making the effort.

It is safe to say that Coach Frommeyer and his staff ARE his life support right now along with his teammates.

So if you still think that communication is a weakness ... you need to wake up!

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