A Christmas Gift For Young Ball Coaches
By FirstDown PlayBook on Dec 24, 2018

I spoke to one of my former players yesterday who played five years in the NFL and then actually went out and got a real job as an accountant. What did he do next? You got it. He is now certain he wants to coach football for a living.

He is a graduate assistant at a very good football school and he is doing what all young football coaches who don’t have a full time job are doing this time of year…looking for a full time job, of course.

He asked my advice on what he could do to help get himself out there a little more and this is some of what I told him. You can take it for what it’s worth but if you are a young football coach and you are looking for a full time job here is some advice. Obviously, you need to bust your tail for the guy you are working for right now but here are a few other things to think about. Consider it an early Christmas present.


Ask For Advice Not A Job

It is hard to get most people to slow down and take time from their busy day to do someone else a favor. Most people have so much going on in their lives that if they think a person needs something from them they are going to avoid that person. That’s why when you are out of a job or folks know that you are looking for a job, your phone calls or texts do not get answered right away. The chances are that the person you are contacting already knows what you want before they even pick the phone up.

There is one thing that a young coach can get from an older coach without a whole lot of resistance though and that is advice. Older football coaches love to give advice. After all, it’s just another form of coaching, right? It’s kind of that same thing where if you want to get a person to talk, just ask them to talk about themselves. When someone asks someone else for advice it says few things.

It says that you respect their opinion and their advice that is based on the years of experience they posses. It also presents them with a situation where they can look at your questions and goals through your eyes as opposed to you just asking them to call some other coach and recommend you. Finally, giving advice is free. It’s just a few minutes that you will benefit from and they will remember.

Odds are that if you approach it this way the older coach is going to slow down and listen to you and also think enough of you because you sought out their advice that they may even offer to actually help you with your job search and pick up the phone on their own.

Loyalty Is A Two Way Street

Most head coaches are going to understand your desire to move into a better coaching position, gain more responsibility and make more money even if it requires that you leave and go somewhere else to do it. It is how some assistants go about it that can be a point of contention. Here are two things to consider:

  1. If you are still playing in the regular season or playoffs be very careful about being distracted from the season at hand while job hunting. A good assistant coach will always stay focused on the job they have. Always remember when you see these major college assistants get head coaching jobs before their season is over, they have agents that are doing a bulk of that work. Odds are you do not.
  2. Football teams and organizations all will be quick to tell you how important it is that the “Team” comes first and individuals and their needs take a back seat to this. If you are promoting yourself with the media to look good for your next job then you are fooling no one. The team sees it, the coaches see it and the only story getting spun is the one the media wants and is getting out of you as you try to promote yourself.

What Goes Round Comes Around (in a good way)

As we have mentioned before, not every job you know about or hear about is a fit for you. At the same time you may run across a job or a head coach looking for an assistant coach and you know of someone who fits the bill about perfectly. Pay it forward a little bit and recommend the guy. It’s not only a smart thing to do, if you really believe it’s a good fit but it is the right thing to do.

Now, I personally know of some coaches who would call you at 2:00 in the morning to ask you for a job call favor and would never begin to think of sticking their neck out for you in return. Don’t be that guy. If the coach that you recommend ends up doing a great job, then not only will he remember you down the line but the head coach who gets a good coach that you put your name on will remember that too.

So what’s the underlying message here? It really is a Christmas message as most of it is centered on thinking about someone else before you narrowly focus on yourself. The odds are if you are off the charts with your passion and work ethic and then you combine that with the ability to navigate the coaching profession with class and professionalism, you are going to be in this business for a long time.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from FirstDown PlayBook!

FirstDown PlayBook is the only Digital Football PlayBook that gives you access to over thirty five thousand football plays, schemes and technique help all designed by coaches and players with NFL experience. FirstDown Playbook is also the official PlayBook resource of USA Football and Football Canada..

On January 6, 2019 FirstDown PlayBook is going to hand the chalk back to you, the coach. You will finally have the capability of editing our database of plays, which should be pushing 40,000 by then, as well as create your own plays. Want it first and for less? Bang on the football to your left to learn how.


FirstDown PlayBook is on TwitterFacebook, Youtube, Google+Instagram and Pinterest!