Good Coaches Coach Character Too

By FirstDown PlayBook on Aug 15, 2019

1. Football is not as important as life.

2. Being a good player or coach is not as important as being a good person.

3. The most important things you teach as a coach will be useful in life.

If you have been following along over the past several weeks you know that FirstDown PlayBook has been sharing a few things that we think might help you out as you begin your journey as a youth football coach. Today we want to talk about one of your most powerful tools when it comes to working with young people and that’s your ability to teach life lessons as you teach them the game of football.

As you go about the process of teaching the fundamentals, techniques and schemes that are essential to playing football we think that you should be teaching “life lessons” every step of the way.  We have mentioned it here already a time or two that your players are going to remember what you taught them when they become adults but trust us when we say it will not be what you taught them about playing a 3 technique or how to pull on a counter trap. It will be the life lessons that they are still leaning on as adults.

If you will think back on whatever experience you had as a young player you will remember that your coaches taught you some football but they taught it by teaching you life lessons like:


Good coaches are quick to understand that characteristics like the ones we mention above are critical, not only to developing good people, but they are also critical to having a good football team. Once a coach understands this and begins to incorporate it into their practice schedule there are going to be benefits on several fronts.

One of the first things you are going to see is that your parents are going to get behind you with your message if you allow them to be a part of it. Let’s say you are using your visual aids in the picture above to explain to your team that it’s going to be hot and hard practice. You are getting the message across about “Effort” and why it is important to give it during practice. It also allows you to tie this into life off of the football field.

Also, by involving your parents, it gives them another angle to talk about with their child other than just how the football part went. If they know you incorporated a life lesson about effort that day then it gives that parent something to build on after they leave your practice. You will be hard pressed to find a parent that will not appreciate that.

You and your coaches can reinforce this “Word of the Day” by breaking your groups down with that word throughout that practice. When you call your team up at the end of practice ask one or two of them to tell the rest of the team what that word means to them. You will be surprised at just how much they will absorb and take with them.

For those of you worried about how much time you have to spend on something like this when you are trying to get a football team ready, let’s just say that it will reap you unseen dividends when your team faces adversity and you need something to center them as they fight through a tough quarter, half or maybe even a whole game of under performing.

If this is not convincing enough, go check out any major college or NFL coaches Tips & Reminders for a game week. You will find plenty of X’s & O’s specific to that position group but it’s almost guaranteed that you will also find some theme that the position coach has been harping on that week and it will be reinforced right there on paper for his players to see and remember.

This is because that NFL coach and his players understand that knowing and understanding the game plan is only part of the process. If they expect to reach their individual and team goals they will have to lean on the “Life Lessons” that their coach and the game of football has helped teach them. You can do the same thing for your team as you approach this 2019 football season too.

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..