January 1, 2019 • CoachingFootball

Coach Throwback: All I really need to know, I learned in football

Throughout the year, Coach & Athletic Director will go back 25 years to share some of our best articles from 1994. The publication, formerly Scholastic Coach magazine, is closing in on 89 years of production. What better way to celebrate our longevity in the team sports industry than to show what we’ve done and where we’ve been.

This article — “All I really need to know, I learned in football” — was written by David Kroeker and appeared in our January 1994 issue. At the time, he coached football at Dundy County High School in Benkelman, Nebraska. Kroeker was inspired by a poster in his home room, entitled “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”

All I really need to know, I learned in football

All I really need to know about how to live and what to do, I learned in football. I didn’t find wisdom at the top of my graduate-school mountain, but out on the practice or game field.

These are the things I learned:

Scholastic Coach January 1994 issue
The cover of Scholastic Coach, January 1994.

Share the pain and the triumphs.

Play by the rules.

Leave the program better than when you entered it.

Give your teammates the credit due to them when you are praised for team accomplishments.

Care about the well-being of your opponent.

Hard work and sweat are good for you.

Live a balanced life — learn all you can, think before you do or say, enjoy the process as well as the victories, have fun, get better every day, and take a break now and then.

When you meet a superior opponent, hold hands with your teammates and work together — that’s the only way you can win.

Believe in your teammate — don’t try to do his job, or your job will suffer.

Maximum achievement is based on the hard work and sacrifice that you put in before the season.

Remember, the coach always wants the best for the team — he isn’t out to hurt anyone.

Football is only a game. Everyone loses — not only you. And defeat isn’t fatal or final unless you let it be that way.

The first and most important thing to learn is attitude.

There is always a way to get your assignment done, even if your “problem” is bigger, faster and stronger than you are.

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Take any one of these items and apply it to your world — your job, your family, your nation — and it will still hold true.

Think what a better world it would be if we all got together to practice these qualities every day at 3:30 p.m., and then applied them on Friday nights and during the rest of the week. We live in a world that needs hard work, teamwork, sacrifice and trust in our teammates.

And, remember, no matter how old you are, it will be your attitude, and not the number of wins and losses, that will determine your quality of life.

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