April 19, 2019 • CoachingFootball

Developing Your Players into Future Coaches

{Sponsored} When molding your players into potential members of your coaching staff, it’s important to first know the characteristics future leaders will display, on and off the field.

A winning attitude is imperative. This means that they’re able to take losses as a learning opportunity and not have a poor attitude after losing a game or not playing well. A leader won’t throw in the towel after a hard game, they will build everyone else up, even in the face of an important loss.

They should exhibit respect by being clear that every team member is important — not just the flashier positions that tend to get more attention. Being humble also falls under the category of respect. Boasting won’t do anything for a leader besides making other players feel belittled. Leaders will praise their teammates more than themselves.

Beyond attitude and humility, leaders should show an aptitude for leadership. They’re the kind ones who people naturally flock to for advice or help (outside of the coaching staff).

Once you’ve identified the top leaders, the next step is to groom them for coaching. Here are some ideas about how you can achieve this:

  1. Create a mentor program: pair potential leaders with freshman or JV players and tell these mentors to get to know the younger players and encourage them to do what they can to stay on track like eat righting, getting enough sleep, drinking water, studying and making it to practices. Having an older, more experienced player helping younger players optimize their athletic career will go a long way towards building leadership skills.
  2. Student Coaching Sessions: If your potential leader is especially good at a certain skill or mindset, allow that student-athlete to take over practice for a half hour to run drills.
  3. Middle school camp: Encourage your future leaders to volunteer or apply to work at a local football camp. Here they can help coach younger kids through drills, skills practice or even conversations about teamwork.

Once your “Future Coaches” program is up and running, don’t forget to ask for feedback. Have conversations with each person involved: mentees, teammates and future coaches. Treat these like exit interviews at the end of the season. Have a member of your current coaching staff take some time to talk to each future leader and present opportunities so they can improve.


© 2019 USA Football

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