Roles & Rockdale

This week has been hard for me - lots going on during my work hours - and didn't make it to practice on time once. For me, this is crazy.

We had a terrible practice as receivers on Monday during offensive individual time - I made them run around 140 yards and then they had about eight wind sprints as a team. They were not happy. I was disappointed. The difficult thing is trying to coach up and keep a group of seven kids interested and motivated to work hard, when they are all at such a wide level. One in particular gets under my skin because he is constantly begging to play.

In my experience, I get it but as a coach, if you want to play, you work HARDER, not ask more. I have one player who absolutely never complains but he also does not understand all of what we are doing. If we get to be in a smaller group, he's the one who'll often ask very small detail questions - for example, at the midpoint of the season: "Why does the receiver point to the ref when he's on the field?"

As a coach, I need to remember not to take anything for granted and those questions (especially after 3-4 games) are my fault for not telling them more than anything. At the freshmen level, we've got to really develop them as players in so many ways - from leadership to physicality to motivation.

One of my guys had an OUTSTANDING game, caught a ball for a TD, ran down a kid on strike who was about to go for six on the return and stripped the ball so we could recover the fumble, caught an INT and just played his tail off. So proud of him.

My No. 1 receiver had a good game - missed a few balls, and made sure to mention to Coach L after halftime that the hitch & go that he missed (not running full speed after change-of-direction) wouldn't be missed again if he would just throw it. Sure to rights, the second time - despite being horribly underthrown, my guy went and got the ball. He will be a great football player if he keeps working. I know he can't wait to go over to varsity and work with Coach P.

One of my guys is my project - more on him later. Some kids just need people to care, and that's his deal. He could be good - needs lots of work to coordinate body & mind - but right now, really also needs to be treated in a kind way.

This week, we lost 24-12 to a team that beat one of our opponents 50-0. We could have been better, we could have been worse - but it was a good learning experience for a bunch of kids. I'm proud of our LT who got better as the game went along. Afterward, I tried to tell him that - but he was steaming about losing (with 1:00 left). I respect that, and hope he uses it to keep getting better.

Despite not being in charge of the OL, which is my strength mostly because I can fine-tune their play so much better, I find ways to help all the kids - even if it's with fundamentals. I think that's my role.

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