By Chris Fore • Assistant Coach/Special Teams Coordinator • Oak Hills (Calif.) High School
I’m a big believer that the players – not the Head Coach or coaching staff – must be at the center of the program. I’ve seen some programs fail miserably because it was centered on a coach. When the coach left, the program fell flat on its face.
I’m also a big proponent of allowing for the players to have a voice in what happens on the team. This creates a natural process of ownership. Coaches can also steer the direction of the players, and when they make their decision, they typically take immediate ownership over it.
For example, one year I set our summer calendar, in conjunction with the rest of my coaching staff. We set a four-day-per-week program, for seven weeks at two hours per day. This equated to a total of 56 hours lifting weights and running.
However, the Player Committee told me that players would rather go for a longer period of time, and fewer days per week. They gave me a list of reasons for this decision. I talked it over with my coaching staff. Some coaches liked the idea; some were against it.
I made the decision to change to a three-times-per-week format, as the players suggested. But, I told the players we would need to add an extra week, which they accepted. So, we went to three times per week, for three hours per day, for eight weeks. This equated to a total 72 hours, so we ended up getting an extra 16 hours of work with the players during that summer!
The players LOVED it, and the idea was born out of the Player Committee. Take a look at the following checklist for being a member of the player committee that we used during our 2007 season.
EAGLES FOOTBALL PLAYER COMMITTEE
The Player Committee will consist of four seniors, three juniors, two sophomores and one freshman.
To be on the Player Committee:
- Must be selected by peers and approved by coaches.
- Must have a 3.0 G.P.A.
- Must have a 90 percent attendance rate at weight room workouts.
- Must have been a part of the football program last season.
- Must live a lifestyle consistent with the Christian values that Capistrano Valley Christian teaches.
Player Committee responsibilities:
- Report to meetings with the Head Coach and other coaching staff. Meetings will be held every other week during the season and at other needed times.
- Take responsibility of being a leader in the football program.
- Bring to the attention of the Head Coach and coaching staff any kind of problems, questions, concerns that the football players might have. Simply be a voice to the Head Coach.
- Bring to the attention of the players any kind of problems, questions, concerns that the Head Coach and other coaching staff might have. Simply be a voice to the players other than the coaching staff.
- Represent the football program at various events.
- Go above and beyond your peers to represent this football program in the classroom, on campus, on the field, at your church, in the community, etc.
- Help decide on the theme, logo, spirit package clothing, uniform look and other various ideas that go with a football program.
- Give a player’s point of view with regard to disciplinary issues that may arise.
The coaching staff reserves the right to remove any player from the Player Committee should they feel the need to do so.
Chris Fore is a veteran athletic director and head football coach from Southern California who specializes in the hiring process within the highly competitive athletic world. You can contact Coach Fore by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @coachfore. His latest book, Building Championship-Caliber Football Programs, is available at www.eightlaces.org.