The summer is a great time to read a good book, listen to an interesting podcast, take long runs, play with my daughter, go hiking in Fayetteville, WV and watch documentaries on Netflix. Being able to slow down and invest in myself for the first time in months is a good feeling. As a coach, you are constantly pouring yourself out for other people, and I need time to recharge before the grind of the football season. One of the ways I am recharging is using my phone and computer less so I can read more books, listen to more podcasts and be more present with the people that surround me. Now, in this digital age, you cannot simply get rid of your phone, but it needs to be turned off or ignored for a person to keep their sanity. Phones have become an essential part of life and they have a necessary purpose, but sometimes it can rule my life with the constant demand to read Twitter posts, emails, text messages, etc. Phones are very useful, but I need to find a way to ignore it or use it for educational purposes.
One way I have used my phone in an educational way this summer is to listen to a number of different podcasts during my morning run before workouts. There are a number of great football podcasts, but I actually prefer to listen to ones that focus on philosophy, history and spirituality. The podcast that I listen to the most right now is called the RobCast by a guy named Rob Bell. Some people love Rob and some people really dislike him, but he is incredibly entertaining and thought provoking. Here is the link to his podcast: https://robbell.com/portfolio/robcast/. I do not personally believe in everything Rob does, but he does speak some profound truth that has given my soul rest over the last month.
There is a wisdom series he did (Episodes 116 - 125) that allowed me to think about wisdom in a totally different way. There are philosophies, feelings and situations that people have been trying to figure out for thousands of years, so it is ok to not always have the answers. These podcasts have also allowed me to realize that what we think is a new idea has been around for thousands of years. Millennials often think that we have new ideas that no one has ever thought of, but that is far from the truth. This is the same for football coaches that think that they have thought of something that has never been done before (I knew I would bring this back to football at some point!).
What's new in our lives or football is always old. Meaning that the struggles we have in life have been around for eons of time. Same goes for the struggles on the football field. As coaches, we are trying to reinvent the wheel and what we need to do is simply seek the wisdom of those who have been around longer than ourselves. There is great wisdom in talking to older coaches about philosophy, scheme, practice schedule, etc. There are absolute truths in life and football that have been passed down from generation to generation, and all we have to do is seek out those who have more life experience than ourselves. One of my favorite coaches to talk to is Bryce Casto, Head Football Coach at Nitro High School, WV, because he is full of life and football wisdom. He has been coaching football almost as long as I have been alive! He is a man that I deeply admire and I look forward to every time we text or talk. His ability to put into words what I feel as a young coach is astounding. May all of us find a mentor to help us navigate life with wisdom! Attaining wisdom does not mean that we need to find a mentor coach with an above average IQ. It means that we need to find someone that has carefully calculated how to live their life in a meaningful way and learn from their failures and success. Wisdom is always calling out to us, and it is our job to listen to her.
Lastly, I plan on writing a series of blog posts about how foundational football schemes are still widely used today. They may look a little different because of how the game has evolved, but they are still at the heart of high school, college and pro football. The two schemes I will write about are the wide tackle six defense and the veer offense. The wide tackle six is now the 4-2-5 and the veer is now the zone read with RPO's off of it. The game continues to evolve but always remember that what's new is old.
WIN THE DAY!