More Biblical Coaching Philosophy

What are your reasons for coaching?
TO DEVELOP A PROGRAM THAT GLORIFIES GOD.

WE COMPETE BY THE POWER OF GOD, ACCORDING TO THE WORD OF GOD, AND FOR THE GLORY OF GOD.

AS A STAFF WE WANT TO BE THE PEOPLE WHOM GOD USES TO TEACH OUR PLAYERS A DIFFERENT WAY TO PLAY AND POTENTIALLY LIVE

WE WISH TO CREATE WITHIN THEM THIS VISION AND TO WATCH THEM TAKE THE LESSONS LEARNED INTO THEIR FUTURE LIVES AS HUSBANDS, FATHERS, FRIENDS AND WORKERS.

WE ARE FORTUNATE TO HELP YOUNG MEN GROW IN LIFE, AND WE HAPPEN TO BE ABLE TO USE AN INTENSE, COMPETITIVE AND TREMENDOUS GAME OF FOOTBALL AS OUR VEHICLE OF TEACHING.

Which coaching style do you use and why?  Command, or Democratic?

I WOULD SAY NEITHER

LET ME THROW ANOTHER POSSIBILITY OUT THERE:

WE ATTEMPT TO USE A BIBLICAL STYLE OF COACHING

IT IS BUILT ON LOVE, HUMILITY, SERVANT LEADERSHIP AND COMPETITION AGAINST YOURSELF.

I ANTICIPATE THAT AT ANY GIVEN TIME WE USE BOTH COMMAND AND DEMOCRATIC STYLES

THOUGH I PREFER SAYING, RATHER THAN A “DEMOCRATIC” METHOD  THAT WE USE AN “EMPOWERING” METHOD TO TEACH THE KIDS TO PROBLEM SOLVE THEMSELVES ON AND OFF THE FIELD (BY GIVING THEM THE GUIDANCE AND TOOLS TO SEE WHERE THEY ARE LACKING IN EXECUTION, INTENSITY, ATTITUDE OR LOVE FOR EACH OTHER………..AND TO ADJUST “ON THE RUN”)

How much decision making do you put in the hands of athletes?

AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

PREMISE

IF YOU GIVE A MAN A FISH, HE EATS FOR THE DAY

IF YOU TEACH HIM HOW TO FISH, HE EATS FOR A LIFETIME

IF YOU TEACH HIM HOW TO TEACH OTHERS HOW TO FISH, EVERYONE EATS FOREVER

HAVING SAID THAT, A LOT OF THAT DEPENDS ON THE MATURITY OF THE PLAYER AND TEAM

WE WANT PLAYERS TO DEVELOP TO WHERE THEY CAN MAKE A LOT OF ONFIELD ADJUSTMENTS AND ADJUSTMENTS BETWEEEN DRIVES. THAT IS HOW TIGHT GAMES ARE OFTEN WON.

INCREASINGLY MORE DECISIONS ARE PUT IN THE PLAYERS HANDS AS THEY SHOW EFFECTIVENESS IN PROBLEM SOLVING

Team rules

WE CHOOSE TO HAVE RATHER PRINCIPLES AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, AND “RULES” AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE (THOUGH THERE ARE RULES)

WE CHOOSE TO HAVE “WANT TO’S” RATHER THAN “HAVE TO’S” AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

WE TRY TREAT EVERYONE THE SAME – WE TREAT THEM DIFFERENTLY

THOUGH WE ATTEMPT TO BE CONSISTENT, I AM MORE CONCERNED WITH EVALUATING EVERY SITUATION AND PERSON UNIQUELY, BECAUSE THEY ARE

and consequences

CONSEQUENCES AND CORRECTION THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE TIME ARE LINKED WITH ELIMINATING OR ADJUSTING THE PRACTICE AND PLAY OPPORTUNITIES

MORE ON THAT LATER

team goals,

ALL “PROCESS” ORIENTED…………..AND NOT ON RESULTS (STATS ETC)

team awards?

ALL ARE BASES ON ATTITUDE AND CHARACTER – BEST SERVANT/SERVICE, ACADEMICS, SPRITUAL FORMATION

NONE BASED ON ABILITY OR TALENT OR ATHLETIC “RESULTS”

TEAM GOALS ARE ALL “PROCESS BASED” – BEHAVIOR, ATTITUDE, MAXIMIZING PERSONAL ABILITY

GOALS ARE NOT USED IN TERMS OF GAME RESULTS

WE COMPETE AGAINST OURSELVES

Do you choose captains, or do you let players vote, and why?

WE USE A LEADERSHIP MODEL, NOT TRADITIONAL CAPTAINS

WE CURRENTLY HAVE A “LEADERSHIP GROUP” MADE UP OF TWENTY PLAYERS (OTHER THAN FIRST SEMESTER FRESHMEN) WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR GIVING FEEDBACK ON DISCIPLINE ISSUES, SETTING THE TONE FOR THE TEAM AND ENCOURAGING AND CHECKING UP ON THEIR INDIVIDUAL GROUPS.

WE TRY TO MAKE THINGS A “WANT TO” INSTEAD OF A “HAVE TO

THE PLAYERS DO NOT VOTE FOR WHO WILL BE ON THE LEADERSHIP TEAM. THEY VOLUNTEER FOR THE LEADERSHIP TEAM AND I DETERMINE WHO QUALIFIES (BASED UPON WHO FOLLOWS THE PROGRAM PHILOSOPHY ON AND OFF THE FIELD)

WE LOOK FOR “SERVANT LEADERS” (LEADERS BY SERVICE, NOT BY ABILITY OR TALENT)

OUT OF THAT GROUP WE DESIGNATE 3 TO GO DO THE COIN FLIP. HOWEVER, THE GUYS WHO GO OUT FOR THE COIN FLIP ARE NO MORE “CAPTAINS” THAN THE OTHER 17 KIDS

WE USE A PLURALITY OF LEADERSHIP IRRESPECTIVE OF ABILITY OR YEAR IN SCHOOL

CAPTAINS TRADITIONALLY TEND TO BE SENIORS. WE FIND THAT UNDERCLASSMEN MAY BE BETTER LEADERS THAN SENIORS, SO WE OPEN LEADERSHIP UP TO ALL GRADES

WE STRESS THAT EACH PLAYER CAN, AND SHOULD BE, A LEADER. ANYONE CAN BE “CAPTAIN” WHEN IT COMES TO VOLUNTARILY CLEANING THE BUS, CLEANING THE LOCKER-ROOM, WRITING ENCOURAGING NOTES TO OTHERS, ETC.

TO US, THOSE SERVICE KINDS OF THINGS ARE WHAT DENOTE LEADERS AND ARE WHAT MAKES THE TEAM SPECIAL.

WE SIMPLY PICK SOME OF THE LEADERS TO REPRESENT US AT THE COIN TOSS (TO SERVE IN THE TRADITIONAL CAPTAIN” ROLE)

How important do you feel tradition is in a program?

TRADITION IS HUGE.

HOWEVER, SINCE THIS PROGRAM IS ONLY 3 YEARS OLD AND IS A DIFFERENT PHILOSOPHY THAN MOST OF THE PREVIOUS REGIMES, WE HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO “USE” TRADITION AS MUCH AS WE LIKE (WE ARE BUILDING “TRADITIONS” ON THE RUN)

How do you build team chemistry among your players?

THIS IS THE HEART OF OUR PROGRAM

WE HAVE “TEAM BUILDING” SESSIONS CONTINUALLY; MEETINGS TO TALK ABOUT OUR PHILOSOPHY AND DIRECTION, LEISURE TIMES TOGETHER HANGING OUT, GAME AND ACTIVITIES OF ANY TYPE WE CAN ENVISION TO BUILD COMMUNITY

EXAMPLES – CRAZY GAMES, FRIDAY NIGHT ACTIVITIES TO CHEER ON THE VOLLEYBALL TEAM OR SEE A HIGH SCHOOL GAME, SKIT NIGHTS, CONTESTS (SERIOUS AND PLAYFUL)

WE MAKE A LOT OF THINGS FUN AND CRAZY, BUT THEY ALSO LEARN THAT DEEP CHEMISTRY AND TRUST IS DEVELOPED OVER THE LONG HAUL ON THE FIELD IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BATTLE

WE ENJOY EACH OTHER AND GET-TOGETHER IN LARGE AND SMALL GROUPS AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE

ADDITIONALLY, WE ALSO GIVE PLAYERS FREQUENT OPPORTUNITIES TO GATHER TOGETHER VOLUNTARILY AND ALSO EMPOWER THE ASSISTANTS TO HAVE THEIR OWN “TEAM PARTIES” BY POSITIONS ETC

WE GATHER TO PRAY FOR AND WITH EACH OTHER. REGARDLESS OF RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, THE KNOWLEDGE THAT YOUR FRIENDS PRAYERS FOR YOU ARE A POWERFUL ENCOURAGER.

How do you motivate your athletes?

WE LOVE THEM. LOVE IS THE GREAT MOTIVATOR

THE PLAYERS KNOW THAT THEIR INTERESTS ARE OUR PRIMARY DESIRE

WE WANT THEM TO LEARN TO COMPETE WITH AND FOR EACH OTHER, WITH GUYS WHOM THEY LOVE AND WHO LOVE THEM

WE KNOW THAT JESUS “DID NOT COME TO BE SERVED, BUT TO SERVE.” THAT IS OUR GOAL AS COACHES, AND THAT IS HOW WE WANT THEM TO DEVELOP THE LOVE OF THEIR TEAMMATES, BY SERVICE AND SACRIFICE.

YOU LOVE OTHERS AND ARE LOVED IN RESPONSE IN ORDER TO KNOW HOW TO GIVE LOVE BEYOND THE TEAM.

AND SINCE INITIATING LOVE IS A SCARY THING, WE AS A STAFF SHOW THEM, GUIDE THEM, PROD THEM AND LEAD THEM THROUGH THE PROCESS OF HOW TO LOVE AT ALL TIMES, ON AND OFF THE FIELD

What types of rewards and punishments do you use?

TAKING AWAY PRACITCE TIME AND PLAYING TIME IS OUR PRIMARY TOOL (OR ULTIMATELY THE LOSS OF BEING ON THE TEAM IF A PLAYER IS HARD-HEARTED AND UNRESPONSIVE TO OUR CORRECTION)

“CORPORAL PUNISHMENT” IS THE LOSS OF OPPORTUNITIES AND THE CONSEQUENCE AND DISCIPLINE……….NOT “RUNNING” OR OTHER PHYSICAL CONTINGENCIES

OUR AFOREMENTIONED “LEADERSHIP GROUP” MAY ALSO GIVE FEEDBACK ON DISCIPLINE ISSUES, SETTING THE TONE FOR THE TEAM

PLAYERS FORFEIT PRACTICE TIME OR PLAYING TIME OR THE OPPORTUNITY TO REMAIN ON THE TEAM BY THEIR OWN CHOICES.

A MAN WHO FAILS IS STILL ENTITLED TO ALL THE LOVE WE AS COACHES AND PLAYERS CAN GIVE THEM UNLESS HE CHOOSES TO REJECT OUR FORGIVENESS BY HIS FURTHER CHOICES

ONCE A PLAYER HAS COMMITTED TO THE TEAM, OUR COMMITMENT TO THEM IS UNCHANGING

OUR TEAM SLOGAN IS EMAP. EVERY MAN A PANTHER. THAT MEANS, UNLESS YOU REJECT THE TEAM, THE TEAM  WILL NEVER REJECT YOU…………… THOUGH YOU MAY LOSE PRACTICE OR GAME TIME

How do you feel about athletes participating in two sports?

WE ENCOURAGE IT

WHATEVER IS BEST FOR THE ATHLETE IS BEST FOR US

IF THEY ARE TALENTED ENOUGH AND/OR DESIROUS ENOUGH TO PLAY MULTIPLE SPORTS, WE WANT THEM TO DO WHAT THEY WANT THEM TO DO

THE MORE COMPETITIVE EXPERIENCES THEY HAVE, THE MORE THE LEARN TO COMPETE

WE GO BY THE BIBLE VERSE “WHATEVER YOUR HAND FINDS TO DO, DO IT WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT.”

IF THE PLAYERS CAN DO MULTIPLE SPORTS “WITH ALL THEIR MIGHT”, WE WANT THEM TO DO SO. THEIR PLAYING WILL PROBABLY INVOLVE SKILLS THAT CROSS OVER ANYWAYS, FOR SURE ATTITUDINALLY

What types of goals do you set before the season?

GLORIFY GOD WITH OUR PLAY AND OUR LIVES.

THAT MEANS GIVING EVERYTHING WE HAVE TO EACH OTHER EVERY DAY AND EVERY PLAY.

THAT MEANS RESPECTING THE GAME AND THE OPPONENT AND MAXIMIZING OUR OWN TALENTS AND POTENTIAL THROUGH CONSTANT EFFORT.

WE DON’T LOOK TO THE SCOREBOARD TO LEGITIMIZE OUR EFFORT. WHEN YOU RESPECT EACH OTHER, COMPETE AGAINST YOURSELF, AND LOVE THE GAME, GOOD THINGS EVENTUALLY HAPPEN ON THE SCOREBOARD.

WE WANT OUR PLAYERS TO BE “SPECIAL.” A GUY WITHOUT SPECIAL TALENT MAY BE SPECIAL IN OTHER WAYS ……….CHEERING ON THE SIDELINE, THE WAY HE STRIVES  IN THE WEIGHT ROOM, THE WAY HE PUTS HIS ALL ON THE FIELD MENTALLY, PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY.

AGAIN, WE WANT TO GLORIFY GOD BY TAKING THE TALENTS HE HAS GIVEN US (LARGE AND SMALL) AND GIVING A “SPECIAL” EFFORT TO MAXIMIZE WHAT HE HAS GIVEN US.

What types of techniques do you use to keep team morale up?

AGAIN, WE LOVE THEM

IF THAT MEANS HELPING PUSH THEM THROUGH TO A HIGHER LEVEL OF EXHAUSTION/INTENSITY IN PRACTICE, SHEDDING SOME PADS TO GIVE REST, CREATING ANOTHER TEAM BUILDER, OR EXPRESSING WORDS OF LOVE AND ENCOURAGEMENT, WE DO WHAT WE CAN ALL OF THE TIME.

In what ways do you try to build confidence in your athletes?

WE BUILD THEM UP WITH OUR WORDS AND THE WORDS OF THEIR TEAMMATES

WE WANT THEM TO UNDERSTAND THAT “WE ARE FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE” BY GOD TO BE CAPABLE OF INCREDIBLE THINGS.

GOD ALLOWS US TO BE INVOLVED IN FOOTBALL AND THIS ALLOWS US TO EXHIBIT OUR UNBELIEVABLE POTENTIAL………IN THE HUMAN BODY AND MIND ETC.

A LOT OF IT IS ALSO TIED IN WITH THE CHEMISTRY OF THE TEAM AND THE THINGS WE DO TO DEVELOP CONFIDENCE. IT ALSO DEVELOPS OVER THE LONG RUN AS THEY LEARN TO TRUST THAT WE LOVE THEM AND WANT TO HELP THEM BE SPECIAL IN ALL THINGS.

AND OF COURSE AS WE PLAY BETTER AND BETTER THEY GET INCREASING VISION FOR THE POSSIBILITIES………………….IN TERMS OF BETTER PLAY, PERSONALLY AND CORPORATELY

Do you script your practices?

EACH SIDE OF THE BALL DOES DIFFERENTLY

IN GENERAL, WE SCRIPT, BUT ALLOW FOR GREAT FLEXIBILITY WITHIN THE SCRIPT

WE PLAN, BUT DON’T HAVE THE PLAN RUN THE PRACTICE IF WE NEED TO FLEX TO WORK ON SOMETHING MORE OR LESS, AS DETERMINED BY THE FLOW OF THE PRACTICE

THE WHOLE PRACTICE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE DEPENDING ON A WIDE VARIETY OF FACTORS; THE WEATHER, PLAYER ATTITUDE, PLAYER COMPETENCY ETC

IF WE SENSE PRACTICE IS LACKING INTENSITY, WE MAY CALL THEM IN AS A GROUP AND EDUCATE THEM ABOUT THE NEEDED URGENCY AND ENERGY LEVEL OR WE MAY CHANGE THINGS UP ANOTHER WAY.

WE STOP PRACTICE REGULARLY FOR “EDUCATIONAL MOMENTS”, BOTH FOR CORRECTION AND AFFIRMATION

OVERALL, WE TRY TO GET THE KIDS INTO A QUALITY RHYTHM WITH JUST ENOUGH “CHAOS” TO KEEP THEM IN FOCUS.

How do you help your players balance athletics with academics?

ACADEMICS COMES FIRST. THAT’S IT.

WE TRY TO EDUCATE THEM ABOUT TIME MANAGEMENT AND GIVE THEM PRINCIPLES TO DEVELOP “ORDER” IN THEIR LIVES

ONCE AGAIN, WE FOCUS ON THE PROCESS

THE GOAL IS NOT TO GET AND KEEP THEM ELIGIBLE. THE GOAL IS TO TEACH THEM DECISION MAKING SKILLS WITH PRIORITIES ETC

WHAT PLAYERS NEED TO LEARN AS THEY GO IS THAT THEY CAN GET THEIR HOMEWORK AND STUDYING DONE AND STILL HAVE TIME FOR SPECIAL EFFORT IN PREPARING AND PRACTICING FOOTBALL.

WHAT MOST NEED TO LEARN IS PROPER TIME MANAGEMENT AND PRIORITIZATION.

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IF YOU HAVE ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS REGARDING ANY OF THESE IDEAS, LET ME KNOW. HOPE THIS HELPS YOU IN YOUR PROJECT AND IN YOUR FUTURE.

SCOTTY KESSLER
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH
GREENVILLE COLLEGE

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