I love coaching.
I love coaching my pro athletes.
I love coaching Moms & Dads. And grandmas & grandpas.
I love coaching people who are in pain and want to get out of pain.
I love coaching people who aren’t great in sport but want to be better.
I love coaching people who are gifted athletically but want to become even better.
I love coaching trainers who want to be great in all aspects of their life.
I guess I just love coaching. Period.
And I really love coaching high school football. I’m coaching my 2 sons right now at the local high school (Scripps Ranch, San Diego) and we are off to a strong 6-0 start, which is the best in the school’s 26-year history.
Luke is junior quarterback tearing it up on the varsity. He has big dreams and aspirations so he works his butt off.
Brady is a freshman running back and middle linebacker, doing everything but sell hot-dogs at half-time.
I have 2 roles at the high school. I am the team strength & conditioning coach for ALL levels. As Head Coach Marlon Gardinera likes to say, “You’re not doing bad for a 2nd-year high school strength coach.”
I also am the quarterbacks’ coach and helping Luke and the other QBs with the art of quarterbacking.
There are 5 things I most love about coaching football at the high school:
1. Turning a LOSING mindset into a WINNING mindset.
Make no mistake about it…we are pursuing a championship. And this would be the FIRST football championship this school has tasted in 25 years if we can win a conference or CIF championship this season. A lot still has to happen but there is nothing like the pursuit of winning a championship, at ANY level.
And that starts with the mindset. It started back in February with a 4x per week strength, speed, and conditioning program. And all summer. And every week during the season.
And it’s the constant head-talk, thoughts, and mindset that we’re prepped, deserving, and WORTHY of a championship.
It’s the maniacal focus on the little things to make sure we can execute at a championship level. It’s watching films.
It’s making sure we’re not playing too stiff or robotic for fear of making a mistake.
It’s learning from mistakes when we make them. They WILL happen.
It’s playing loose enough to let athletic ability to take over. To get into a FLOW state.
It’s the ability to bounce back after some adversity, whether that be a fumble, interception, missed tackle, missed kick or blocking assignment, or costly penalty. That’s mental toughness.
It’s the BELIEF that our hard work will pay off. And that our TALENT can execute the game-plan. #TrustYourPreparation
2. Establishing Tradition.
I had the good fortune of playing for one of the best high school football coaches in the modern era of high school football. His name is Coach Warren Wolf (Brick, NJ) and he coached at Brick for 52-years. He still stands as the 6th winningest football coach in the nation’s history.
I had the opportunity to be a starter on Coach Wolf’s varsity team for 4-years back in my glory days (1985-1989).
And you talk about tradition. He was full of them. Everything from “Varsity Club,” to beach workouts, to the drum-line playing in the locker room before the game, to holding up four-fingers and yelling “FOUURRRR!!!” at the beginning of the 4th quarter was all part of our repertoire and tradition.
Heck, we even had 16 championship flags flying on every game-day reflecting on those championships that had come before us. There was nothing like seeing those green & white flags fluttering in the wind on a cold, blustery New Jersey October or November Friday night.
And you can bet your bottom dollar we are doing all those same things NOW at Scripps Ranch to establish a winning tradition. Well, all of them but flying flags. We are out to get our FIRST ONE this year!!
3. There is nothing like the FUN of HS football.
The college players say it all the time. The pro football players even admit it…there is NOTHING like high school football. Friday night lights. Parents, family, and friends in the stands. The band. The cheerleaders. Homecoming. The community rallies. Just the pure FUN of high school football.
Whether a kid is going on to play college ball or not (most will not), high school football involves the cheerleaders, the band, the equipment managers, team managers, and the student body. It represents so much of what sport is all about.
I can honestly say that despite long days coaching right now (an “extra” 4-5 hours a day between practice, watching & grading film, and weight-room), I wake-up with a bounce in my step knowing it’s football season.
And I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
4. You can really IMPACT the kids…for life!
I have known many of these kids since they were in diapers. And I’m seeing them now grow up before my eyes. It still blows me away that they are driving cars, going on dates, and considering college choices. WOW.
And the ones I didn’t know then, I’m certainly getting to know now. It comes with being a coach.
The one thing I realize that as a high school coach, these kids are still very impressionable. What you say, how you say it, the beliefs, the convictions, the mindset, the work ethic…. ALL OF IT MATTERS. Every. Single. Thing. Matters.
And to me, that is a great opportunity to positively impact these kids for life!
5. Coaching my 2 boys.
I love all the kids. Really, it’s special to work with all of them.
But man-o-man, it is something special to realize this window of time with my own kids is very limited. I know it’s going to be too soon that it passes. And it will be gone forever. I know that (and this includes time with 11-year old daughter McKenna also).
Last year, I factored over 200-hours I devoted to coaching at the high school.
This year, it will be more than that.
And I wouldn’t trade it for ANYTHING.
I don’t want pats on the back. I don’t want awards for being “Dad of the Year” or “Coach of the Year.” I just want a ton of memories of my kids at this precious age having the time of their lives.
Time. It’s all we got. There is no price-tag on it. And I know that. And I’m loving every second of it.
Folks, if you have kids around my kids’ age, you know what I’m talking about (regardless of the sport or the activity).
Even if you don’t, you probably know what I’m talking about.
Either way, go visit your local high school football team this season and support the student body. The cheerleaders. The band. The equipment and team managers. The players. And the entire community.
After all, it’s a slice of Americana and we must keep the tradition alive!
Much love… and lots of Friday Night Lights!
P.S. How do you balance out the “Dad Hat” with the “Business Hat”?
It’s by far one of the most common questions I get from trainers/coaches/fit-pros. It’s also by far the toughest thing I do.
Check out this week’s “Todd Durkin IMPACT Show” podcast where I talk about no longer searching for “balance” but seeking “harmony” between all.
Great reviews so far and think you are going to like this one…
P.S.S.– 5 Ways to Rewire Your Brain
You know I’m a “Get Your Mind Right” guy. Today’s IMPACT Q&A podcast will not only help you do this, it will help you “quarterback your own health” also.
MUST LISTEN TO Q&A…Quarterback Your Own Health Now…