Lew Johnston (Photo: Sam Mizelle/recruit757)
The game of football knocks us all down, a lot. Let failure train you to be better.
Coach Lew Johnston has a blog of his own called “Coaching the little things” that you can check out. It’s a great resource for information, plus Lew is an expert in coaching the classic “Wing T” offense. Thanks to Lew for his contributions to recruit757.com and to the community! – AH
by Lew Johnston, a special contribution to recruit757
I know that some of you are dealing with the disappointment of a season unfulfilled. For whatever reason, it just didn’t turn out like you’d hoped it would when you started back in the August. Too many injuries; bad breaks; bad attitudes…. whatever the cause, you’re looking back at your season with a lot of regrets. Let me, perhaps, cast a different light on things for you.
I love what Pastor Bob Gass said in his daily devotional a while back. “Contrary to what you may thing, the ideal environment for your ‘players’ is NOT one that’s devoid of problems and trials. Though it’s hard to accept at the time, your ‘players’ NEED the minor setbacks and disappointments that come their way. How can they learn to cope with problems and frustrations as adults, if their early experiences are totally without them?”
I hope that you are a coach who cares just as much as building character as you do about winning football games. If your main goal as a coach is to win games, then your focus is too small! Long after your players hang up their helmets for the last time, they will remember the atmosphere of your program. Nobody can have as much impact on a young man’s development as his coach. To pretend that your influence doesn’t matter… you’re just kidding yourself. You have a responsibility to teach your players to win with class but, also, to accept defeat with dignity. It’s those defeats that build strength of character.
Have you heard the tale of the 2 trees? A tree that’s planted in a rain forest is rarely forced to extend its roots downward in search of water. As a result, it remains poorly anchored. When even a moderate amount of wind comes, it can be easily toppled over. However, a mesquite tree (of which I saw hundreds recently when my wife and I toured the Canyon Lands of the SW) planted in a desert is under stress right from the earliest growing season. It survives by driving it’s roots 30-50 feet into the earth in search of water. Overcoming adverse conditions allows the mesquite to stand up to all types of situations.
I encourage you to take those losses this fall and use them to help your players learn to be, as the Bible says, “more than conquerors!”
– Lew Johnston