I’m always talking about making the experience special for the players. Sometimes an opportunity that you didn’t expect happens and you have to just go with it or you might pass up a chance to make some memories for the kids. Just such an opportunity happened to my team this past season.
At our Saturday morning practices we do special teams first on the high school field then we go to a practice area, “over the hill” as it’s called to review the defensive game plan and rep offensive plays. On this Saturday morning, my QB forgot his spikes. I told him, well that sucks for you because you’ll have to practice barefoot. As we lined up to do kickoffs, I looked at his bare feet and imagined the other player’s spikes tearing them up. So I made a quick joke, or so I thought. “In support of Nathan and his predicament, let’s all go barefoot” I said. I really didn’t mean it. I got different responses. Some were crazy about the idea and the others…well, not so much. Then it hit me that it might actually be fun and I didn’t see any down side to it. We weren’t going to have an intense practice. Mostly review so I thought why not? So I told them all to take their socks and shoes off and put them on the sidelines. I did let the kickers keep their shoes on to do their kicking. The grass was a little wet and we got a few light showers during the practice. The boys slipped around in the wet grass and fell a few more times than they normally would have but all in all had a grand time.
So the next time God hands you an opportunity to make some memories for the kids, don’t be so fast to dismiss it. Don’t be that coach that always has to have it his way and keep grinding on the kids. Sometimes the best reason to do something is just because it is fun. The boys don’t need any more reason to do something. Why should you? Remember, it’s not about you.
10 years from now, they might forget the games they won or lost but they will always remember the barefoot practice.