Why should you listen to Coach Dave? Well, I have been coaching youth football for 32 years, 23 years as a head coach. In my 23 years as a head coach, my team’s record is 168-64. As a head coach, my teams have had 10 championship game appearances. Our record there is 5-5. To qualify all of this, we play in a conference that has varied in size from 8 teams to 16 teams during this time. My organization is always in the bottom 3 for school size. We divide our areas by school boundaries. We are constantly playing teams whose recruiting area is 2-3 times ours. Yet despite this, we are very competitive. I am located in West Milford, just south of Clarksburg in North Central West Virginia. I have coached 10-12 yr olds most of this time but have coached down to 5 yr olds.
How I came by coaching this way in the last 8 years was that I read 2 different books. “The Way of the Wild Heart” by John Eldredge and “A Season of Life” by Jeffrey Marx. My goal was to find a way to put the contents of these 2 books into a football practice. Using this knowledge, I endeavored to aim my practices at the heart of a 12 year old boy. This prompted me to do quite a bit of changing in the way I communicate with the boys. I started teaching virtues and values along with football. The boys love it. They long to be strong and powerful and use it in the right way. I structure practice differently to accommodate this mindset. I used to be a screamer and a yeller and I still do occasionally get loud but it’s because I’m passionate about what I’m teaching not because I’m mad or frustrated with a kid.
What I first envisioned as a better way to treat the kids has evolved into a new culture for the team. There is no doubt in my mind that God has led me in this journey. I’m not smart enough to do this on my own.
What you need to do is take the information I give you and weigh it for yourself as to whether or not it makes sense and you can use it. If you can, go ahead and do it. If you can’t then don’t use it.