Video: Vita Vea was a big-time running back in High School
See how the NFL Draft pick was used at back during his prep days.
The old days of the "gruff" football coach who took his team three hours away from campus for a three-practice-per-day, brow-beating training camp are a thing of the past. There's no doubt that Paul "Bear" Bryant is one of the best to ever roam the sidelines. But his "Junction Boys" days are long gone. Coaches cannot, and should not, operate with this kind of mentality in today's athletic age.
Kids want to play for likeable coaches. Assistant coaches want to work for likeable coaches. Administrators want to hire likeable coaches. Seven Habits of Likeable Coaches1. Be Humble
One of the biggest knocks on football coaches is arrogance. Some get falsely accused of being arrogant, and some are just flat-out arrogant. Often times, coaches get tabbed as arrogant because they are big, and they are loud, and they demand a lot. Coaches need to fight against what is often times a preconceived notion of arrogance. 2. Be Fair
If you aren't fair as a coach, it will show. If you play favorites, it will show. There is no getting around that. Players want to be treated fairly, and parents want you to treat their kid fair. Make sure that every player is on even ground. Coaches make major mistakes when they treat that All-American kid more importantly than everyone else, when they look past their laziness and or their shortcomings. Make sure to be fair to your players, and your coaches.3. Be a Great Communicator
There isn't anything more frustrating to an assistant coach and or a parent than coaches who fail to communicate. Coaches who fail to communicate about why there is a big change happening, or don't send out updates to monthly and or weekly calendars, are poor communicators. Don't give your program any more headaches than you need. Make sure to "over" communicate with your staff and parents. There is no thing as too much communication when you are a coach.
4. Be Compassionate
Likeable coaches are compassionate people. When coaches show real care and concern for their players and staff, they are enjoyable people to be around. Remember, you're not just in the sports business. You're in the people business. Great coaches know and understand this. How can you show compassion to the players and coaches on your staff this very week? It goes a long, long way for your reputation, and definitely helps others, when you show compassion to people. 5. Be Loyal
Showing consistent support to your players and staff will make others want to play and work for you. Loyalty is becoming a thing of the past in many different aspects of the sports world these days. The loyal coaches will stand out. Loyalty towards your players means supporting them even when they fail. Make sure your players and fellow coaches know that you believe in them, and that you have their back no matter what happens.6. Be Genuine
These days, the kids call it "100." They want a coach who is "100." Do what you say you're going to do; in other words be authentic. Let your "yes" be "yes" and your "no" mean "no." Likeable coaches are consistent in who they say they are. Be sincere when you talk to people. Don't blow smoke just to make someone happy, that never goes well for coaches. 7. Be Trustworthy
Likeable coaches can be relied upon. Administration can trust that they will get done what they need to get done. Parents are able to rely on their philosophy to be carried out, not just "parent meeting banter." Trustworthy coaches are liked by their players and coaches because they know that their coach will guide them through the season with consistency and truth. Chris Fore is a veteran Head Football Coach and Athletic Director from Southern California. He consults coaches and programs nationwide through his business Eight Laces Consulting.