FNF Coaches Talk — Delegating Coaching Duties, Yelling at Players

Good afternoon, Coaches. Let’s get right to the stories.

1. How Del­e­gat­ing Coach­ing Duties Took One High School from Good to Great (HUDL)

Newark Val­ley High (NY) was very suc­cess­ful in Bri­an Sherwood’s first three sea­sons at the helm. The Car­di­nals went a com­bined 21 – 8 in that span and made the Class C play­offs each sea­son.

But Sher­wood thought his team could take anoth­er step. So for the first time in his career as a head coach, he relin­quished his duties as defen­sive coor­di­na­tor and tru­ly took the reins of the entire team. The think­ing behind the move — dur­ing games, Sher­wood pre­vi­ous­ly met with the defense while his offense was on the field. Switch­ing things up would allow him to watch both units and have a bet­ter pulse of his team as a whole.

The Car­di­nals went 13 – 0, tak­ing home the Class C State title, and Sher­wood was named the Elite 24 Coach of the Year. Newark Val­ley bull­dozed over the oppo­si­tion, win­ning by an aver­age of 32.8 points per game.

“It was dif­fer­ent for me, but it also helped in the game plan­ning week to week,” Sher­wood said. ​“It made those two (coor­di­na­tors) more cru­cial in their own game-plan­ning and put me on both sides of the ball instead of just the defense. It put me more in touch with both sides of the ball.
“You only have so much time dur­ing the week and, when you’re a coor­di­na­tor, you’re spend­ing your time on that side. I think we were more effi­cient in plan­ning and find­ing ten­den­cies with me work­ing on both sides.”

The deci­sion was final­ized after Newark Valley’s first scrim­mage, which dou­bled as the staff’s intro­duc­tion to Hudl Side­line. The tech­nol­o­gy deliv­ered instant replay to the coach­es’ iPads in mere sec­onds, allow­ing for more teach­ing moments between drives.

Sher­wood didn’t want to have his head buried in a tablet dur­ing his offense’s dri­ves. It was time to tru­ly take con­trol of the team.

“It wouldn’t have been effec­tive if I would’ve con­tin­ued to be a coor­di­na­tor because I couldn’t have sat on the bench, get out of the flow of the game and make all the deci­sions a head coach has to make dur­ing the game,” Sher­wood said. ​“We made adjust­ments each series ver­sus mak­ing minor adjust­ments at halftime.”

What is one responsibility you could delegate this year that you didn’t delegate last year?

2. Yelling and showing anger isn’t ALWAYS effective for coaches (Competitive Advantage)

Dr. G. from Competitive Edge lays out the upside of yelling at players.

So am I really saying that you can never yell again? Am I telling you that you must only make nice-nice with your athletes? Several of your players consistently goof around and are disruptive during practice. Are we pushing the “new self-esteem” model here, which states that you can’t raise your voice or reprimand these athletes because it might irreparably damage these goof balls’ self-esteem? Absolutely NOT! Providing critical feedback and setting appropriate behavioral limits with your athletes are important parts of your job as a coach-educator. You can’t be effective unless you do it.

And then he lays out the downside.

As I’ve already mentioned, I can’t find any constructive use for coaching via demeaning and intimidating behavior. Making your athletes feel stupid in front of their peers or publicly humiliating them may temporarily get you their attention, but it will permanently lose you their respect and the respect of their teammates. Once you’ve lost a player’s respect, you’ve lost that player! Furthermore, your “lesson” will not be lost on the rest of the team. When you put one player down, the rest of the team is immediately worried about you doing this to them.

When you yell at a player, how do you toe the line between motivating him and embarrassing him?

What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk!