FNF Coaches Talk for September 27

Its Thursday, one last day to meet all of your objectives before game day. How’s it going?

Let’s dig in, here’s what we’re talking about at FNF Coaches HQ this morning.

1. 6 Strategies To Help Young Athletes Eat Better (STACK)

Getting an athlete to follow a nutrition plan is one of those uphill battles that you can never seem to win. That’s why we flagged this piece from Strength and Conditioning Specialist Jason Bacigalupo. He ties an athlete’s performance quite literally to their diet.

“For example, I once had a player tell me they attended a morning basketball skills session, our preseason football workout, and then another basketball session in the evening the previous day. When he showed up for the football workout the next morning, I sent him home because he’d consumed exactly ONE meal plus a snack in the past 24 hours. To this day, I have no idea how he got out of bed.”

And it’s not just the coach’s job to teach the lesson, but also to follow up and follow through.

“Take a few minutes here and there to check-in with your athletes, especially those who you believe might be neglecting their meals. With the athlete mentioned above, it was pretty easy to tell that something was off, both physically and cognitively. I followed up with him every morning to ask him what he ate the day before. I even asked him to complete a 3-day food log. Not only did it help strengthen my relationship with him, but it helped him be accountable.”

We love Bacigalupo’s guide because it returns a lot of power and responsibility over the situation back into the hands of the coach. We can help them determine a plan, we can track their progress, and we can follow up on it with clear tools and processes. It turns what can seem like babysitting a player’s eating habits into a clear program for reaching a performance objective.

Master Chef: How do you involve yourself in your players’ nutrition programs? What are some of the best practices you employ?

2. Meet Station Camp football coach Shaun Hollinsworth (Tennessean)

We get to talk to a lot of coaches around here, and one of the things we hear most often is that being a coach is way more than just that – being a coach. Here the Tennessean interviews Coach Hollinsworth, and he sums up the dilemma perfectly.

“Just having to wear so many different hats. You’re a maintenance guy, you’re a mentor, you’re a coach, you’re a teacher, you’re a counselor — so many different hats you have to wear. Also, the time you have to put in it. It can start to wear on you after a while. You get rolling along, and it’s seven days a week for six months. It’s a grind, and you have to embrace it. “

But the most interesting bit came when Hollinsworth was asked about his role models. Who influenced his coaching career the most?

“I don’t know that I have one in particular. I tend to observe and learn from a lot of coaches. I watch good and bad points of coaches around that coach with me and me and build off that. I really can’t say that I have a major coaching influence. Probably Herschel Moore, who was a Tennessee coaching legend, would be an influence.”

We love the perspective, because it’s the same point of view that draws a lot of us to FNF Coaches in the first place. It’s not about one coach, it’s about all the coaches. There are thousands of coaches who’ve solved thousands of problems with a thousand best practices that we can learn from. Why follow just one path, when you can learn something from all of them?

Role Models: Do you pattern your techniques and processes from one great coach, or do you pull strategies from all over? Who do you look to for great tips and advice?

3. Richmond Heights football situation raises additional questions (News-Herald)

This is another one of those head scratchers that finds us with two or three opinions for every man who hears the story. John Kampf of the News-Herald reports:

Superintendent Renee Willis said that after talking with an OHSAA official this week, there would be no ruling or sanction by the governing body of Ohio high school sports after Richmond Heights coach Tim Gorham pulled his team from the field in the first quarter of a Sept. 21 game against Division VI state contender Kirtland.

Gorham’s reasoning? His team came into the game with 17 players and two had been hurt in the early going against the Hornets.

This came after it seemed multiple parents approached the coach and told them they didn’t want their children in the game.

“When parents are saying to not put their child (in the game), you have no options,” Willis said. “As a school district, I’m not telling a parent, ‘I’m putting your child (in the game).’ Because our numbers are so small, when you have four parents say, ‘Don’t put my child in,’ then you don’t have enough players to line up.”

You can do a lot to prevent injuries, but not a lot to predict them. So this could happen to any coach at any time. If your players are getting hurt, if the parents are raising the heat, how would you respond any differently?

Hot Spot: How would you respond in this situation? Do you think there should be administrative consequences to the coach’s decision?

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!