FNF Coaches Talk — Mental health at stake if no high school football, DB tackling motivation, transferring out of state

FNF Coaches Talk

Welcome back, Coaches. We’ve got three good stories for you.

1. Students’ Needs for High School Sports Drives Decisions to Restart Programs (NFHS)

National Federation of State High School Associations Exectuive Director Dr. Karissa Niehoff penned a column in response to criticism that any push to return to play this fall is financially motivated. Football is a revenue-generator for many high schools, and while that may be the case, it is not the primary motivation for getting players back on the field.

Dr. Niehoff argues that the primary motivation is the physical and mental health benefits of athletics for high school students.

Certainly, revenue from high school football is crucial for schools and state associations, but finances are not driving decisions to return to play. Instead, the overarching reason that high schools and state associations are working with government, education and health leaders to offer these programs is that many students desperately need these activities. The experience of playing on a high school team may be one of the only positive aspects of their lives, and the high school coach or director of a speech or music group may be the only positive role model they have.

Niehoff also makes the point that the chief motivator for many high school athletes to excel in the classroom is that it affords them the opportunity to compete in athletics.

In some cases, the opportunity to play sports is the chief motivator to attend classes, graduate, obtain a job and begin a life on their own. Regardless of whether the structure is the same as in the past, or if the same number of games are played or even if state championships occur, the continuance of these programs is crucial. And, in recent meetings with leaders of state associations, finances or concerns about state championships are not the primary topic.

Read the entire column.

What is your biggest concern for your players if the high school football season is canceled?

2. Sports Performance Coach Preaches the Importance of Tackling for DBs (Sweet Feet Performance)

It’s the message all defensive backs coaches deliver to their players. “Take pride in tackling … From high school to college, coaches like to see guys who can lock down and cover. But they also want to see who can make a tackle on third-and-5 when you’re in Cover 2.”


How do you motivate cover corners to become more complete players and tackle?

3. Players consider moving to new states, reclassifying due to high school football postponements (WTKR3 Virginia)

We hadn’t considered this as a potential fallout from high school football season postponements, but it appears some athletes in Virginia are considering moving to states in which high school football will be played this fall.

With the Virginia High School League’s (VHSL) Executive Committee scheduled to meet for a special session next week, with intentions to make recommendations for fall sports after delaying a decision last month, the players say they want a game plan.

Dante Ramirez is a receiver for Grassfield High in Chesapeake.

“I just want to know the plan,” Ramirez admitted. “Whether I need to go to a different state to play football or to re-class, I just need to know.”

Ramirez is receiving interest from college football programs. But after losing the offseason following his junior season – a period during which prospects attend camps and showcases – and now his senior year very much in doubt, he feels like his chance at a college scholarship might be slipping through his hands.

“There are a lot of people just like me on my team – waiting until their senior year to get an offer from a school,” Dante explained.
“I’ve been going at this since I was 6 years old, looking forward to playing college football,” Hauser revealed. “My senior year is probably the most important year for me to get looks to be able to go to college.”

Read the entire story.

What suggestions are you offering to college prospects who are not able to get scouted this summer and potentially this fall?

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