July 9, 2014
WYC 009 Youth Football – Jacob Gilbert – Lead for God’s Sake
Jacob Gilbert played football through the collegiate level, has coached at Wabash college and now is the Head football coach at Westfield High School in Indiana. In 3 years he has taken Westfield from a 3 win team, to last year they were 12-2 and runners-up in the state championship game. He is married and has three boys ages 10, 9, and 6.
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▪ ‘It’s not what you get from playing, it’s who you become because you play’
Coaching your own Kid
▪ Try to find an assistant to take the lead on coaching your kid
My ‘Cringe’ Moment
▪ Losing patience when coaching my own kids
Coaching AH-HA Moment
▪ It’s all about relationships: John Maxwell: ‘They don’t know how much you know until they know how much you care’
Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun
▪ All kids learn differently – ‘No learning by the players means no coaching by the coaches’ – Everything you see on the field you either taught or allowed. You have to find a way to reach each different
▪ Make all learning a competition – will lead to better learning, more fun. Start backwards – what do you want to see in the game? – Figure out the skill then make a game out of it.
Best Stolen Idea
▪ His high school coach: ‘It’s not what you get from playing, it’s who you become because you play’ – Character development is the key in coaching.
▪ USA Football – great library of drills, practice plans
▪ Don’t be shy about asking middle school/high school coaches for advice/ go to one of their practices
▪ Instead of teaching rules – teach character. Spend time discussing who you are representing and how to lead instead of teaching time on rules.
▪ Discipline needs to be swift, fair, and consistent. ‘I still love you, but you own your own decisions, this is the consequence of that decision.’
HUGE IDEA #1 – Story of a kid who was super healthy asked coach to discipline him every time he dropped ball – coach made him eat a Snickers! Drove kid crazy and it worked.
Reward, Recognition, and Teambuilding
▪ Individualized – some kids respond to public praise, some kids respond to one-on-one affirmation, some kids might play harder if you offer a bag of twizzlers to kid who makes the most tackles
▪ Coach Gilbert did not have a father at home growing up – so he loves pouring back into kids in that situation and being a positive role-model for them
HUGE IDEA #2 – Top priorities for a youth sports coach:
1 – Do the kids return next year?
2 – Did the kids learn technique and skills?
3 – Did the kids grow and learn in character? – sportsmanship, responsibility, work ethic – and including learning to compete (and winning)
The One that Got Away
▪ They lost the state championship game last year – as a head coach he thinks he learned how to have more poise and be less nervous in big situations.
▪ Book: The 21 Irrefutable laws of leadership – John Maxwell
▪ Book: The Dream Giver – Bruce Wilkinson
▪ Book: Lead for God’s Sake – Todd Gongwer
▪ Don’t criticize execution – only criticize effort – And when you criticize – make sure you make it very specific, otherwise they take it personally
▪ Frame everything as a positive – Don’t say ‘Don’t drop this pass’, instead say: ‘Make a great catch on this pass’