Don’t Hold Your Talented Young Coaches Back
The game of football has seen an explosion of young talented coaches over the past 10-20 years. We are now seeing the brightest young football minds routinely walking the NFL sidelines. They are walking them as the head coach too.
Have you ever stoped to wonder how this has happened? Sure, these coaches have put themselves in the enviable position of getting in the right building or two. This always helps as our connections are the most important thing we have when it comes to getting the job we want.
There is more to it though. This group of young talented coaches are open minded about a lot of things. Sure it might be how Sean McVay sees an offense or how Brandon Staley thinks outside the box on defense. There is also an element of how young coaches accept technology and change.
I have had two interesting and opposite conversations in the past 24 hours that I want to use as an example. Yesterday, I spoke with an NFL coach who has used FirstDown PlayBook now for 4 years. As all NFL coaches do he is now with a new club. He called me to say that he was wanting to zoom so he could get others on his defensive staff using FirstDown PlayBook? Why? Because of how much time it has been saving him.
Another conversation this morning. Bright young kid making the transition from a college player to a GA in college football. He’s been using FirstDown PlayBook now for a year or so to draw up his personal playbook. He walks into the college football office and they have him drawing on Visio. I won’t quote him directly but it was something like “Coach, it’s brutal.”
“Look around the room in your next staff meeting and ask your young coaches about technology that could help your program and the weekly workflow.”
I felt bad for the kid because I have been the young coach before too. You don’t come through the door spewing ideas. He will be stuck doing it the hard inefficient way for the present, at least. I will say this though.If you are a head coach or a coordinator, teach your young talented coaches football. Don’t try to teach them about football technology or office workflow. Listen carefully here. If you are 30 years old or older…you are old when it comes to technology.
Yes, your way may still work. At what cost though? If you think high school, college and NFL football is the same as it was 10 years ago then you are just in denial. There are a variety of things that have to be handled now that did not exist 10 years ago. (NIL/Transfer Portal/Lack of HS Coaches). If you allow your young coaches to work to their strengths, you and your program are going to be much better off.
So I will leave you with this. Look around the room in your next staff meeting. Just like you are going to lean on your coordinators and position coaches for scheme and personnel, ask your young QC or GA coaches about technology. Invite them to come see you if they have ideas that will improve your workflow. You will be surprised at how that will likely make you a better prepared football team.