Coach's Corner: Chad Frigon 10/14
By Chad Frigon Liberty Head Coach
Every football team in America is unique in itself in the personalities, attitudes, and characteristics that make it a group. The ultimate goal of teamwork can be more difficult to achieve in football than in other sports.
Compared to other sports, football can be challenge to build individuals into a cohesive unit whose teams are much smaller in numbers. The sheer make-up of the game requires that on every play 11 members must perform their job for that play to be successful.
Last spring I was in a pre-practice running backs meeting at the University of Arkansas with Arkansas Running Back’s coach, Tim Horton. As he lost me in the many checks and blitz pick up responsibilities of the running backs, my eyes wondered to a large poster on his wall that described members of any team as being either Corrupt, Compliant, or Compelled. I talked to Coach Horton after the meeting and have since used this concept to help us in our football program at Liberty High School.
Every football team has players that will fall into each of these categories. It is our job as coaches and teammates to help players become compelled to do what is right, and identify what problems may be holding a certain team member back.
Corrupt athletes on a team are the players that cause problems for themselves, teammates, and coaches through their actions. Corruptive players think of themselves first and not the team. These players are resistant to change and what it takes to succeed. A natural action for a corruptive player is to try to bring other players down with them to help justify their actions.
Compliant players do what is expected of them so they won’t get in trouble. They blend in trying not to get noticed. These players don’t improve much and don’t improve their teammates. When a compliant player shows up on time or goes hard in a work-out, it is to avoid punishment and consequences, not because they know that it is what they need to do in order for themselves and the team to be successful.
Compelled players do what is right because they know deep down inside, it is the right thing to do for themselves and also the team. They go above and beyond what is asked of them and improve and help their teammates. Compelled players readily accept coaching and see it as a tool to improve. Compelled players are driven by the success of the entire program both on and off the field.
Football teams are a blend of these distinct types of players. The good thing about high school players is that they can change throughout the course of their career through positive interactions with teammates, coaches, educators, and family.
As football has developed into a year round commitment, there is many opportunities to develop young athletes. It is my assumption that great high school football programs across America have a higher percentage of compelled athletes in their makeup. We must do our part as coaches, teammates, educators, and family members to help our athletes become compelled.
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