Coach's Corner: Sam Knopik 11/8

Sam Knopik

By Sam Knopik Premboke Hill Head Coach
Posted: November 8, 2012 - 9:20 AM

With the exception of just a handful of coaches and their staffs each year the season comes to an end with a disappointing loss.

Regardless of the season’s overall wins and losses a coach’s team may have had, it is the sudden finality of the end that can create a bevy of second guessing and could’ves,  would’ves should’ves.

We find a void in our afternoons. Once filled with team film sessions, tackling bags, and scout team cards the post 3:00 time slots are suddenly and abruptly lonely. The basketballs are bouncing, the sporting goods guys are lining up their visits, and deadlines come quick for end of season recaps, banquets and honors.

Somewhere in the void of all that new found quietness I personally fight against my own insecurities: If only I had done it this way... or called that play....  Maybe our bus left too late... Was that really a penalty..... Multiplier be damned!!!

In the midst of my P.L.O.M. Disease (poor little ‘ole me) there slowly comes a time where the pain ebbs. Sometimes the healing starts with an e-mail from a colleague wishing me well, maybe a former player stops by the office or my children being empathetic in their own sweet way. It is in these moments when I begin to see the cloud move away. Then I can start to honestly take inventory of our season.

  • The players who emerged that few believed would ever get on the field four years ago.
  • The coaches on your staff who have grown into new roles and taken ownership like never before.
  • The relationships between the players, who were as different as night and day just months ago, now have a shared memory of a special high school football season.
  • The process of game plan preparation which began on a Saturday morning, was examined and modified over the weekend and early part of the week. The plan was implemented and sold to the team who in turn took that plan and played the game as we taught them to play. Win or lose I have found a lot of satisfaction in watching young people play football.
The young people on our team who are refined through the process of the game. Unlike their classmates, these players know the physical meaning of hard work, emotional investment, success and disappointment... Oh, and manage to get good grades along the way just like their classmates too.

So, while I take nothing for granted and know a playoff loss is in many respects a missed opportunity, I am also mature enough to know when it is time to move on and calculate the accomplishments of this year’s team on and off the field.

I’m thankful for my profession, our coaching staff, our players and my opponents. High school football holds a special place in American culture and the development of young people and I am proud to play my part, end of season pain and all.