Coach's Corner: Tim Crone 9/4

Tim Crone

By Tim Crone former Blue Springs High School Head Football Coach and Activities Director
Posted: September 4, 2013 - 8:39 AM

The first week of high school football is now in the books. You can mark your calendar every year – 99 percent of the first games will be played in extreme heat. With or without a heat issue and following a year of hard work, the coaching staffs and players are discovering the character of the team.
Over the past three weeks I have asked area high school football coaches to make guest appearances on my radio show to discuss expectations for their 2013 squads. Coaches and AD’s from a variety of programs, small to large and state champions to developing programs. The discussions centered around the steps to building a successful program and how.
We spent a lot of time talking about how you build a program and how if you have a great program, you are able to stay on top. There is obviously no magic formula for success. No one has an answer to how a program can be converted from a losing one to a winning one.
Talent is always a factor but an intangible factor is commitment. When lame excuses are given, such as “we don’t have any parent support” or “we never have had any success at this school,” a red flag goes up. An excuse to justify failure is not acceptable. With or without a high level of talent, most athletes can be challenged and coached into making success a priority in the football program. Leaders do not look for excuses. They rather search every angle to improve and set goals.
A pamphlet entitled Turning around Athletic Programs, written by Bruce E. Brown is an excellent resource for coaches and AD’s. Bruce was a guest speaker for the MIAAA state convention when I was president of that group. His informational pamphlet offers options for turning around a program. His focus is for everyone connected to the team to understand the stages and challenges of changing a culture within a team. He broke the process down into five basic stages:
  1. Getting started stage - Have a vision and make a decision.
  2. Getting together - Build a solid foundation and develop your inner circle.
  3. Commit stage - Are you in or out?
  4. Getting tested - Let the games begin (competition).
  5. Championship stage - Teams and programs of significance.
He explains these stages in depth. What I like most about his philosophy is that it can work for programs trying to improve and for programs already successful and trying to stay on top.
At one time I felt that turning a football programs around involved being at the right place at the right time. I now realize that it is more about a total community involvement. It has to have a vested interest by all involved with pay day at Friday night games.
Championship teams just don’t happen! It takes an attitude and understanding - the program evolves through a commitment 365 days a year 24 hours a day. It is not a part time job. It is a full time way of life.
A lot of coaches talk the talk but it is important to follow through and also walk the walk. The outcome is based on a steady philosophy and plan to reach team goals. Once a school experiences positive success the excitement will spread like a wild fire throughout the school and community. Everyone will want to become a part of the Friday night ritual that we call high school football.
  • Kansas City high school football programs are the best in both states. All the teams are setting the bar high. They all work hard and are committed to the program year round. The greatest way to improve is to compete with the best. A mixture of success and challenge should make up the chemistry of every high school football team.
My quote this week is from, the great Vince Lombardi:
“Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work and civilization work.”
This is so very, very true.
Tim Crone is the former Head Football Coach and Activities Director at Blue Springs High School.