Yes favoritism is alive and well in youth sports. and school… and business… So, how does one become a coach’s favorite? Well it is pretty easy really. I wish I had a team of favorites but unfortunately that never happens but once or twice in your lifetime. I’ve had it once and it was a magical undefeated Super Bowl season.
Here are my qualities for my favorite youth football players……
- They love football and know the game. They can tell you their favorite players, positions, numbers and teams.
- They love to hit and are not timid. They want to hit every practice and do not shy away from hitting in drills. They are always first in line during hitting drills.
- They do not get hurt every practice with small scratches and boo boos and run to mom for a bandaide on the sidelines.
- They have a high football IQ. They understand why we pass on 3rd and long and run a wedge on short yardage.
- They learn and remember their plays and responsibilities and other positions too. They can easily jump from FB to WB or to guard.
- They will play wherever the team needs them to play. Yes, you are a FB but today we need you at guard.
- They are not a distraction during practice by talking or horse playing during drills. Coaches hate looking over and seeing a player distract three others throwing rocks at shoes and pushing in lines.
- They arrive to practice and games at least 15 minutes early. Nothing makes a coach mad as a hatter when the players shows up to games after the kick off.
- They are hardly ever absent and always ready to make up work. Favorites are always at practice and arrive early.
- They ask good football questions not where are we going to eat after the game.
- They are usually above average speed and size but sometimes smaller players are the hardest hitters with the biggest hearts. We love to see a small player or underdog win a battle.
- They must have the willingness to learn and learn quick. Some of my favorites have been project players and turn out to be a favorite. The Russian was one of my favorite players of all time. Always learning and smiling.
- They must truly respect the coaches and have fun with them. Your son must be coachable. If they are little jerks then maybe they don’t play as much.
- Their parents must also respect the coaches. Little johnny is not going to be a good player on our teams if you are bad mouthing the coaches every five minutes.
- They must have good grades and conduct in school. I personally enjoy coaching smart players that take school work seriously. We look for and draft smart football players and reenforce these qualities in practice.
- They usually have shown we can trust them to do a certain skill like Contain at DE or not fumble. They do not jump offsides every game.
- They work harder than most other players by arriving early at practice or asking to redo a drill.
- They work out during the off-season or over the summer.
- They want to win more than lose. They are very competitive.
- They are fun to watch on the field excelling at skills learned in practice.
I am sure there are more qualities of your favorites and mine. But this is a good 80 / 20 list. I personally do not think its bad to have a few favorites on your team as long as you do not turn them into Prima Donnas.
Do you have a few favorite players? What did you like most about them.