Post by blockandtackle on May 13, 2019 12:06:00 GMT -6
What does "from scratch" mean here?
Is this a brand new program at an established school?
A brand new school consolidated from existing schools with grades 9-12?
A brand new school that's only going to start with a freshman class?
A brand new co-op program for homeschool kids or kids from different schools?
Each one of those looks very, very different.
Now, if you're assuming a new program at a place with zero football tradition or experienced players, here's what I'd do:
Year 1 would be to insure facilities are ready, get all the equipment/logistics/sponsors together, establish files for book keeping, and lay a foundation via engaging/fundraising with the community. This is all the boring administrative stuff that nobody really likes doing, but needs to be done and will take time. No games yet. Not even more than 1-2 coaches yet, ideally. Focus a lot on that community and the feeder system before you ever have a team. This is where you're going to be doing most of the "from scratch" work.
Year 2 would be where the football starts. Hire assistant coaches, open play with a short JV schedule* (maybe 6-8 games), and start lifting--I put start lifting here, but you obviously would like to have kids lifting before the games--hard to do without a team, though. This is where you start building your culture, as well as create the booster club and doing team fundraisers. Make sure the JV games have a varsity feel as much as possible and that your weightroom is on lockdown. Keep everything very, very simple for kids with no experience. Emphasize having fun and building the culture with the kids.
*If you have juniors and seniors in your school already, you should probably go straight to varsity games, but it won't be pretty. Try to do whatever it takes to schedule the worst teams you can find so you can have some competitive games.
Year 3 would be another JV schedule, but this time make it 9-10 games. If there's something you still need but haven't been able to build/acquire in years 1-2, do it now. Keep building that culture via the weightroom and coming up with traditions and rituals for the kids to do.
Year 4 would ideally be the first varsity game with all the fanfare that should warrant. Make the home games something special for everyone on the team and in the community. Establish pre-game stuff for fans and players alike and really promote this hard. Schedule as many bad/beatable teams as possible, because you're probably still going to suck.
Year 5 is probably too far out (5 year plans never work for a reason) but the goal there would be to have a winning season if you haven't already done so.
Post by Colonel Perry on May 14, 2019 14:37:05 GMT -6
We had a school in Cleveland start a new program in 2010 and they played a junior varsity schedule their first year, then a full varsity schedule the following season. They were set up for failure because it was forced on them because two schools had closed down and the league wanted to save their budget.
Make sure you link up with middle school students who falls into the "athlete" category. And build bonds with youth football coaches who are capable of a true feeder system.
Invite them and those kids to the games and team functions, and keep promoting your philosophy!!
Having been in on starting two programs from scratch ( both new schools ), I think that you have to start with you. Too many times we coaches put the cart before the horse. You need to know what you're good at and what you aren't . Surround yourself with people who complete you. Maybe these aren't even football people. Are they Teachable and Trustable? All else flows from those two attributes.
Next write down one or three things that you want people to say about your program and begin to move toward those goals. Look at programs you admire and ask how they do things. Get the nitty gritty stuff like how do they pick a Parent's club president and who does their T shirts. Find out which schools have a reputation for excellence and go visit them.
The biggest "football" thing for me would be to get your staff on the same page way early. The coaches met biweekly starting in January before our first spring practice knowing would have no juniors or seniors. We knew we were going to be a JV going against the big kids and we coached up our coaches first and then recruited the halls and other sports rosters. We showed film clips at lunch and got the "older kids" into a meeting to pick out the uniforms. We knew we were gonna take our lumps and we reveled in it.
Next we did no huddle with wrist bands which was new for the area and ran some teams ragged using inferior athletes who were in better shape. We went 5-5 and got blown out in the first round by a perennial powerhouse. That year set the bar and we have only missed the playoffs one time in 11 years. We don't beat ourselves up in practice and we lift during the game schedule. Other than that I can't think of any advice...