Coaches…I have a suggestion for a new
way to solve old problems…
WIAA Coaches School 2012
Coach Don Papasedero
“Let’s talk about ways to clarify
expectations for your players and
help them learn ways to get on
the field….or in the line up”
Let me share some perspectives with you on
the athlete of the 2000’s
it is unjustly considered part of a students’
maturation process
•A test (usually P/F), rite of passage, and a “trial period”.
•If the kid does not play, he is considered poorly coached
by his parents and the player himself
•Today’s athletes are constantly evaluated by vocal nonexperts who think they have the knowledge to judge…
•If the kid is “doing well” it is because of genetics, parental
input, etc….NOT you or your program…the high school
coach is always under scrutiny.
•“Even if….” The kid is an overachiever, the credit is
“Playing football on this team is not like
ordering pizza…these guys need to
actually show up…work hard…be
prepared for setbacks…learn…see
improvement…oh, and did I say work hard
yet? Some pencil neck is not going to
simply deliver to them what it takes to get
onto the field.”
Bill Parcell
As coaches, we sometimes ask..
can’t these guys get it?
aren’t they playing better?
is wrong with these players of today?
they understand what it takes?
have worked so hard at getting them
ready…they just don’t get it!
Coaches: We know what we
want from players…
have experience, a plan, motivation, ability,
resources and most of us have passion for
coaching our sports…
our players have a clear understanding
of what they want?
The players of today may know
what they want out of playing….
it involves playing success or
they have potential, a dose of
motivation, a small amount of experience, and
an automatic expectation to be “on the field.”
players have great resolve and desire
(perhaps like we had as players).
…but, they often do not have a
clue how to get what they want!
contend that this is NOT a societal problem
(soft kids) an educational problem (challenged
learners) or a parental problem (unreasonable
see this is a failure of our coaches of today
to recognize exactly what skill sets the players
come to us with.
•We assume way too much!
What is the disconnect?
of the game?
•Expectations fuzzy? Traditions are assumed
and unknown?
•Individual goals unrealistic?
•Team goals unpublished?
•Those very things that we perhaps we
learned as children, students, and players
cannot be assumed as we coach in the 2000’s!
We need to shoulder some of the blame
for player underachievement. Here are
some examples of how we “screw up”
•The “coach’
stands in one place and yells at the
players. Little is written. Expectations are not
delineated, there is no “proper demonstration,
thus confusing the players.
•The “coach”
verbally humiliates players. He
says, “Why can’t you learn?” or “Didn’t I just
show this to you?” “You don’t want it enough.”
The player immediately shuts down and refuses
to try.
coach is late, fails to dress for practice, is
not prepared, walks and moves slowly, does not
know the scheme, does not know the players’
names, etc. If “Coach” demonstrates lack of
commitment, how will the players understand
and grasp commitment?
coach teaches out of his scrapbook.
“…back when…” Today’s players often cannot
learn from history unless they are personally
involved…there is no relevance!
meetings, the coach is constantly using
and referring to notes. He has not
committed the teaching information to
heart…the player asks himself, “Why do I
need to know all of this !?#@!? when HE
coach is listless, tired, negative, fails to
break a sweat at practice, shows zero
passion. The player has nobody to emulate or
inspire him to perform at a high level. The
loud and negative coach is the overwhelming
reason why kids quit sports.
coach has “drills” that have very little
relationship to the game. The connection is not
made from the drill-to-game day. The player
might get good at drills, but not at competing in
the games.
back to the fundamentals we learned as
players is worthless…if it is not related to “how
to use the fundys.” Not only do you need to
know and teach the basic fundamentals, you
need to incorporate them into “real life” the
players can actually use. No connection? No
“If you want to be a great coach, and
they want to be great players…if they
get theirs, then you get yours.”
Red Blake
11 Ways to Become an Irreplaceable Player!
1. Be Coachable
2. Play this game with real passion
3. Know your playing days are limited
4. Be a positive ambassador for your game!
5. Never have a “pretend injury”
6. Do everything fast!
7. Be truthful
8. Do all of the right things off the field
9. Preserve and celebrate the dignity of the game
10. Expect to make big plays. Plan on it.
11. Play to win
“Play it like a man, love it like a boy.”
Jackie Robinson
“ Yeah, motivation is very simple.
Just eliminate all those that are not
Lou Holtz
1. Be coachable!
Become a student of the game, willingly
accept instruction, and learn the system cold.
Embrace your program’s history.
Realize that you have a lot left to learn!
One of THE WORST things a coach can call
you is “uncoachable.”
Sports are constantly changing. Coaches,
even poor ones, put in massive hours to
learn. They are dedicated…match their
2. Play the game with passion!
This game requires heart, hustle, and
Get excited, be loud, be proud, show some
energy, go crazy once on a while, take massive
chances, and talk it up!
“Any football player that honestly
gives...will always get! No football
player has ever drowned in his own
sweat… it’s not even close!”
Friday Night Lights
3. Remember…competitive
athletics are NOT usually lifetime
Even the very best players in history will
seldom get a chance to play into their 30’s.
Fitness, activities, etc. (some other sports) can
be played to some extent for a long
Your time as a player goes by in an instant. DO
NOT CHEAT YOURSELF and look back on
your career with regrets.
“ Sports in High School??? I mean,
like, I was the best Pac-Man and
Super Mario player in my school.
Nobody could score as high as I
did…I like, I mean, hours and hours
of practice.”
King County Jail Inmate
4. You are responsible to be a positive
ambassador for this game we love!
We are constantly being evaluated with disdain and a
watchful eye. Teachers, community members, parents,
the media, and the student body hold us to an unfair
Be visibly positive. “Represent” (yourself, school, team,
community, THE GAME!)
You are hanging around with the coolest kids in your
Try and find ways to teach the game….explain your
sport to the ultra-ignorant as much as possible.
5. Never, never, never fake injuries
Nothing turns coaches off faster than “pretend
injuries.” It is crushing and demoralizing to your team.
It puts you in the very worst category as a
teammate… a lying, wimpy, selfish, soft player. It is
almost impossible to trust you and put you into the
This is 2012…your coaches and trainers know
enough about sports injuries to not put you at risk. If
you are really injured, they will not force you back
into participation.
Your teammates will know the truth and lose respect
for you.
It is DEFINITELY NOT COOL to miss practice, hang
around the training room, limp around school, lie on
the sidelines, and tell “your catastrophic injury” story.
“Miss any football? Unthinkable!
After football, there is only one big
event left and I am not ready for
that one… besides, funerals are too
damn expensive anyway.”
Bobby Bowden
“Hurt? How can he be hurt?…he does
not hit anybody! I promise you,
nothing cleanses the soul better than
getting the ---t kicked out of you. As a
matter of fact, bring that “hurt” guy to
my office for a little “soul cleansing”
before I send his ass back to his soft,
California town on a slow, stinking
Woody Hayes
6. Play fast!
Play the game with speed and quickness as a top priority.
Your coaches will always find a way to put you in the lineup if
you “have a motor.”
If you find yourself not getting “your minutes”, start doing
everything with a sense of urgency…Coach will notice!
Part of getting faster is mental. Every coach in the world
looks for mental toughness…this is a big key to getting in the
line up.
Be ruthless…the guy that nobody wants to practice/play
against. To dance with you, they have to pay. Get a “rep” as
“that guy.”
Becoming faster and quicker can be a learned behavior.
“Luck follows speed”
Pete Carroll
7. Be truthful and dependable
There is no substitute for always showing veracity. Tell
the truth, walk your talk, be consistent and dependable.
Be known for always “being there” when you say you
will be.
Your very highest self-appreciation as a competitive
athlete will stem from being honest with yourself, your
coaches, and your teammates.
“You can learn more about
character and yourself while
playing sports than anywhere else
in life.”
Players that recognize truth,
empathy, honest support, and
acceptance of them as “people,”
(not just football players), will
always excel for their team.
Richard Nixon
8. Off the field…do the right things!
Academics are crucial.You are a STUDENT-athlete
Follow the D+A policy perfectly!
How are you dressing? Would someone who does not
know you think you are an athlete?
Think about how your off-field behaviors negatively
affect others that you care about.
“….nobody ever says in the press, or
on TV, or any damn where else that
he is “a recovering football player.”
Bum Phillips
9. Preserve the dignity of the Game
Never cheat.
Celebrate and thrive on the ultra-competitive nature of
this game we love.
Be grateful for the awesome opportunity to play the
game that you love.
Most rules prohibit taunting and excessive celebration!
The very best move in all of athletics…is offering your
10. Be a playmaker!
Remove your blind spots (scotomas) and limitations
Expect that you will make big plays and gamechangers…look for your chance at practice too!
Every player that is on the field will have a chance to
make big plays….with or without the ball.
Films NEVER lie.
“I am most impressed with this guy’s
uncanny ability to be around the
ball…. When someone wants to give
it to him.”
Willamette University Coach
(while watching a recruit on
11. Win it!
Make your presence @ practice and games known. Be a
difference-maker in the outcome.
Live for game days or nights! Game time!
The sheer force of YOUR WILL can make great things
Play to win…every play…it is contagious!
In conclusion, a little marine science
lesson for your players…
the remora
Remoras in Football
Certainly one of the lowest and most distasteful
creatures on the planet is the ubiquitous
Remora. They boastfully display a broad array of
colors, a fierce collection of razor like teeth
(with no actual known use) and little or no
evidence of a simple defense. Nature has
ordained this loathsome creature to be the
bottom feeders of the planet.
Remoras in Football
They attach themselves via suction or natural
bile to the anus of the most powerful and
ferocious shark in his territory and wait to
“feed” on the often projectile-like explosions
his host provides. They attach themselves to
these floating feces and ingest all the remaining
nutrients the host shark has “rejected.” Upon
becoming satiated from eating shark feces, they
quickly re-seek their host or traditionally move
onto the next convenient host in search of
more easy meals.
Remoras in Football
Their most disgusting habit occurs during
battles. The Remora rides slowly below the
powerful shark when he is in grievous fighting,
or feeding on other fish. As the outcome of the
shark’s struggle becomes evident, the Remora
patiently waits until the fight is long over...begins
eating the spoils of this battle, and seemingly
proclaims to all of nature that he is very
powerful and dangerous because he dines only
with the strong and victorious.
High School players do not eat ---t, watch fights
from the sideline, and proclaim themselves as
something special!
High School players are NOT Remoras!
Embrace this game, put a lot of yourself into
it…love it like a boy, but play it like a man!
Contact Information
Coach Don Papasedero
 [email protected][email protected]
 (cell) 206-719-0492
 (work) 206-230-6347

Eleven things to help you be a PLAYER!”