When I was in high school many many many years ago the football season started on September 1st and ended on Thanksgiving Day.  September 1st was when team practices were allowed to begin, the first game was usually around the third Saturday in the month and two months later you turned your equipment in.  For the most part there was no formal off-season program with the exception of those who lifted weights…if your school had them.

I bring this up to point out the dramatic changes not just for student-athletes but for coaches which is why it’s getting harder and harder to fill staffs, especially with those who work in the school.  That 2-3 month season from my era has been replaced largely by one that’s closer to 12 months.  As we speak teams are involved in 7-on-7 tournaments and camps and once practice officially begins early next month the season could go into December for some.  Then after a short break weight rooms open up and while usually not mandatory you are more noticeable by your absence then your presence.  Of course it’s coaches who are monitoring activity and helping set up off-season programs.

Not to be overlooked are the coaches who are helping their seniors find a college that might make for a good fit.  Throw in clinics and more and it makes for a lot of work for relatively small financial compensation, one they could easily match with a part-time or summer job that would require many less hours.  Maybe most important is the stress coaching puts on a family, especially during the season when most are working pretty much 7 days a week with Saturday or Sunday being filled with film sessions as preparation begins for the next game.

All successful coaches have a burning desire to succeed and a tremendous passion for the sport.  They also make tremendous sacrifices to help make their athletes better.

Just in case you were wondering I have tremendous respect for coaches in all sports, especially today when social media makes an already difficult job even more challenging.

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