Focus on Fractions: Why they matter in coaching kids
By Greg Bach
Rushing yards, points allowed and penalties per game are just some of the numbers that grab the attention of college football coaches.
For Bowling Green State University head coach Mike Jinks, there’s a fraction that means a lot to him as well.
And it should to you too, as you go about teaching teamwork and helping young athletes wrap their arms around that all-important element that it’s all about the team – and not the individual.
“What you want to do is create that family environment,” Jinks says. “What I constantly talk about is do your 1/11th. There are 11 guys out there on that field at a time and if any one of them is not doing their job the unit will fail.”
So when young players learn to dial into their roles, and know that the positions given to them are important to the team’s success, a true unit can emerge that competes together.
And supports each other every step of the way.
“We are a group,” Jinks says. “We are one. Some may have more responsibilities than others at given times but at the end of the day – no matter what we are trying to get accomplished – 11 guys have to be doing their job in order for us to perform at the highest level.”
ALL IN ON ACCOUNTABILITY
Jinks, who played quarterback at Angelo State University, learned during his playing days that being accountable to the responsibilities that come with your position is crucial for the team to operate at top efficiency.
It’s been a focal point of his coaching at all levels, including during his days as a high school football coach in Texas, where he led Steele High School to a state championship and was a finalist for the National High School Coach of the Year.
So, when players care about each other, and embrace the responsibilities of their position because they genuinely care more about the team than themselves, the possibilities are endless.
Plus, it makes the season more meaningful.
And the lessons more powerful.
Adds Jinks: “One of the things that was preached to me when I was in high school is when you can start to understand and work toward things that are out there that are bigger than yourself that working for the group opens up a lot more avenues for you as the years go on.”
WNBA great Tangela Smith recalls how important those encouraging words from coaches and teammates were during her playing days – and reminds today’s youth coaches of how influential the rights words can be for kids
Ryan Harris, Super Bowl champion and author of Mindset for Mastery, on inspiring young athletes to believe in themselves and compete with confidence
Having a game day routine to call upon can help young athletes become more consistent and confident performers
Many young athletes struggle to have their practice performances translate into game day success. Use this insight from Dr. Taryn Morgan, a former college athlete and Director of Athletic and Personal Development at the IMG Academy, to help make it happen