SPARTAN LIFE SKILLS
Week - 1 Scholarship
Academic study or achievement
"Choose instruction instead of silver and knowledge rather than gold"
"I will prepare and someday my chance will come"
Start the season enforcing how important education is to you.
Boys look up to you, tell them how your school work helped or your lack of school work hurt you. Ask what books they are reading in school. Remind them that homework needs to be done before practice. Sit kids down for poor school work. Let parents know to be in touch with you to back them up, use football as a punishment for lazy school work.
Week 2 - Competition
Test of ones ability
"If anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules"
"Before you can win, you must believe you are worthy"
Challenge kids to work their hardest, explain that competition is not trash talking.
It is pushing yourself to work to play at a higher level. Competition is respect for another's ability to push you to your best. Put kids of like ability against each other in a drill, talk about how that competition was good for both kids and how that cause them to work harder in a positive way.
Week 3 - Goals
The purpose toward which an endeavor is directed, an objective
"Press on toward the goal for the heavenly prize"
"Set your goals high, and don't stop till you are there"
Set team goals for the week of practice, set individual goals that are not football related, talk about committing to your goals and the work it takes to make that happen. Teach the importance of setting short term and long term goals and reassessing goals as you hit milestones.
Week 4 - Poise
State of balance or equilibrium, dignified, self-confident manner or graceful or elegant bearing
"Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city."
"The key to winning is poise under pressure"
Discuss the importance of self control, it is never OK to lay hands on another and we must use our words carefully.
Emotional control is what we are working to encourage. Give examples of how kids have been successful this year so far to demonstrate poise. Ask for examples of when they have seen people lose their poise, hopefully, they don't point you out yelling at them earlier in practice.
Week 5 - Respect
Deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements
"Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed."
This is the most open ended topic. We must respect our opponents, authority, enemies, friends, people that don't show us respect and finally ourselves. Ask questions of the group about who they respect and why. Talk about people you have respect for. Talk about something that has helped you with respecting yourself and a situation that the kids may face that will challenge their level of respect of another.
Week 6 - Courage
Strength in the face of pain or grief, the ability to do something that frightens one.
"There is no substitute for guts"
"It's lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself"
Discuss the idea that courage is based in ones own mind.
Courage is not taking unnecessary risks, but taking on obstacles that are based in ones fear. Then empower kids to over come their fears that will empower them. Ask what they they may be afraid of or ask another coach his fears. Discuss fear and how we take them on every day.
Week 7 - Pride
A feeling of pleasure from ones' own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is associated or from qualities or possessions. Negative Synonyms, arrogance, haughtiness, vanity, conceit, glory, boastful.
"God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
"Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction."
Pride is valuable when managed, to have a positive self image and confidence are great traits to encourage. To use pride as a boastful, arrogance, those are emotional traits to be managed. Give examples of when pride helps you and when it hurts you.
Week 8 - Integrity
Adherence to moral and ethical principles, soundness of moral character, honesty.
"Integrity is keeping a commitment even after circumstances have changed."
This discussion will be centered around "doing the right thing because its the right thing to do". Ask questions about lines that other kids might cross that they are not crossing. Discuss their moral code and the grey areas associated with them.
Week 9 - What it means to be a man...
"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love, give preference to one another in honor."
"Good coaching is about leadership and instilling respect in your players. Dictators lead through fear--good coaches do not."
"The only thing that endures is character. Fame and wealth -- all that is illusion. All that endures is character."
In the end, no one will remember if we won any games or Championships. Our character will be the only thing that remains.
The people we have loved and the lives we have impacted.