1. Austin Chester AP Lit Mrs. Corbett 4-9-12 7th I started playing football in fifth grade and ever since that first humid, sweaty afternoon practiceI was hooked. I guess you could say it was love at first down. The game of football means so much tome. It helped me to find who I was in those awkward middle school years. In high school it kept me inshape and provided me with many friends. It has taught me self-respect, dedication, commitment andmany other things that play into my personal values. It wasnt just the sport itself that shaped me; it wasthe people that I met along the way. These people have impacted my life in more ways than I can evenbegin to tell you. My closest friends to this day are from football and we share memories we will neverforget and have a bond as strong as blood brothers. Another group of people that I met from footballwho have truly changed my life is the coaching staff here at Creekview. I respect every single coach onthat field and I have looked up to them as father figures since I started playing high school ball myfreshmen year. They are there through the blood, sweat and tears that all the players on the team gothrough and they shed just as much blood, sweat and tears as we do. I know from experience that if Ihave a problem with anything or need a question answered, the only place I need to go is coaches’office. Another great thing about these coaches is they do not just coach football, they coach life. In myopinion my life is on the right tracks and they have a big influence on this. They push me when I needto be pushed and praise me when I do something right. This is the responsibility and the relationshipthat I want to have when I am older. This is the reason I would like to be a high school football coachwhen I get out of college. My research paper is on the effects that organized sports have on children. From personalexperience and the research that I did I have concluded that the positives far out way the negatives ofchildren playing sports. The negatives pretty much all have to do with long term injuries. These mostly
2. consisted of knee injuries and they were a result of lack of stretching or improper warming up. Thepositives can be seen very clearly. The biggest positive in my opinion is all the values a child learnsfrom working hard to get to a goal whether that be winning one game or making it the championships.Sports also help to cut down on the climbing obesity rate of children in America which is currently at16 %. It is also a great outlet for children with extreme energy or children with a lot of stress which isalso a rising problem in America. This relates to my project because I spent many hours one on onewith these kids and I saw the positive impact that football was having on their lives. It was amazinggetting to know all of them and hearing their stories and relating to them. I could see myself in thesekids and I had been there and done that. I finally got to feel what it was like to be in the coaches seatand help out people who look up to you. I watched them grow throughout the season and I wasdefinitely sad when it was over, but they had grown a lot and it was a proud moment when we wonthose last two games. My project facilitator was one of the coaches I mentioned earlier who helped me become who Iam today. His name is Seth Deering, but I have called him Coach Deering since the day I met him. Hewas more than qualified to help me with my project. He played football in high school and college.After finishing college he was a coach at a college up in Ohio. He then moved down here and coachedwrestling and football. This year was his seventh year coaching at Creekview. If I had any questionabout what to do with my kids I went straight to him. I called him, texted him, emailed him, talked tohim at school and talked to him at practice. He was very available at all times and super helpful when itcame to situations I was completely lost about. I learned a lot from watching him and many othercoaches’ deal with younger players on the high school football team. I attribute his style of coaching towhy I was able to connect with the players I coached and help them with more than just football. I alsowas the middle man between the team I coached and the team I played for. This was because themiddle school teams are trying to mirror the high school teams to better prepare the younger kids forhigh school ball when they get to that point. Coach Deering provided me with play list and drill that we
3. used in practice and I provided first-hand knowledge on how everything worked in real time. The process started last year on the second of May. This was spring practice and it lasted threeweeks. Practice was every single day from 6:30 to 8:30. At the end of the second week and the thirdweek, on each Saturday, there was a scrimmage so we could see if the kids fit right in their positionsand it let the kids hit on some other colored jerseys. The first one was at Woodstock on May 14 and thesecond one was at Centennial High, both scrimmages started at 4:00. After these three weeks ofpractice the kids were done till after summer vacation. The main purpose of these weeks are so thatkids who are new to the sport can get a feel for it and decide whether or not football is for them. Wepush the kids really hard to see if they really want to play or if their parents are just making them play.These weeks also are for the coaches to start seeing who they have to fill certain positions and allow usenough time to start getting depth charts written up for the following season. The next step in the process is fall practice. We started practice up again August 1st, two weeksbefore our first scrimmage game prior to the real season. Practice was still 6:30 to 8:30 and we had itfor three weeks straight Monday through Friday with a scrimmage game the Saturdays following thesecond and third week of practice. After the second scrimmage game we were finally into the realseason and the kids were pumped up and working really hard that week before their first game. The week before the first game practice was cut down to only four nights a week. We removedWednesday night practice so the kids who went to church had the opportunity to go to church withoutmissing practice and risking their spot on the team. Our first official game was Saturday August 27 at5:00 versus the Roswell Hornets on their home turf. I was expected to be at every game at least an hourearly to oversee the warm ups and run plays and answer any questions the kids had before each game.The Sunday after every game the coaching staff met at one of the other coach’s house and watchedgame film and discussed the upcoming weeks practice from 6:30 to about 8:00. This schedulecontinued for four straight weeks before we had our first bye week. A bye week is a team’s week offwhich allows them to recover and rest any injured players and to drill plays. This was the week of
4. September 18-24. After we got back from our bye week it was practice as usual for another fourstraight weeks till we played our final game on Saturday October 22 at Lambert. Our team finished 2-6and those boys were as proud as they could be getting those two wins the last two games of the season. Practice involved a variety of different things. Every day we switched between offense anddefense so the kids could get their fundamentals down. Offensive practice consisted of running plays,catching passes, and the blocking schemes of the linemen. These seventh graders had to memorizealmost 50 different offensive plays and three different formations throughout the year and they all hadthem almost perfect by the end of the season. Defensive practice consisted of pass coverage drill,fumbles drill and most importantly tackling which is a key concept on the defensive of the ball. Theyhad to learn how to do it safe without injuring themselves and effectively to help reduce the number ofyards the opposing team could pick up. Another key concept of defensive practice was teaching middleschool players high school play reads. Play reads are tell signs the defense uses to know were theoffense is going with the ball. Without these the defense would have no chance figuring out theoffenses intentions. The defense had about ten to fifteen different plays and several different formationsthat they had to line up in. Kids who were two way starters sometimes had difficulty with all the playsthey had to remember. Friday was a walk through day which meant it was much shorter, usually onlyan hour long. Our biggest goal this day was to clear up any questions about new plays we had put inthat week on offense or the reads the players were expected to know for the upcoming team on defense.We also would line all the kids up in their special teams positions and fill in any empty spots that werethere due to injured or absent players. This helped the kids out a lot and we had a lot less problems thefollowing day for the games. The biggest problem that I encountered while I was a coach was taking a fully loaded highschool life and plugging in a brand new long term commitment. Im not gonna lie, it was tough jugglinghigh school football practice, homework from multiple AP classes, and a girlfriend with being a coach.As soon as I finished my practice I would throw on some workout cloths and head straight to my
5. seventh grade practice at Calvary Baptist Church on 369. I fit school work in by finishing it in class,staying up later to do it or just leaving it to worry about the next day. My girlfriend got maybe two tothree texts during practice but I made up for lost time with her on the weekends before or after mygames. She even came to watch my kids play several times throughout the season. It is a goodexperience for a high school student to coach any type of sports especially if they are an athletethemselves, but only if they have their grades in a good place and the ability to multitask to theextreme. Another problem that I actually had on the field was drawing the line with some of theplayers. I had respect from all of them but just like them I was a kid too so they liked to cut up and jokearound with me. This was okay when we werent doing anything productive but when it came time toactually do work it got frustrating sometimes. When I coach again I will definitely draw a firmer lineand let them know my boundaries but also let them know that kidding around is appropriate just atcertain times. Another problem that I solved while coaching actually had to do with a certain player. Ihelped out a lot with the inside linebackers and I had a player whose name was Noah Hammerick. Hewas a great kid. He loved to hit hard and could run a football almost better than anyone on our team.One of Noahs only problems was he loved to drop his head right before he made a big hit on someonewhether he was tackling or running the ball. This method put up some big hits but it also could haveleft Noah with a broken neck or even paralyze him. As soon as I saw this I pointed it out to him and hestopped doing it when I corrected him, but every now and then he would fall back into the habit. Soevery time he would drop his head before a big hit I would tell him to do twenty pushups. This madehim more aware of it so by the end of the season and after about a thousand pushups he finally stoppeddropping his head. I learned from this experience that kids can be really annoying but if you give them effort andshow them you care about them they will give you everything they have on the field. They will open upto you and show you who they really are. Being a coach was a very cool experience and if I never havethe opportunity to do it again I will be extremely disappointed. I will most likely pursue being a high
6. school football coach when I get out of college. The college for this involves a four year teachingdegree because in the state of Georgia in order to coach you must be a teacher. I am attendingReinhardt on a football scholarship and will be majoring in High School Education. Thank you for yourtime. Are there any questions?