The Business of the NFL: Growing a Customer Base
Coach Will Lee giving a life lesson. We were anticipating watching the National Football League draft. Then THE CALL comes. From the NFL.
They want The Dude. Charmaine and I were ecstatic!
And relieved. I had already spent his signing bonus.
But I wasn’t expecting THE CALL so soon. The Dude’s only eleven.
They suggested The Dude come out for something called Junior Player Development. JPD. Sponsored by the NFL. For kids about to enter junior high school.
No signing bonus.
The program is designed to get the young people ready for life. But it gets me ready for football. With my boys.
Lifetime customers. For the NFL. And everyone wins.
Warm up drills;
emphasis on discipline There are 160 young players at the Laurel, Maryland site. Notice the individual player bags in the background. Dress/Right/Dress. In a straight line. A Drill Sergeant would be proud.
The Dude on the field The 21 coaches at this site take this seriously. And so does the NFL. Each coach goes through an extensive background check and 60 hours of training.
The JPD football camp is a three week program. At no cost. All equipment is provided at no cost. Retail price on a comparable camp would range from 600 to 1,000 dollars. An NFL investment. In the kids’ character.
My guess is that the NFL does not want to become anything like the NBA.
The NFL learning points are handed out to each player as a take away.
The NFL pro’s are, well, pro’s. They have outlined The 7 Guiding Principles of NFL Youth Programs. Adults should use them. Businesses should use them,
1. Make It Fun This is the primary objective and cornerstone of the entire philosophy.
2. Limit Standing Around Many professional coaches put a major emphasis on fast paced and interactive practices that eliminate downtime.
3. Everyone Plays Football at the youth level should be an inclusive experience.
4. Teach Every Position To Every Participant Don’t pigeonhole kids in one particular position because of their physical size and/or ability.
5. Emphasize The Fundamentals Build a foundation that will never crack by properly teaching the basics.
6. Incorporate A Progression Of Skill Development For Every Participant Regardless of a player’s skill level, it is your responsibility as a youth football coach to teach every kid on your team.
7.Yell Encouragement, Whisper Constructive Criticism Keep it positive. As a youth football coach you should never tolerate negative comments from your players, parents, coaching staff.
Coach Will begins and ends each practice with a life lessonCoach William E. Lee is the site manager. He’s worked with the NFL’s JPD for seven years.
He tells the young athletes, “My life is your life.” The youngsters know the coaches care. Coach Will emphasizes obedience to make “A good impression of who you are.”
This isn’t that feel-good self-esteem nonsense taught in some public schools.
These kids are knocking the snot out of each other.
And when the helmets crash, you should hear the yelling and whooping. From the parents.
There is hope for America yet. Coach Will and the NFL and the kids. God Bless them.
So we didn’t get drafted and didn’t get the big money. But our boy is getting character development — something better that will last for generations to come…
…I’m still getting an agent.
Consider a subscription.
Thank you (foot)notes:
Looking for a cool web site’s navigation to copy? Visit the NFL. Even if you don’t like football as content, you’ll like everything else.
More at the jump.
The NFL does sports right. For all ages,
Program Explanation and Outline
As junior high school programs diminish, the NFL Junior Player Development program is an attempt to rebuild youth tackle football as an effective feeder system for high school programs.
The program is a readapted youth tackle football instructional and developmental playing method for junior high school boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 14. In order to receive a full experience and understanding of the game, every participant receives a wide range of training in a number of positions.
NFL Junior Player Development Instructional and Competitive Concept Outline
All basic fundamentals, such as tackling and blocking, are taught and reviewed at every practice.
All practices are broken into instructional segments lasting no more than 15 minutes.
Every practice ends with a review of skills.
The objective of competitive play focuses on the execution of basic skills learned, not necessarily the end result of a play.
JPD is broken into three six-week stages. Every participant graduates from stages one through three in consecutive years and/or seasons. For example, each stage can be implemented every spring over three consecutive years or over three different seasons (spring/fall/spring). The focus of instruction and competition shifts after stage one to a progression of sharpening and combining with other skills. At this time a semblance of the actual game of football is developed. Instruction then focuses on how different positions work together, with competitions reflecting these changes.
Each head coach applies the incorporation of life skill messages throughout all on-field skill training. Coaches follow a specifically designed curriculum created by a sports psychologist. Each week a different life skill is integrated throughout the on-field curriculum.
– Week One: Responsibility
– Week Two: Goal Setting
– Week Three: Sportsmanship
– Week Four: Self-Control
– Week Five: Smart Moves
– Week Six: Teamwork