Player Expectations


Football Character & Leadership Academy seeks to create positive change on our team, in our school, in our families, and in our community through:

  1. Educating our athletes about living with exceptional moral value
  2. Building strong leadership qualities in our athletes
  3. Helping our athletes create a personal leadership philosophy
  4. Practical implementation of what they are learning through projects, group work, and community/school service opportunities
  5. The Character and leadership Academy seeks to impact our football athletes well beyond the days, months, and years they are in our football program.
  6. Leadership is a quality that can tap into the potential of others. A quality leader can make average players good and good players great. Being a leader means
  7. Being unselfish. Putting others before yourself because a team is more effective than just one person. So when you are out on that field, all alone, no coaches to walk you through something, no hand to hold, look to each other to get the job done because that what leaders do. They embrace solutions, not excuses.
  8. Become model citizens in the community
  9. Become a good example both on and off the field
  10. Figure out where your skills will apply and utilize them efficiently and effectively
  11. “You don’t have to be the top dog to become a leader”
  12. Set you up for success beyond academics and athletics
  13. Develop unity and camaraderie with each other
  14. Build confidence around others
  15. “Don’t second guess yourself”.


Commitment –Part of being a quality leader is committing yourself no matter what. If you commit, it will be worth your while.

Be present–Being present is not just being in attendance. Being present means participating. Be a part of the program. Ask questions. Answer questions. Take risks. Be vulnerable. It is a great way to learn about yourself and others.

Be punctual–Part of being successful is just being there. If you are on time, you are late. If you are 5 minutes early, you are on time. We don’t show up to the field at game time and play, we get there early to ensure we are ready for what is to come.

Respect each other–Mutual respect is a sign of a great team. You don’t always have to like everyone, but respect that we are all here for the same reason, to better ourselves as individuals so we can better serve those around us.

All in–Be all in. Give everything you have. When you put everything on the table, you have the opportunity to walk away with a lot more than you came with.

There is no question that a leadership academy is an essential element in the development of our student athletes. One might argue that, not only do the athletes benefits from a rich leadership curriculum, but those same teams that step away from the practice field to study team-building values, always seem to maintain a superior on-field performance. It is not a coincidence!

High school athletics must be about more than simply winning and losing on Friday nights. Establishing a Players’ Leadership Council is an effective way to not only separate your team’s spirit from other completing high schools, but it allows student athletes to leave a lasting legacy that could generate returns for years to come.

First, it is proven that athletic cultures with enhanced group unity experience a higher level of professional and personal achievement. In the class material, From Resume to Championship, we learned that if two opposing teams are equal in ability, the team with greater leadership as a higher probability of winning. It is not uncommon to observe two teams compete at an elevated level for three quarters, only to watch one of the groups fade away during the last period, ending contest in a lopsided outcome. Leadership is about relationships. The team that maintains a deeper connection between the individual participants will typically exhaust more effort in times of stress and tension.

Leadership committees allow the student-athletes an opportunity to demonstrate core values. Athletes effectively learn from a variety of resources, but some of the strongest lessons are modeled through the actions of their own teammates so, it might suggest that this idea is especially true when evaluating standards such as: work ethic and discipline. Younger athletes may often feel intimated and uncertain about the expected effort required to perform within competitive environment. Often it is the older athletes that provide a foundation for those younger athletes to follow. It is this continuous cycle of athletes helping athletes which produce legacies of productive tradition and belief.

I. A Leader Must Accept Full Responsibility

1. A leader is responsible for all that his team does—or fails to do.
2. You have to take responsibility for yourself, and you have to take responsibility for your team.
3. The word “if” should be eliminated from a leader’s vocabulary. “If I were bigger; if I were faster; if I had more strength; if I had a better coach; if I had more experience”
4. The day an athlete takes complete responsibility for himself and stops making any excuses is the day he starts his climb to the top.
5. If you make excuses for yourself, you are telling yourself that everything is all right.
6. Utilize whatever physical characteristics YOU Blessed with.
7. No other course exists except to take responsibility for your own destiny.
8. Never let yourself be satisfied

“When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it: admit it, learn from it, and don’t repeat it” Coach Bear Bryant

II. A Leader Must Be Able to Get Along With People

1. A leader has the ability to get along with others both on and off the field.
2. You must have pride in yourself and your teammates.
3. Do more than you thought possible.
4. Work for Group Pride.
5. You will gain what you want with the help and support of others.
6. Cooperation and Respect leads to group success.
7. Respect is an extension of a positive, optimistic attitude.
8. Players with respect for one another win together.

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” Henry Ford ”

You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want” Zig Ziglar

III. unity

A. Collective state of mind.
B. Team must be united.

IV. Morale

A. Confidence obtained by players certain in their own minds.

“Confidence does not come out of nowhere. It is a result of something . . . Hours and days and weeks and years of constant work and dedication,” said Roger Staubach.

“What I do is prepare myself until I know I can do what I have to do!’ Joe Namath

“Confidence comes from planning and practicing well. You get ready during the week and the confidence will be there on game day. This confidence is a difficult thing to explain. But you do get it and the team gets it if you have prepared properly.” Vince Lombardi

B. Morale breeds confidence.
Build confidence in the team.

V . Courage

A. A man is courageous when he knows what to do
B. It is easy to be ordinary or mediocre
C. It takes courage to sacrifice, to work long, hard hours when you could be relaxing, to work out when you are tired or sick, to focus on being the best when so many distractions are all around you, to seek out tough competition when you know you might get beaten.
D. Takes courage to be different from the crowd.
E. It is easy to be average, but it is hard to be the best.
F. You all have it. You just do not realize it.

“There is real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment” —Norman Vincent Peale

Goal Setting and Leadership – A Key Step in Building a Quality Football Program.

Goal setting is a powerful technique that can yield strong results in all areas of an athletes’ life’s. In its simplest form goal setting helps individuals and teams choose those things they want to do better in life. Some goals will be athletic, some will be academic, some will be career oriented, some will involve family, team or friends and some are spiritual.

After setting goals with players, they must develop a plan to achieve these goals. We must be able to take a serious look at where the plays are currently and what steps need to be taken in order to reach each goal. There are four main steps that will be discussed in helping athletes meet their goals both as individuals and as a team.

They are as follows:
Step 1 – Set Your Goal – (Make it specific, measurable, and attainable)
Step 2 – Categorize Your Goal – (Athletic, academic, career, family, spiritually, etc.)
Step 3 – Reason for Your Goal – (Why do you want to be, do, or have these things?
Step 4 – develop an Action plan – (How are you going to reach this goal?)

Every day, ask yourself these two questions:
1) Am I moving toward my goals or away from them?
2) Is what I am doing making me better or making me worse?

As a team when we meet with the other players we must encourage communication and explore our goal setting process for each of us to work towards set goals. If you do this as an athlete and sincerely put a great effort towards exploring your individual and team goals there will be no doubt that you will become more assertive, focused, confident, experienced and more success than ever before. Turn your dreams into goals and then intentions into actions.

Please take these sessions seriously. After completing your goal planning sessions provide me with a copy. Once you have completed your planning sessions I will sit down with each one individually and review your goals with you.

Use the following pages to goal set your individual and team goals players and young men and women


About the Author of this post:

Jerry Campbell has over 30 years of high school and college coaching experience. He has experience as a head coach, offensive coordinator, and various position coaches. He has written numerous football coaching articles in various publications, is the author of over 30 books on coaching football, and has produced 12 coaching video series. Additionally, he is a nationally sought after speaker on the coaching clinic circuit.

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