A Further Look into Training Camp: Coaches

Now that you have an idea of what training camp is like for the players, it is easier to explain what it is like for the coaches. The coaches get one advantage that the players don’t – they get to return to their own homes every night and be with their families. However, that being said, the time at home is definitely limited during camp.

Remember the schedule for the players? Those long days and all those dining hall meals? The coaches have to attend all of those meetings, meals and practices. PLUS more. They have to be there before practice, before meetings and then have to also stay after practice and after meetings. They don’t even get to go home for meals most days because of this, though sometimes their families come to the dining hall to eat with them. And even though they get to sleep at home, it is a small comfort because of the long hours as coaches often don’t arrive home until after 10:00 at night.

Why such long hours, you ask? They have to arrive before practice and meetings to prepare for the upcoming day. They have meetings of their own, during which they discuss what they want to accomplish in practice and discuss in the players’ meetings. Also during preseason, much of both the offense and defense needs to be changed, especially if there have been coaching changes. Schematic flaws are discovered through practice and through watching film from practice. Watching film consumes much of this “extra” time. The film is always (baring any mistakes or technological failures) ready for viewing directly after practice. Then the coaches must break it down, analyze it and come to a conclusion about how productive the practice was as a whole. The results of this analysis then form the basis for the next day’s practice and meetings. Imagine repeating this process every day. And during camp, there are often two practices a day!

Coaching in general can be a time-consuming and tough profession. Not only can coaches lose their jobs at the drop of a hat and be forced to either relocate or change jobs, but they work longer days and weeks than the average job, especially during the season and training camp. They must travel with the team during the season and there are no days off for holidays; for example that means no trick-or-treating with the kids during Halloween. In many ways, because training camp is more time consuming than the regular season, it is even tougher on the coaches and their families.

All this being said, coaches tend to be very passionate about their jobs. Many of them couldn’t see themselves doing anything else and because most are former players themselves, they knew what they were getting into before they started down this career path. Even so, the wear of the job sometimes slips through and shows. This is perhaps why coaching is accurately not known as a particularly glamorous profession. And of all the parts of coaching, training camp is the least glamorous of all. Much of this sacrifice goes unnoticed because the media doesn’t discuss it and coaches tend to be private about it. Many people will justify this with the argument that coaches make tons of money! But this isn’t always true, especially at smaller institutions. Regardless of how much money they make, coaches across all levels of college football are required to put in the same amount of time. And no matter what the record is, they all put in the time and sacrifice. Just something to keep that in mind the next time you see the coaches on the sideline.

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