Taking the Handoff

by Ryan Krzykowski
If you have read this blog at all over the past couple months, you know that I’ve been working with an 8th grade football team, and that the season recently ended.  I have coached these young men for two years and have emptied myself into their lives, seeking to live out my Coaching Purpose Statement:

I coach to help young people develop a love for sports and for others that will steer them toward becoming someone who will change the world for good.

Now that the season is over, I think back with job (mostly) over the past couple years and desperately want great things for these kids heading into the future.  I think about the idea of a ‘hand-off’.  In football, the hand-off is among the most basic of fundamentals.  In order to successfully move the ball, it must be moved from one player to another, often by way of the hand-off.

Hand-offs are not very exciting.  When executed properly there is nothing special about it, but when a hand-off goes wrong, often the result is a fumble and turnover.  Although they are not must to look at, hand-offs must be practiced.

As I think about the athletes we have served here over these past couple seasons, I wonder who will take the investment that’s been made in them.  Who is taking that hand-off?  Hopefully their coaches at the high school level will be purposeful, people who are intentionally using sports as a tool to change lives for the better.  Personally, I am in the unique position of having the opportunity to work with many of the coaches at the high school most of these young men will attend, so I know the quality of the people who are taking that hand-off.  But I also realize this situation is somewhat unique.

It doesn’t have to be that way.  There are not enough coaches who look across the field or into the other dugout and see a partner.  We don’t do a good enough job of understanding and acting like as coaches we are all partners in the healthy growth and development of young people.  The more we can understand the importance of those partnerships, the more we can cooperate with the coaches who come before or after us in the athletes’ lives, the more our young people will benefit.