February 28, 2010

Being A Professional: What's It Mean?

Whore For Money
I don't think that getting paid to do something necessarily means that you're a 'whore', but I joke about it because I think I have a weird approach to work. Simply put: If you're paying me to do a job, I will do it. It might be demeaning and unfair and more than a little crappy (I've literally had a job where I was asked to dig up septic tanks), but I'll do it because you're paying me and that's what comes with the job. I don't complain, I don't work any less, I don't look to avoid my responsibilities. If I hate it, I'll either voice my thoughts in an appropriate setting or quit. Haven't quit a job yet. Working at a summer camp, I've had to teach art, make PB&J sandwiches, operate a ropes course, plan the parents night, pretend to be a lifeguard, rent a sno-cone machine, spend ~36 hours straight with my campers, go to meetings on personal time, go without eating for a day, give away my lunch, hug a boy who'd just wet himself and me, break up arguments/fights, build an RC car track, make stew for ~180 people, and clean the bathrooms. It was my job to do each and every one of those things, and more, and I did them without complaint because I believe that if it's my job, my duty is to soldier on.
I don't believe in being a sycophant, I like to think I speak my mind consistently. I don't believe that I have no rights as someone who is being paid to do a job, nor do I think any employer should be able to dump on their employees just because. I just think that too often people make a big deal about the things that, in my opinion, are actually a part of their job. Don't like it? Do something about it or quit, don't bitch and moan.

So Maybe I'm A Hypocrite
And yet, I find myself unhappy with my current situation. We've hired a new HC who is a proven winner, a guy who is widely regarded as a legend in the central valley of California. At a gathering of Wing-T minds yesterday (I don't have the secret handshake down, but I know the location of their lair) I watched him speak informally for 45 minutes and blow about 30 minds with simple, concise advice for everyone he'd listened to for the previous 4 hours. Dude's unbelievable. I have no doubt in my mind that our league is about to get ripped a new one. The kind of physical training, mental training, and specifically offensive brilliance that he's introducing just doesn't exist in this part of CA.
So why am I bummed out? Well, the defense that we ran last year has been scrapped. I worked damn hard on developing a 3-4 scheme that I felt good about and, for most of this offseason, I'd done the majority of my work on making it better. I won't say that it's been wasted, because no learning is ever a waste, but it's definitely not as useful as it could have been. We had some great success last year, sporting the #2 defense in our league and #6 defense in the local tri-county area, which I was very proud of. We had one game where we allowed 37 yards, total, against a team that finished 2nd in their league. We forced 5 turnovers in one game, recorded 7 sacks in another, and kept our team in games much longer than we should have. The kids liked the scheme, the coaches liked it, I began to love it.
But none of this matters now. We're moving to a 4-4/4-3 hybrid that is predicted on simplicity and bodies to the ball. One front, minimal blitzing, lots of Cover 3 and only a smattering of Cover 4. I have a hard time feeling comfortable with several things within the scheme. I don't particularly care for the way we're going to play our front, I don't like some of the nuts and bolts of the scheme.
What does matter, though, is that as the DC, it's my job to coach and run what the HC wants. He wants his defense to be a certain scheme, then if I am going to be his DC, I'm going to do it that way. I won't complain, I will ask questions, I will try to see what leeway I have, and I will bite my tongue, but I won't complain. I won't saying anything negative about it to anyone but the HC and MAYBE a few, select others. I will coach the hell out of our guys, regardless of anything else. It's my job, my duty, my role to be supportive and loyal. If it's intolerable, then I can either voice my concerns or do something else, but I will stay true to what I believe it means to be a "Pro".

1 comment:

  1. Great thoughts on doing a job without complaints because it is you job...but I can sympathize with having to make major changes and rework your already proven and solid plan. Don't forget...until you are the HFC, gotta do it their way! If you are like me, you are well on your way to preparing yourself for such a position but still playing the game to get the necessary experience, etc. Way to stay with it! Hopefully the success it sounds like your team will have will put you in the position sooner then later to make your own calls. I've had to run some difficult schemes I disagreed with but what made it worthwhile was thinking how can I become the best possible coach of this scheme within the framework of what is allowed. You might not be able to blitz a lot or play more then cover 3, but you could make that cover 3 amazing! Good luck and have fun finding ways to make the new defense interesting and fun for the kids!