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The Biggest Football Lie

“Football builds character” is number one of the Top 100 bullshit lies about football. Here’s why – the insanity of Royal Treatment Recruiting. The madness of courting kids, chasing after them, promising them starting jobs all because of an intense fear in the Football Establishment of coaching The Least.

I never have recruited during 40 years of coaching. Not once. By that I mean, I have never recruited in the conventional manner by rolling-out the red carpet. I use a system. The same I used as a college law enforcement program coordinator to increase enrolment 4-times. The same system I used to  market my gym, X Fitness, for 18 years. My time-proven system is this:

  1. Broadcast your program’s strengths and benefits.
  2. Invite applicants.
  3. Interview, answer questions but never ever ever sink to the depths of recruiting-hell by pleading and begging. Its undignified and unnecessary. Eventually, it will eat at your soul. It will break you into shattered pieces. Let the program’s strengths sell itself.

The reason I don’t chase after “blue-chip” players is self-preservation. Not chasing players is a deep-rooted personal ideology that I have vowed never to break.

I love coaching The Least.

I have no fear of coaching The Least.

I love the challenge of coaching the unfit, the unwanted, the unrecruited.

I love being David to your Goliath.

I love coaching The Underdogs.

I love coaching the poor.

I love beating the rich.

I love beating the hell out of Goliath

I never have and never will compromise my beliefs and never court superstars for 2 reasons:

  1. begging superstars is unhealthy for the athlete and you. Chasing superstars does not build character. It destroys character. Football is supposed to be the ultimate meritocracy unlike over 90% of workplaces where favouritism and nepotism destroy organizations with 5th Degree Incompetence. Making a rookie believe he doesn’t have to earn it is deeply unhealthy to the athlete in mind-body-soul. And, its deeply unhealthy to the coach because its degrading. That form of recruiting is soul-selling. And its soul-torturing. above all, it’s disrespectful to other legitimate recruits and disrespectful to the game in general.
  2. Begging superstars to play is evidence that you have zero confidence in your coaching ability to build superstars. You have zero belief in yourself. Your are proving that you are a recruiter, not a coach. You are proving that you cannot build strength or skill or stamina. 

I still hear it today. I still hear the label that I’m a Coaching Freak who “doesn’t recruit.” Those who think its an insult are very wrong. Its a compliment. High praise. Chasing, begging, pleading, promising are all the ruination of character. That’s why the claim that “football builds character” is bullshit. It the biggest football lie. The Football Establishment is mired in fear and hypocrisy. True character-building is a bona-fide meritocracy. True character-building is earning it. True character-building is coaching The Least.

If you are starting your football coaching career, don’t sell your soul. Learn to coach The Least so you don’t have to lower yourself by begging teen-agers to join your team.

#MUCHLOVE #soulofalifter

Blessings + all good things


Gino Arcaro

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