The Call: ‘’Call management’’ manages career development.
by Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., Level 3 NCCP
head coach – Niagara X-Men football
owner – X Fitness Welland Inc.
I drive past a ghost every day of my life. It’s an empty field. It’s the field where I started my assistant coaching career 40 seasons ago. It’s the field where I started my head coaching career at the age of 26. It’s the field of the high school program that was a laughingstock, an underdog by the truest definition of the word. Becoming a high school head coach had been my dream career since I was 10. And being a head coach at that particular high school was a dream with a dream. That was my goal since for 16 years. I thought about it every day. What you focus on grows. My five-year career as head coach at my dream job produced sacred memories. Then I moved on. And on. And on. And on. I have been blessed with countless sacred coaching experiences but my first head coaching job still haunts me. For years, I wondered if I made a mistake as I drove past that field to get to other fields where I was coaching. The feeling never stopped. There was no other way around it, literally or figuratively. I had to drive past that field each time. Then, the program died a few years ago. It’s now a graveyard. If I had not left, it may not have died. That’s what I think and feel every day that I drive past the empty field. I see ghosts. Good and bad, but I see ghosts.
The word “call” defines every coach’s career at every level. But the word ‘call’ has multiple meanings that determine the extent of career development. The quality of the experience for both your athletes and you depends on ‘call management,’ how you manage the call you have to make and how you manage the biggest call of all – the calling to your profession.
The essence of coaching is ‘making the call’ – who to start, where, for how long, and what play to run. What to lift, when to lift, how hard to hit, how often to hit. Each call you have to make as a coach affects lives. Every call is truly a life-and-death decision, physically and psychologically, because football is the epitome of the H.R. department – high-risk, the department of life that makes immeasurable impact on lives of student-athletes. Every call you make is another step toward the evolution of your coaching career – who you are now and who you are supposed to become. And it’s part of the evolution of each individual athlete – who they are now and who they are supposed to become.
Despite all the call coaches have to make, the biggest call is the one you have to answer. Every job, career, profession is a “calling,” a vocation that requires us to embark on and then carry out a mission. “Discernment of calling” isn’t always easy. There are signs that have to be read along the way. Never-ending questions to be answered starting with: “What do I want to be when I grow up and after I grow up?”
After you answer the coaching calling, discernment of calling doesn’t end there. Career calls never stop – when to move up, down, or around are all decisions that impact lives, yours and athletes. Then there’s the toughest call – when to answer the call outside of football.
Discernment of calling is the equivalent of a quarterback reading a defense or a defense reading the offense. Read the signs. Identify the keys. What’s real and what’s a disguise? What’s leading and what’s misleading? It’s easy to misread the signs because of Play Ambiguity – often it all looks alike and happens so fast that you’re rushed and pressured to the point where you almost throw it away.
I host a Podcast called Blunt Talk. The objectives of each episode is to lift people, to help them reach full potential with Good Inspiring News Only. We have a wide range of guests who share experiences and insights into topics including but not limited to athletics, business, fitness, and career development. One of our guests has been Charles Coiner owner of First Down App. He discusses his calling as it relates to his NFL coaching career and current business endeavors at FirstDown App. Additionally, he gives advice to parents and student-athletes about the reality of reaching the next level. The link to Blunt Talk Podcast is at: https://ginoarcaro.com/blunt-talk/#.VUfQxGd0zwo
Coach Coiner’s interview is episode 5, called “THE CALL.” Ten episodes have been posted in total. We invite comments and questions to help you in your coaching journey and to share your insights with our brothers and sisters in coaching.
Please read excerpts from my SWAT no-huddle offense and SWAT defense, both limitless systems without conventional playbooks. The links are below.
Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., Level 3 NCCP (Nat’l Coaching Certification Program)
Head coach – Niagara X-Men Football
Owner – X Fitness Inc.
Blogs – www.GinoArcaro.com and www.SWATFootball.ca