Within the last 90 years, the AFCA has provided speakers and written information to help coaches do a better job with the techniques, fundamentals and philosophy of the game. Additionally for the last 19 years, the Association has stressed methods of mentoring and leadership. With the use of technology, website, new publications and video of most all of the speakers at convention, added emphasis has been placed on the safety and well-being of our student-athletes. The AFCA is always open to suggestions from its membership concerning educational curriculum and emphasizing successful methods of overcoming coaching obstacles. In recent years, we have clearly heard members of our Association ask for help when dealing with social issues that have been created by our society and are, in fact, a deterrent to the success of individual athletes.
For teachers and coaches, social issues are the results of a negatively changed society. Social issues manifest
themselves in today's youth in many ways: bad attitude, negative behavior and a lack of effort and self-motivation. Negative peer pressure and the absence of a positive male role model in the home can encourage the use of drugs and alcohol, as well as fostering an abusive mental stigma toward females. The attitude of entitlement can come from any socio-economic background, and can be detrimental to the happiness, success and the well-being of any young person. Finally, a child found lacking in positive character traits can be traced back, in most cases, to the absence of a value system. An absence of positive character traits and a relevant value system may be the biggest of all deterrents to the success of America's youth.
The Association determined that most coaches were in need of assistance. Concurrently, coaches were identified who had found solutions to many of the social issues. The resulting plan, developed by the AFCA, was simple: identify the social issues facing coaches andprioritize them, while searching for the underlying cause. As a result, in early 2010, a questionnaire was sent to every member of the AFCA. The
questionnaire asked, "What social issues are prominent with the players on your level?" The survey resulted in 32 social issues that were eventually placed into six categories by coaches who attended the 2011 AFCA convention.
Social Issues Identified
• Peer Pressure - drugs, alcohol, gangs, criminal activity, premarital sex
• Disrespect - authority, themselves, coaches, teammates, parents, women
• The Home - homeless, no positive male role model, poor parenting, parental pressure
• Entitlement - selfishness, lack of dedication,
• Accountability - personal behavior, attitude, responsibility, self-discipline
• Character - dishonesty, untruthfulness, questionable integrity, a quitter, lack of values
The AFCA sought the cause for social change in America and found many contributing factors. Television, social media, music, movies, tabloid newspapers, pornography, drugs, and alcohol, along with a diminished work ethic and a vanishing value system are a few of those factors. However, experts and statistics tell us that the major social crisis in America is the fatherless home.
This, the first chapter of the book, should get your attention and verify what you have already come to believe about our society and the issues that coaches and teachers face on a daily basis. My hope is that this chapter and the next will challenge you to accept and act on the fact, that as a coach, you will be coaching More than the Game.