The American home can be characterized in many ways, one being homes with biological mothers and fathers. These homes can be a great environment in which to raise children. Within a two-parent home, stability, values, accountability and character development, in most cases, are being taught. In these two-parent homes you will find a high percentage of positive reinforcement as well as an obvious work ethic. Children in a functional, caring, two-parent home have a high percentage chance of succeeding in life.
According to national statistics, the home described above is very much in decline. Fatherless homes are increasing yearly, as well as homes that have a male and female in them but are very dysfunctional as parents.
Another problem in America today is the home with an adult male and female, but the male is a negative role model. The social issue of entitlement will be dealt with in Chapter 10; however, coaches have to deal with what may be quality
parents that do most of the things the right way, but yet their children end up believing that they are entitled. There seems to be an expectation, to put it mildly, to get "something for nothing." The concept of entitlement seems to be taught in homes of all socio-economic levels.
The fatherless home is being pointed to as the center for the societal crisis in America. Statistics tell us that is true, however, I want to make one point extremely clear. There are thousands of outstanding young men in America who were raised by a single mom. Through her leadership, they found the value system and work ethic to become extremely successful in life. These moms should be recognized and praised for what they have done. However, in many cases there has been that male role model in the life of those young men. He is found in a family member, pastor, teacher or a coach. Even in some cases, positive peer pressure has helped that mother through troubled times.
The football coach must accept the fact that he has to become a mentor, father figure, or a positive male role model to that athlete he is coaching.
We spend a lot of time talking about the importance of being a father figure. Based on my own experience, I have found that even though I had the greatest father a young person could have, I had the same kind of respect for my coaches that I had for my father. I looked up to them, listened to them and learned from them. So we now come to the crux of the matter. Coaches have to be that role model, father-figure to all their student-athletes, and there are more athletes than there are coaches. So what can a coaching staff do? The purpose for this entire chapter is to answer that question.
In this chapter, you will learn from coaches that have created innovative ways of dealing with the social issues emanating from fatherless and dysfunctional homes. Chad Rogers, head football coach at Snyder high school, came to the conclusion that he and his coaching staff needed help from the men of the community to positively affect all members of the Snyder high school football program.
Coach Rogers and his staff created Tiger Dadz.
The staff selected trusted, quality men from the
community who were vetted and ultimately asked by the head coach to serve as a Tiger Dadz. The first group, after being selected as mentors, was trained on the Do's and Don'ts according to local, state, scholastic and NCAA rules. They asked them to be encouragers, friends and mentors.
They were asked to stress character, leadership and accountability. The Tiger Dadz attended practices and games to show their constant support and commitment to the athletes they were mentoring. This program has given each player a positive role model outside the home who cares for them and is someone they can trust and count on when they need someone to talk to or get advice. Tiger Dadz are trained to be able to incorporate counsel and advice on peer pressure and the importance of respect and attitude.
Each year, the players are very excited about their mentors. They are anxious to know who that person will be. Through Tiger Dadz, each athlete knows someone cares about them besides their family and coaches. Tiger Dadz are asked to live what they teach, just as the coaches are asked the same.
• Select and vet quality men from the community.
• Each new Tiger Dadz (mentors) must be recommended by a current mentor.
• Once selected, several training sessions are held.
• Do's and Don'ts according to local, state, scholastic and NCAA rules are taught.
• Tiger Dadz are asked to be encouragers, friends and mentors.
• Mentors are asked to stress and teach character, leadership and accountability.
• Tiger Dadz attend practices and games to show their support and commitment.
• Each player now has a positive male role model who they can trust and count on.
• Counseling and advising on peer pressure is very important.
• Tiger Dadz teach respect and a positive attitude and praise improved work ethic.
Tiger Dadz in Snyder, Texas, are making a big difference in the lives of those they mentor. In fact, administrators and teachers at Snyder high school believe that the football program's Tiger Dadz is impacting the entire school.