Should coaches with small rosters recruit the hallways for players?

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
I know this would be better as an offseason thread but it has come up a couple of times recently regarding other sports.

**This is year-round recruiting of the halls...not week 13**

Typically, schools have 3 teams (or at least they did in the past), Varsity, JV, and Freshmen. If a school is short on players compared to other schools of a similar size, should the coach(es) be recruiting the hallways to get more players? Should they be encouraging kids who may or may not be interested in playing the sport? For a large school, is not having all three levels acceptable? For a medium-sized school, is not having a JV team acceptable?

In some recent discussions with coaches, I've heard both sides. One side of the argument is that to be a successful coach, filling out the roster with a reasonable amount of kids is part of the job. The other side is that a coach is only responsible for who shows up. They are not responsible for fielding teams at the lower levels for kids who may never see the varsity field in their HS career.
 
 
I know this would be better as an offseason thread but it has come up a couple of times recently regarding other sports.

**This is year-round recruiting of the halls...not week 13**

Typically, schools have 3 teams (or at least they did in the past), Varsity, JV, and Freshmen. If a school is short on players compared to other schools of a similar size, should the coach(es) be recruiting the hallways to get more players? Should they be encouraging kids who may or may not be interested in playing the sport? For a large school, is not having all three levels acceptable? For a medium-sized school, is not having a JV team acceptable?

In some recent discussions with coaches, I've heard both sides. One side of the argument is that to be a successful coach, filling out the roster with a reasonable amount of kids is part of the job. The other side is that a coach is only responsible for who shows up. They are not responsible for fielding teams at the lower levels for kids who may never see the varsity field in their HS career.
Double edge sword. If coaches are looking to put bones in bags and crowd the sideline, then that would be a good idea. I'll take 40 highly motivated, committed kids over 80 that are just participating.
 
Of course you recruit the hallways. You get as many kids as possible on those rosters and you get them as many real reps as possible at the lower levels, where wins and losses aren’t as important as participation and development. Go ask Mike Elder at Avon, or Tiger LaVerde at Kirtland and I’m sure that’s the answer you’ll get. Inclusivity is the way to sustain success, not running an exclusive club.

I’ll point to Avon as an example, because I know the breakdown of the program numbers. You have hundreds in youth football…two 7th grade, two 8th grade, two freshman and two JV teams. Kids get reps. Kids play in games. Kids get developed. Nobody gets overlooked. That’s how you have a 10-12 roster of 120 kids in this day and age when many big schools can barely get 40-50.
 
I believe in recruiting the halls but also making sure the expectation of working hard and the expected commitment. My alma mater had a 6’6 320 lb kid walking the halls. The kid just didn’t like football. Finally got him out as a senior, He played the first two games this year and actually dominated. The team is still in the playoffs but he only lasted 2 games and is no longer on the team.
 
One side of the argument is that to be a successful coach, filling out the roster with a reasonable amount of kids is part of the job. The other side is that a coach is only responsible for who shows up. They are not responsible for fielding teams at the lower levels for kids who may never see the varsity field in their HS career.
If the coach believes that playing the sport has more importance to young people than just points on a scoreboard, he should want to have as many as possible get the experience.
 
Absolutely coaches should be doing this....especially where they are trying to build/rebuild a program at a smaller school or any school with low participation numbers.

it's hard to have a viable high school football program with less than 30-35 kids on the team, even in the lower divisions.

this is the thing that I think some coaches just don't understand or grasp....a big percentage of the job is "program building" (or sustaining)....some coaches think it's entirely coaching the kids in practice and on gameday.

I've heard some say "well we do our best to coach them up but our numbers are just so low and that's an unfortunate reality for us"

News flash, if the numbers are low & there is a talent or depth deficiency, THAT'S ENTIRELY ON YOU AS THE HEAD COACH TO REMEDY.

it's part of what you're getting paid for....and frankly the excuses don't work well in this age of "free agency" and frequent transfers.

No more excuses....figure out a way to attract & convince more kids (and their parents) both already in the school & in junior high/middle school to join your program. And use whatever legal and permissible means you can to reach out to and attract kids looking to change schools so they'll want to come and play for you.

If the football program still has 20-25 kids after you've been at the helm for a couple years & a couple off-seasons.....then you've failed at a big part of your job.
 
I always thought it was a balance, I really didn't want kids out there that were a liability- (behavior, never had a ride home, parents were complainers, etc), but really had nothing to offer other than a jersey on the sidelines or holding a bag. I am also not a fan of having a jv team for the sake of having a jv team. If you are getting beat 60-0 and the qb or rb is running of their life every play, I am in favor of not playing or having one. But you would be surprised how many places the "we must play a jv game for the kids" culture exist.
 
I think for most (average non-stellar) public high school football programs, you try to get as many out as possible. There's strength in numbers, at least to a point. IMO part of the head football coach's job at most high schools is to be a salesman who can sell participating on the team at whatever level, either as a stud or a practice dummy and in-between, and I've seen it work in many cases. You think having a "people person" head coach who can sell the advantages of being on the team to a kid who's on the fence doesn't sway some kids? I think it does. The right coach makes a huge difference, and not necessarily does he also have to be the best X's and O's coach.
 
I always thought it was a balance, I really didn't want kids out there that were a liability- (behavior, never had a ride home, parents were complainers, etc), but really had nothing to offer other than a jersey on the sidelines or holding a bag. I am also not a fan of having a jv team for the sake of having a jv team. If you are getting beat 60-0 and the qb or rb is running of their life every play, I am in favor of not playing or having one. But you would be surprised how many places the "we must play a jv game for the kids" culture exist.
You hit the nail on the head. Too many people want numbers just for the sake of numbers. I've seen JV teams that basically play 10 out of the 11 kids out of the position just to get a game in. You're not developing anything by having your 10th string receiver lining up at left tackle in a JV game. Think of the run Ashtabula Jefferson want on with a roster 24 or 25 kids last year in D4. If you have mid to upper 20s and those kids are committed, you can still have a successful program. I'd much rather those 25 than having 40 with some of the problems you listed.
 
Of course you recruit the hallways. You get as many kids as possible on those rosters and you get them as many real reps as possible at the lower levels, where wins and losses aren’t as important as participation and development.
This. If you want to drive kids away, set up a program where the same few play the whole game at the lower levels. If Johnny Freshman only gets in for 5-10 plays in the season, it's likely he won't be back next year. Let him play, coach him up, and he'll be telling his friends about how much fun it is. A coach can make the pitch, but the kids will seal the deal.
 
I know this would be better as an offseason thread but it has come up a couple of times recently regarding other sports.

**This is year-round recruiting of the halls...not week 13**

Typically, schools have 3 teams (or at least they did in the past), Varsity, JV, and Freshmen. If a school is short on players compared to other schools of a similar size, should the coach(es) be recruiting the hallways to get more players? Should they be encouraging kids who may or may not be interested in playing the sport? For a large school, is not having all three levels acceptable? For a medium-sized school, is not having a JV team acceptable?

In some recent discussions with coaches, I've heard both sides. One side of the argument is that to be a successful coach, filling out the roster with a reasonable amount of kids is part of the job. The other side is that a coach is only responsible for who shows up. They are not responsible for fielding teams at the lower levels for kids who may never see the varsity field in their HS career.
YES!!
 
That’s the whole point of having an athletics program serve the student body. If a coach is walking the halls trying to get some interest from non playing kids more power to him or her. I do agree getting kids reps at lower levels really helps to keep kids around.
 
YES absolutely but not just small schools or small rosters and not just sports. Coaches AND teachers AND administrators should recruit kids. Some of them may have little guidance or parents who care and it can make a big difference in their lives, when an adult notices them and sees their potential and wants them, in whatever talent they may possess. I've seen it in action.
 
To answer the original question, yes, provided said coach and his staff is also willing to do what is necessary to prepare the kid to get on the field.
 
This. If you want to drive kids away, set up a program where the same few play the whole game at the lower levels. If Johnny Freshman only gets in for 5-10 plays in the season, it's likely he won't be back next year. Let him play, coach him up, and he'll be telling his friends about how much fun it is. A coach can make the pitch, but the kids will seal the deal.
Preach it. Too many "coaches" treat lower level games as "must win" situations. That is the exact opposite of what those games should be used for, in my opinion.
 
I just wonder how many school boards encourage coaches to be "teachers" in the extended classroom of sports?

IMO, participation numbers should be considered when evaluating a HS coach. A fully functioning program at all levels should lead to winning but it also helps out alot of kids who may never step on the varsity field.
 
You could be like Glenville and just go get kids at another made up school by the coach and not have it count against you. 🤣😂🤣

That’s the key to real success these days.
 
Coaches have been doing that for decades. My uncle was 6' @ 168 lbs in high school (graduated in early '60's). He was a good size kid for his time. Coach tried every year to get him out for the team. Hell my nephew is 5'10" 200 lbs and can leg press a Volkswagen but he's never played. He's a hell of a drummer though. And one of the most popular kids in school.
 
Yes coaches obviously should be recruiting the hallways. Start as young as possible. Get kids invested in football at 5-7 years old and it will pay dividends over time. Also “recruit” 7-8th hallways grades with great focus because if you aren’t, the privates in your area are. :)
 
I think recruiting in the hallways is a great idea. Some kids may be nervous, feel like they won't be good, or fit in with the team. Kids these days need that feeling of being wanted. Having a coach talk to them about playing could be the confidence boost they're looking for.

That being said, recruiting kids already involved in a sport in the same season is dirty pool. Coaches shouldn't be tearing down other programs in the school just to build up their own.
 
Large rosters are built in Junior High.

HS coach should show genuine interest in the program, get to know those kids and place importance in finding PT for every single player in every single game.

If the kids play, learn, have fun and feel like they are not marginalized they are more likely to go out again that next yr.

HS coach should evaluate.JH coaches by how many kids come out that next year. A lot of them quit? To me shows the JH coaches did not do their jobs in fostering a culture of teaching, instructing and making it enjoyable for the kids.


Yrs ago was at a welcome home for th HS team. The HC, who shows a lot of genuine interest to the JH and underclassmen, started to thank the JH coaches. He said his most.important evaluation of those coaches was.not wins or losses , but how many kids keep going out. He wants as many kids as possible to be qble.to build his tram.

It's not about being a 2-3 starter, you need.depth to.push players, give them good looks in practice and that Senior who finally gets some PT in a rotating role to.give a 2 way player some rest in a game may be the difference in a game.

Give the kids a role, even if it's just on special teams, and they will feel a part of the team and give.them the best chance at competing.
 
.
Top