WYC 046 – Youth Football – JJ Lawson from CoachSomebody.com talks how Attitude reflects Leadership and establishing a Warrior Society


What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as JJ Lawson shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

JJ Lawson is a kitchen designer by day, and youth sports coach every other waking hour.  He has been coaching youth sports for 20 years, in which he has coached football, softball, volleyball, baseball, track, and wrestling.  JJ started a coaching community at coachsomebody.com – which has a blog, videos, and forums for coaches to learn from each other.

Website: coachsomebody.com

Twitter: @coachsomebody

Facebook: /CoachJJ

YouTube: /fbcoachjj

Free Gift from Coach Somebody (pdf): 10 Steps For Coaching Success

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‘Attitude reflects leadership’

Coaching Your own Kids

  • Coach shares a funny story of what kids do when they have to use the bathroom during practice and there isn’t a bathroom available.

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • JJ cringes at how he yelled at the officials his first year of coaching.  He thought ‘that was what I was supposed to do.’
  • He also shared a story of another coach who threw a football at a referee.  It caused nerve damage and long-term concussion damage to the official.
  • Remember the Titans quote: ‘Attitude reflects leadership’

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun


  • You have to show kids multiple ways.  Some learn more from listening, others learn more from watching, others learn more from doing.
  • Chalk it, talk it, walk it, rep it
  • Break your teaching down to 3 steps, any more than that causes the kids to think too much
  • 3 step Progression for football: LEG – Load, Explode, Go

Teaching Kids to play without fear

  • Coach JJ encourages competition in every aspect of practice.
  • Your schemes have to be simple and aggressive if you want the kids to play aggressively.  He teaches his defensive backfield to be walking forward when the play starts.
  • ‘We don’t teach our offensive linemen to block – we teach them to hit.’  Kids don’t want to block – but they often want to hit.

Setting Goals


  • Set mini-goals within each game to keep the kids focused.  Be careful about making a goal of not allowing the other team to score at all – because if you give up a score – the kids might be so upset they hang their heads and can’t refocus.

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • The Warrior Society – ‘It’s tough to play against us – but it’s tougher to play for us, because we’re going to work hard.’  The kids gain a sense of pride from working hard.
  • The best memories that most players have is what they accomplished from working harder than they even thought they could do
  • Sprints – coach worked with another coach who would set a goal of being able to do 30 50-yard gassers at the end of practice.  At the beginning of the season, they couldn’t do 5.  By the time playoffs come around – these kids are tough as nails.  His kids would have a mental toughness that comes from the pride of knowing how hard they worked to accomplish this.

The One that Got Away

  • Coach shares that he doesn’t really have any games he regrets
  • Al Pacino in ‘Any Given Sunday’ – “Inch by Inch” – Life is about the 6 inches right in front of you.

Coach Somebody

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