As the NFL combines open ending the drought (for me 30 days is an eternity) since the Super Bowl, and marking the beginning of the 2012 Football Season on TV, our Board members and Coaches have been hard at work preparing for the CFA 2012 campaign.
Recently we held our annual CFA Coaches meeting at the brand new Cultural Center at Chaminade College Prep. The venue was incredible with two, 20 ft. TV Monitors flanking the podium. We had former NFL Head Coach Jim Hannifan as our keynote speaker, and several of the area's top high school Head Coaches held chalk board clinics in separate 'break out' rooms for our CFA Head Coaches and their staff.
It was a spectacular event that embodied all the spirit of our organization. The CFA is clearly special in so many ways. More than the recent historical record of our teams suggesting that we are the lone 'superpower' of Youth Football in our area, more than being the 'Flag Bearer' organization determined to be the leader and great example to all organizations in the Gateway Football League, even more than being thought of as the best Youth Football Organization in the State, our Organization is uniquely special because of the incredible level of commitment from its COACHES and the Board Members who support them.
Our (little and not so little) boys are blessed to call themselves Chesterfield Bears and I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for our GREAT Coaches (Head & Assistants - Business Managers & Team Sponsors)... and our exceptional army of unpaid volunteers who make up our Board. Speaking on behalf of our Executive Board Members (Todd Callahan, Greg Kendall, Scott Rausch, Kevin Cullinane, and Kurt Bausch) I can tell you that it is an honor and a privilege to preside over such an incredible organization.
As we go into the 2012 campaign, I wanted to share my thoughts on three areas: Vision, Leadership and Coaching. While I could speak at length on these topics, in the interest of brevity I have refined them down to what I think matters most.
: Our Mission Statement clearly defines the mission, vision and values of the CFA... In addition to those printed words, for me - as a guy who still 'see's life through a facemask' - I truly believe that FOOTBALL is THE greatest medium to teach little boys and young men life lessons and gift them with the qualities of discipline, respect, accountability, courage and the ability to 'push themselves' and not accept limitations.
These traits are taught and learned. They are not innate. Even courage is taught. Bravery may be innate because it is; 'the absence of fear', but courage is taught and learned because it requires fear. Courage is being fearful... and doing it anyway!!! No other sport or classroom competes with football when it comes to a forum for instilling these character traits. For me, when I picture our little, generic CFA player - this is the initial motivation, belief and emotion at the core of our stated Mission, Vision and Values.
: The CFA leads by example and this will ALWAYS begin with sportsmanship. As Coaches we always need to challenge ourselves to be more aware of the context of the game and how we are being perceived by our opponent. This is not easy and will never be perfect but as Head Coaches we will really work to be in control of our sidelines which includes the stands, and being the only person who should address the ref's. Our players should work toward consistently being humble in victory and gracious in defeat.
In addition to Sportsmanship, the CFA always wants to be compliant with the GFL rules (four out of area players, age/grade accuracy, turning in our rosters and making all GFL certifications in an accurate and orderly fashion). We will help with GFL manpower needs. Always provide a clean, safe venue for games with courteous and welcoming hospitality from our Board Members and fans.
In addition to these things the CFA last year was the first to 'Background Check' all coaches, Head and Assistant. We were the first to Certify all Head Coaches thru USA Football and appoint them with $1,000,000 in liability insurance. We were also the first to adopt 'concussion base-line testing', requiring all 6th and 7th grade players to get tested. We also donated our old Scoreboard to another GFL Organization as well as one of our five man sleds. We will continue to lead by example.
: I believe that in determining the success of a Football Coach there are many things that can be evaluated. Primary in evaluating the success of a YOUTH Football Coach is answering the following question: "Does he make every kid on the team feel like a contributor." This is the inherent difference between coaching at the Youth Level versus College or beyond. This is the question that we want our CFA Head Coaches and assistants to pose to themselves every day. As a Head Coach this is always a struggle - and we are never perfect… but this should NOT be a question that is asked only on game-day when we are concerned with playing time equity versus winning... this is a philosophy that takes root in every practice, every drill, every team speech. Ultimately this philosophy builds team and family chemistry, which is so critical to the experience of ALL. Making all kids feel like contributors is: Coaching - the CFA way.
As we begin our 2012 campaign we are excited about new enhancements.
New For 2012: The State of the CFA is STRONG and strengthening. This year we are extremely excited and proud to announce four major improvements:
First, we have a reached an agreement with the City of Chesterfield to partially finance permanent lights for our primary practice square and parking lot!!!! No more noise!!! No more fumes!!!! The lights will be the same as on the baseball side of the complex.
Second, we have made a major investment in replacing our white (away) jersey’s with a jersey that will be the envy of the league! On the road - we will 'REPRESENT'!!!
Third, we have negotiated with the city to use the track of land south of the bush line by the outer road for a sled area and will be acquisitioning a new 5 man sled as well.
Fourth, we will be acquiring a large, video capable sponsor sign to be mounted under the scoreboard of our west game field. This sign will have many cool capabilities including flashing photo’s of our boys during pre-game introductions!
I look forward to seeing all of you during pre-season activities and throughout the year!
Chesterfield Football Association