When Spanish Fort’s Ben Blackmon took the podium last week at Baldwin County’s High School Football Media Days in Daphne, he changed the format a little. Instead of starting off with the usual talk about returning starters, lack of depth and how tough the schedule looks to be, Coach Blackmon changed the conversation to talk about how valuable playing high school football can be in a young man’s life.
“Going up against the daily challenges of facing an opponent, facing another person in practice and getting better builds the self image and self confidence of that young man,” Blackmon said. “Football coaches are some of the people in our community who are men of character and integrity that can teach these young men the right way to do things.”
High school football coaches need to promote our game more than ever before. By changing the conversation to the values that players can attain by playing the game, coaches help parents and players in the future hear the side of football not often promoted by the naysayers of the game.
“Quite frankly, football is the best on the job training for the future you can get,” Coach Blackmon said. “It’s going to teach kids to be accountable, to be on time, to do their best and work hard. It’s the best thing in high school to prepare a young man to go out in the work force.”
Coach Blackmon believes that football teaches players to work for something other than themselves. “They have to play for the greater good of everyone, ” he said.
Take the opportunity at your media day to talk about your players who have done great things, what football has meant to you and your family as a coach, the importance of football in your community, and how it builds the character, courage and toughness of its players today.
Below is Coach Ben Blackmon’s speech about the values of high school football.