What Football Coaches Can Teach You About Scoutmastership



There are few sports more physical than football, but it’s the mental side of the sport that fascinates me. I’m always amazed when a team that’s seemingly down for the count (to mix sports metaphors) rallies from a three-touchdown deficit to win a big game. It helps if the players have talent, of course, but tenacity seems nearly as important. In fact, football teams frequently prove Zig Ziglar’s statement that it’s your attitude and not your aptitude that determines your altitude.

The other thing that helps is what sportscasters like to call halftime adjustments. In the 12 or 20 minutes their teams spend in the locker room, smart coaches figure out what they need to do differently to win a game they seem destined to lose. While fans are hitting the bathroom or grabbing some nachos, coaches identify the three or four things their players must do to win the game.

So what’s the Scouting connection? I think every troop could benefit from the occasional halftime adjustment. Perhaps it’s midafternoon on a campout Saturday and the weather has turned bad. Perhaps you’re halfway through a troop meeting, and the PLC’s plan is bombing. Perhaps your senior patrol leader is three months into his term and is spinning his wheels. Whatever the situation, it’s unlikely to improve unless you make a halftime adjustment.

Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Smart leadership–whether in the stadium or the Scout camp–is doing what it takes to get better results, even if that means throwing the game plan out the window.

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