At the beginning of January, the Kentucky Wesleyan College football coaches all headed to take a trip to Nashville for a couple of days to participate in this year’s Coach’s Convention. This event is actually run by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). The AFCA is the only national organization dedicated to improving football coaches through ongoing education, interaction, and networking. Their primary goal is to provide resources for personal and professional development. The resources that they provide address all aspects of the football coaching profession.
This Convention is great for our coaching staff, I say that because it has a lot of benefits. They got a chance to listen to Great Hall of Famers speak and to coaches that are coaching at some of the highest rated programs in the nation. During their time at the Coaches Convention, they heard from Marcus Woodson from the University of Memphis, Brandon Staley from John Carroll; Clay Helton from USC; Bobby Wilder from Old Dominion; and Nick Fulton from Colorado.
This is something that can not only help our team, but help our program here at Kentucky Wesleyan as well. The better our coaches are, the better our football team will be. They get to connect with other great minds and pick their brains to see what they can do to make our program here at Wesleyan better.
I interviewed Coach Malik Malone. Malone, who was formally one of the top recruits coming into the 2014-15 football season, had a career ending injury tearing his patella tendon in his knee against a Division One opponent the University of Davidson. Malone is now a coach with the Kentucky Wesleyan football team and he told me a couple of things that were said in the meeting that he thought would help him become not only a better coach, but person.
Coach Malone told me that one of the first things that came up when walking into the forum when he was getting settled in was family.
“Family is very important to all of those great speakers that spoke,” stated Malone.
The young and blooming Coach Malone also learned that coaches’ wives are very important because they are the ones that allow the coach to go do what he loves with peace of mind, knowing that he is doing this to also help out his family. This is great for some of our younger coaches to learn because they will not get that information from anywhere greater than the AFCA National Coach’s Convention.
Coach Malone isn’t the only one that was learning new things; we also have coaches that have went in previous years and they say they learned something new every year. For example, our coaches went to a meeting at the Coaches’ Convention that was showing them a lot of new technology that will help their players excel at the highest level possible. They learned about the new football “remote control” dummies that haven’t been purchased by many schools besides larger institutions. This particular technology could possibly save a lot of players from getting hurt. During game week, the players do not have to hit and hurt each other all the time, instead they can hit the dummy that can move whatever way the coach wants it to move. One more thing they learned about was the new type of helmets that is coming out that is going to prevent a lot of players from getting concussions. This is a huge thing to learn about early so that our coaches can plan fundraisers and save money so that in the future they can buy these well needed helmets for our football program.
If you know anything about football you know that concussions are the number 1 leading football injury and sometimes the players don’t even know that they have one. So I feel like coaches learning about this at the Coaches Convention was a very good thing that the football coaches at Kentucky Wesleyan are now better informed.