“You have to be certifiable to do what we do,” said New York Giants Coach Jim Fassel. Figures from ESPN show that an NFL coach gets barely 10 hours a week to themselves, with the rest of their time split between work and family. They work insane hours and their jobs aren’t getting any easier.
Here’s a look at the typical head coach’s day.
It Begins Before Dawn
Your average NFL coach is going to be awake before dawn. This gives them a chance to grab some breakfast and perhaps get a little time to work out themselves before getting into the thick of things. Coaches don’t sleep at the office, either—they’ve also got to get to work, and their commute is usually between 30 and 45 minutes each way, each day of the week. Some will commute further.
You Have To Understand The Role of Head Coach…
It’s important to recognize that the days in which the head coach had a large input during actual coaching sessions are long gone. Today, the coach’s job is more equivalent to that of a CEO in a business. They make the big decisions and help to lead and motivate a team that gives them the information to make those decisions successfully.
Where Their Time Goes
On an average day, the head coach will only put in an hour on the practice field. Most of that will be spent in discussion with the other coaching staff rather than being directly involved with players and their individual practice needs.
The majority of the day is going to be spent in meetings or preparing for meetings. It’s estimated that a coach can spend 10 hours a day in this kind of activity, and that’s every single day of a seven-day week, too.
It’s at the meetings that the head coach will get the kind of information that they need to develop a strategy for the games coming up—for the team as a whole, as well as looking beyond a current football season, preparing for the demands of the upcoming years. The best coaches don’t just build a team for today. They build one for tomorrow, too.
A coach’s other biggest time demand is watching game tapes to see the results of particular activities, looking for areas of improvement and where the team should focus their activities in the future. This can take up to five hours a day.
Once they head home, they spend just over an hour with their families—not much time at all.
The Job Does Have Its Compensations
There are serious rewards for being a head coach, of course. Eight head coaches in the NFL now take home more than $6 million a year. The health benefits are fantastic and it would be hard to complain about the work environment.
It’s also worth noting that coaches that get the wins also get the love from the fans and the players alike.
It’s only lonely at the top in NFL if you’re losing!
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