How Does Bo Pelini Get His Football Players to Play So Passionatley?


have no clue if Bo Pelini is going to do well as the next head coach at the University of Nebraska. His defenses at LSU over the last 2 seasons have consistently ranked in the top 3. Obviously “Bo knows defense”, something very lacking around Nebraska last year where the defense ranked 114th out of 119 teams.

The media coverage of Bo has been overwhelming to say the least around here. Nebraska has had just 4 head coaches over the last 47 years, so this is kind of a big deal here. A plethora of stories have been written about him the last 2 weeks, since NU football fans have no Bowl Game to think about. One story that made me do some thinking was Bo’s approach to criticizing and correcting players, something many youth football coaches struggle with.

Criticizing Players The Right and Wrong Way (Most Often Way) According to Bo:

Criticizing Players

Some quotes from Bo were in Todays paper that may have application to your youth football team or how you coach youth football. The article was trying to pinpoint why Bo’s former NU players loved him so much and played so hard for him. One instance hit a chord with me from Bo’s 2003 season here at Nebraska:

A defender made a mistake in practice and one of the Husker assistant coaches castigated the player. The assistant ranted and raved and even ran from the sidelines into the defensive huddle to get in the players face.

Pelini called the assistant to the sidelines and said “All that stuff you just did: Was that for you or for the player? Because I heard you yelling at the kid and not one time did youเว็บแทงบอล tell him what he did wrong” he then told this coach “So the next time he makes that mistake it’s on you.”

Pelini then went on to say he does hold players accountable for 100% effort on every play and grades them on it from practice film and game film. He also holds them accountable for their assignments and will occasionally get after a player, but Pelini is always specific about the mistake and how to avoid doing it again. Pelini then went on to say he always makes sure to put his arm around the player later in practice and let them know “I know you can do better than that.”

Criticizing Youth Football Coaching

Too often when coaching youth football, we see examples of non-instructive criticism. How many of us hear the infamous “hit somebody” during games or “you gotta block.”
While there may be a sliver of truth in both of those phrases, they are not specific or instructive and rarely effective. Just like in college, instruction and even criticism has to be specific and instructive. Too many youth football coaches beat kids down with negative talk, negative tones and even harsh language.