The New Generation Athlete: Those Days…These Days

April 26, 2018– “History doesn’t remember the cowards who ran when things got hard. No one cares if you had to stack the deck to win. Loyalty is the most important trait a man can have.” ~ Coach Frioud, Northeast.

The animal of Football as we know it has had some quite controversial changes as the older era style of football ends and new regulations and outlooks are put into place. Here is a BCP in-depth coaches look from HSFB Head Coach Freioud of Northeast and Head Coach Crawford of Pinellas Park, comparing the tasks of their job titles back in the day versus the new day and age.

“First of all there is so much more time required to do it right. Back in the day you coached football in the fall and 20 days in spring. Then, trained the players the rest of the time with weights and conditioning. Kids back in the old days went to the school they were zoned for and wanted to make plays and win; that was goal. Back then, they were in it to be the baddest dude on the field, wanted people to fear them- you may have known a couple guys on the other team, but you wanted to kill them,” Coach Crawford stated.

“Nowadays, social media and society as a whole have blown things out of proportion a bit; standards and mind-sets aren’t the same, different end goals in mind.”

“I have been a coach for 16 years at two different schools. I have noticed a definite difference between 16 years ago and now. Three major things happened that shaped the Wild West that we now play in- social media and the FHSAA giving up on trying to stop recruiting is the first. Second is when the FHSAA allowed all kids to transfer wherever with no sit out, kids and parents started acting different. The parent I’m speaking of is not all parents, and it’s not even most parents. It’s the one that uses their child. The ones who openly sell their child on social media to the corrupt, void of coaches’ morals. Those parents just want to collect “offers” on Facebook. Lastly, are the phony offers that so many D1 schools throw out. Look at UF, they offered Williams and Scott the year before only to dump both of them. I know for a fact both those kids dreams were to play at UF and they got dumped because the Coach at the time offered everyone.” Coach Frioud exclaimed.

“Now there is 7on7, camps, unofficial visits- always something to do. We have the deal with these camps and handlers, and social media; all kinds of outside influences. It’s all about offers- everyone thinks they are a full scholarship kid, but not everyone is; parents and kids think High School coaches are the ones who give offers, when in essence the kids make all the plays and we just sell what they do. Now kids want attention- they want a tweet or post and they can pretty much decide and pick a program, so we have to work hard to create a program that people want to be a part of, we have to combat recruiting from all angles,” said Crawford.

Coach Freioud  went on to say “I say on average, kids were tougher back then but I coached Shaq Johnson one year ago and there is no tougher football player on Earth. The bar for toughness severely dropped with all the 7 on 7 no contact garbage; I believe it should be two separate sports. It took out the physical aspect of football. I’m all about player safety and taking the head out of tackling, I teach the USA heads up style, but 7v7 is no contact- basically basketball on grass. That has made the average kid softer, but dawgs are dawgs my man. I have a list of savages I have coached and there is a couple from recent years so they still got it in them.”

“People want to blame kids but kids do what kids are allowed to do. No Pinellas program has been gutted more than mine the past three years but I’m good. I love these kids I got and we are going to go win with them. We’ve had six transfer so far… last time that happened we went 7-2 the following year. The kids that left that left obviously don’t want to be here so I don’t want them here. I want to coach the kids that want to work and play hard and that’s what I’ve got right now. Bad parents look for the easy way out. I personally let the parents know whenever the kids grades or discipline is slipping. Good parents love this, bad parents don’t. I make kids go to tutoring, I make them fundraise. All things bad parents don’t want to be bothered with. I’m very lucky with a lot of great parents and great kids now. It’s interesting to point out that no transfer from our program did better after they left.” – Coach Frioud

“I embrace grind and so do these kids. The worst part about it all is the real important part about my job, turning these boys into men and teaching them about accountability. When they are allowed to dictate the terms and transfer at the first sign of adversity they will never grow up. They never will reach their potential- they are children and don’t know any better. Unfortunately, the adults here allow this and instead make excuses, it’s really sad man. So basically the kids are only tougher to coach because of the adults” stated Coach Frioud

Coach Freioud had a lot to say to paint the picture of the new reality of underlying corruption that isn’t beneficial to anyone, but never the less, he is invested in his craft and a great mentor with a successful blueprint to bring out his young players’ full capabilities.

Football as an era has changed for better with player safety and stricter rules on such and for worse with power hungry figures and more gentle approaches in every aspect in style of play, but as a whole, society and social media will never de-rail one’s love for this sport America knows and loves, no matter what new changes are instilled.

Vaughan Sixbury, BCP Contributor