Alabama football coach teaches  students adult life-long skill




     Learning everyday life skills are usually a priority for parents to teach their kids. An Alabama football coach in a neighborhood that faces extreme poverty and lack of parental involvement is doing his part to help his student athletes.  

    Not every athlete is going to go into the NFL to do big things with their athletic skills, and high school  coaches have an obligation to do more than just focus on athletics and instead prepare these young people for everyday life as an adult.  

 Coach Cody Gross has started a new routine for his football team. “Manly Mondays” were developed as an opportunity to teach his athletes about everyday life skills. Gross teaches his athletes how to tie a tie, fix a flat tire, how to check the oil in the emission, and many other things.  

     One of Gross’s student athletes, Jacorey Harris, feels that, “it makes my week a lot better to come once a week and learn something I never knew before.”   

    Coaches at NHHS and elsewhere need to take a page out of Gross’s playbook. Coaches need to realize not every athlete is going to be playing that sport for a living and they will need to learn adult skills. Some parents push their kids away even when they want to learn these skills and it wouldn’t be hard for coaches to take a little bit of their time to help their athletes out.  

     Coaches getting more involved with athletes will not only benefit the students, but also help them respect their coaches even more and grow together as a team and get closer with their coaches. They will leave high school with the mindset to go into the real world with needed skills. Part of athletics is working together with others, and time spent out of practice and games can make a huge impact on how well you work together and communicate in practice.  

     “I think that’s why I’m here to breathe, is to spread the good mood,” explains Gross. The coach also thinks the reason students have people like athletic coaches in their life is to grow them up and turn them into men. People just like him are their biggest role models and with more people like him, there can be a big difference made.  

     If coaches at North Harford High School got even half as involved as Gross does, the connection between athletes and their coaches’ and their whole teams would be much stronger. Coaches can’t possibly believe that they are only responsible for the athletic part of a student. They should also worry about their future and be there if athletes need to talk. If coaches cared about their athletes, the environment would be a better place.  

     Harford County needs to push their coaches to get more involved with students outside of sports and help them with skills that will benefit them in their future.  When they do, everybody benefits, especially the kids.