Conway coach Clint Ashcraft and his staff not only teach handoffs but handshakes.
It’s part of the efforts of the Conway coaches to teach more than football fundamentals.
They are trying to emphasize life skills, things that some of the players may not have been taught at home.
“During the offseason, we teach our kids to shake hands and look people in the eye,” Ashcraft said. “It’s more than just football for us.”
For most of the players, football will end, likely sooner than they anticipate.
“We want them to treat their teachers right, the cafeteria workers right and that it’s not just football at this level,” Ashcraft said during a recent appearance at the Conway Kiwanis Club.
The Conway coaches usually take pictures with players with their mothers.
“We’ve been asked about pictures with dads, but sadly, if we did that, there would be nobody there,” Ashcraft said.
Almost all players will enter the job market and be required to fill out resumes and go through an interview process.
“We try to teach our kids how to approach an interview, how to sit and face and interview and how to answer questions,” Ashcraft said.
And some of the best reinforcement examples come from adults.
“We’ve had college recruiters come in here and sit for interviews and they kick back and just have poor body language,” Ashcraft said.
“What we tell kids not to do, some of these college recruiters are doing.
“Our kids will come to us and say, ‘Coach, did you see how that guy was sitting?’”
It’s the old adage, “Do as they say, not as they do.”
(Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 505-1235 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @dmaclcd).