Leadership / Planning / Thinking

Leadership Moment — 7 Aug 23

Planning. Is it hard? Yeah. Is it worth it? Yeah.

Mark McMillion
3 min readAug 9


Not my coach, not my school. Just a pic by football wife from Pexels

High school football is officially underway as of July 31st. We had a parent meeting on July 30th and the coach seemed so organized. He laid out the schedule until school starts: practice 5:30 a.m. M-W-F; 6 p.m. M-T-W-T-F along with two exceptions.

New coach, new way of doing business! As parents, we already had more information than the previous two years combined. Awesome!

For 16 hours. Then the first change came. Boys needed to be there an hour earlier on this day. Oh, then they need to be there 2½ hours earlier the next day. Oh, about 90 minutes earlier today? Sure, he gave us nine hours’ notice . . . I’m REALLY trying not to count but that’s at least five significant changes in eight days. Seriously?

For my wife and me, it’s annoying. We’re also incredibly fortunate. She doesn’t work outside the home and I have a flexible schedule, at least for now. However, that isn’t the same for everyone. This afternoon it erupted on the “team chat.” One parent asked for things to be posted on a calendar for planning purposes. The request was direct but not particularly hostile. Another parent jumped in to kiss up to the coach: high school sports have lots of moving parts and let’s all be patient. Then parent #1 jumped in and ripped parent #2. I know the family. They’re blended and trying hard to make it work. Both parents working full-time jobs, usually more than eight hours a day. What are they supposed to do?

As a parent, I feel taken for granted by the coach. The coaching staff seems to think we have nothing else in our life to do except sit around and jump through hoops so our sons can take part in the magical, transformative experience of high school football. Don’t get me wrong — I love sports and I love high school football. I played it back in the day but it was pretty straight-forward: practice at the same time every day and then games.

As a leadership guy, I’m utterly disgusted and disappointed. This isn’t rocket science. This is simply putting together a schedule. The new head coach has been part of this school and system for several years. New to head coaching? Got it. But come on…



Mark McMillion

Retired Army officer with two tours in Baghdad, married with four kids. Proud West Virginian and West Point grad. Works available on Amazon.