The annual ALFCA Convention is not like any other clinic, and a little planning can go along way to make it the best experience for your money for your coaching staff. This is the one coaching adventure that you want to try and get all of your football staff to attend. Try these suggestions:
Plan Your meals- There are some great spots to eat around downtown Montgomery that are within walking distance of the Embassy Suites, sight of the convention. From Dreamland to Wintzells to the Farmers Market, there is something for just about everyone. Assign a member of the staff to be in charge of meals and know when and where you will eat before you arrive.
Fellowship with Your Coaching Buddies- Everyone has friends in the profession that you haven't seen in a while. Get them a call before Thursday and set up a time to just sit and talk or go take in a meal together. If you have had a particularly tough 2023 season, this can be medicine for your soul.
Study the Clinic Agenda and Spread Your Staff Out - Decide what what presentations you want your coaches to attend and make sure they take good notes, especially when there are double sessions on Friday afternoon.
Talk to the Experts - If you need some help with some aspect of your team's program, set up a time to meet and talk with that knowledgable coach about their offense, defense, practice, weight room, motivation, etc. Some of the best clinic material comes from sitting at the tables out front or in a hotel room drawing stuff up and maybe watching a little video. The convention is a great opportunity for coaches to learn, and not all of it comes at the clinic sessions.
Attend the General Meeting of the ALFCA - It is vital in this day that football coaches understand all of the issues and possible rule changes that are happening in high school football and what may happen in the near future. The game is changing fast. Some of it is for the good and some may not be. Attend the general meeting and if your questions are not answered there, find ALFCA executive director Jack Wood, President Terry Curtis or any of the board members and get the information that you need.
Go By and See the Sponsors - We could not have this association with the help of the sponsors. Some have been with us from the beginning. It us a great time to go by and order, get some prices, some ideas about purchasing or set up a time for them to come by the school. The best way to thank the sponsors is to buy from them. If you have technology issues with Hudl, they will be there to help you in any way possible.
Job Information - The convention is a great time to talk to coaches about possibly joining their staff or hearing about what head jobs may come open soon. If there is someone you might be interested in hiring in the future, find them and have a conversation. Talk to other coaches about who is certified in what and who are the young coaches who are rising stars in the profession.
Find Future Games - Have that conversation about playing in the future with a coach you may not talk to on a regular basis. It may be you start out with a middle school game or a preseason contest. If you are having trouble finding games, the convention can be fertile ground to look for possibilities for the next classification period.
Congratulate the Winners - Everyone knows someone who is taking home a Coach of the Year or Assistant Coach of the Year award. It could be you know someone who has a tie to one of the Lifetime Achievement winners. The Coach of the Year Banquet is a first class ending for the ALFCA Convention. Recognize your peers by congratulating them on this great honor and make a pledge to nominate someone next year for one of these awards.
Attend the Social on Thursday Night. It's free, there are snacks and it is a great time to network with all of the 700+ coaches at the event.
Do a little pre planning and make this your best ALFCA Convention ever!