Seneca Valley Football
Team Policy Manual
We want your high school football experience to be one of the high points in your life. This experience will undoubtedly be filled with exhilarating victories and emotional highs, and in all likelihood some difficult frustrations. Have the personal strength and faith in those around you to keep balance and perspective at both ends of the emotional spectrum. Remain focused and directed on what is important to the Raider family:
- Earn your diploma.
- Make the right choices. Do what has to be done to the best of your ability, when and where you are supposed to be doing it.
- Learn to help others while helping yourself.
- Be the very best player you can be.
- Be an unselfish part of a great and proud football program, school district and community.
- Live a fulfilling high school life.
PLAYER RELATIONS AND EXPECTATIONS
We believe that there is a right way to do everything that we do in our football program. As such, we have developed a series of guidelines to help each of you become familiar with the procedures that you will be expected to follow. Always keep in mind that you are now a part of something greater than yourself individually and that “no one of us is as important as all of us.” You are a member of a respected high school and a proud football program. At all times, you should endeavor to do ‘the right thing’ and, in doing so, to avoid doing anything that could potentially embarrass you, your family, Seneca Valley or the Raider football team.
Individual and collective discipline is at the heart of every great thing we expect to accomplish and is the very basis of being a sound team and a solid person. Discipline has been defined as “doing what you do not want to do now so that you can do what you want to do later.”
A disciplined athlete:
- Is considerate of others.
- Knows what is expected of him and does his best to do it.
- Does not make excuses for his failure. ‘(No medals for trying’)
- Leads by example.
- Completes the ‘invisible’ preparation.
- Is dependable and can be counted on by his teammates and coaches.
A disciplined football team:
- Does not commit foolish penalties.
- Does the little things right.
- Gives great effort.
- Maintains its poise in stressful situations.
- Makes very few mistakes.
- Rises above adversity.
- Is very difficult to defeat.
DAILY PRE-PRACTICE GUIDELINES
YOU MUST PRACTICE TO PLAY.
- Check the bulletin board (“pay attention board”) in the Locker Room each day before practice. You are responsible for its contents.
- Be on time and ready to go for all meetings. Always have notebook and pencil.
- Plan ahead in your personal schedule with respect to taping, training room treatments, etc. so that you are always ready to go when practice begins.
- Practice is preparing to win. We believe in the motto ”Plan your work and work your plan.” We expect you to strive to improve and to demonstrate the proper demeanor on the practice field.
ON FIELD GUIDELINES
- Learn to practice at a high tempo and to learn vicariously (via others being coached).
- We expect a serious, business-like attitude on the field. There is no time or room for horseplay.
- Hustle at all times and especially within the boundaries of the practice area – run or jog everywhere once you hit the field (‘nobody walks but the mailman’).
- When inside the white lines always wear your helmet. Your helmet will remain on unless your coaches tell you otherwise.
- Our resting position (when outside the white lines) is on one knee, helmet on or in hand.
- The key to your individual and our team’s success is the total preparation we achieve in practice. There are no limits to effort; hustle and effort require no talent.
- Wear prescribed equipment – mouthpiece, hip pads, etc. If it is not issued to you by a member of the coaching staff, it is not to be worn to practice (i.e. bandanas, tights, etc.) unless specific permission is granted by me.
PERSONAL CONDUCT RULES
- Your success in life, high school, football and in the realm of day-to-day living will depend on how you deal with adversity and problems you encounter. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. Be a positive person – remain upbeat and concern yourself with finding a way to succeed instead of focusing on all the reasons you cannot. Try to react positively when something negative happens. Come to see anyone in our program with whom you feel comfortable – do not keep something that bothers you inside – we want to help. If we cannot or are not equipped to help you personally, we will help you to get in touch with someone else who can help.
- Because you are an athlete, you are looked up to by many people (especially children: “small eyes are watching you to see what you do”). Justify the pedestal on which they place you.
- We are all working for the same thing – to have a great football team and to contribute to that team. Have pride in yourself, what you do and what you say. Be dependable and responsible. If you cannot keep a commitment, call or inform the person involved.
- Use good manners and be courteous to all persons who are trying to assist you – especially support personnel (secretaries, custodial and maintenance workers, etc.) Remember that the true measure of a person is how they treat people who can neither help nor hurt them.
- The use of alcohol will not be tolerated while in any associative capacity with Seneca Valley. This is a zero tolerance policy. Drug offenses will be dealt with in accordance with the policies set forth by the Seneca Valley School District.
- Association with gambling of any type is prohibited.
- The use of any type of drugs will not be tolerated while in any associative capacity with Seneca Valley. This is a zero tolerance policy. Drug offenses will be dealt with in accordance with the policies set forth by the Seneca Valley School District.
- Do not participate in any other recreational sports during the season. Specific permission may be granted to multi-sport Seneca Valley athletes on a case-by-case basis – but only with approval of the head coach.
- We will always conduct ourselves in a manner which reflects favorably on Seneca Valley High School and the Raider football program. The Head Football Coach will determine when there is a breach of discipline regarding our Personal Conduct Rules. Everyone will not be dealt with in the exact same way (a first time offender is different from a perpetual problem).
In all cases, the discipline prescribed will be what I believe is best for our TEAM as a whole. Remember that we are a TEAM and no one of us is as important as all of us. We must be strong enough to do without any individual.
- Types of Disciplinary Action (can differ with nature of offense and/or frequency):
- Assistant Coach
- Head Coach
- Suspension (game or games)
- Dismissal from team
- Being a ‘winner’ in the classroom and in competitive athletics is totally compatible. Poor academic performance can never be blamed on participation in athletics.
- Time management is the key to being a successful student/athlete.
- Research has shown that class attendance is the single most important factor in academic success. COME TO SCHOOL AND GO TO YOUR CLASSES.
- Poor performance in the classroom will ultimately result in not playing.
- The Seneca Valley Football “family” has a Coach-Mentor program that will address your academic progress on a regular basis.
WEIGHT ROOM GUIDELINES
- “Safety First” is our motto. Work hard, but be careful. Proper spotting is required at all times.
- Proper lifting attire is required at all times. This means shirts, shorts and tied shoes (no flip-flops or sandals).
- When you are finished working out, strip bars and return all plates and dumbbells to the proper place on the plate racks.
- Carefully follow the workout provided by the strength and conditioning coach, completing every exercise. A coach will supervise every in-season workout.
- Give your very best effort (every rep is a collision). We are committed to continually improving our physical profile.
- Manage your time wisely in the weight room. You know and/or will be instructed as to the correct rest interval between sets and exercises – the proper rest interval is a critical element of our lifting program.
- No horseplay whatsoever in the facility.
- We can – and will – change our size, strength, speed, quickness and explosiveness.
DINING /MEAL GUIDELINES
- Eat a proper diet as advised by our trainers and staff, especially breakfast. This is critical in maintaining strength levels during the season. If you experience any problems or have concerns regarding this issue, see our trainer immediately.
- Be certain to maintain hydration levels, especially in-season. We will provide Gatorade and water in the locker room for this purpose. Drink it!
3. Seek the advice of the coaching staff and/or trainer before using any type of supplements.
- Interview openly, but speak highly of teammates, staff and opponents. All interviews must be arranged through the Head Football Coach.
- Understand that the media has a job to do. How we cooperate with the media will go a long way in determining how they treat us. The opportunity to deal with the media is a learning experience in developing communication skills, not only during your interscholastic playing days, but also in future business and professional careers.
- If possible, interviews should be done in person. Only conduct telephone interviews when arranged by the Head Football Coach and done at a time and place designated by the Head Football Coach.
- Always be prompt and courteous. Never agree to do an interview which interferes with school or study time or that you will have difficulty completing on time. Notify the Head Football Coach if you have a problem that will prevent you from keeping an appointment. Remember, the writer or broadcaster has an assignment to complete and a deadline to meet which is dependent on your being on time.
- Take your time to think through clearly the question posed and your answer before speaking. Do not answer any question with which you feel uncomfortable. Seek counsel with the Head Football Coach if you feel uncomfortable with a line of questioning or the general direction of the interview. Remember there is no such thing as “off the record.” Avoid informal discussions concerning team matters.
- Public perception of our team and the Seneca Valley School District is affected greatly by impressions made via the media. Take care to represent yourself, your team and school favorably.
- You have a responsibility to the institution, coaches and teammates in cooperating with the media. Our fans, families and friends are interested in you and your performances. This information is relayed in a large part by interviews.
TIME FOR INTERVIEWS
- After practice either on the field or in the field house.
- During free time earlier in the day in the Head Football Coach’ s Office.
- Immediately following completion of games at the stadium. You are responsible for participation in these interviews until released by the Head Football Coach.
Note: No media personnel will be permitted in the football locker room.
ADDITIONAL HELPFUL HINTS FOR PUBLIC RELATIONS
- In all dealings with the public be very careful about what you say. Choose your words carefully and use discretion
- Never criticize another player, coach or official.
- Always try to say something positive about everyone.
POLICIES CONCERNING UNIFORM DRESS FOR FOOTBALL PRACTICE
- BLACK JERSEY: ‘Full go’ Offense/Defense
- RED HELMET CAP: ‘Scout’ Defense/Offense
- COLUMBIA BLUE JERSEY: Quarterbacks – ‘full go,’ contact as per direction in given period
- RED JERSEY: Injured/’limited go’ personnel –
- Player is not ‘full go’
- Player is dressed out in full pads
- Player cannot have contact or has limited clearance
- Player can participate in limited drills with trainer’s consent
5. GREEN JERSEY: Injured/’No go’ personnel –
- Player cannot participate in practice drills
- Player is required to be at practice sessions to observe and learn
- Player will do specialized rehab exercises with trainer
- Player has a helmet on unless injury prevents it
- The Head Trainer makes all decisions concerning the above dress code. You are responsible for following her directions.
- Injured players must schedule and receive a minimum of two treatments per day.
- Injured players will attend position meetings and work with the trainer to maintain conditioning levels.
- Injured players can enhance the healing/rehab process by following the trainer’s directions exactly and completely.
- If you are unable to participate by Wednesday’s practice, you will not start that Friday’s game.
- If you are unable to participate by Thursday’s practice, you will not play in that Friday’s game.
- The only person who can overrule this policy and/or make exceptions is the team physician.
LOCKER ROOM GUIDELINES
- Hang all equipment in your locker so that it may dry and be ventilated.
- Do not throw tape on the floor. Use the trash receptacles provided.
- Remove shoes outside the locker room.
- Do not leave cups or other trash on top of lockers, on stools or on the floor.
- Visitors are not permitted in the varsity locker room except with express permission of the Head Football Coach.
- Keep your locker and the surrounding area clean and sanitary. Do not store any type of food in your locker.
You are provided the very best equipment money can buy. We want you to be confident in your safety and to look first class. It is your responsibility to take proper care of the equipment issued to you. Ensure that your equipment fits properly. If you feel that a piece of equipment does not fit, needs repair or is defective, see the Head Football Coach or a member of the coaching staff immediately.
- Rinse out your helmet after every practice.
- Do not cut, alter or modify your equipment in any way.
- Wear only equipment issued to you from me via the Seneca Valley High School Equipment Room.
- Tardiness due to an equipment problem or repair is never tolerated. Turn in equipment for repairs after the practice in which the problem occurs or is discovered, rather than 5 minutes prior to the next practice.
- The equipment room is off-limits to all players except when specifically directed to enter by a coach.
- All equipment must be checked out from the equipment room. Worn equipment may be exchanged for replacement. Lost equipment is your responsibility to replace.
TEAM FUNCTIONS, HOME GAMES AND TEAM TRAVEL
Any time our team travels or attends a public, school or social function, we expect everyone to dress and conduct himself or herself appropriately. Our conduct on and off the field is very important – we expect each of us to take personal pride in our team and ourselves. Dress code for any team function will be outlined in advance and will be strictly enforced.
- HOME GAMES
We will announce the team routine and provide you with an itinerary for home games.. Some important points to keep in mind:
- Our togetherness is a source of strength for our team collectively and individually.
- Rest ‘the night before the night before’ (Wednesday) the game as well as Thursday night.
- Get in the right frame of mind as you progress through the pre-game routine. Mentally prepare yourself for victory.
- We will meet as a team in the locker room immediately following the contest.
- AWAY GAMES
We are on the trip with a singular purpose – to win a football game. While doing so we represent ourselves, our team and Seneca Valley High School. Never do anything to bring discredit upon any of these entities.
- You will receive an itinerary for the trip in advance. Pay careful to the type of playing surface/shoes required and to the travel dress code.
- Prior to the game we will be businesslike in our approach – time will be allotted to see friends and relatives after the contest.
- Scheduled times will be carefully followed. Be late –be left! We will not punish those who are on time by making them wait.
- Remember that playing on the road is never a disadvantage unless:
- You think it is.
- You let outside distractions disrupt your focus.
- Normally we will meet in the visiting team locker room immediately after the contest.
- POST GAME
Home or away is the same. Be a gracious winner or a gentleman in defeat. Be respectful of your opponent at all times. Exhibit class no matter the outcome of the game.
TRAINING ROOM CONDUCT AND PROCEDURES
Will be covered in detail by Head Trainer.
LETTER WINNING CRITERIA
- Earning a Seneca Valley Football Varsity Letter is a significant accomplishment and a testimony to the commitment, dedication and on-field contribution to our program of the student-athletes who receive them.
- Letter winners are determined by an extensive review process by the entire coaching staff.
- Criteria for consideration is primarily playing time in varsity games in situations where the outcome of the game is not yet decided (favorably or unfavorably).
- Other criteria may be factored in on a case-by-case basis, including effort on the scout team, demonstration of exceptional leadership and attitude on and off the field and other factors specific to a particular student-athlete.
- The final decision on all letter winners will be made by me after due diligence to the process described above.