INTRODUCTION
 
The primary purpose of this manual is communication. Building a football team that the community can take pride in is an evolving and challenging task. All participants involved in the process; the parents, the players, and the coaches must acknowledge their responsibilities associated with this task. Once the expectations associated with these responsibilities have been established, we must all work together to ensure that there is a collective effort to meet these standards.
 
It is our goal to achieve at the highest level attainable. Our ability to work together will determine our success.
Team Website
Gopark.org >> Fall Sports >> Football
 
Team Schedules/ Directions
Up-to-date schedules of games and team events can be found on the “Football Calendar” on the GoPark website. Official team schedules are linked to the tab “Game Schedules.”
 
Preseason Requirements
All football players must have the following completed prior to the first practice session:
–      Physical Exam on file in the athletic office.
–      Participation fee paid.
–      Participation and eligibility form read and signed by player and parent.
*Meet academic eligibility requirements for MSHSL and SLP schools.
 
Locker Room
Locks can be acquired through athletic department. A $5 refundable deposit is required to obtain an approved lock. We share the locker room with other athletes. “My locker is my locker, your locker is your locker” is the guideline for locker room usage. Stealing in the locker room is forbidden. Players are expected to keep the locker room clean.
 
Strength and Conditioning
A rigorous strength and conditioning program plays a critical role in the success and development of our team. We expect our players to participate in SLP S&C program in the offseason and during the season of competition. Understanding and mastering the movements will help reduce injuries and increase overall athleticism. Hard work, mental toughness and discipline are all great byproducts of the program. Players that participate in lifting weights and conditioning are more likely to have a positive contribution to their teams, they are also more likely to enjoy their season and avoid injury.
 
Practices
All practices will begin on time, it is a good habit to always be at practices at least 15 minutes early. Players should come prepared with all necessary pieces of authorized equipment. Equipment that is in need of repair should be brought to the attention. Practice sessions are designed to be up-tempo, competitive and fun. Players are expected to have a good attitude and play the right way.
 
Injuries
Football is a contact sport that can result in a variety of injuries to the player.  The player must understand that he is risking injury by playing this sport and take the necessary precautions.  Anytime an athlete is feeling pain or feels discomfort of any kind he must make the coaches and trainer aware of his situation so that necessarycare can be provided. All injuries no matter how small will be handled by the training staff once reported.  The trainer should be consulted before a player is taken for advanced injury by a doctor.  Any player who is under medical care by a physician will not be allowed to participate in any practice sessions or games without written clearance by the doctor.  All injured players that cannot take part in practice or in games will still be required to be at practice or games.
 
Athletic Training Room
The training room is a place to get taped before a practice/game. It is also a place to do preventative and rehabilitative exercises. It is not a place to meet or hangout with other athletes and socialize. If at anytime a player becomes injured he must inform a coach and also get checked out by the trainer before leaving school.

Any player who does not follow through with the rehabilitation program set forth by the trainer will not participate in the upcoming game. If a player gets injured during practice, he may immediately get checked out by the trainer. After getting checked out by the trainer, each player is expected to return to his position coach or team activity to participate if cleared, or observe if not cleared. All injuries no matter how small will be handled by the training staff once reported.  The trainer should be consulted before a player is taken for advanced injury by a doctor.

 
Absences
Attendance at practice and games is vital to our team’s success. Each day we are covering something that our athletes need to know in order to be prepared for the upcoming game. If a player misses practice, it hurts our team in a number of ways.
We will honor family events before football. An athlete’s family is more important than football. There will be no consequences for missing practice for this reason and if possible our staff will go over missed information with your son. He will resume his normal participation in the following game. College visits, vacations and weekend trips are not considered family events . Only those absences cleared by the head coach are considered excused (haircuts, family in town, jobs, hunting, etc. are not acceptable excuses). 

Academics is part of our formula for success. Schoolwork comes before football. No athlete should ever use football as an excuse for not completing obligations in school in order to meet both obligations. Athletes should try to schedule make-up work before school if possible or during study hall periods.   

Unexcused Absences will result in a demotion on the squad. We must be informed if a player is going to be absent. Detentions, suspensions, and job conflicts are considered unexcused.

Illness may be cleared by telephone call to the coach. Players who do not clear their absences may be considered unexcused and subject to the penalties that go with that infraction. 

The following guidelines cover absences and playing time:
  • Excused:  A player who is excused from missing a practice or a game will maintain the status of a regular player.  He may, however, lose his starting position as a result of missing the practice session.
  • Unexcused:  A player who misses a practice session that is deemed "unexcused" by the coach will be warned after the first infraction.  If a second violation occurs, the head coach will begin the process for dropping the athlete from the football program.
Game Day Expectations
Players need to be in designated areas at designated times. All SLP Football players that are in good standing with their coach will dress and stand on the sidelines for home games. Players will not socialize or interact with spectators of the game. Players are to carry out their duty of the game with pride and enthusiasm. All players 9-12 will dress for regular season homegames.


Player Expectations
[*]     Be the Best Man You Can Possibly Be
[*]     Treat Everyone with Respect
[*]     Succeed in the Classroom
[*]     Accept Responsibility
[*]     No Excuses
[*]     Develop Mental and Physical Toughness
[*]     Work Hard to Improve in All Aspects of Your Life
[*]     Make good, healthy choices


We expect our players to be committed to their team, in their actions and words. We expect players to support each other on the field, in school and in the community. Student-athletes should understand that their actions and behaviors speak for the collective group.

 
Parent Expectations
  • Closely monitor your son’s academic progress
Notify his coaches and teachers if you think there an issue that needs addressing.
  • Make sure your son gets proper rest and nutrition
​Meals before and after workouts and practices as well as proper hydration is essential to keep the body performing at top levels. Athletes that are participating is athletics should be getting a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
  • Be Supportive of the Program
The goal of the program is to make each of the young men a better person and to become the best they can be. Each and every member of the program should be completely supportive of that aspect of the what we are trying to  do. The coaches, parents and support staff should help each other in the positive development of the young men in the program.
  • Be Involved in the Program
A common thread in each successful program is strong parent involvement.
There is much that needs to be done to run a successful program, so the more people involved in the program, the better. The larger the involvement of parents, the more meaningful experience the players have with the support staff. Make it a point to attend games in a positive way.
  • Understand the Role of Parents
The role of a parent in a program is to cheer for their son and contribute to the positive development of the athlete academically, physically, mentally, and emotionally. This does not include speaking negatively about other players in the program, coaches in the program, play-calling, or game-planning. Too often, parents think that it is part of their responsibility to “coach from the stands.” Any parent who feels as if they would like to help with the coaching aspect of the program is more than welcome to apply to become a coach in the program.
 
Parent Participation
Parents may want to attend practice sessions.  We welcome this situation but we would appreciate cooperation in doing so.  All parents and friends who come to observe our players in their practice sessions are asked to remain on the sidelines away from the drills.  We appreciate having people watch and not distract the players or coaches from their preparation.  Areas provided at all games allow spectators to get a good view of the action.  It is unacceptable to have anyone who is not a part of the team inside roped/fenced off areas.  Fans should not be on the track area behind the player's bench (grass field), inside of the fence, or inside the locker room.  We expect parents to be positive and to show their support in a positive and sportsman like manner.  Anytime parents feel less than positive, a meeting with the head coach is encouraged.  Remember your child cannot be positive about situations in which you do not show positive support.
 
Transportation
Away games are viewed as a business trip. Players will only be taken on away trips if they have earned the right to go as participants. Players will be taken if they show a desire to cooperate and willingness to follow expected behavioral guidelines. Players are expected to keep the buses clean and to follow all of the normal district and state rules regarding bus travel.  All players who ride the bus to games will also return home on the bus unless previous arrangements have been made by the parents through the head coach.
 
Open Door
Anytime a player has a concern for any aspect of our program he should first make arrangements to meet with the head coach and anyone else deemed appropriate as soon as possible.  Misunderstandings and problems can be cleared up quickly and efficiently this way.  We hope that if a player's parents or guardians have any concerns they will communicate first with their son to see what the problem is and if their son has talked first to a coach.  If the coach and player meeting has not solved the problem then a meeting with the player’s head coach, player, and parent may then take place to resolve the situation.  No problem is too small to discuss with the coaching staff.
 
Dress Code
Game Day- SLP Football players “dress up” on the day of games, if they are dressing for more than one game that week they will dress up for both days. Collared shirts, ties, sweaters, and nice pants are all appropriate. Hooded sweatshirts and jeans would not be considered dressing up.

Game Night- In game dress code will be determined by the coach with input from Team Captains. We will look like one team , not a group of individuals. All players will wear matching uniforms and socks. We will only wear and use accessories approved by the head coach. Undershirts and sleeves need to be black or white. Visors must be clear.