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5 Steps to State Championship Success
from J.T. Curtis

Coach J.T. Curtis
John Curtis Christian
Schutt Sports

Southwest Region High School Coach of the Year

For the best information on winning football games, there are many great sources to ask in the coaching industry. However, none are any better than head coach J.T. Curtis of John Curtis Christian in River Ridge, La.

Coach Curtis has spent the past 27 years as the head coach at John Curtis Christian. In that time span, he has guided his squad to 23 state championship games and 18 state titles. How did he do it? Here’s how:

1) Environment - First, you must be in an environment that is conducive for you to be able to be successful. The philosophy of your school in terms of wanting children to succeed in every area of the school – not just athletics, not just academics, not just extracurricular activities – is imperative. You have to work to help them be successful. If you do not have administrators that feel strongly about children succeeding then you are in trouble. Obviously, anyone you ask in our business wants children to be successful, but are they willing to work at molding successful students. You have to make a special effort.

2) Staff Consistency - You have to have staff continuity. I have been fortunate to have this kind of continuity. Any program that is going to consistently win is going to have to have consistency on the staff ... that does not necessarily mean the head coach. The head coach certainly has his own philosophy in thinking, but the guys that are around him are the most important. The hardest thing is going through the learning process all over again. The second year through, after being in a system for a year, is like a whole other ball game. When you are constantly trying to retrain and reorient coaches to what you are trying to do, your program will never attain a winning rhythm.

3) Good Players - If you don’t have good players, you will have a hard time. At the high school level, you can still do a lot of development through off-season programs, good weightlifting programs, good running programs and good flexibility programs. We work really hard at trying to provide our athletes with the very best that we can all year long.

4) Coaching - It all comes down to coaching and preparation ... and that comes down to having kids trained to maximize their potential. We try to maximize the potential of everyone involved in this program, from coaches to players. Every year you are faced with a new group of kids, so set new goals with new challenges. Every year is different and another opportunity for you to help an athlete reach their full potential.

5) Teamwork - You win and lose as a team. If my coaches do not put together a good game plan against our opponent, then our team has a problem. If our tackle does not hold his block, then our team has a problem. A coach must work hard to make everyone understand that this is a team effort ... without everyone coming together, there will be no championship seasons or individual awards.