Northwestern High School Football
Kyle Richardson Adds TAP Coaching System to Northwestern High School Football Program
August, 2015 Rock Hill, SC Football head coach Kyle Richardson talks about the using TAP360 System and how it has affected his coaching and his coaching staff.
TRP: How are you using the TAP?
Kyle Richardson: We tested our whole team, about 120 players, at the end of spring practice last May, so we had everybody on file, and we tested our whole coaching staff, too. We spent the summer looking at the results. I had a staff meeting and went through the system. We are full force in it.
TRP: How did the staff take to it?
Kyle Richardson: I’ll be honest with you, I thought they would have a little kick-back on it and not be as excited as I was to get started with it. We spent one staff meeting where I just explained how the TAP works, how the website works and the different athlete types. In a second staff meeting the next day we jumped into our players, breaking them out by position, and what each TAP result was and how this player might respond to this. The staff started giving examples of how that made sense and a one hour staff meeting turned into two and a half hour because everyone want to be in on the conversation. It was like lightbulbs going off!
Since then, what has been pretty cool to hear, is that when something happens and a player responds in a certain way, whether good or bad, when I discuss it with my staff the response is “well, that’s what his TAP says.” The word TAP is being used a lot in regard to a player, and that is awesome.
TRP: Have you used it in a problem situation yet?
Kyle Richardson: I refer to it often, although we haven’t had a problem situation yet. If I am having a closed door meeting with a player, I’ll look over it quickly before we meet. I’m inclined to pop off what he needs to do and tell him to just get out and do it. Now, after seeing the different TAP reports, I’m prefacing my meetings with a review of their TAP so I know if this is a player I need to jump, I need to hug or whatever.
I do know that our coaches have already started talking to some teachers to give them a heads up about the results of a players TAP report in order to to avoid some situations before they take place in the classroom, too.
TRP: What’s the most important part of the TAP?
Kyle Richardson: The biggest thing that we have taken from it is what I say to my coaching staff: ‘We can spend two to three years getting to know a player before we actually know how he ticks, and even then still not know exactly what sets him off or how not to set him off. With the TAP, we are closing that 2-3 year gap to maybe a month or shorter than that. It’s knowing what’s in this player’s head before ever opening your mouth.’ That’s huge in this profession.
TRP: Do you have a particular success story?
Kyle Richardson: I think it’s probably me! My TAP Athlete Type is Engineer. What I’ve done is just by studying the Engineer’s positives and negatives, I’ve changed the way I interact with my staff. As an Engineer I like to work alone and independently. Being self-driven is good to an extent but that can also isolate my coaching staff into thinking I don’t need their help, which I do! In football, it’s a team sport and it’s also a team sport when it comes to the coaches. So I am working on doing a better job by knowing my own traits, and seeing my coaching staff’s TAP reports, and then finding ways to include more people, even if it something that I would normally do alone, so there is more ownership by our staff.
We are all coaching differently based on the TAP. I know that for me the lightbulb has gone off and I approach things differently with our coaches and our players. I wouldn’t have made these changes if it hadn’t been for TAP and having this specific breakdown of what I am.
TRP: What aspect of the TAP reports are you working on?
Kyle Richardson: What we are working on with players during the season is to make them aware of how they respond to negative situations and how to improve that. Eventually I want to get to the point of having lesson plans to teach positive responses instead of pointing them out individually.
When a player experiences a negative situation, say a bad play on the field, getting beaten on an 80 yard touchdown return, the normal reaction of coaches is to jump on that player. Now, we can be more specific. That player may not get back on the field if that is the response you give him. We need to change our response based on what the TAP is recommending.
We are going 100 miles an hour at practice. One player may need a strong response and another may need a more supportive response. We are trying to change our responses to the best response for that player. That’s what I’ve challenged our coaching staff to do.
TRP: What about offseason?
Kyle Richardson: We will be doing more with the TAP in the offseason. We want to move the odometers (mental score indicators in the report) into green for the football team in terms of mental performance. I want to take the negatives and turn those into positives, like I am doing with myself. We will test them every year and maybe some will change their Athlete Type. I’m glad to be a part of the program. This coming offseason is going to be huge for us.