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Stallions Sports
Sterling Heights Stallion Football Player Handbook



Purpose:  As a member of the Sterling Heights Stallion Football Team, you are a member of an elite organization.  Organizations such as ours are so highly respected because the members take on several responsibilities that people outside of the organization don’t want.  As a Stallion football player, you are expected to take on these responsibilities and contribute to the achievement and reputation of the football program.

Your actions will be examined under a microscope as you perform on the football field, walk through the hallways of the school, or even eat at a restaurant.  Several people will judge you without even getting to know you simply by the fact that you are associated with this team.  Therefore, it is the responsibility of everyone associated with this team to make sure that those who wish to judge us make a favorable generalization. 


The following handbook should serve as a guideline for Stallion behavior.  In it you will find several principles that we believe make an individual and organization great.  In addition you will find expectations for how someone who is committed to excellence in their lives should treat their responsibilities and relationships.  Finally, you will find procedures for how our team will function.  Each player is expected to read through this handbook thoroughly, and to share it, along with the “Parent Supplement” with his parents or guardians.


…Challenges are Opportunities!

…Beliefs create Expectations!


High Expectations are the single most identifiable characteristic of successful people!


Work for success, Expect success




Competitor’s Creed


“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end of the triumph of high achievements; and who at the worst, if he fails, fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither defeat nor victory.”

                                                   Theodore Roosevelt

                                                           April 10th, 1899




Accept the Challenge! 

Winners & Losers

A Winner makes a commitment.


When a Winner makes a mistake, he says, “I was wrong.”


A Winner works harder than a loser, and has more time.


A Winner isn’t afraid of losing.


A Winner works through a problem.



A Winner says, “Let’s find out.”


A Winner knows what to fight for and what to compromise on.



A Winner apologizes by making up for it.



A Winner listens.


A Winner feels strong enough to be compassionate.



A Winner says, “There must be a better way to do it.”



A Winner respects those who are superior to him and tries to learn something from them.


A Winner has an appreciation of his abilities, and an awareness of his limitations.


A Winner is aware of his surroundings.


A Winner keeps his equilibrium whether he is ahead or behind.



A Winner leans on himself and does not feel imposed upon when he is leaned on.



A Winner stops talking when he has made his point.


A Winner, in the end, gives more than he takes.

A Loser makes a promise.


When a Loser makes a mistake, he says, “It wasn’t my fault.”


A Loser is always “too busy” to do what is necessary.


A Loser is secretly afraid of winning.


A Loser avoids a problem and never gets past it.


A Loser says, “Nobody knows.”


A Loser compromises on what he shouldn’t, and fights for what isn’t worth fighting for.


A Loser apologizes, but does the same thing the next time.


A Loser waits for his turn to talk.


A Loser is too weak to be compassionate.



A Loser says, “This is the way it’s always been done.”



A Loser resents those who are superior to him and tries to bring them down to his level.


A Loser is oblivious of both his abilities and his limitations.




A Loser is aware of only his own feelings.


A Loser becomes bitter when he is behind, and careless when he is ahead.


A Loser leans on those stronger than himself and takes out his frustrations on those who are weaker.


A Loser stops talking when he thinks he has had the last word.


A Loser dies clinging to the illusion that “winning” means taking more than what you give.




The Pillars of the Stallion Football Program


The mission of the Sterling Heights High School Football staff is to lead young men to pursue excellence in all aspects of their lives.


Outcome goals:

Those who participate in Sterling Heights High School Football shall develop:


1.    Character

2.    Work Ethic

3.    Commitment

4.    Leadership


These traits are characteristic of ANY successful individual or organization.  The following discusses how they relate to our football program, and sets expectations for players who choose to participate in football at Sterling Heights High School.




CHARACTER- winning is an attitude.

LEADERSHIP- propels teams to meet their goals

COMMITMENT- separates the contenders from the pretenders

WORK ETHIC- winning is not a tradition, working hard to earn victories is.



Character:  The pyramids in Egypt still stand today because they were built on a solid foundation and with the best materials.  All success starts with high quality materials.  In the case of a football team that means surrounding yourself with people that have integrity and conviction.  If the people within the program cannot trust each other to do the right thing off the field, how can they trust each other to do the right thing on the field? Solid teams start with solid character.




            -Do what is right.  If you wouldn’t do it in front of a coach, don’t do it!


-Be trustworthy.  Every relationship is built upon trust.  The coaches and your teammates will need to be able to trust that you have prepared yourself as well as you can once you step on that field.  If the team cannot trust you, then don’t expect to play much.  Note: earning trust is a constant activity- it goes beyond the field as well.



-Be accountable.  Don’t be the player that lets everyone else down by not fulfilling your responsibilities.  (See “Be trustworthy”)


-Have a winning attitude.  Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right.  Winners have confidence in themselves because they know that they have prepared for victory.  Winners are positive and are problem solvers, not finger pointers.


-Be able to respond to adversity.  Challenges arise in all aspects of life, not just football.  What is important is not how many challenges that arise, but how you handle those challenges.  Quitters give up, whine, or assign blame.  Winners look for solutions, stay positive, and take responsibility for working through it.  Learn from the mistakes that have been made in the past.  BE STRONG, BE TOUGH!



Work Ethic:  Teams are able to experience a winning season by simply out working their opponents.  The harder you work, the harder it is to accept defeat.




-Take Pride in your performance.  If your work habits were a song on the radio, would you listen or turn the station?


-Do the things that nobody else wants to.  Some of the most successful people in our nation have gotten that way because they were willing to do the things that they really didn’t want to do.  However, they were able to reach great heights by keeping perspective: “This will make me better!”


-Get better each day.  Remember, this is a competition.  Even if you believe that you made no progress or stayed the same, you still have lost ground because your competition has gotten better.  You either get better each day or get worse.  There is no “staying the same.”


-Make success a habit.  The best way to do this is by working hard.  THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTION!  If everything were easy, then everyone would be successful!


Commitment:  Playoff teams are able to reach the post season because they spent the off-season training for that moment.  The biggest difference maker in High School sports is an athletes’ level of commitment.




-Prioritize.  Keep first things first.  Your family and your academics come before football, but members of this team will be expected to make a commitment to the team.  DO NOT USE FAMILY AND ACADEMICS AS AN EXCUSE!  That is not only dishonest, but is also a disgrace to your family and your school.  Proper time management enables you to commit to all three.


-Be a team player.  Don’t be selfish.  There are members of this team who are counting on you to fulfill your responsibility to the team.  Every time you miss a workout or ease up on a drill you are being selfish and letting the team down.


-Be better than just yourself.  The greatest aspect of sports is the fact that being involved with this group gives you the opportunity to achieve more than you could individually.  It makes you better than you are alone.


-Keep problems in-house.  When you work with as many different personalities as you will this fall, problems are sure to come up. Such problems are a concern to the team only.  Nobody outside the team needs to know our business.  Our opponents will exploit our weaknesses if they are known, and there are other people who would like to see us fail.  Be committed to the team by being loyal to the players and coaches involved.  What happens within the team must stay within the team, use the chain of command with in SHHS to resolve our issues (See “Be trustworthy” above)


Leadership:  Championship teams achieve the success they do because they have people on their teams who keep all others accountable to the mission.  They make those around them better.  Not all leaders are vocal.  Every member of the program can lead by example.




-Your actions speak louder than your words.  If you want to talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk.  Show that you are a leader by setting an example for others to follow.  Don’t just say that you want to win, PROVE IT THROUGH YOUR ACTIONS! 

-Keep others accountable.  If you are a true friend, you wouldn’t let your friends act in a manner than is counterproductive to success.  Hold others to the same standard as you hold yourself.  (see “Be a team player”).


-Be Positive.  Others in this program will look to your reaction to adversity.  They will react in the same manner you do.  This pertains to body language as well.  80% of communication is done through body language.  An observer should not be able to tell the score of the game by watching how you conduct yourself.


-Know and accept your role.  Not everyone can be a starter, but everyone can contribute to the team’s success.  If you do not have the ability to be a starter, you still have just as big of a role in helping us win as the starter.  Take pride in the fact that your role is to be the best practice player you can in order to prepare those who do play for victory.  Watch your position and give coaches feedback.  Again, having a successful team will benefit everyone!


-Teach younger players.  You were in their shoes at one time, and they will compare themselves to you.  Leave a positive image in their minds, and set a high standard for them to reach for.


-Be Confident.  Confidence springs from knowledge and understanding, and a belief that you have prepared yourself to handle the competition.  Seek to learn what you are supposed to do, then do it at a high level.  CONFIDENCE IS CONTAGEOUS.  Unfortunately, so is a lack of confidence.  Therefore, be an “opposite” player in moments of doubt or fatigue- do the opposite of what your emotions tell you.  Show your teammates and our opponents that you are a relentless competitor, confident that you will succeed!


Team Policies


It is the belief of the Sterling Coaching Staff that if our young men adhere to the expectations set forth above, there is little reason for making a long list of rules.  The following policies encompass the expectations mentioned previously.


            I.   All polices set forth by the Sterling Heights High School Athletic Code are to be followed.


1.     Code of Conduct.  You are a representative of your family, Sterling Heights High School, and this football team.  As a member of these groups, you are expected to represent each in a dignified and honorable manner.  Participation in football will give you the opportunity to deal with people that you might not have otherwise. Follow the pillars of the program in all of your dealings with fans, cheerleaders, teachers, alumni, the media, community members, etc.


  1.  Do what is right.
  2.  Represent yourself with pride, class, and confidence.
  3.  Put the team first.
  4. Look the part- Dress classy- No clothing that represents alcohol, drugs, or sex.



2.      Unacceptable Behavior. The following actions are not tolerated.


i.  Behaviors unbecoming of a Stallion: Actions that will result in a suspension or dismissal from the team.  These include, but are not limited to, the following:



-Cheating: use of illegal performance enhancing supplements

-Breaking the Athletic Code



-Poor grades, ineligibility

-Serious lack of character

-Poor attendance

-Discipline problems in school:  If you get in trouble, find me before I find you!


ii.  Behaviors obstructive to winning: Actions that will result in extra conditioning or additional duties.  These include, but are not limited to the following:


-Making excuses

-Poor body language

-Lack of attention to instruction

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