Rams coach Sean McVay offers insights, words of wisdom to high school coaches

Rams coach Sean McVay poses with more than 60 high school football coaches at Rams training camp.
Rams coach Sean McVay poses with more than 60 high school football coaches at Rams training camp during a clinic for the coaches.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)
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Pacing back and forth and moving his hands nonstop as if he were signaling jets to land on an aircraft carrier, Rams coach Sean McVay provided plenty of evidence of his well-known personality trait of being energetic and passionate while addressing more than 60 high school football coaches on Thursday at the Rams’ training headquarters in Thousand Oaks.

It was a high school coaching clinic in which nine Rams position assistants broke off to answer questions and provide individual instruction. They were almost as energetic as their head coach, a lesson from McVay that a coach’s energy can become contagious among those who work and play for you.

“The influence and the effect you can have in a positive way on these players is so tremendous,” McVay said.

McVay explained that work ethic, energy and enthusiasm are critical components to success, along with always remembering “where your feet are planted.”


“People will remember how you make them feel,” he said.

The four words that players want to hear most are “I believe in you.”

“I’ll never forget the way they made me feel, especially in the times when I needed to feel that belief more than anything else,” he said of coaches he worked under.

McVay said “always be curious” because that’s the way to keep getting better.

Even though he’s an NFL coach, he said, “Some of the coolest things I see is in high school.”

A coach asked McVay how to reach a talented player who might not be following orders.

“Challenge them, empower them, see the good in them,” he said.

It’s off to college for Rodrick Pleasant and Dijon Stanley, two of the best two-sport athletes in the nation.

May 29, 2023

High school coaches appreciated learning about techniques and strategies from the assistant coaches. For special teams, there were video clips explaining how to block a punt and how to return a kickoff. For those in the offensive line meeting, it was pointed out to watch how a lineman’s knees move instead of the feet for run blocking. For quarterbacks, shoulders need to be aligned with the feet and stay balanced.

The Rams also brought in the American Heart Assn. to give training in CPR and the automated external defibrillator. It was only days ago that Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris was in Las Vegas on vacation and helped save a 3-year-old by retrieving an AED near the hotel pool.

“I would not have known what to do without this course,” he told the coaches.

The Rams have been increasing their outreach to high school coaches and athletes through Ghalee Wadood, the Rams’ associate manager for high school football.