Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Archive for July, 2014

MAJOR Change!

Posted by admin July - 29 - 2014 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS

For all of you head football coaches who read this… a major change in how we tackle is on the horizon! If you have Hudl.com, you need to go to your home page on Hudl. On the right side under “recent activity” there are two photo’s of Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks. You are allowed to watch 2 short (7 minutes) videos that Coach Carroll is doing the voice-over on. They are about “Hawk (Seahawks) Tackling Technique.”

I’m starting my 40th year in coaching on Friday. What the video’s show is revolutionary as far as I’m concerned… and very important for this game that we love. The Seahawks, in so many words, are not teaching “across the bow” angle tackling anymore! The idea is to keep the head out of tackling as much as possible.

In the video’s are several clips of rugby teams playing. They are going at it realllllllllllly hard with some serious tackling. And, be aware: they don’t use helmets in rugby!

With the concussion concern continuing to be something that we as coaches have to address, I think this way of tackling has a lot of merit. Interestingly, I called my assistant coaches and asked them to watch the video’s and let me know what they think. My line coach, who is older than I am, said: “That’s the way they taught us to tackle 60 years ago when I played! And, of course, we did not wear face masks!!!” That got me to thinking that maybe it was safer back then because players knew not to stick their head in there or get a mashed nose.

This “Hawk” tackling technique needs to be taken under serious consideration by all of us. We are going to start teaching it as soon as practice starts. You should consider it too.

Time to Take Action!

Posted by admin July - 15 - 2014 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS

My morning devotion from The Word for You Today got me thinking about this topic.

“When all is said and done… usually more gets said than done.” A cliche but oh so true!

I don’t know how many of my players read these posts each week but this is a continuation of what I talked to them about last week… then wrote to them in my weekly email over the week-end. A note: Head Coaches, if you are not staying in communication with your players and parents (I’d even include administrators), you need to start! I send out a weekly email during the season and about once a month during the off-season. Keep your “football family” abreast of what’s going on. We live in a communication-saturated culture. People want to be “kept in the loop.” It’s important to keep those lines of communication open.

John Ruskin wrote, “What we think or what we know or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.” Now, I might disagree with the first part of that statement… because what we think or believe is the driving force behind what we do. Garbage in… garbage out remains true. One of my favorite Christian authors and motivational speakers called it “stinkin’ thinking.” Our attitude can drive us TO success or set us up (or should I say “down”) for failure. But, I DO agree with Ruskin’s statement, in that, if you’re serious about succeeding at something (winning football games)… there is one critical think you have to do: DO something!!!

Sir Edmund Burke wrote, “Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.” Planning, praying and deliberating are all good things to do in preparing to accomplish a goal. But, there comes a time when you have to take action! If you are someone who gets easily discouraged when obstacles arise, you’ll have to confront your fears and step out in faith.

In the Book of Joshua in the Old Testament, God promised to part the waters of the Jordan River so the Israelites could go across to the Promised Land. However, He also said that the water would not part until after the priests stepped into the water! And it was at flood stage… very deep and very rapid. And… they were lugging the Ark of the Covenant (Raiders of the Lost Ark!) on their shoulders!!!

This same principle applies to you. Sometimes, you simply have to get moving. It may be necessary to try different strategies but get moving. It’s a whole lot easier to steer a car when it’s moving than when it’s standing still. If you don’t know exactly what to do, try something. Like Thomas Edison said after failing for the 100th or so time to invent the electric light bulb, “I don’t consider those failures because they’re getting me closer to the right answer.”

We’re re-inventing our Delaware Wing T offense this summer. I guess I’ll have to drop the Delaware and start calling it the Auburn Wing T. What I had drawn up in February, though, is very different from what we are showing the players right now. Rather than getting frustrated, my coaches and I keep seeking solutions to problems as they arise. We are going to continue to take action and find solutions… we will not sit back and throw our hands up in frustration. We’ve told the players that it’s like a work of art that a master artist is creating: it takes time. Remember, when a sculptor starts his work all he has in front of him is a block of granite. But, in his mind, he already knows what it’s going to look like when he’s finished chiseling and chipping away.

Don’t just talk about your success. Get out there and DO something about it.

Be A Motivator

Posted by admin July - 8 - 2014 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS

The boy was born with physical challenges so severe that doctors had to remove his eyes. At 6 months a nurse named May Lemke adopted him and brought him home to her family of 5 children. When the boy was 13 May bought a used piano and played some simple songs, hoping he’d respond. No expression… nothing.

She continued trying to motivate her adopted son to engage in life. Then when he was 16 he sat down at the old piano, and without ever having touched a key prior to this, played a Tchaikovsky piano concerto! It was flawless. May soon discovered that the boy could play anything he heard. Then out of the blue, one day he started singing too. That eventually led to concerts all over the country. All of this came about because a mother facing incredible odds became a tireless motivator!

If you saw the movie Seabiscuit, you may remember the old trainer who specialized in rehabbing injured and abused horses. He was asked why he kept a lame, aging horse. His reply was classic! “You don’t throw away a whole life just because he’s banged up a little.” Consequently, Seabiscuit went on to win many races. Thank God for motivators who make a difference between a trip to the glue factory and the winner’s circle!

The Bible says, “Encourage (motivate) each other!” Somebody once said, “Dreams always come a size too big… so we can grow into them.” Motivators help you to dream BIG, then let you grow in order to fulfill your dream. People, like race horses, can run a looooong way on just a little encouragement. So, become a motivator!

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