Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

After the Season Ends

Posted by admin November - 4 - 2009 - Wednesday

Several coaches have written this week talking about what they are planning on doing now that their season has come to a close.  Some ended their season very dissatisfied with their poor record; others have been knocked out in the play-offs after a great regular season.  Regardless of how successful (or poorly!) your season went I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to TAKE SOME TIME OFF!  Get away from it all.  Get that equipment stored away and get away with your wife/girlfriend or buddy for a week-end.  That’s just the start.  This week-end get away is decompression time.  Focus on letting your wife back into your life.  This week-end should be more for her being pampered and shown appreciation for putting up with you for the last 3 months than anything else.

Get back home and get your team banquet over with then…. lock up the locker room; lock up the film room and lock up the weight room and take some time off!!!  Guys, we don’t get paid enough to make this a 12 month a year job!!!  I know that the “competitive spirit” drives you to get back at it as soon as possible but, I’m telling you:  YOU and your players need some time away!!!  There’s nothing wrong with “getting bored” to get motivated again.  Let your players start coming to you asking when the weight room is going to open.  Let them know that “it’ll be soon… I’ll let you know.”  Take some time, IF you must, to put together a seasoon highlight dvd/tape.  Make highlight dvd/tapes for your key juniors who will likely be recruited.  Do a season review and chart plays if you didn’t do it during the season.  But an extra 3 weeks in the weight room from Thanksgiving to Christmas is NOT going to win a state championship for you next year.

That time away can do wonders.  I would encourage you to wait until after Thanksgiving at the earliest to start back up on your weight program.  Later than that won’t hurt you.  I speak from experience Coaches.  From 1991 to 2006 when I retired, our winning percentage was 85%.  We never started lifting until after Christmas… and then it was just an “introductory” period for new lifters.  After we got back from Christmas/New Years break, we had 3 weeks till semester break.  That was when we let the veterans start back.  After semester break, around Feb. 1st, was when we began in earnest.  We lifted and did agility/plyometrics/speed training 3 days a week with the 4th day being “skills and drills”— position work.  We let the kids throw the ball around and play touch.  We went HARD from Feb. 1st till June 1st.  Took 2 weeks off and then worked out until one week before pre-season practice started.  We always had our kids strong, fast and tough. 

What you may be doing is burning yourself out AND your players.  You want them “fresh” when August practice starts.  It’s the next 12-14 weeks that you want them to peak.  If they’ve been working hard since the previous November, trust me, by April or so it’s going to get “old” for them.  Remember: they are only 15-16 years old.  They are not professionals nor scholarship athletes. 

The whole idea of this “Little Things” book and website is to pass along failures and successes that I experienced in coaching for 34 years (the last 22 as a head coach.)  My hope is to save you some heartburn and guide you in paths that will lead to all the success you want to achieve on and off the field.  God bless you, Lew

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