Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Be a Student of the Game

Posted by admin February - 2 - 2012 - Thursday

I spent about 5 hours today with a couple of HS coaches who drove 3 1/2 hours to come learn about Wing T line blocking! The HC and his Line coach made the drive to educate the line coach on the techniques of down blocking, gap blocking, double teamming and trapping… since all he’s ever coached is “zone” blocking schemes. That’s dedication! These guys are committed to learning all that they can to better themselves as teachers and improve their team’s performance. Kudo’s!

What are you doing in the off-season? Lifting weights; breaking down video; maybe going to one of those mega clinics? All good stuff… and stuff you need to be doing! One of my 101 Little Things in my book emphasizes the need to take as many of your staff as can go and visit another staff. Preferably a HS staff. College coaches are great! and if you’ve got a college football program in your area, make contact and see if you can meet with one of their assistants. However, I give a strong caution here! A pitfall that some HS football coaches fall into is not realizing that things that work on the college level are NOT necessarily always going to work on the HS level! 1- the techniques are too advanced; 2- the players are too athletic at the collegiate level; or 3- we simply do not have the time available to teach the things that colleges do. A good example that I share with Wing T colleagues: in their heyday, the U. of Del. coaches raved about the Sally play and how efficient a play it was for them! They’d diagram it, show all the blocking, draw this/draw that, show a lot of video clips breaking big gains… WOW! This is a play that we’ve got to install!

So what happens? We run it and those stupid HS defensive linemen don’t go where they’re supposed to!!! The Delaware line stepped this way and the college D-linemen read it correctly and went that way and the play broke. We’d run it and those D-linemen we faced just ran like chickens with their heads cut off! The dadgum play never broke for us!!! Why? Because most HS D-linemen aren’t coached anywhere near the level that college D-linemen are!

One more example… ever try to throw a screen pass (for us it was a middle screen to the fullback) and a defensive lineman who decided to “take a play off” so he was too lazy to rush the passer as he dropped… makes the tackle because the fullback catches the pass, turns and runs into that lazy tail???!!!! So, moral of the story: visit successful high school coaches. They are successful on the same level that you are. They have answers for problems that you are seeking solutions to. Most HS coaches would be flattered to have someone just come and visit and listen to what you have to share.

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