Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Buy the Book!!! Please!

Posted by admin April - 12 - 2010 - Monday

Many coaches are writing in with questions for me!  I appreciate the interest and the respect you have for my opinion but… guys— a LOT of what you are asking is “in the book!”  Please… buy the book!  There are 101 of these “little things” that can make a huge difference as far as running a consistently successful program.  These hints, ideas and concepts came from 22 years of head coaching and being a “student of the game.”  I searched out information from successful coaches anywhere I could find it.  I tried it; it worked; and it became a part of our program. The book is there to help you and it’s all in one place!!!

For instance, let’s look briefly at what should be going on in the off season phase of your year-long program calendar of events:

Are you meeting on a weekly basis with your QB’s?  Do you go over your playbook with your QB’s?  Do you have a QB Manual that is exclusively for your QB’s?  Can you get outside and work on mechanics, reads and other fundamentals with the most important position on your team? 

Are you meeting on a one on one or even two on one basis with your key offensive linemen at this time of year?  Helping those guys, especially if it’s a potential new starter, not only learn their blocking rules but to comprehend the “concepts” of what your offense is designed to do. It is critical to your success on Offense next fall.

Are you, or your Def. Coordinator, meeting with returning defensive players… to go over game tape?  Do you review coverages with DB’s?  Are you grooming one or two of your leaders to “know” your defense so well that they can make the adjustment calls during a game? 

Many coaches seem to think that running the off-season weight-lifting program is all that’s needed this time of year.  Yes, it’s important— but there is much that can be done from a mental standpoint to be sure that your players understand the game of football and, specifically, your schemes.  There’s still time this Spring.  If you haven’t started, start now!

Have you met with your staff yet for your monthly off season meeting?  It’s time to get them together too.  They need an update on plans for your offense, defense and kicking game plus just spend some time together as a staff.

Have you taken my recommendation from “the book!” and met with your players individually to formulate some team and personal goals for next year?  Yes…. it takes time!  But, I was reading this morning about “being focused.  The author made the point, I think it was a Henry David Thoreau quote, about:  do you know anyone who has worked tirelessly over a period of time— who remained focused… and did not end up at least achieving a modicum of success?  Our program was a defeated, under-achieving bunch when I took over in 1985.  It took 3 years to get to the point where I felt like we could at least compete with the majority of teams on our schedule.  But, at that point, we were only “coming close.”  To get over the hump, we needed to do something drastic to change attitudes.  I made the decision at that point that we needed to get away for a week of pre-season Camp and build the type of esprit de corps that we needed to be a successful football team. 

I would encourage any of you who are “on the verge” to find a college campus or 4H Camp or even a military reservation that can put your team up for 4-5 days and build your team— away from all the distractions of home. Start making those calls now to book your week in August.

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