Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Coming From Behind (to Win!) and… Getting Better

Posted by admin September - 12 - 2017 - Tuesday

One of the hardest things a HS coach has to deal with is being sure that he is maximizing the talent that he has. You simply have to play to your strengths. That requires analysis and evaluation of your personnel and staff on a weekly basis. Although I’m not an advocate of taking 5-6 hours each weekend to grade every play of every player, I do think it’s important that you take some time to study the game video. If you’re on Hudl, you can use the telestrater and make notes as you’re going along. When you’re finished, send it out to the players and coaches. By the way, I wouldn’t send the game video to your players until after you’ve made your notes! Why? The players will stay up Friday night just to “watch themselves!” They don’t care as much about seeing what their mistakes were. If you don’t post the game until after7 you’ve made your notes, at least then… as they watch the game, they’re going to see your notes.

I also make sure that I make a big deal about big plays that they make too! I “telestrate” stars all over the clip! One other thing you can do to be sure they watch the video is to “imbed” a secret reward! Somewhere during the game (you can do it twice if you want), you select a clip and type a note to the players: “When you see this note, text me. You’ll get a reward on Monday!” For those who see it and text you, keep a bag of Hershey’s kisses in your desk at the locker room. When a player who can tell you what clip the “secret surprise” was located, flip a couple of kisses at him!! It’s not a big deal but the kids love candy!!

The final step in this post-game evaluation is the toughest. It’s when you decide that you have to make some changes in personnel and/or positions. It can be a “shock to the system” of a high school player when he’s told that he’s been demoted or moved to another position. But, you show him the evidence from your evaluation and (this is important) give him HOPE! Let him know that his position is now “open” and if he’s the better man during the practice week, he’ll start. You can give the other player some game time if you want to evaluate him in game situations or… maybe the back-up performs better in practice and he gets the starting nod. But I’ve always like the concept that our Wrestling coach used with “wrestle-off’s.” Whoever wins the wrestle-off during practice is the one who wrestles in the match that week. A little healthy competition can teach a high school kid a powerful lesson.

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