Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Consistency Leads to Excellence!

Posted by admin November - 29 - 2010 - Monday

The thoughts I’m sharing with you today come from my school principal, Lee Fowler. Lee coached high school ball for a number of years and was quite successful. So, when he speaks, I listen! He writes:
“I’ve observed a lot of programs during my 40 plus years of playing, coaching and following football. I have come to realize that if your basic offensive or defensive system is sound, and CONSISTENT, it really doesn’t make any difference if it’s Wishbone, Wing T or Spread. The key thing is consistency.

I have never met a coach who was successful in the long run who changed what he was doing every year— especially in high school. There are a lot of reasons for this. The most obvious being that the longer you use your system, the better you know it. The better you know it, the better you are at coaching it. When problems come up, you are more adept at diagnosing them and finding a remedy.

The less obvious reason has to do with talent level. A top flight HS football program will periodically compete for the state championship, but will rarely miss the playoffs. We all know that talent is cyclical. However, when you have a “down” year, with a good program you are still getting the kids out for your team and you’ll have a few good players. The problem is the other players that you have to compete with. That is where the value of consistency comes in. That offensive lineman who has been doing the same techniques and footwork for 3 years in practice can now be a competent senior starter. That holds true at virtually every position. That is why you so often see programs “reload”, when in fact they have been building for 3 or 4 years. They have kids who have been in the program and understand what it takes to succeed. IF…. you are changing your offense every year to “fit” your talent, then (unless you’re in a situation where you can recruit), when you have a down year, you are going to struggle.”

Be conscious of this right now! This is the time of year when you begin to tinker with your offense or defense. You are starting to make plans for what you want to run next year. My/our advice is: If your system is sound, spend time in the off season with your entire staff learning more about what you are doing. Clinics, visits with other staffs and watching coaching videos are invaluable tools to building a stronger base of knowledge. As Lee says, “make sure that you do it within your current system. Don’t shift gears completely or it will cost you when you need it the most.”

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