Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Keys to Victory

Posted by admin June - 7 - 2017 - Wednesday

I had a good talk with a coach the other night. We discussed some of the statistical factors that one can analyze to predict the outcome of a game. The stats were directly related to HS football so I was very interested. Some of the factors were pretty obvious; i.e., win the turn over battle, win the 3rd down conversion battle, etc. But there were a couple that I hadn’t heard about which helped confirm some of the things I’ve done as a head coach which helped our win/loss record over the years. I’ll share a few of them here.

1) ELIMINATE FOOLISH PENALTIES. What are foolish penalties? Aren’t all penalties foolish? Not really. Two players going up for a ball and one pushes off and the other one gets flagged for pass interference!!???!!!?? An O lineman pancaking a D lineman; lays on him and gets called for “holding!” I’m not sure we have an answer for those “head scratchers” that officials call on occasion!!!
There are penalties that can be dealt with in practice that will minimize (or eliminate) them during games. Jumping off sides can be “punished” in practice so the offense is more focused during a game. We always made the whole offense “give me 5” push ups when they jumped off sides during Team period. or… illegal motion— any of those little 5 yarders which drive you crazy in a game! 5 push ups makes the point. It’s 5 yards… so 5 push ups. And, the whole team gets penalized in a game so everyone drops!
For more serious penalties, they must be dealt with in practice, too. We’re talking about promoting self-discipline. Successful teams don’t play careless football. There is NO way that fighting should ever be encouraged during practice! It’ll come back to bite you in the butt when you need it the least— in a big game!
Those mistakes in practice, by the way, cost them 15 push ups! We want our players to play aggressive but intelligently.

2) WIN 3RD DOWN AND GOAL LINE BATTLE. This is why I feel you need a “separate” goal line/short yardage offense! Teams don’t seem to prepare as well when it’s a package that is only used 3-4 plays a game. If you practice it each week, that gives you an advantage.

3)WIN THE KICKING GAME. I’ve written about that here on several occasions! It’s why we are unconventional in our approach to Special Teams. *Here’s my chance for a plug for my new coaching dvd’s coming out this month through Championship Productions. The dvd’s are all about our unique way we execute our kicking game.

4) 1ST TO SCORE! I saved this one for last because I found it the most intriguing. In a high school game, the team that scores first has a 75% better chance of winning the game. I would always get “looks” because I wanted the ball first (old school) if we won the opening toss! Let’s go down the field and score— take the lead and stay on top for the rest of the game.

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