Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

“LESS Is Better!!!”

Posted by admin March - 6 - 2017 - Monday

I had another great weekend meeting coaches at the Glazier Clinic in Northern Virginia! Some dedicated young men in attendance. As always, I asked the Clinic Director for the “early Saturday morning” sessions. Most coaches don’t want to speak then cuz… “Nobody shows up!” Au contraire!!! The real coaches are there! I want to speak to the guys whose main purpose for attending a clinic is to learn. Some of them may have gone out on Friday night but… they made the commitment to get up and be at the first session on Saturday morning. Those are the guys that I want to talk to! And we had a roomful of interested coaches.

Trying to be cognizant of the time allotted so that I get through my talk is important to me. I also like to share some of the “Little Things” (see my home page for a summary of my book!) that I think would be helpful to coaches. One point that kept resonating through my head throughout the weekend was this idea that “LESS is better!” Some of us have the philosophy (and don’t even know it!) that… “if some is good; then more is better!” No! No!! NO!!! I’m here to tell you that in coaching, as well as life, keep things UNcomplicated! LESS is actually better!

Coaches will show me their 12 inch-think playbook— bragging about how many plays or formations or fronts that they have! Cool. “How many wins did you have??!” is what I want to know. I’ve rarely seen a direct correlation between the thickness of one’s playbook and the number of victories that team had. In fact, it’s usually quite the opposite: skinnier playbook = more wins! Why?

As high school coaches, our greatest enemy is time! If we had the time on task with our kids that colleges do, it would make all the difference in the world! But we don’t. In fact, you should work very hard to get as much done in the limited time that you have with your players each day. With the advent of Hudl, I stopped showing the game video on Monday to our players. (We did NOT bring them in on Saturday. The players AND the coaches need a day off.) We needed that time on the field correcting mistakes from the previous game! Showing the game video became less of a priority.

When you have limited time, you have to limit how much you do. This goes back to the adage: LESS is better. You have less time; so do fewer things. I have shared on here before but… it’s worth saying again: Get reallllllllllllllly good at a few things! Don’t be mediocre at a bunch of things! Execution is still the name of the game!

This requires a paradigm shift in your thinking as a coach. You have to be able to overcome the negative “tag” that is attached to boredom! You have to create the attitude that “boredom is a good thing”— in your mind; in your staff’s minds and… in your players’ minds! The only way I know to get realllllllllllly good at something is to practice it over and over and over and over and… yep, over again!!! This requires perseverance. And thus, we’ve hit the slippery spot in the road! This is where most coaches/people in general go skidding off the road and into the ditch. We lack the self discipline to stay after something. It’s simply too easy to quit. “It’s boring!” “That doesn’t work!” “This is too hard.” Every statement has “quit” written all over it!

Why are successful people successful? Cuz they “form the habit of doing things that UNsuccessful people don’t like to do!” Do you want your program to be great? Find a system and stick with it! Work at getting better every day! Challenge your coaches and players to accept that challenge. “Once we learn something, we’re going to OVER-learn it!” Strive for excellence…. and, never give up and never give in!!!

One Response to ““LESS Is Better!!!””

  1. Bobby Dean says:

    Great post, Coach. Thanks!