Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program


Posted by admin December - 4 - 2012 - Tuesday

I was going through stuff that accumulated on my desk during the season seeing what I wanted to keep and what I wanted to toss. I came across (why it was still there, I don’t know!) some notes I took at a coaches clinic in 2004. The coach was a very successful HS coach in the state of Virginia. He is now an assistant at a Big 10 school. I thought it would be some “food for thought” as you guys start doing your post-season/off-season evaluations. Here are some of the things he said:

1- You are only as good as you coach your players to be. Simply said, a good coach is an effective teacher.

2- Players win games— coaches LOSE them! Study such things as clock management, use of substitutions, when to call a time out. In some cases, we need to get out of the way of our players and let them play!

3- Hold your players responsible. Players cannot rise to low expectations! Kids need to know that their actions impact not only themselves but their teammates. The kid whose middle name is “I’ve got an excuse for everything” needs to be told that “we don’t want your excuses… we want your effort and your execution.” I’m not advocating that coaches lay blame on their players for their own shortcomings. What I am saying is that kids need to see that their choices have ramifications. There is no “do over” button for life.

4- Win the 2nd and 4th quarters. Wear down your opponent. Watching Alabama break down UGa with that O line the other night was a thing of beauty. “Old school football” Baby!

5- Play your best guys. Whether it’s 13-14 or 20-21— get your best players on the field. If possible, play your O linemen only 1 way. Keep your “athletes” on the field. Get them a break on offense. In an attempt to 2 platoon, I’ve seen coaches fail to utilzie a “skilled” player. You want your “difference makers” on the field as much as possible.

6- During practice: tackle every day! It doesn’t have to be live, to the ground. But working on tackling is a key to success.

7- During practice: spend time on the kicking game every day. Practice PAT/FG at one end of the field while you practice one of your other special teams.

8- Save Team Offense for the end of practice. Practice Offense when your tired. Challenge them to stay focused.

9- Spend time on the goal line. G-L Offense and Defense is something you need to practice.

There’s some “food for thought” for you!

One Response to “Notes”

  1. Metz says:

    Fantastic post, Coach.
    Every time I need guidance in one area of my life or another, you always seem to have the perfect post.
    I will be e-mailing by the end of the week. There is something I want to talk with you about.
    Thanks again for sharing your wisdom and your time!

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