Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Opening Game!

Posted by admin August - 30 - 2010 - Monday

Most of you are gearing up for your opener this week…. good luck and God bless all of you!

My old high school coach, who I’d have to rank in the coaching genius catagory (he was waaaaaaay ahead of his time! We did things in the 60’s that most teams didn’t even think of till the 80’s!) always preached to us that “the FIRST game is worth 3!” If you lose the opener, it takes 2 more weeks to “dig out of the hole” that you’ve put yourself in. High school kids and their fragile ego’s. And, if you win the opener, you have 2 weeks of peace and joy to build on. Kids want to come to practice. They listen better and the motivation level is high.

I would encourage you not to “ease up” this week in preparation… just because it’s “game week!” Do the things you’ve been doing for 3 weeks and keep emphasizing how important execution and minimizing mistakes is going to be toward winning this game. I have a coaching colleague who played his opener last Friday… and won! He is so fired up this week that I can “hear” it when I read his email!!! His one concern was: how many foolish penalties they had during the game.

I asked him how often they called penalties during practice… particularly during Team period. If you are not making a point to “penalize” your players for foolish penalties during practice, then you can expect the same thing during games.

A simple solution (I’ll use Off sides on Offense) is: If/when somebody jumps offside during Team Offense, all 22 (1st and 2nd team) drop for 5 pushups. 5 yards for offside… 5 pushups. It doesn’t seem like much, but you are trying to get their attention! You can also walk off the 5 yards back if you are in a scrimmage situation.

If a defender has a late hit, it’s 15 yards… on the whole defense! The one guy doesn’t get penalizied in the game… so why should only one guy get “punished” during practice.

PAY ATTENTION TO DETAILS!!! It’s the Little Things that can make a BIG difference this Friday.

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