Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Play-off Bound

Posted by admin November - 7 - 2013 - Thursday

A coach, whose team is play-off bound next week, asked me about “travel plans.” He’s going to make a bus trip that’s over 3 hours to the opponent’s school. He wanted to know what kind of itinerary he should plan.

First off, I’m a firm believer in consistency. Some coaches would call it “repetitious” or “boring.” I call it security! Ask most people and they’ll tell you— they do not like change. There’s nothing wrong with throwing a different drill into the Individual period once in a while or going live for a few minutes to pep things up in practice. But… players like to KNOW what’s going to happen. The best evidence I’ve seen to confirm this is the number of players who stop at the bulletin board before getting dressed to study the daily practice schedule that I post every day. They want to know what the schedule looks like.

Sooooooo… with that in mind— I feel the same way about traveling to a game. I want us to have a “routine” that is not disturbed. If we travel the day of the game during the regular-season, I want to travel on the day of a play-off game. We’ve tried the “drive up the day before and spend the night in the motel” deal and it just didn’t work. Kids are kids! They’re away from home and some of them may not have slept in a motel before. It’s just a major upheaval that can easily take their minds off of preparing properly for the game. We did it last year and everything went relatively well. I’m not sure that most 16-17 year old boys can handle the situation as well as our kids did, though.

My suggestion to this coach who contacted me?

Spend your money on a charter bus instead of motel rooms and restaurant food. Motor up the morning of the game… even if you have to leave at “0-dark:30” to get there. They’ll sleep part of the way and then you can show a football/sports movie the rest of the way. We’ve watched Remember The Titans and Rudy. this season. There are others. I think we’re going to do The Miracle on Saturday when we travel to Northern Virginia for our play-off game. We have the moms prepare deli sandwiches for every player. We’ll stop at a Rest Stop and eat there and continue on in to the game site. Parents want to help out— just ask!

Good luck to all of you who are in the play-offs!!! Let me know how you do.

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