Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Wet Weather Game Prep

Posted by admin September - 30 - 2010 - Thursday

It has been raining here for 4 straight days… about 5-6 inches so far! I know that some of you will have to play in rainy/wet weather at some point. There were some things that I had to learn the hard way about preparing for wet weather games. I want to pass along some of those to you so you don’t step in the same “potholes” that we did!

First… for you as coach. ALWAYS… pack a small athletic bag and bring it with you on away games. In it, I always carried my rain suit! Always! You never know when you’ll need it. Again, I learned the hard way as I stood in a November downpour one year… got soaked to the bone! A few years later, we were playing in a Regional Championship game (against Mr. Percy Harvin when he was in high school!) We were up 3-0 in the second quarter when a HUGE storm rolled through. In a matter of minutes, the temperature dropped 15-20 degrees and the rain was coming down in buckets. To make matters worse, the wind picked up and for about 5 minutes the rain was horizontal! I fortunately had packed my rain suit; sprinted to the back of the team bench and got it on just as the rain started to pour! The rest of my staff had “laughed me off” and stood there trying to coach while they got drenched! I might add… I was not too proud to wear my waterproof hunting boots either as part of my coaching attire! I looked a little silly with my camo boots on but my feet stayed dry and warm!

Bring as many new or “game quality” game balls as you can. (6 or 7 is the minimum. If you don’t end up using them, you have them for future weeks.) Pack them in a separate ball bag and tell your Ball Boy: “Do NOT get these out for any reason other than I tell you to pull one out to give to the officials.” QB’s like to throw them around in pre-game! You get them wet warming up… you’ve got no dry game balls when it’s time to kick off!

Also pack plenty of towels (a dozen or more!) Your QB and your Center can tuck one (it must be white) in their belt but your ball boy can wipe off the balls and keep a second ball wrapped up in towels that he’s holding on the sideline until the referee wants to exchange the wet one that’s been in play for a dry ball.

I might add… if the field is sloppy and the traction is not good, take a shot at a long pass or two EARLY in the game! First series even. A DB slips, you pull it in and score. It may be the only score of the game if the conditions continue to deteriorate.

If it is feasible, pack an extra pair of game pants for your starters. Those spandex pants get soaked and they end up weighing 20 lbs. by half time! IF… you can get them in a dry pair of pants, it helps. If nothing else, make sure they bring a new, dry t shirt and a dry pair of socks to change into at halftime. Having dry cloth against your skin is a good feeling coming out for the second half.

Finally… and I talk about this in my book, if it’s left up to you as far as whether you play or postpone due to bad weather or playing conditions—- my advice is to consider playing at the scheduled time. Teen-agers are funny birds! (you didn’t know that did you??!!!). You turn them loose on a Friday night with nothing to do, there is a good chance that a player might get in trouble. At the least, they stay up all night and are dragging when they come in on Saturday to get ready for the game. Your kids have been pointing toward the game all week. It is a HUGE psychological letdown to have to tell them Friday afternoon that their game has been postponed. You know your team better than anyone. You have to make that final decision. My experience was: play if you possibly can.

Good luck and God bless you!

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