Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Don’t Rush!!!

Posted by admin June - 17 - 2021 - Thursday

I just looked back on my posts from the last year or so and didn’t see anything on this subject. Sooooo…. here you go! If I have written about it previously, it’s important enough to talk about again!!! My focus will be on learning and the best way to coach during practice. It all gets back to one of my main coaching philosophies: do a FEW things realllllllllly well! The thickness of your playbook does not have a direct correlation to how many wins you’ll have during a season. In fact, it may be the exact opposite.

Perhaps this (bad) philosophy began with high school coaches listening to college coaches explaining how they organize and carry out practice. But, it concerns me that people cannot see that things that college coaches can expect their players to execute does not mean that high school players can do the same thing. The key point is: Don’t Rush!!! Don’t rush through practice!!! Several coaches whom I have talked with recently wanted to go over practice organization and HOW to conduct practice. The “kool aid that too many have drunk” is the philosophy that: race through practice and get as many reps as you can in the time allotted! WHAT? So…. what they are saying is: it doesn’t matter if a player is doing something WRONG…. just keep doing it and he’ll get better! “The more reps will bring about improvement.” Come on man!!! That is both naive and wellllllllll… (I can think of several words like, stupid or foolish or dumb but… I’ll stay civil!) WRONG! It’s kinda like thinking that if you drive your car with a flat tire long enough, the tire will fix itself and re-inflate on its own! Maybe that’s a bad analogy but it’s as wrong as thinking that a player is going to improve if he just keeps practicing the skill enough times!

Here it is in a nut shell: Don’t sacrifice correction for meeting your (time quota). If you have to stop practice to fix something… stop it. Don’t rush!!! Better to run less plays and get them right than to rush through your script and say “well, we got all 20 snaps in during the allotted 20 minute period.” NO!!!! Most high school players need to be shown their mistake; shown how to do it correctly; walk through it doing it correctly and then…. run the play again where they perform the technique correctly… THIS time! Yes, it’s time-consuming. But, unless you have an hour each day to review practice in the film room with each starter (like colleges do) OR… you have position meetings each day where coaches can make corrections (like colleges do) (***and by the way, don’t think that a HS player is going to watch Hudl cut ups on his own and get a thing out of it! Not gonna happen! Waste of time!) then you must STOP practice and make the correction on the practice field!

Remember the old adage: “Practice makes perfect!” Right??? NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Practice does NOT make “perfect!” Only PERFECT practice makes perfect!!! “Perfection” in practice requires repetition. However, the reps must be done correctly or a player will never come even close to very good… let alone perfection!!! Slow down… don’t rush!

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