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The MUFASA Drill  

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bdjackson
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October 25, 2019 3:24 am  

Good Morning Coaches,

So I am sure most of you reading this are wondering what the heck a MUFASA drill is. Well its something most of you are familiar with, its a simple Wedge Drill to help with beating submarining lineman. We use it as a part of our wedge progression once we are able to fit and run wedge on air to avoid getting submarined. While running the wedge have coaches toss bags at the feet of the lineman while ensuring they are keeping high knees to avoid getting cut. But this is less about the drill and more about the KEY as Coach Potter would put it.

While talking with Coach Potter last night, I mentioned that one of my kids came up to me at practice and asked if we were going to do the MUFASA drill and it took me a minute to register what he was even talking about. Well the night prior, while working with my lineman on how to keep high knees and trample the poor D-Lineman that were trying to submarine them, I used the Lion King as a reference.

Me: Who here has seen the Lion King
Players: Most raised there hands
Me: And who killed Mufasa, the wildebeest right?
One Kid: Actually it was Scar... (okay, he wasn't completely wrong)
Me: Well, Scar pushed him, but who trampled him?
Players: The wildebeest!
Me: Exactly, and you are the wildebeest, and those bags down there, that's Mufasa. Those submarining lineman, there Mufasa and you are the herd of Wildebeest. You stop for nothing, you run over and through everything until you get to the end zone.

I will do a separate post on this topic as a whole, but as coaches (and adults) we get caught up in either teaching things at to high a level or trying to KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid). The problem is that KISS only works if what is simple is also relatable to the kids. If its simple to you, but a player has no reference or relatability to the way you are teaching it, is it really the most effective way to teach that player.

Probably Not.

But either way, I just thought I'd share my reference for teaching this drill as it seemed to go over pretty well and thought that some of you may be able to use it.

-Brian

Being Capable, first begins with being Confident.


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terrypjohnson
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October 25, 2019 5:41 am  

Thank you, Coach Brian. This is something I can use!

Fight 'em until Hell freezes over, then fight 'em on the ice -- Dutch Meyer


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bdjackson
(@bdjackson)
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October 25, 2019 5:56 am  

Thank you, Coach Brian. This is something I can use!

No problem. Glad it could help. All my talks with Dave lately have really made me rethink the way I will be moving forward with coaching in the years to come. I'll be writing a post later today about the KEYS to coaching as Dave calls it, hopefully it will get a good conversation going.

-Brian

Being Capable, first begins with being Confident.


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dcooz
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October 25, 2019 7:10 am  

Definitely putting that one in my toolbox. Thanks coach


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Prodigy
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October 6, 2020 11:04 am  
Posted by: @bdjackson

.

I will do a separate post on this topic as a whole, but as coaches (and adults) we get caught up in either teaching things at to high a level or trying to KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid). The problem is that KISS only works if what is simple is also relatable to the kids. If its simple to you, but a player has no reference or relatability to the way you are teaching it, is it really the most effective way to teach that player.

 

 

In my first year as a HC I was running a scheme that called for "GOD BLOCKING" / gap-on-down.  Sounds simple right?  Until you press pause and realize that we have three terms rolled into an easy to remember name "GOD" -- BUT, none of those terms mean anything to a first year player.

GAP: anywhere on an offensive line there are gaps between a player and the players to his left and right.  Which gap are we talking about?  "THE INSIDE GAP!" Ok, what does "inside" mean?  The side closest to the ball.
ON: how are we defining ON?  Typically we're talking about a defender who lines up directly in front of the offensive lineman, yet at the youth level defenders might accidentally line up in a shade.
DOWN: which way is down?  does it mean that the player is lower towards the ground than the offensive lineman?  Of course not.  "Down" is towards the center / ball.

There are plenty of things we take for granted as being coaches who are supposed to know how all of the pieces of the clock fit together to tell time.  Years after running GOD I moved to TKO and I had a playside TE who consistently blocked OUT!  Never once had I ever coached or asked this player to block out..in fact, the DE outside of the TE was supposed to get picked up by the FB in most cases. 

I had a conversation with the kid and learned nothing.  I asked why he was blocking out and he didn't have a good reason for doing so.  I reminded him that he's part of a team, he has to do exactly what's asked of him...and we've never asked him to block out.

If you show up for a fair fight, you are unprepared.


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gumby_in_co
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October 6, 2020 1:07 pm  

@prodigy

Just went through this 2 weeks ago. We block "Gap On Backer". Default is "inside" gap, which I named "Goober" a long time ago. Sometimes we block Speed Right, which is "Right Gap On Backer" and so on. It became clear to me that my message was lost. So I took 5 minutes to really strip it to bare metal and teach it. 

1) We always want to block to a gap first because it's an easier block.

2) We block in different directions on different plays because it helps us put a body between a tackler and the ball. So we look to THAT particular gap and ignore the other gap.

3) If no one is in YOUR gap, we look to see if anyone is ON us. "ON" means his nose is between your shoulder pads. I may change that to "any part of his body is between your shoulder pads" because . . . reasons.

4) If no one is in your gap or ON you, sprint 4 steps to the 2nd level, come to balance and go hunting. When in doubt, block to the opposite side we are running, but at least get out of the way.

5) We NEVER double team . . . except when we tell you.

6) If someone is in your gap AND ON you, identify to the gap because it's more important to us, then look to your buddy who is closest to the guy ON you and make sure he blocks the guy ON you.

Seems to have worked. We really stress communication, so in a worst case scenario, we can get by with only 1 player understanding what's going on. Our C is taught to not touch the ball until every one is identifying and everything is Kosher.

TE's blocking out in TKO? Tale as old as time. I have experienced this with multiple TEs in every single season I've coached using a half dozen different blocking rules.  I fix it by calling out the blocking on the edge.  "TIMMY! 56!" where Timmy is my TE and #56 is the guy I want him to block.  Things look good, so you stop calling out his block.  2 plays later, he starts blocking out again. The only question I have asked more than "Why did you block out?" is "Why didn't you keep your outside arm free?"  Most common answer is a non-verbal shrug. 2nd most common answer is "I don't know."  One of Mahonz' most famous sayings is "Why ask why?" He's 100% right, so I stopped asking, which gave me more time to actually coach.

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Prodigy
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October 7, 2020 12:28 pm  

@gumby_in_co you've been at this a lot longer than me and from what I gather, you've kicked a fair amount of buttocks in the process.  Whatever works.  If you were having problems and asking for input, I'd say that you might want to simplify your rules...6 different things seems like a fair amount to remember.  Maybe I'm just a big time believer in simplicity.  I ended up using positional wrist coaches.  Three columns of different colors: RED | BLACK | GOLD.  Each row was numbered 0-9.

Suppose red 0 was toss right.  Right side of the line would see "TKO WALL" on their wrist coaches.  Center would have "STEP <--LEFT".  BSG & BST would have "Pull to 6 hole-->".  Backside TE had "superman".  FB had "kickout end-->"  Wings and QB had the actual play "36 toss right".

EDIT: position-ally, linemen only had 4 things total to remember.  Wedge, Pass Pro.  Then TE's had TKO wall or superman.  Guards and tackles had TKO wall or pull.
Center had left/right step.

 

What's rather cool about all of this is...One year we were practicing for playoffs and it was getting dark early.  I got paranoid about playing a night game and I was worried that the kids might not be able to see their wrist coaches.  I installed a huddle and the QB called off the plays...kids knew the plays and the assignments when we never specifically told them "on 36 power you do this."  just time spent staring at their wrist coaches they started to correlate it.  we practiced a lot.  It surprised me...really surprised me.

 

 

This post was modified 2 weeks ago by Prodigy

If you show up for a fair fight, you are unprepared.


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gumby_in_co
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October 7, 2020 4:52 pm  

@prodigy

Done it that way, too. Kent and I boiled "Tight, RIP, AB Power Right" to "Toss". Another year, a guy named Jody (SCWINGER) donated 25 wrist coaches to us, so everyone had a wrist coach. That worked, too.

Tried writing assignments on wristbands. Lasted 1/2 a practice. 

1, 2 and 3 were installed on day 1.  4 was installed after about 3 weeks. 5 after 4 weeks, and 6, at 5 weeks. I still had kids scratching heads, so I gave them a 2 minute "digest" of what we are trying to do and it seems to have worked. 

Whenever I start thinking that I'm over-complicating things, I remember that I taught this same group of kids this as 2nd graders. I also think of 3 teams that we absolutely shellacked, despite having equal talent. I look at their o-line play and it reminds me why I go at it the way I do. 

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Prodigy
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October 8, 2020 9:41 am  

@gumby_in_co ultimately I believe that questioning what we do and why is a part of becoming more efficient.  If there was a "holy grail" standard for anything, we'd all be doing it and it would equalize the playing field and make the game about who had the best athletes.  Fortunately...there isn't a holy grail.  This results in coaches spending time thinking and improving, troubleshooting...and that's all part of life: having an experience, learning from the experience and seeking to improve for the future.

 

If you show up for a fair fight, you are unprepared.


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gumby_in_co
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October 8, 2020 10:54 am  

@prodigy

Yep. One of the cornerstones of my coaching philosophy is to do everything for a reason and with purpose. It boils down to "why do we do it this way?" Another cornerstone is to be open to questioning those "why's". To that end, based on your critique, I'm looking at ways to simplify my "teach" even further. 

 

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Coyote
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October 8, 2020 10:55 am  
Posted by: @gumby_in_co

Most common answer is a non-verbal shrug. 2nd most common answer is "I don't know."  

Yup!   

Umm.... why does that 6 ft tall 9 yr old have a goatee...?


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CoachDP
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October 8, 2020 11:52 am  
Posted by: @prodigy

If there was a "holy grail" standard for anything, we'd all be doing it and it would equalize the playing field and make the game about who had the best athletes.

But it's amazing how equal the playing field is.  And since Coach A's team and Coach B's team are equally inept in their coaching, it does come down to who had the best kid.  Unfortunately, since Coach A doesn't realize how bad he is, and is unable to recognize that Coach B is just as bad, the one thing both coaches (and parents, and players, and fans) can recognize is which team had the fast kid/best kid/stud.  And the losing coach will lament that the reason his team lost, is because they didn't have "best kid/fast kid/stud."  And is his own oblivious, naive way, he's correct because the bad coaching on both sides was equal.

I look at a lot of video.  And it's common for me to hear from Coach A, "We lost because the other team had best kid/fast kid/stud."  Then I look at the video and see what Coach A wasn't doing that he should have done, or what he was doing that he shouldn't have done.  With a few simple aspects of better coaching, Coach A would have won.  However, Coach A continues only to see that his opponent had best kid/fast kid/stud and that was the deciding factor.  And with both coaches wearing the same dunce cap, he is correct, because their coaching has equalized the playing field.  Best kid/fast kid/stud then becomes the determining factor.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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CoachDP
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October 8, 2020 12:02 pm  
Posted by: @prodigy

If there was a "holy grail" standard for anything, we'd all be doing it and it would equalize the playing field and make the game about who had the best athletes.  

Even if we all had to coach the same FaceMelter scheme, I still think the best teachers would be successful most of the time, because there'd still be inept coaches who spent all their time with the Backs, and none with the Line.  There'd still be clueless coaches yelling about "You've got to want it!"  "Block somebody!" or even worse, "Back when I played...." 

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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gumby_in_co
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October 8, 2020 2:41 pm  
Posted by: @coachdp
Posted by: @prodigy

If there was a "holy grail" standard for anything, we'd all be doing it and it would equalize the playing field and make the game about who had the best athletes.

But it's amazing how equal the playing field is.  And since Coach A's team and Coach B's team are equally inept in their coaching, it does come down to who had the best kid.  

Here's my take on it, because until last season, I believed this 100%. Mahonz and I have had some tremendous teams over the years. We pretty consistently handled teams with equal talent and average coaching as well as superior talent and poor coaching.

Then, there was last year. Routinely blown out by poorly coached teams with 1 kid that we couldn't tackle. Offensively, we just did not have a single back who could take advantage of really good blocking. Losing to the worst of the worst. It sucked. As a staff (minus the dads), we could have gone in 2 different directions. Flush it and start over in another area with completely new kids or build for the future with the kids we had. We chose the latter.

This is what last season taught me, or at least what I now believe based on what I observed last year.  Football is a game of mistakes. Talent (a combination of strength and speed) has a habit of forgiving those mistakes. We were in a position where one mistake on defense at the wrong place was a TD. One mistake at the wrong place on offense was a TFL. We played a lot of teams who made WAY more mistakes that they overcame with speed and strength.

This year, we picked up 1 new guy who can play, and 2 guys who left us for a year and returned, who can both play. They are surrounded by kids who were forced into key positions for a season that they had no business being in, but came out of it breathing fire. 

Last season, a mistake by a force player was a TD, plain and simple. This year, while we have vastly improved at the force position, mistakes are still made. 1 of our 3 force defenders almost NEVER does his job. Rarely matters. Our linebackers have evolved to where they don't need a force . . . except when we play those teams. Kid gets the edge, he his gone. If we miss our one opportunity to influence him, he simply outruns us. It is getting harder for them, but right now, it's an overwhelming advantage.

The very same cellar dwellers who beat us 3 scores to 1 last year, we have put in the mercy rule this year. We have "guys" who can chase down their best backs and punish them. We have "guys" who can take advantage of 3-lane highways provided by the blocking.

Saturday is a big test. We are 0-3 against this team. Closest we came was losing 45-55. In a game of "what if's", our snapper folded on us in the middle of the 3rd quarter. Last year, they ran us out of the park. Utter domination. This year, I see our best chance to beat them.  

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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