Drills, Plays and Schemes
Recently, I was talking with a local coach who was talking about "needing some drills for his team." As we went through the discussion, I gave him the "It's not the drills, it's the way you teach them" reply. He looked at me quizzically. I reiterated that it isn't "how good the play is, it's how well the play is executed." It isn't about having a good scheme, it's how well you know how to teach the scheme. I told him, "The Double Wing isn't a better scheme than the Air Raid. And the Air Raid isn't a better scheme that the Double Wing." A coach who teaches the Double Wing well, will likely beat a coach who runs the Air Raid poorly. And likewise, the Air Raid coach who is really sharp will defeat a stupid coach who teaches the Double Wing.
So when a coach is "asking for drills," he has to be able to recognize what the drill is supposed to accomplish. He has to understand when and why the drill is working well and when it isn't. He has to know the progression of the drill, what he needs to emphasize and how to cut away the fat. He needs to know how to adjust and fix a drill when it isn't working.
I've seen coaches use ALL of our drills over the years and butcher them, because they didn't know teaching points, progressions, corrections and couldn't recognize good execution from bad.
Examples: I had to teach the Double Wing to a middle school OC. I walked him through the process (including our film) of all the core plays. On the first play of his very first game, he ran Counter. It was stuffed. I asked him why he ran Counter first(?) He said, "Because it always went for big yards on your video." But he still didn't understand that the play had to be set up.
I watched a coach do "Whose Ball" with his kids with all of the excitement and intensity of a Sleepwalker. In addition, each time he ran it, it never exceeded 30 seconds (which will completely undermine the drill and give you the opposite result that the drill is designed to accomplish). He thought that simply doing the drill was going to transform his team from sleepwalking; when in fact the drill itself requires intensity and a definite duration of longer than 30 seconds.
I saw a coach try to implement Tee Time without first teaching the ball-carriers are not allowed to cut, juke or spin; they must run straight ahead (and to a definite target). As a result, he got tacklers trying to mirror the ball-carrier while the ball-carrier would just shift from side to side and never got the type of tackling impact that the drill gives you.
And schemes...I see so many poorly-coached schemes where the ball isn't snapped accurately to the QB, or linemen don't block or players don't tackle and the offensive or defensive scheme is blasted. There's nothing wrong with the scheme, if it's taught well. But parents, players and coaches still blame the scheme.
"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."
...but but but, if I just install the xxx playbook next year, all my problems will be solved.
The longer I coach, the lesser I know.
@troy Exactly... but we don't need to say it's xxx... we all know it's the 3-3-5 defense 😉
Fight 'em until Hell freezes over, then fight 'em on the ice -- Dutch Meyer