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New Year + Brady + Potter


Prodigy
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Last week I read this article about Tom Brady and how he has realized success at Tampa Bay while the Patriots struggle.  I have to say, I don't even watch professional football.  I must have stopped around the time that I became serious about coaching youth football.  Most of my Sundays were spent on youth football fields for most of the day, along with traveling and by the time I got home, I wasn't interested in watching overpaid guys with their drama and poor sportsmanship serving as poor examples to kids who look up to them....play the game.

Anyhow, living in New England, it's challenging to escape the Patriots and the love for Tom Brady.  I will periodically check scores or read articles or whatever.

I was going to post the article because I found in particularly interesting -- I started typing out the post and the end of my workday came and I closed out of this forum and failed to post the topic...At this juncture, I'm not going to go try to find the article and I'll have to put the relevant bits here from memory.

The article spoke to Brady's work ethic and how he minimizes mistakes, penalties, turn overs.  The author of the article was building a case for why Tampa made it to the playoffs while the Patriots did not.  Brady serving as the example of what to do.  It reminded me much of Coach DMP's approach to the game at the youth and high school level.  Minimize mistakes, create opportunities.  Be as perfect as possible.  I know that there are plenty of coaches who take this same approach, it's just that DMP was really the guy who I latched onto when I was learning the ropes, so I've always taken the majority of what he says as THE WAY TO BE SUCCESSFUL -- I don't think we'll ever agree about offsetting the FB in the double wing...maybe it's the USMC in me that wants everything covered and aligned.

In the article, they spoke to how the Bucs were once a team that had the most penalties and now they are one of the teams with the least penalties...and the least amount of turnovers.  I know at one point DMP actually kept track of turnovers that he created along with the results.  I never went so far as to keep track.  We just made it part of our culture that we were always going to try to take the ball from our opponents.  We were going to punish them every opportunity we got.  We were going to minimize our mistakes and run our plays as closely to perfect as we could...and we were successful.

Happy New Year to all.  I hope that everyone's hopes and dreams and aspirations come to fruition this year.

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


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CoachDP
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Posted by: @prodigy

Minimize mistakes, create opportunities.  Be as perfect as possible. 

--Having seen hundreds of youth games over the years, I believe the most influential factor in determining a game's outcome (apart from physicality) lies in the number of mistakes teams make.  And whoever made less of them seemed to inherit the victory.  Countless times, I've seen a youth team fumble the snap 8-10 times per game yet watch the header complain that his QB is "missing his check down" or isn't "going through his progression."  They don't see the forest through the trees.

My first two seasons as an AC, I worked with headers whose teams continually shot themselves in the foot; from penalties, turnovers, running plays incorrectly and simply not running the plays well.  Things that had nothing to do with their opponent's play.  Only to see those same headers yell at their players for those mistakes, while praising the opponent for whatever Fast Freddy and Talented Tommy they had.  ("Oh, if we only had Fast Freddy and Talented Tommy, THEN we'd have won the game.")  In the mean time, those same headers went right on adding many new plays without repping them, and having their team fumble and penalize themselves on game day.  It was as if those coaches thought that such things were beyond their control, and that luck played the main role in their destiny.  I learned that if we just didn't kick our own butts, that we probably had a a great chance to win, especially in the 50/50 games.  So we focused on the things we could control: fumbles, penalties and knowing what we were supposed to do.  We were competitive right away.  I may not have known what to do as a rookie header, but I had sure learned what not to do.  In each of the three games that we lost in the CFF over an 11-year span, those losses were due to mistakes that I had made.  Otherwise, we would had gone 93-0.  

Our emphasis was on not beating ourselves, because we knew that most of our opponents would beat themselves if we let them.  When we went into our first ever, post season regional play-off game (against the defending Pop Warner national champion), we defeated them (in overtime) because they turned over the ball 3 times and we scored on 2 of those turnovers (despite the fact that they averaged more than 7 yards per carry for the game, while we averaged less than 4).  And as Ken noted, we kept a statistical overview of everything we'd done which showed that when we were +3 in turnovers, we won 99% of the time.  Indeed, over the 12 year period that I spent as a youth header, we only lost one game where our opponent was +3 in turnovers.  Success in this area translated directly to high school.  When I was the header at GHHS, we went 8-1, despite the fact that we trailed in 7 of the 9 games we played.  But we had 31 takeaways vs. our 16 giveaways.  Not an outstanding ratio, but we were getting the ball back almost twice as many times as we were giving it away.  And in a season where our points margin of 5 of those games was 6, 5, 6, 4 and 7 points, those turnovers and penalties were critical.  We spotlighted "turnover football" which was aided by the fact that most opponents simply don't.  Two seasons in particular, (2004 and 2006) we spotlighted it to a 7/37 (+30) margin and a 3/23 (+20) margin.  We found that the more we emphasized taking away the football, the better we got at keeping it.

I wasn't spending my time trying to reinvent or be innovative (although I do believe that over the years, some of our approaches and techniques have helped other coaches).  We were spending our time on the much-overlooked aspects of football: possession of the football, making penalties non-existent, and being able to block and tackle in a particularly physical manner.  We didn't play sexy Madden-style football.  We were focused on the fundamentals of intensity and physicality, leverage and pursuit and what it took to make us be that kind of team.

--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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Prodigy
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Easy means something that's achieved without effort. Simple means something that's uncomplicated and easily understood. But it cannot be achieved without effort.  The CoachDP approach is pretty simple in my opinion, once you understand how it works...it's not easy however;

I have no problems meeting with the QB and center on a weekend to get extra reps in with cadence and the snap, or spending the majority of time in practice running the core plays up against a fence with extra defenders.  You're right @CoachDP, it's not sexy.  It's nowhere near as exciting as installing a bunch of new face-melter plays...but you know what IS exciting?  Winning.

Perhaps I'm a simpleton but I get quite a bit of joy out of seeing a DTDW running on all cylinders. 

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


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CoachDP
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Posted by: @prodigy

The CoachDP approach is pretty simple in my opinion, once you understand how it works...it's not easy however;

--It is very simple.  That's one reason it works so well.  But the high demands of it, as well as the accountability make it challenging.  And for too many coaches, it's just easier to put in another play, or to blame their kids.  Kids usually want to take the easy way.  The surprising thing is that most coaches do, too.

but you know what IS exciting?  Winning.

--And so is practice.  And that's one of the things that makes this so exciting and fun, is to give the players all the ingredients and then watching them apply it.

Perhaps I'm a simpleton but I get quite a bit of joy out of seeing a DTDW running on all cylinders. 

--Absolutely.  And watching opponents voicing their frustration as they get pushed around by it.

--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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J. Potter (seabass)
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Posted by: @prodigy

Easy means something that's achieved without effort. Simple means something that's uncomplicated and easily understood. But it cannot be achieved without effort.  The CoachDP approach is pretty simple in my opinion, once you understand how it works...it's not easy however;

I have no problems meeting with the QB and center on a weekend to get extra reps in with cadence and the snap, or spending the majority of time in practice running the core plays up against a fence with extra defenders.  You're right @CoachDP, it's not sexy.  It's nowhere near as exciting as installing a bunch of new face-melter plays...but you know what IS exciting?  Winning.

Perhaps I'm a simpleton but I get quite a bit of joy out of seeing a DTDW running on all cylinders. 

In pursuit of "easy" there are almost always layers of complexity added to substitute for the work involved with becoming simple.


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