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Troy
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I think the head coach must be two things first and foremost: 

1) A salesman (in the most positive sense of the term)

2) An organizer (meaning implementing a process of eliminating wasted time and resources). 

I'm compiling ideas that I can apply to make me a better salesman and a better organizer. Curious what other coaches do. Input appreciated.

Some of my points of emphasis:

1) During install, continuously "sell" our offense by SHOWING why we align the way we do, why we block how we block, what the defense is going to try to do, and why this is the only offense that will work for us. Bill McCartney said you have to make the kids believe that if the play fails, it's THEIR FAULT! Otherwise, when plays fail, they will second guess and blame the coach rather than owning it. I've not had that problem in several years, but I am coaching 2 teams ("helping" 10u) this year and my new team needs total buy in.

2) I've meant to have a handy, comprehensive list of every player's responsibility on every single play on O. Playbooks are too cumbersome at practice. Need a one pager that we can quickly reference if there is any confusion. Never finished one before the season until this year. SHame on me. See attached.

3) Stick to my practice plan as much as reasonably possible. If we veer off, we need to get back on it. We have 10 2 hour practices and 2 scrimmages before game 1. The task of building a competent team in that span is daunting, to say the least. It devours most rookie dad coaches. 

4) I need to do better at not settling for "good enough." I need to insist on 212 degrees rather than 211. 

5) I will start taking video of practices and critically assess my effectiveness as a coach. Last time I did this I was appalled at what I saw myself doing.

6) Don't progress too quickly. This is hard because we only have 12 practices so things must progress, but I need to be creative about getting the newer players up to speed without slowing down the progress of the team. Ideas?

7) Focus on the moment to moment in practice rather than worrying about the possible gameday outcomes. Focus on improving ourselves rather than worrying about the physical abilities of our opponents.

8) Talk less, do more. Give them the desired outcome, set up the drills, and demand they do it. My son's baseball coach is a great guy. He's done well, but he talks and talks and talks and talks. He burns countless precious minutes on talking that should be spent DOING it. I cannot be that coach.

 

Your thoughts?

The longer I coach, the lesser I know.


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Coyote
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Posted by: @troy

Bill McCartney said

I attended 2 football clinics that featured Coach McCartney....   the 1st one, dealing w/ motivation and the mental aspect of the game  - about half way thru I looked around and saw a couple hundred H.S. football coaches with eyes the size of saucers ...  if someone had dropped a football in the middle aisle a couple hundred guys would have screamed "Fumble" and fought to the death to recover it.   

The 2nd he was talking about the development of the I-Bone, and why he had switched to a spread offense between the last game and the bowl game.   What I had considered a weird move, made perfect sense the way he sold it.

You talk about 'salesman'...   Coach was it.   

This post was modified 1 week ago by Coyote

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


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Troy
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I've heard him talk in person at a coach's banquet. Same experience. He had us mesmerized.

The longer I coach, the lesser I know.


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J. Potter (seabass)
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@Troy 

I like all of that. #8 talk less do more is something I have been working on over the winter/spring while I'm coaching in the weight room. I want to get as many reps as possible just like everyone else. However, I HATE shitty reps and I would rather get 3 good reps than 10 bad reps.

Some of the ways I have solved this problem is finding drills/implements that make it so the player solves the problem themselves. My HC bought me 20 big resistance bands and I have solved several real problems with those bands and it requires 10% of the instruction because the player feels the solution rather than hearing the solution and then trying to implement it.

We are now using the bands for our OL get off's. The player has no choice to do what we ask them. If they don't do it right they tip over and their own body solves that problem out of self preservation.

We also use the bands to teach the hip hinge and that has made teaching the stance become a 3-4 minute one time ordeal.

I'm still looking or other ways to do cut down on teaching while not compromising what I want as an outcome.


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Troy
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That band idea intrigues me. Can you explain what they are in more detail?

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J. Potter (seabass)
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It would probably be a waste of time to try to type an explanation. I have video that I would gladly post if somebody can explain that to me. I have tried several times. 


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Troy
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@seabass i havn't been able to upload lately, either. Something broken.

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J. Potter (seabass)
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@troy Copy…It seems pretty straight forward but I couldn’t make it work. 


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mahonz
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Posted by: @seabass

It would probably be a waste of time to try to type an explanation. I have video that I would gladly post if somebody can explain that to me. I have tried several times. 

What is the source of the video? Cutting and pasting links seems to work. 

If you are having issues PM Mosey the Cat for assistance. 👍

 

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J. Potter (seabass)
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@mahonz 

Copy...the source is my i-phone. I film lots of practice stuff on my phone because it's always with me and the quality is good enough.


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Coyote
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Posted by: @troy

6) Don't progress too quickly. This is hard because we only have 12 practices so things must progress, 

 

8) Talk less, do more. Give them the desired outcome, set up the drills, and demand they do it. 

I think we do #6 and #8 well.

RE: #6.   People say we only run 4 plays (Belly weak, Belly Strong, Buckshort, and Bucksweep to the weak side.)   we really run 3 series of plays, (all 4 backs have a carry in each, as well as a play action pass or two) those 4 plays are the ones we run the most, and make the biggest impression.   

We intro only one series at a time, usually start with the Buck series.  and we drill that series to death when we intro it. When we feel everyone knows where to go, how to get there, and what to do when they arrive, we move on.   If we go into the Jamboree scrimmage with only one series, we're good with that (that'd be 4 running plays and a couple play action passes all off the same backfield action).  The speed with which the players pick up the series, dictates how fast we move into the next series.  We have gone into the 1st game of the season with only 2 of the 3 series installed. 

Re #8.   I tend to be a talker, all our story telling and jokes and such stuff come before we begin practice.  I get it out of my system before we start.  Once we're into practice both the HC and I tend to get antsy if the kids are not doing anything.  During drills, We usually run a drill, send the kids for a quick run while we set up the next drill, and then get into it.  Any conversation we need to have among coaches take place while we set up the next drill.  We have a set of trees that are about the right distance to send the kids racing to, and have the dummies / cones / whatever set up about the time they get back.

When it comes to play install... each coach has his position to teach.  Offense I handle, Defense the HC handles.  First we talk the play - get the info to the kids, then walk the play - this is where we coach the kids by our position - to use the drills we've been running in position groups.   After we walk it, we jog it, before we run it.   Jog is the hard part as some kids jog means half speed and others its 1/4 speed and other its 3/4 speed, but we really want to see the kids are going to the right places before we go full speed.  If you ever had both guards try to trap at the same time, you know what kinda train wreck you can get into. 

For us, its important that each position coach is watching his position and looking for the correct form and technique of his kids.  If not, we coach 'em on the fly, we don't stop practice for just one kid, or one group.  Kids standing around is a killer.

 

This post was modified 1 week ago by Coyote

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


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gumby_in_co
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Posted by: @troy

I think the head coach must be two things first and foremost: 

1) A salesman (in the most positive sense of the term)

Especially considering the offense you run. You're selling to kids, half of whose parents tell them that you're not getting them ready for HS. I suffered the same nonsense as a DW and Beast coach. One of my tricks is to tell them that they are the only kids smart enough to run this. I wanted to run it with my last team, but they just couldn't pick it up. I'm also huge on ownership. It's THEIR team, not mine. I try hard not to make them feel like the staff is telling them what to do, if that makes sense. Being good at what they do is their idea.

2) An organizer (meaning implementing a process of eliminating wasted time and resources).

After installation, I strive to run the same practice over and over. After a bit, the kids pretty much run practice. I put far more effort into organization the first month or so as I'm installing things. I hardly ever write things down. If I have to do that, I probably haven't made it simple enough.

I'm compiling ideas that I can apply to make me a better salesman and a better organizer. Curious what other coaches do. Input appreciated.

Some of my points of emphasis:

1) During install, continuously "sell" our offense by SHOWING why we align the way we do, why we block how we block, what the defense is going to try to do, and why this is the only offense that will work for us. Bill McCartney said you have to make the kids believe that if the play fails, it's THEIR FAULT! Otherwise, when plays fail, they will second guess and blame the coach rather than owning it. I've not had that problem in several years, but I am coaching 2 teams ("helping" 10u) this year and my new team needs total buy in.

I'm with you there. This Flex season, I think I've really hit my stride. Team is half Outlaws, half Spartans (AR53). I'm running with 6 QBs and every body is playing just about every position. We've installed 2x3 Empty passing and running including a trap play, Quads passing and running including a student body counter, double reverse, double reverse QB pass back, sally screen, Ace formation featuring play action and double option, Flapjack pass, compound routes, etc. All of this with 2 90 minute practices per week. This wouldn't be possible if I TOLD them what to do. I offer it to them and ask if they want to learn it. "This is YOUR team. Do you want to be good at football, or do you want to suck at it?" Last Friday, in our first game (Mahonz came out to watch), I let my 6 QBs run the offense and call their own plays. We lost and probably would have won if I called the offense, but I think the experience of being in charge was more valuable than getting a "W" in a stupid flex game vs a team we scrimmage every week. 

2) I've meant to have a handy, comprehensive list of every player's responsibility on every single play on O. Playbooks are too cumbersome at practice. Need a one pager that we can quickly reference if there is any confusion. Never finished one before the season until this year. SHame on me. See attached.

See above. I rarely write anything down. If I can't memorize it, then neither can my ACs or players. Several players asked me for a playbook early this Flex season, which is a first for me, so I gave them one. Today, that playbook covers 20% of what we do. I did, however make 7 copies of our route tree and laminated them. As we are running routes, 2nd guy in line is responsible for helping the 1st guy with his route. When it's his turn to run, he passes the route tree to the guy behind them.

3) Stick to my practice plan as much as reasonably possible. If we veer off, we need to get back on it. We have 10 2 hour practices and 2 scrimmages before game 1. The task of building a competent team in that span is daunting, to say the least. It devours most rookie dad coaches. 

I used to be a "5 minute segment" practice plan guy. Every minute was accounted for. Mahonz showed me another way. During install, I have 3 categories of milestones: 1) Must have 2) should have 3) nice to have. I install the 1's before moving on to the 2's and hold off on the 3's until we are competent at the 1's and have the 2's installed. After install, my usual practice takes over. 15 minutes of form tackling for a warmup, 15 minutes of specials, Mojo drills, Group, then Team. Position coaches are responsible for asking for time for Indies (or if I see something lacking) I will call for an Indy session and come up with a plan for each position coach to run their respective session. Lots more Indies and Group early in the season. By game 2, I almost always give a max of 15 minutes to Group, then go to Team. Early in the season, I cut Team short to dedicate 15 minutes to Circle of Iron. I think this Fall, I'll continue the Circle through the season.

4) I need to do better at not settling for "good enough." I need to insist on 212 degrees rather than 211. 

I got away from that over the years. Going back to DW means quite a bit more precision than mega splits. Certain things MUST happen to get 4 yards off tackle on every play. Your offense is the same and I see your approach in your video mark ups. However, I will make sure I avoid the "robot trap". Everything goes into chaos 1 second after the snap. I need thinking, reacting football players who sometimes break the mold to make a play.

5) I will start taking video of practices and critically assess my effectiveness as a coach. Last time I did this I was appalled at what I saw myself doing.

Might have to do that this Fall with the DW.

6) Don't progress too quickly. This is hard because we only have 12 practices so things must progress, but I need to be creative about getting the newer players up to speed without slowing down the progress of the team. Ideas?

Yes. About the only challenge with a new player is that they don't understand how physical the game is. They can learn the plays, terminology, rules, etc pretty fast. What they can't learn without experiencing it is the violence at intensity. Design progressions for your entire team with the assumption that none of them have ever played a single down of football. When you get to the "live" stage of the progression, your newer players will have the tools they need. Then, throw them to the wolves, keeping a close eye on them so if they fail on a rep, you can explain which tool they didn't use.

7) Focus on the moment to moment in practice rather than worrying about the possible gameday outcomes. Focus on improving ourselves rather than worrying about the physical abilities of our opponents.

I think I did a really good job of taking my ego out of it last Fall. The exception was WR52. I really despise their HC. Now that I've beaten him twice (once by a landslide), I can coach to our cultural goals rather than coaching to win a game.

8) Talk less, do more. Give them the desired outcome, set up the drills, and demand they do it. My son's baseball coach is a great guy. He's done well, but he talks and talks and talks and talks. He burns countless precious minutes on talking that should be spent DOING it. I cannot be that coach.

3 "L's". No Laps, No Lines, No Lectures. When we run Team, I have a strict pace of one rep every 15 seconds. My AC's learn pretty fast that they have that long to coach up a player using key words and concise language. Early in the season, I will have the offense snap the ball as an AC is talking. A few get butt hurt initially, but they eventually figure it out. Get your freaking point across and get out of the way. If the kid is struggling, put in a sub and pull him aside, but don't delay a rep. 

Your thoughts?

Nothing but respect for you and I have no problem telling anyone that you are a better coach than me. I've told anyone who cares to listen that the Mountain Predators are the best coached team in the league.

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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CoachDP
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Posted by: @troy

I think the head coach must be two things first and foremost: 

1) A salesman (in the most positive sense of the term)

--You may call him a salesman.  I prefer to call him a leader.  Either way, players (and parents) will follow.  If you can't lead (or sell) and most cannot, then you will struggle and place the blame with everyone but yourself.

2) An organizer (meaning implementing a process of eliminating wasted time and resources). 

I'm compiling ideas that I can apply to make me a better salesman and a better organizer. Curious what other coaches do. Input appreciated.

--Part of leading is knowing WHY you do what you do.  It's having a command of your schemes and practice regimen.  It's knowing WHY you do what you do, HOW it's better than other alternatives, and having an ability to to communicate the HOW and WHY in a succinct and understandable fashion.  MOST coaches clearly do NOT have this ability.  To this day, I still speak with many coaches who call or meet with me and when I ask them WHY they take whatever approach they do, there's a long pause.  This is usually followed by a lot of tap dancing because they just realized they can't explain what should clearly be explainable.  Knowing your WHAT/WHY/HOW/WHERE/WHEN and being able to communicate this will go a long way in you gaining credibility and thus, respect.  When I meet with parents, I'm constantly espousing our WHAT/WHY/HOW/WHERE/WHEN, not waiting until they see us at practice to wonder whether I'm on top of every aspect of our program.  By talking with successful coaches, I can find out what they do so that I can get ideas as to what to add and cover for next season.  In this way, our program doesn't get stale and I have new concepts and program-builders to "sell" to players/parents.  Lastly, I don't hide from parents; I seek them out.  Most coaches hide from, complain about and won't interact with parents while hoping they have credibility and respect from them.  How is that even possible?  To gain their trust, you have to show them you are worthy of their trust.  Again, most coaches won't do this simply because they are used to taking shortcuts to getting what THEY THEMSELVES want.

2) I've meant to have a handy, comprehensive list of every player's responsibility on every single play on O. Playbooks are too cumbersome at practice. Need a one pager that we can quickly reference if there is any confusion. 

--Is this for you, or your assistants?  I don't use them because A) I already know what I'm looking for and how my plays work. B) I've already communicated to the ACs what I have to have.  However, it is mandatory that you know what each player is does on each play.  Most coaches do not have this sort of playbook, but probably should.  I do have PowerPoints for virtually every aspect of our program from Dynamic Warm-Ups, to Cadence, to Pulling, to Drills, etc. 

3) Stick to my practice plan as much as reasonably possible. If we veer off, we need to get back on it. We have 10 2 hour practices and 2 scrimmages before game 1. The task of building a competent team in that span is daunting, to say the least. It devours most rookie dad coaches. 

--That's because "most rookie dad coaches" are overwhelmed by chasing cats and trying to figure how to "keep kids busy" instead of having an approach they know how to implement.  Our practice plan is distributed electronically the night before, with time/drill/which coaches and players are at that station, etc.  Does it change on practice day?  Always.  But if we've eliminated "Drill 1" we know that we are going directly to "Drill 2" and what it is.

4) I need to do better at not settling for "good enough." I need to insist on 212 degrees rather than 211. 

--I don't know what this means.

5) I will start taking video of practices and critically assess my effectiveness as a coach. Last time I did this I was appalled at what I saw myself doing.

--Any attempt to self-scout is always a good idea.

6) Don't progress too quickly. This is hard because we only have 12 practices so things must progress, but I need to be creative about getting the newer players up to speed without slowing down the progress of the team. Ideas?

--I teach/reteach the same way every year as if every player was new to my team.  There is no "getting the new kids up to speed."  We bring everyone along at the same pace, whether this is their first year or their fourth.

7) Focus on the moment to moment in practice rather than worrying about the possible gameday outcomes. Focus on improving ourselves rather than worrying about the physical abilities of our opponents.

--FORGET about gameday.  Every practice should seem like you have just prepared for the Super Bowl.  I put myself through the grinder during practice so that on gameday the result is already determined.  I am determined to win that day of PRACTICE.  Wring everything out of it you can.  Most coaches are on cruise-control during the week, then are frantic on test-day.  Don't be that guy.

8) Talk less, do more. Give them the desired outcome, set up the drills, and demand they do it.

--Talk as little as possible.  If you want to get extremely efficient about it, record your voice talking about a subject/drill/scheme.  Then listen to it and see how many "uh's" and rhetoric you can delete.  I redress my PowerPoints every year, which allows me to edit when I think of a more efficient approach.

My son's baseball coach is a great guy. He's done well, but he talks and talks and talks and talks. He burns countless precious minutes on talking that should be spent DOING it. I cannot be that coach.

--Maybe you can't, but most can.

--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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Troy
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@gumby_in_co, @coyote, @coachdp

As always, great feedback. Appreciate it. Gumby, can't wait to see your DW! I was a DW guy before SW. 

@coachdp the "212 vs 211" comes from Bill McCartney who has a lot of cache in these parts. At a coaching banquet I attended where he was the speaker, he asked the audience what was the difference between 211 and 212. Everyone kinda looked around at each other, bewildered. He continued: "211 is hot water... 212 can pull a mile long freight train up and over a mountain pass." The point I gathered was that it was giving just a little bit more will make the difference between good and great. That analogy resonated with me.

The longer I coach, the lesser I know.


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Coyote
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Posted by: @troy

1) A salesman (in the most positive sense of the term)

--You may call him a salesman.  I prefer to call him a leader.  Either way, players (and parents) will follow.  If you can't lead (or sell) and most cannot, then you will struggle and place the blame with everyone but yourself.

Good Point, Dave.

There are a lot of guys out there who are all sizzle and no steak, style without substance.  They can sell, but can't lead.   But as presented, the concept is good.

 

This post was modified 1 week ago by Coyote

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


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