Why Some Football Coaches Never Win


This is a cautionary tale. You’ve seen them. You know, those coaches.

The coach who knows it all.CoachCP - Curtis Peterson

The coach who expects his kids to know it all.

The coach who can’t understand why his kids don’t know it all.

So, clearly, the coach who doesn’t know it all – but knows it all. Is that you?

I see more and more of them. Here’s a story on 3 football coaches, who won’t ever win.

Coach X wants to run the shotgun, have 15 five step passing concepts, 10 blocking concepts for the running game, and an advanced screen game.

Oh, and then Coach X decides they don’t have that skill set to run that against their week 3 opponent, so their going to a shotgun wing-t that week, because – you know, that’s the thing to do.

Must of you might laugh at that, but did you hear about Coach Y? Coach Y runs the 4-2-5, because that’s how you beat the best teams. They run 5 different coverages and 15 blitzes even though they only have a team of 40.

Yet this week, he’s facing that flexbone/veer, and so he wisely thinks – nothing beats the running game like the Bear front! We’ve never run it before but I bought one book on the topic and I was a Bears fan in ’85, so let’s do that this week!

Then when his 0 technique nose tackle has no idea what he’s doing – because he’s barely been coached on that technique – he yells at him on the sideline and benches him.

I get the feeling Coach Y happens a lot more than Coach X.

Do you change your defense depending on your offense? Specifically – do you change your defense when you face an option opponent because your base defense can’t handle it? You might be Coach Y.

Coaching takes preparation. Your base defense should be able to handle the option. But that doesn’t come from running the 4-2-5 with 5 different coverages and a million blitz packages. It comes from getting REALLY good at a few coverages and looks. You can run the 4-2-5, but make sure you study it more than you did in one book. You’ve got to football clinics, visit colleges, speak to coaches, and if you don’t have the budget for that at least get your staff a pass to eFootballFlix so they can get schooled.

Let’s slow down though. Coach X and Y aren’t are only coaches who will never win (unless they change their ways of course).

There’s Coach Z.

Coach Z is actually very smart. No really – he is. He does all the stuff I just mentioned regarding clinics and college staff visits.

Coach Z has a system and he knows it. Every detail.

It’s not overly complicated.

However, Coach Z isn’t a good teacher. He doesn’t investigate teaching methods, he only investigates things that will make his system better.

Coach Z knows his system, but his players don’t.

He sometimes wins. Makes a good play call here or there and thinks – if they only played like that all the time we’d get a W.

But Coach Z might never really win. It’s not about what you know. It’s about what the players know.

If the players don’t know the what, why, how, and when – then what does it matter if you know all that stuff?

Coach Z should spend his next $200 dollars on teaching books.

I’ll say this.

I was Coach Z. I knew a lot – well, at least I thought I did. But I was baffled when a 14-18 year old couldn’t handle thinking critically about something. When our QB accidentally said a run and pass in the same call – because we made it too confusing – and half the kids did one play and not the other, I got upset they couldn’t figure out that the number should have told them it was a pass and not the run. I expected them to decipher cryptic material, in a game, and be successful.

That’s when I realized that I wasn’t teaching well. I was speaking at them. They knew the basics, but not much more. I was way wrong.

I recommend you all carefully spend a few hours examining your coaching methods. Film yourself coaching – just for your own purposes. Leave the audio on during your individual or team session… or even during staff meetings. Find out if your Coach X, Y, or Z.

These coaches will never win. However, nothing says you need to stay that coach forever.