Category Archives: Strong Football Posts

How to Improve Football Practice Intensity

Do you ever wonder why some of the most simple drills are the most effective and elevating the level of football practice intensity? This may seem simple, but there are really two specific ways in drills that football practice intensity can be increased.

Increasing Football Practice Intensity: Simplicity

The first way to increase football practice intensity in drills is simplicity. It’s simple for both the coaches and the players. Coaching points are simple, short, and two the point. “Keep your feet moving when you tackle!” Short. Powerful. Addresses the problem, and provides a solution. The best kind of coaching statement.

At the same point in time, this makes it ideal for kids. They understand what they need to do. They understand how they need to do it because the directions are easy, and they’ve likely developed those skills already. Simplicity is a crucial element for football practice intensity, and it needs to work for both the kids and the coaches.

Increasing Football Practice Intensity: Tempo

The second way to increase football intensity at practice with one football drill is tempo. Tempo makes the drill go faster. It starts with the coaches, but it can only be accelerated by the players. Everything needs to be fast. If your kids are moving slow, have them do up-downs or push-ups and get the next guys up. Have some of their teammates count them out so you can watch the drill. Escalate your voice (you don’t need to yell, but be clearly excited) and stick to quick and concise coaching statements.

Kids can accelerate the tempo ten fold. Find the excitable kids. Don’t be one of those guys who says kids aren’t like that anymore. You can coach kids to be excitable. Believe it or not, some don’t know that’s allowed, especially when they’re young. Find those kids, tell them before or after the drill to have a good time and let everyone know.

Tell the kids to be vocal during the drills. Encourage cheering. Discourage booing. Keep it positive and up beat. When the kids press the gas pedal, they’ll really get going. They’ll run with a purpose to be next in line. That’s free conditioning. Tempo needs to be approached from the coaches angle and the kids angle in order to improve football practice intensity.

Increasing Football Practice Intensity: It’s an equation

Finally, both of these things need to happen in a football drill. Keep it simple, keep the tempo high. Be excited, and be concise. Be a teacher out there! This will make a huge difference for your kids. Increasing football practice intensity starts with the coaches, and can be improved then with the kids. Look yourself in the mirror next time you say kids aren’t the same now-a-days when it comes to football practice intensity.

3 Dares For Football Coaching Clinics

It’s the season for football coaching clinics. It’s that time of year when coaches open up their minds and explore new possibilities. It’s that time of year where the veteran coaches tell younger coaches that something can or can’t be done. It’s that time of year when younger coaches fill there notebooks and buy DVD’s for 80% off the regular retail prices from the speakers themselves.

I have three dares for every coach out there for them to do during football coaching clinics. I hope you will apply these dares in order to make your time more valuable.

Side Note: I will be at the Indianapolis Glazier clinic this weekend (Jan 25-27) and am looking to network with some coaches! Please email me at editor[at]strongfootballcoach.com or contact me on my Twitter account @CoachCP.

Dare #1 For Football Coaching Clinics

Be positively energetic. Young or old, scribble notes. Ask questions. Talk to the presenters. Don’t be the sloth who is negative saying, “That only works at the college level.” Be the guy who asks why though. Why does this work? Be the guy who asks how. How do you see the adjustment that lets you run that play?

Use every opportunity at the clinic to be energetic. And please note, that doesn’t mean go get hammered afterwords. Be social, have a good time, but remember that today isn’t about you. It’s about your players.

Dare #2 For Football Coaching Clinics

Network with people outside your school’s staff. Do this for your players and for yourself. By networking, you might find out different practice methods or schemes that could help your program.

But I won’t lie. This is mainly for you between sessions when you’re not following up on dare #1. There is that old saying in coaching, you’ve either been fired, or you will be fired. Now, I don’t know how true that statement is, but I encourage you to meet others. Get to know your opposing coaches at neighboring schools. You’ll never know when you might need a friend.

Dare #3 For Football Coaching Clinics

Stay for the last day. Yep. I said it, stay for the Sunday morning session. I’ve heard two really good sessions on Sunday morning. If the one you stayed for sucks, go to the next one. The best part about these is the fact that they are small crowds and less hustle. Also, a lot of the vendors offer discounts on Sundays to increase their sales.

Football Fundamentals: So Important

Coaches, I was out watching a skills football camp for youth players today. I heard some terrible technique being taught on some core principles for line play. These core principles were things like stance and starts. The coach was barking out commands, and not really coaching. And the coaching he was doing was questionable.

With this being a fundamentals camp, I was bewildered. The most important thing for our youth kids to learn is football fundamentals. Three point stances. Two point stances. It doesn’t matter. Simply barking at kids to get out of a stance better won’t fix the problem. You need to correct each kid. Teach them to bend at the knees, not the waist. Focus on getting their hand placement correct. Get the proper weight on the hands. Get their weight on their finger tips. Keep the toes forward.

Coaches, I challenge you at your next practice, get better at teaching fundamentals. Get better at teaching fundamentals everyday. Work them into every day drills. There is no excuse for bad fundamentals at the start of the first game except for bad coaching.

If you don’t know how to approach fundamentals, or have a problem you don’t know how to approach, ask an experienced coach on your staff. Ask on my facebook group. Use the twitter hashtag #fbcoach. Leave a comment on blog posts. Don’t accept bad fundamentals. Learn how to correct them today so they’re not an everyday problem tomorrow.

Make sure you check out ChiefPigskin.com.

FishDuck.com Guest Post on Split Coverages in Football

I wrote a guest post for FishDuck.com!. Make sure you check it out! It’s on split coverages in football (think quarter-quarter-half, 2 read and traditional cover 4, etc…). Here is a small excerpt….

Split coverages, whether they’re regarded as such, are used by many high school, college, and pro teams. While most teams also have a balanced zone coverage, like cover 3 or cover 2, split coverages are growing more popular. Perhaps TCU is best known for successfully implementing split coverage schemes.

Consistently one of the top defenses in college football, details on the TCU 4-2-5 defense are among the most sought-after topics in the football coaching community today. Whether it’s playbook information, or even a clinic talk, the concept of split coverages is very popular today, whether a team implements a 4-2-5 defense or another scheme.

If you want to read more, check out FishDuck’s blog post Split Coverages in Football.

Also, check out ChiefPigskin.com!.

Football Coaching Videos on YouTube

Free Football Coaching Videos on YouTube

So I just thought, for all those coaches who don’t know, that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world behind Google. That means, if you’re looking for free football drills, football technique information, or football x’s and o’s or strategic insight, YouTube is a great resource. Heck, it’s even a great resource for getting an idea on a football video that you may order. Tog (from CoachHuey) posts some great youtube football video content through his Twitter Account. There are a lot of other great football coaches on YouTube who are putting out a ton of videos that can be useful for us as coaches.

Heck… Strong Football by CoachCP… yes, this blog right here, has a channel with 2 videos that you should be looking at! *Shameless Self-Promotion* Sorry, couldn’t help it.

Searching for Coaching Football Videos on Youtube

Searching on YouTube is a little different for us coaches. You have to be specific in what you’re looking for. Nothing is worse then seeing a video named the right way… and it turns out to be a video from the Madden or NCAA Football Video game… and worse yet, it’s the game from 6 years ago so it’s even less realistic than it is today! I will say though, it is quite humourous to hear them speak about some stuff. Mainly because I’m sure they work in the video game, but won’t work for the real world. I mean… I wish I could run the option well and have the most dynamic passing game in the world.

Other Things to Be Careful Of When Searching For Football Videos

Some people who claim to be football coaches don’t know what they’re talking about.  Some I think are new to football coaching and don’t just provide quality information. Now, I’m sure some of you have accused me of this from time to time, and you were probably right about me! But there are some videos on YouTube, although I’m not willing to point them out, w are just way off, or are done probably by that Madden Guy who wants to be named the Defensive Coordinator for the Patriots (aside: A guy once did apply for that position and cited his Madden record… no joke).

Be Specific When Looking For Football Videos

Be specific, but not too specific. The reason I say that is because YouTube depends on the video creater typed in.  Now, YouTube is smart and if something is way off, it will see that people leave the video and drop it down.  But, at the same time, don’t be too specific because very few people who make videos know this aspect of YouTube. So don’t type in “5 step pass patterns out of Red Formation” … because guess what, that’s not going to give you any relevant results.  One, they don’t know your formations. Two, they probably just typed in “I Formation 5 Step Passes” or something a lot simpler. Instead, search for  “I Formation Passes” or something along those lines. Heck, the easiest way to find my videos is by typing “Cover 4 defense” or “Split back Veer”. Yes, you have to sort through some BS, but you’ll know the good stuff when you find it.

However, you can’t be too general either. You can’t say “football drills”. You’ll get way too much stuff. Try “offensive linemen drills” or something like that. If you leave it at “football drills”, you’ll get all that other crap… and maybe even some soccer drills (*gasp!*).

Looking for Non-Free Football Video Information/Reviews

Sometimes, e-commerce stores like Championship Productions will post a clip of their videos on YouTube. If you wanted to get a better idea of what the content is on a video before you buy it, you should see if their is a clip of it on YouTube. Maybe even research the topic for some non-related videos as well, which can help you see if it’s an area of interest before you buy.

Conclusions on Searching For Free Football Coaching Videos on Youtube

Football videos on YouTube is worth your time. You may find a new football drill or some other golden nuggest of information. I strongly encourage you to do a few searches and figure out what you can find. Also, another great source of videos is ChiefPigskin.com.

Steve Jobs’ Presenting Lessons For Football Coaches

What Steve Jobs’ Tips for Presenting for Football Coaches Would Probably Be

Steve Jobs was a terrific presenter. If you don’t know this, go watch a youtube video on the iPad, iPhone, or Youtube launch. Steve Jobs is a terrific presenter and understands that you don’t need to present “What” to the audience, but “why”, which is something us football coaches talk about often but never seem to have the time for. Steve Job’s presentation skills, as mentioned at a great marketing blog called Kissmetrics, were unique because he followed best practices that we as coaches and teachers should be using. I will discuss I think he would tell us as a keynote speaker at a clinic speaking about presenting.

Inform the Players on the Structure

When you walk into the meeting room, or if you only work on the practice field, tell your kids up front what you’re going to be working on. For instance, for a defensive meeting, if it’s in the class room, tell them you’re going to discuss opponents offensive 3 best plays, their 3 best players, and how you’re going to attack them. By letting the football players know right away that you’re going to cover three specific subjects, it can get them in the right frame of mind and build anticipation.

As you navigate your talk, never spend more then 10 minutes on a specific subject. Also, never cover more than 3 or 4 items in a given meeting. In our example, we have only 3. Building more than that makes the meeting complex and it will likely be difficult for you to even stay on subject.

Build in Breaks

As you navigate your meeting, build in your breaks (the space between one of those 3-4 parts). Even a one minute break can help the audience. Maybe you give away a “Player of the Week” award. Maybe it’s a funny highlight from the previous week that magically snuck its way into your film.

Another note on film real quick, if you edit it right, you can probably fit a lot of solid clips, aka show the formation before the play for only 1 and a half seconds before the play (unless there is motion or something). This wasted time would be something Steve Jobs would hate, along with the players. But back to the breaks, Steve Jobs always has something to help the audience re-energize. These unique breaks do that.

Football Coaches need to Create the “Why”

Steve Jobs never ever says that the ipod has 16 gigabytes. He ignores the technomumbo jumbo. Instead he says, we’re going to give you 1,000 songs … in your pocket. That’s the difference we as football coaches need to make. I’m very guilty of this, but we tend to get caught up in the technomumbo jumbo, things as simple to us as “3 technique”, “EMOLOS”, or even “line of scrimmage” can be difficult for new people to football! Instead, keep it simple. Then build in the why. “This play is great because they get to the outside quickly”, or “This Play-Action Pass works because the QB really sells the fake hand-off”.

Avoid things like “The way the tight end attacks the defensive end is by using a hand placement on the outside number”. A kid in a meeting room doesn’t need to know that right now, cover that in practice when you work on defeating that block. Also, Steve Jobs wouldn’t say, “They Run Outside Zone 48% of the time to the field”. He would say “They’re favorite play is outside zone because they can get they’re best player in space” That 48% doesn’t matter to the kids. To the field may not matter either. Instead, what matters is they run outside, and to the open area (the space).

Our kids are not doing statistical analysis on the field. However, helping them understand WHY they run a certain football play will help in the game. This why is imporant so often in coaching, and when we use it we make it too difficult. It can and should be rather simple to process.

Tell A Story

You’ve shown your kids their top 3 plays and why they work. You’ve shown them who their best athletes are and why they are successful. Now tell them how you will defeat all those things. Build the story of how they will be successful on Friday or Saturday (or… Sunday Mr. NFL assistant coach who I hope reads this blog!). Don’t just talk about the schemes. Tell them about how you matchup.

For instance, “When they run outside, Smith, our defensive end, is going to get that tight end in the backfield and our Turner, our safety, is going to wipe out the tailback!” … now the scheme behind that is for the practice field as well. Smith maybe the defensive end who stretches the play out for the cover 4 safety who is the force player to make a tackle in space. But the kids, in the meeting, don’t need that detail as much. Maybe you draw it up, but saying it won’t always stick. Maybe for one or two examples, but not all of your opponent’s plays. Also, your kids may be able to figure out that part on their own as you go because (hopefully!) you run a similar scheme from week to week and the kids understand what you try to do. Back to our story. By using the kids names, now we have some HEREOS! Notice how I discussed the person who makes the tackle happen, aka the role player. He knows he is just as important than the tackler, or maybe even more so because I mentioned him first.

Steve Jobs On the Football Practice Field

These lessons can be applied on the practice field as well. Maybe you start by explaing the plan for your individual practice, and tell them why they need to get better and how it will be useful in the game. That way the kid knows what the point of that drill is and when to use that technique you just spent 15 minutes of individual time insisting for.

Steve Jobs’ best practices still apply, so don’t be afraid to have a little fun between sessions. Take the chance to get to know the players, ask them questions, make fun of them a little bit, or do a quick competition or something. Don’t always just use a “water break”. You need to be human, but at the same time, you need to be the human that leads the conversation and the direction.

Conclusion on Steve Job’s Tips for Football Coaches

Don’t be scared to be a human being when presenting. Don’t be a robot spewing technical crap. The meetings need to have direction and it’s important for the athletes to know that direction is and WHY (most important aspect) we are doing it.

Football Coaching Gripes

Top 10 Football Coaching Gripes

Strong Football has partnered with Coaching Gripes to provide the top 10 random gripes of a football coach! Click here and make sure you following Coaching Gripes on Twitter for a lot more for a multitude of sports!

This is the full list! Check it out!

Football Coaching Gripe #10

You can’t believe that you actually have to get in a car anymore to trade film in the first place. Nothing can make this situation any worse until you hear your stomach churn. . .

. . .You suddenly have to take a dump along the way and there’s absolutely no places to stop. #dropaduece

Football Coaching Gripe #9

We live in a world of lawsuits and social media scares. That’s why your eyebrows are raised and your heart skips a beat when you hear your female student trainer say to “stick it in here”. . .

. . .Luckily she was talking about fixing a helmet strap.

Football Coaching Gripe #8

Football Parents

You’re appreciative to a point. You’d like to thank the parents for helping, but geez…

Still, you’d rather they not help get you a big doctor bill after they a cooked pregame meal that sent your stomach to another universe while making your ass breathe fire.

Football Coaching Gripe #7

You read the right books. Heck, you even had Coach Huey come to your house. On top of that, you pride yourself on toughness, but when it’s all said and done

Football Pillows… your team plays like their shoulder pads are pillows. #toughenup

Football Coaching Gripe #6

Started good, middle was terrible and the end was imminent…and that was only 1 year . . .

The only thing I’ll be remembered at this school for was being replaced. . .

Football Coaching Gripe #5

Nothing says STRONG like a good heavy metal tune…

Should I be worried that our team run out song is by Celine Dion?

Football Coaching Gripe #4

Playmakers not making plays:

Our post season highlight film is 6 minutes long.

Football Coaching Gripe #3

You are heterosexual, but you have man crushes from time to time . . .

 

Especially when you were wishing you were the guy coaching the other team you’re playing #theyarewaybetterthanyou

Football Coaching Gripe #2

It’s finally working for you. . .

. . . You’re about to break through!!!

. . . 4th and 1, Perfect play called . . .

. . .Perfect defense . . .

Strong Football and Coaching Gripes

 

 

False start .

Football Coaching Gripe #1

Coaching Complaints and GripesYou really wonder what is being said by everyone around town:

The bigger question, what’s being said around my house…

My wife’s friends question my play calling during her bunko games. #theyknowtheirshit

Make sure you follow Coaching Gripes on Twitter and check out their website Reel Sports Replay for information on custom website and video solutions!