On USA Football: Use field space to stress the defense

Please check out my interactive books.  These present an innovative way to learn the game.    101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays and The Zone Running Game:  Create a Structured System. Both resources are filled with detailed information, interactive presentations, and game film.

Much attention is paid to using multiple formations to stress a defense. Running the same play from multiple formations is a sound way to attack. However, further advantages can be realized in utilizing field space to dictate defensive structure and stress defender responsibilities. To illustrate this point, let’s look at one formation that utilizes two tight ends, two receivers and a running back. The formation is diagrammed below.

2x2 bunch.001

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On USA Football: Emphasis on third down – 2nd and 8 scrimmage format

Please check out my interactive books.  These present an innovative way to learn the game.    101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays and The Zone Running Game:  Create a Structured System. Both resources are filled with detailed information, interactive presentations, and game film.

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In 2005, I had the opportunity to spend some time with Stan Parrish who was the offensive coordinator at Ball Sate at the time.  He introduced me to his 2nd and 8 scrimmage format.  In this format, the offense has one play from 2nd and 8, and the next rep is third down, unless they can convert it on 2nd and 8.  The idea is that the offensive unit will stay on the field as long as they are converting and moving the chains.  If they fail to convert, the next offensive unit comes on the field and gets their opportunity.

Typically, the 2nd and 8 scrimmage replaces our team period. While we are always working situations in team, we like the variety and break from routine that the 2nd and 8 scrimmage provides.  We add a competitive element by keeping score on the number of conversions by each offensive unit as well as the number of stops for each defensive unit…read more

On AFM: Kicking Scrimmage – Practicing Special Teams, Third Down Offense, and The Free Kick

Please check out my interactive books.  These present an innovative way to learn the game.    101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays and The Zone Running Game:  Create a Structured System. Both resources are filled with detailed information, interactive presentations, and game film.

On AFM:

Years ago I heard now retired coach Wally Hood present a clinic on the kicking scrimmage. This special teams focused scrimmage format allowed a team to work all phases of the game, but gave emphasis and most reps to the special teams. When I became a high school head coach this was something I implemented with my teams, and we also did this at the college level.

I’ve used a number of different variations of tho scrimmage format over the years, but my favorite also emphasizes third down offense.

Choosing teams

Depending on your situation, you can choose the teams, or you can select captains and allow them to choose the teams. I like the players selecting the teams because it gives them ownership, and gets them thinking about who the best special teams players are. This helps emphasize the importance of special teams in their minds. Kickers, punters, and long snappers are obviously drafted early, and when you let the whole team be involved in the draft, it’s good to see the specialists valued by their teammates.

After the teams are selected, players need to be put on units. Again, I like to give ownership to the players, but also understand in this area they need guidance. I usually have a different coach in charge of each unit of special teams, so each one would work with both teams to help them put together their units. We do the same with offense and defense, ensuring that all players have an opportunity to perform in the scrimmage.

Preparing for the kicking scrimmage

This is another opportunity for the team to realize the value of work on special teams. Usually the kicking scrimmage serves as the second practice of the day during two-a-days. We give each team time to practice and go over their units (with coach supervision) at the end of the first practice, and as a walk through before the scrimmage.

Because this is something unique, and an opportunity to compete and win a spot on a unit, the players pay attention to the units they are on and their assignments even more than they do during regular special teams practice time…read more

On USA Football: Educated Freedom – Teaching players to maximize effectiveness

On USA Football:

About 15 years ago I started using Andrew Coverdale’s resources on the quick passing game.  Coverdale is currently the offensive coordinator at Trinity High School in Louisville, Kentucky.  Within one of his books he introduced the concept of educated freedom.  This principle is something I began incorporating in my systems soon after.  The principle, as stated by Coverdale is simply this, “The receiver’s single most important job is to get open.  We do not want any assignment to be so rigid that it makes it impossible for this basic priority to be fulfilled.”

In other words, we don’t want a player to run his route, pick his running lane, or execute his blocking assignment simply because it is drawn that way on the diagram.  Diagrams are static, but what happens on the field is very dynamic.  The lines are rarely straight.  There are subtle adjustments needed to gain leverage …read more

Please check out my iBooks.  These present an innovative way to learn the game.    101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays and The Zone Running Game:  Create a Structured System. Both resources are filled with detailed information, interactive presentations, and game film.

New iBook coming soon:

 

My Newest Project: 101+ Read Game Plays

In 2013, I released 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays.  This interactive book is the first of its kind, blending the information you normally get in a coaching book-text, diagrams, and coaching points, with the information you normally get on a DVD – video and game film.  The innovative format is able to go way beyond what you get in a book or DVD, giving coaches a depth of knowledge well beyond the other coaching products on the market.

I released my second interactive book in March 2014 – The Zone Offense Create a Structured System.  This utilizes even more capability of the technology, loading the book with 167 pages that included 662 interactive slides and 51 total minutes of video.

My new interactive book which will be released soon is 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays:  The Read Game.  This includes the details on running zone read variations, zone option, veer, power read, play action off of the read game, and gives ideas for developing other types of read plays.

It will be available soon.  In the mean time, check out my other two books.

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GPS tracking to measure exertion, speed, and to prevent injury

Last year I pointed out some interesting uses of GPS tracking to monitor multiple data points on players.  Read more here.

It seems that this technology is catching on in college and pro football.  The Florida State Seminoles used this during their National Championship season.  As coaches, we are constantly trying to find the balance between working a team to get the most ut of the, and keeping them fresh for game day.

David Hale writes in an article on ESPN.com,

Little changes in the practice routine can have massive effects on the bottom line of player health, Villora said.  Running laps used to be punishment for poor performance, but now Florida State’s staff understood that extra work was just as likely to create more problems the next day.

Of course the flip side is true, too.  As much as players are eager to see the results of sprints at practice, the GOS device can quickly expose those who are slacking.  Viloria gets the data in real time and lets coaches know when it’s time to crack the whip.  

The potential for this is huge.  Of course, something like this will have to be scalable so that it becomes affordable on lower levels.  FSU paid $25,000 to rent the equipment last season from Catapult, the company who created it.

For schools that can afford this technology though, the potential is enormous. Catapult sports scientist Gary McCoy said of FSU, “It’s their secret sauce.  If they continue to scout well and they continue to use this model, they’re going to build a dynasty out of this.  There’s no question.”

The Machine Knows

Of course, with all technology, learning how to use the equipment and data is important as well.  Without proper monitoring and analysis, the data is useless.

Jimbo Fischer used the data to be able to lighten up Rashad’s Greene’s practice to get more consistent performance on game day.  Think about how many hours you’ve spent over the years trying to figure out whether a player is dogging it or not during practice.  This technology takes the uncertainty away.

The article goes on to point out that Catapult is working on a formula to identify concussions as well.  It seems that the game is under attack, especially in terms of how concussions were handled in the past.  Several class action law suits seem to be taking shape from former players. Something like this can really help save the game.  This goes well beyond the “Junction Boys” days where players were physically demanded to put their bodies through torture to become champions.  Now there is a measurable way to monitor and maximize performance.  It will be interesting to see how this catches on at all levels.  In the mean time, there is a lot to be learned about monitoring performance, doling out physical punishment for perceived lack of effort, and pushing teams and players beyond their physical limits to their detriment.

Here are some articles that highlight and explain this technology:

FSU Rides Technology to Title

FSU Football Team Uses GPS Technology to Prevent Player Injuries

FSU’s championship season fueled by GPS technology

Packers adopting GPS technology to research injuries

GPS guides Packers toward better injury prevention

FSU, Packers favor GPS-based data generator

NFL to use tracking devices during games, practices

GPS Tracking Takes Football Practice to New Level

Here are companies that produce this technology:

http://www.catapultsports.com

http://gpsports.com

http://www.statsports.ie

Thought for future use of GPS tracking on the football field

Now I would like to take this a step further and think about how the technology might be used to provide feedback on execution of a particular play in order to use the data to improve the scripted performance needed on that particular play.  Could the technology be used on the field to give a coach instant feedback on what the player did on a particular play?  Did the receiver cut his route two steps short?  Did a defensive back open incorrectly and take a bad angle?  Did the quarterback not  get deep enough into the pocket causing a problem in protection.  Being able to monitor and get real time feedback on performance specific to an expected physical movement on the field  while also measuring physical effort really produces a useful coaching tool.  I’m sure that that type of technology can’t be too far off.

Please check out my iBooks.  These present an innovative way to learn the game.    101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays and The Zone Running Game:  Create a Structured System. Both resources are filled with detailed information, interactive presentations, and game film.

 

 

 

 

 

On USA Football: Maximize summer practice time

This article on USA Football includes videos of Dan Gonzalez’s drag drill.  At the end of the drill is a movie trailer of Dan’s latest project.  This is an exciting development.  Dan’s interactive book goes well beyond what he presented in his first two books (both of which are outstanding).  Take a look at the trailer at the end of the video. Here it is on its own:

On USA Football:

For coaches and players, summer is a fun time a year. The challenge is to strike a balance between family, football and fun. With some simple guidelines to help maintain focus, the summer months can be utilized in a way that it isn’t overwhelming for players and maximum commitment is attained. Establish an attendance policy The first thing we always do is establish a summer attendance policy. We want players and families to know that their time is important, but their commitment is expected. We outline that if they are in town, they must attend. We establish well beforehand that summer jobs are not an excuse. We put our workouts in the morning – other than some 7-on-7 nights – at the exact same time that camp will start in August. We feel that this way their bodies are acclimated to working at that time of day, and there isn’t an adjustment period when camp hits. We are flexible with athletes involved in other sports during the summer. We communicate with the other coaches before the summer so that we know what each other’s plans are and can work things out so that the athlete doesn’t miss important events. We also establish communication expectations. We never want to hear from a player that: “Johnny told me to tell you he is out of town today.” We want and expect direct communication with the player. Under these simple guidelines, we have always had very high attendance at our summer workouts…read more

Check out my interactive books:

101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays and The Zone Running Game:  Create a Structured System. Both resources are filled with detailed information, interactive presentations, and game film.