In 2009, I reached out to Darin Slack to work one of his camps. I had some of Darin’s DVDs, and I had put together pages of his posts from coachhuey.com into somewhat of a notebook on C4. I really liked the way he set things up and used terminology. It was a reflection of good teaching, and it clarified many of the conflicting or confusing coaching points I had picked up over the years. I planned to learn as much as I could about technique with Darin’s terminology at the camp. I did exactly that. The analogy Darin likes to use certainly applied; it was like taking a drink out of a fire hose. The two-day camp deeply impacted me as a coach.
The unexpected impact came in the aspect of the leadership and character that Darin was teaching. The camp was really more of that than football. Football was just his vehicle. What I left focusing on as much as technique was the idea of “servant leadership.”.
It’s something that is a huge part of my coaching now, and I wish I saw more of it being coached, especially in youth sports. I have a nine year old son, and I am constantly frustrated when I see the showboating and individualism that is allowed. Kids are being outwardly labeled as “stars” by their coaches to the other kids. I see those kids, “the stars,” pout when they don’t get the ball, don’t get a call by an official, or are taken out of the game. Those kids, who at this point may be superior, need to be taught that their talent needs to be used to serve their teammates rather than the reverse. It’s a disturbing trend.
The other concern I have is that development camps like Darin’s are threatened by combines and showcases that put the emphasis on showing off individual talent. There’s a place for those, but it seems that parents are spending their money on that and not taking advantage of great opportunities for their sons to learn the lessons that this game teaches from men like Darin Slack. I know he’s not the only one out there and that there are others who do it as well, but my point is that it seems to be getting tougher and tougher on those camps that have lasting value for a young man.
I’ve applied those lessons that I learned from Darin, and I have set up my quarterback manual to reflect it. I will share only the set up and my menu slides. If you want the content, I have included links to Darin’s material at the end of the article. It’s worth every penny for you as a coach and for the young men you serve.
My entire quarterback manual, well over 200 slides, was done with PowerPoint. The entire theme is “servant leadership,” and the entire first section goes into the details of exactly what that is. From that point on it goes into quarterback technique with each aspect of quarterback play designed to serve the other positions on the field.
The first slide is something I’ve heard Darin share. I think the focus this gives at the beginning of our quarterback manual sets the tone for all of the material they will see in the entire manual and how they will be expected to think for their entire career.
The next section focuses on the qualities and intangibles that we expect out of our quarterbacks at BW. This is a collection of quotes and leadership pieces that I have taken from a number of different resources. I will share these in a future post.
The next section focuses on aspects of playing the position. I received these from Andrew Coverdale. He really detailed some outstanding coaching points in these areas for the quarterback.
The next section is also a collection of different materials on servant leadership that I borrowed from a number of different sources.
The manual then shifts focus to the mechanics and techniques of playing the position. This is essentially Darin’s C4 material with bits and pieces of some other coaching points that I use. You see that it is all set up within a framework of serving other members of the offense.
The first section deals with how the quarterback can serve the center and make his job easier: Proper stance, hand placement, and body action on the snap will allow you to begin to execute a perfect play and allows the center the best opportunity to get into his block as quickly as possible.
The section on protection focuses on how the quarterback can serve the rest of the offensive line: Understanding of our Protection and proper execution of your assignment in Protection serves to allow our Offensive Line to excel in their assignments so we can move the chains & score.
The next section focuses on running game mechanics and how performing those properly serves to help the success of the running back: Proper mechanics and footwork in the running game serves the Backs by allowing them to see their running lanes, and giving our offense a balance because the consistency takes away keys from the defense.
The focus shifts to the passing game and throwing mechanics and the quarterbacks role in the success of his receivers: Proper mechanics, footwork, and timing allow the receivers to be successful because we are putting them in a position to win.
The final section focuses on the quarterbacks role in serving the entire offensive unit: Proper Attitude, understanding of what our opponent is trying to do, and a clear, concise mental approach to executing plays allow you to serve the offensive unit so we can make 1st downs and Touchdowns!
At no point in the 200+ slide quarterback manual is the quarterback given even the slightest hint that the team is there to serve him. The lessons on leadership and coaching points for both on and off the field performance indicate that his role is to serve others. This is an important lesson that will carry our quarterbacks to success as leaders of men both on and off the field. This helps us fulfill the vision of our program: Our players become champions in life and football.
Darin’s new C4 book, Cracking the Quarterback Code, and his C4 and R4 DVD series can be ordered here:
Please recommend Darin’s camps to your quarterbacks. It will pay off for both your QB and your team. A list of dates and registration information is here:
My iBook 101 Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays can be purchased on your iPad from the iBookstore. It includes not just text, but 229 peices of dynamic content, 105 of which are video clips with wide and tight views: