Special Teams: Be More Efficient and Effective

In the next week or two most of us will be in what we all probably consider our favorite time of the year.  It’s our opportunity to focus solely on being football coaches.  There are no classes to teach, no papers to grade, and our players can focus on football as well.

This is a great opportunity to maximize this time when players and coaches have only football to focus on.  I’ve written many posts on how to use technology to make our coaching more efficient and effective.  The links to all of the can be found in “Advice to Young Coaches Taking on a Coordinator Role.” Now is the time to take advantage of the technology and engage our players before they have more on their plate.

We never seem to have enough time to get done what we want, but a teaching method borrowed from classroom teachers can allow us to do more.  The method is called flipped learning.  I will  have an article on this method as well as an online supplemental in August.

As I have been planning and preparing for our own camp, one area where I really feel this method can help a team gain advantages is special teams.  I always put an emphasis on special teams as head coach in high school, but I was never satisfied with how much time we put in, especially in the meeting room.  With offensive and defensive coordinators installing their systems, we always seemed crunched to get special teams meetings in, and there is always that point where you can tell as a coach that the players are ready to hit the field. I am responsible for the kickoff return unit at BW, and I will be creating short videos for the entire unit and each position as well.  My goal is to not only allow our players to have a better understanding of our kick return concept, but to develop depth with more players learning how to play the different positions on the unit.

Flipped learning allows you extra time for special teams by putting your installations on video and having your players view them on their own time.  It also may be an opportunity for some of those down the line players to really learn a special teams unit and step up and give a starter a break.

Jason Hahnstadt has a great website on flipped coaching and has a video that is a great example of using technology and the flipped learning method to install punt.

Jeff Floyd has a post today on using the time you have now to learn technology.  He provides some examples of how flipped coaching can be used to install concepts and drills so time on the field is spent practicing not explaining.

If you haven’t seen it yet, please take a look at my iBook available for the iPad.  It’s a great offensive resource for coaches regardless of the system used.  Get it here.


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