My new iBook The Zone Offense: Create a Structured System illustrates a method we used to teach the exact details of our offense. It was a drastic change from how I learned football. Technology provides us the opportunity to really teach the details of the game and create resources for our players to enhance their learning and performance.
When we started using the system in 2004, we created a hyperlinked, power point playbook which included illustrated and animated position manuals. The feedback from the players was outstanding, “Coach this is like a video game.” That’s what we were looking for, and it made an impact on learning and performance as we rewrote the school record books and produced Ohio’s leading rusher and scorer.
We accomplished this by starting with a simple philosophy of how we would coach:
COACHING IS TEACHING – teaching is the ability to inspire learning. Our entire coaching and teaching philosophy starts with the teaching of good fundamentals. The first thing we will evaluate on film Saturday morning is the job we have done teaching fundamentals. What you see is what you taught or what you allowed in practice. The teaching of fundamentals is the first step towards the improvement of our players.
Any coach can get up and diagram a play or defense. However, your truly great coaches are the ones who go out and teach fundamentals. We must teach our players how to play winning football. WE MUST GIVE THEM THE “LITTLE SECRETS” TO SUCCEED!
Reflecting on that time, we had better than average talent, great coaching, but most importantly attention to detail through a sound coaching method. Our install included:
- Interactive position meetings to review techniques, mostly through still frame illustrations.
- Film sessions that were more than the coach telling what was right or wrong, but rather the players learning to verbalize what they were seeing while understanding the fix.
- Walk through periods before warm-up.
- Individual periods focused on working at little things (WALT).
- A high tempo and crisp practice focused on the details.
All of these are illustrated in the iBook with plenty of examples. Our position manuals for each position are given a chapter each. Each is constructed around teaching the player the techniques that the will need to succeed in all of the different scenarios they will face in a game. This is a great resource for any coach, and of course it’s unlike anything else out there.