Tomorrow’s National Championship Game presents an opportunity to examine how coaching can propel a team to a championship. In mid-August, Ohio State’s season was in doubt as an injury ended Braxton Miller’s season. He was the key piece to the offense. After a stumble, JT Barrett went on to break records and become a legitimate Heisman candidate. Then he broke his ankle.
Now Ohio State enters the championship game with the third team quarterback, Cardale Jones. Will he be able to fill the big shoes of the two quarterbacks who were starters before he was for a third time? How did Barrett do it?
When Urban Meyer took over, he spoke at the Ohio High School Coaches Clinic about his method of “on edge coaching.” He said he wanted the Buckeyes to be taught and coached through “direct teaching.” He made the point of using the technology and tools available to teach rather than just present to players, and to keep them on the edge of their seats. Meyer said, “The greatest teaching tools available in the history of this sport are now available to you…The days of saying, ‘I don’t use that’ are not acceptable at the Ohio State University. We’re going to be on the cutting edge of every teaching tool that is available.”
Tomorrow is a test of sorts, not just for the Buckeye’s on the field but the methods of the coaches in preparing the players off the field as well. Jones performance on the field will be a reflection of the work done on the practice field and in the classroom up to this point.
I had a call from a close friend this week on that very topic. He is a perennial league champ and has his team in the play-offs every year. He said, “I’m not looking for the next great scheme. I’m looking at how we coach and prepare our players to face all situations.” Truthfully that’s what coaching is really all about. As I type this while watching two distinctly styles of teams (one spread the other double-tight), I believe that truly is the key. Schemes only a team so far. Solid preparation by the players and coaches will produce consistent winners.
Read more about it in the Wall Street Journal:
Check out my resources available:
The Zone Offense: Create a Structured System focuses on this topic. Preparation, planning, and the details that lead to execution are emphasized in this iBook.
Dan Gonzalez presents the idea of accountability in The Need for Change. His ideas can help make any system better because of the emphasis on preparation.
Finally, Coaches Edge Game Planning System helps you implement not just a tool for scripting and game planning, but a process for making decisions and properly preparing your players.