Links to American Football Monthly Articles 2011-2012

The articles in this section link directly to American Football Monthly. These articles appeared in the magazine, so only AFM subscribers will have access to the full article.

My first article in AFM was about our formation system. We created a system that was very simple for our players to learn, yet allowed us to align in virtually any formation. April 2011.

Flexible Formations – Baldwin-Wallace’s offense is simple to learn but difficult to defend.

Having the ability to align in virtually any formation and easily get the match-ups desired are the main components of our multiple spread offense. In order to have the ability to do this, the offense must have a flexible formation system that gains an advantage in the way that it is taught, so that for the players it is easy to learn and align. Yet, for a defense, it is difficult to defend because of all of the possible match-ups and adjustments. This system accomplishes exactly that because it has the ability to get into multiple personnel groupings, it uses varying types of movement, and it can get into just about any formation that can be imagined.

This system de-emphasizes the memorization approach. Many systems require that each player memorize his alignment in every formation call, thus limiting the ….

The article on personnel groupings explains the system we created to tie into our formations and use multiple personnel. It also describes the benefits of using multiple personnel in an offense. May 2012.

Multiplicity – Using Personnel Groupings to Enhance Your Offense and Player Morale.

After the 2004 season, my first as a head coach in a big high school program, we were faced with the challenge of pay-to-play. The coaching staff made a great effort in selling our program to athletes and parents, and we fielded the biggest roster in spite of the new pay-to-play obstacle. We also knew that in order to keep those numbers, we needed to re-evaluate how we were utilizing our players, especially in terms of playing time. We looked at the possibility of two platoon, and we wanted to move in that direction, but the program was not quite ready from both a staffing and personnel perspective.

However, we knew that we had to find a way to play more than the 16 or 17 players who saw the field on a regular basis on Friday nights. This brought about my first experience with using personnel groupings on offense. Since then,….

In the first article in my column entitled “Managing Your Program” I share how we promoted our program at Amherst Steele High School in order to recruit players into our program, increase community awareness about our football program and increase fund raising. June 2012.

Promoting and Building Your Program in Today’s Multiple Choice Society

The article on motivating players takes the focus off gimmicks and places it on how to truly motivate players through building a strong relationship. These are ideas that I had gathered over the years and put together in guidelines for my coaches to be able to coach their players’ hearts. August 2012.

12 Coaching Points for Motivation: Trust, Respect, Caring, Honesty

The way we motivate our players is as important to what we do as our technical and strategic knowledge of football. There are many motivational concepts, philosophies, and even gimmicks. True motivation is built around trust, respect, caring, and honesty.

I remember, as a young teacher, getting an evaluation form from a principal who asked what my techniques and strategies were for motivating my students. My reply was simple, “I talk to them.” I come across many gimmicky techniques that are intended to motivate players. There are some good ones, and some things that certainly can help your team focus. But the foundation of motivation is built around developing a strong relationship with your players. That fiery pregame speech only works because your players trust you, believe in you and care about you. You can say just about….

In this article I describe an approach for beginning work on a new season. The process involves planning, organizing but begins with performing quality control analysis on the previous season. December 2012.

Quality Control – Planning Your Off Season.

The equipment has been shipped out for reconditioning, awards banquets are complete, and you’ve gotten over that awkward feeling in the week or two following the season where from 3pm-6pm you felt like you should be doing something else. Now is a great time to do some quality control and analysis work before you head into the clinic season.

Coaches who are successful year-in and year-out are great organizers. Planning precedes organizing. In order to plan effectively you must perform quality control in the all areas.

We all have the self-scouting reports that are generated by the editing systems we use. Those are a great starting point for pinpointing some areas which may need attention. I mentioned in my online column on how we used data taken from three seasons against the top opponent…