On USA Football: Parent/Coach expectations: Be clear up front

Having a positive and productive season regardless of the win-loss record includes having a solid plan for communicating with parents. As with any plan, we like to keep it simple, clear and concise. We list our dos and don’ts for parents, plainly identifying what things we are willing to discuss and what we are not willing to discuss. Because of the nature of some issues, I have always felt it best to include an athletic administrator. This way, if for some reason, the problem escalates or is not resolved, the administrator was involved from the beginning.

Most issues never get past the point of the player-coach level. When the players understand they are expected to conduct themselves appropriately, including taking responsibility for their own problems, many issues are resolved without parent involvement. I’m always sure to ask if the player discussed the issue with mom or dad. If he did, then I usually follow-up with the parent to make sure the player communicated our resolution to the issue. When I plan to call, I let the player know as well so he feels that he is included and I didn’t go around him. The entire process promotes trust and honesty…read more

On USA Football: Maximize summer practice time

This article on USA Football includes videos of Dan Gonzalez’s drag drill.  At the end of the drill is a movie trailer of Dan’s latest project.  This is an exciting development.  Dan’s interactive book goes well beyond what he presented in his first two books (both of which are outstanding).  Take a look at the trailer at the end of the video. Here it is on its own:

On USA Football:

For coaches and players, summer is a fun time a year. The challenge is to strike a balance between family, football and fun. With some simple guidelines to help maintain focus, the summer months can be utilized in a way that it isn’t overwhelming for players and maximum commitment is attained. Establish an attendance policy The first thing we always do is establish a summer attendance policy. We want players and families to know that their time is important, but their commitment is expected. We outline that if they are in town, they must attend. We establish well beforehand that summer jobs are not an excuse. We put our workouts in the morning – other than some 7-on-7 nights – at the exact same time that camp will start in August. We feel that this way their bodies are acclimated to working at that time of day, and there isn’t an adjustment period when camp hits. We are flexible with athletes involved in other sports during the summer. We communicate with the other coaches before the summer so that we know what each other’s plans are and can work things out so that the athlete doesn’t miss important events. We also establish communication expectations. We never want to hear from a player that: “Johnny told me to tell you he is out of town today.” We want and expect direct communication with the player. Under these simple guidelines, we have always had very high attendance at our summer workouts…read more

Check out my interactive books:

101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays and The Zone Running Game:  Create a Structured System. Both resources are filled with detailed information, interactive presentations, and game film.

New job-Develop your relationship with the media now

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The following is an excerpt from my upcoming iBook on program building.

Be Media Friendly

The first step to making sure the local media pays attention to your program is to be media friendly.  When you first take a job, emailing local reporters and introducing yourself to them begins a positive relationship.  Provide your contact information as well as times of the day which you are easily reached and available.  As you develop schedules and events for your team, be sure to send those to the local media.

Take advantage of slow periods for local sports coverage throughout the year.  A time when high school sports coverage slows down is usually toward the end of the spring sports season.  At these times we usually had some unique event for the team like our strong man games or spartan workout.  These were events which were unique and usually of interest for local writers, and provided an opportunity for the head coach to give updates and previews of the upcoming season even though it was months away.  It was definitely an opportunity to generate some excitement for the program.  While all events may not be covered, you will find that local writers will develop an appreciation for you keeping them informed and allowing them access to your program.

It’s also important for the school to provide a great environment for the local media.  Work with the athletic director to make sure the press box is as in good of shape as it can be.  As the season wears on, local writers will definitely have an appreciation for being able to stay warm and dry.  Having an updated press box may be more important than you think.  This may be something you want to address in fundraising efforts if upgrades are necessary.  Ask the athletic director to provide food and refreshments to local media if he or she doesn’t do that already.  Finally, if possible, be sure that reporters have internet access so they can file their report before leaving the stadium.

More on this topic will be available on my new iBook soon.  Get my iBook 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays.  It provides concepts that can be utilized in any offense, not just the pistol. I have received some great feedback from coaches who adapted all or some of those ideas in 2013. Get 101+ PRO STYLE PISTOL OFFENSE PLAYS for your iPad or Mac from the iBookstore

Plan Your Work. Work Your Plan.

Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.
Pablo Picasso

Over the past few weeks I’ve shared some ideas for planning and organizing for next season.

Strategic Planning for your Football Program is a series of articles that takes a process used in business and applies it to organizing your work and executing a plan so that you can reach your goals as a program.

Create the Big Picture discusses writing your vision and mission statements for your program.

Goals and Objectives Set the Stage explains how to set objectives and strategic goals which provide the framework for the work you do to build your program.

Action Plans illustrates how to create steps or small to-do lists for each of your goals.

You Get What You Inspect describes the importance of monitoring and evaluating the work done in your program, and gives some suggestions on how to do that.

In Create Your Masterpiece, Jeff Floyd has a post on “the elevator speech” which is actually part of some strategic plans.

If you are a coordinator, I posted some useful information on improving and evolving your systems:

Focus on the Process:  Quality Control discusses “the process” and gives steps on how to identify and solve problems.

Beginning Your Research and Development for Your 2014 Offense provides a list of questions for you to take inventory of your current offense in order to identify areas which you may need to streamline or improve.  It also allows you to identify your strengths.  Four major questions provide a thought process for deciding on whether to implement a new concept.

Your 2014 Offense Research and Development Part2 uses a clinic talk from Andrew Coverdale to present an approach to handling the new information you find in your off season research.  Implementation plan is also discussed.

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My iBook 101+ Pro Style Pistol Offense Plays provides concepts that can be utilized in any offense, not just the pistol. I have received some great feedback from coaches who adapted all or some of those ideas in 2013. Get 101+ PRO STYLE PISTOL OFFENSE PLAYS for your iPad or Mac from the iBookstore