If you are a football coach, this is the time of year (heading into the final week of July) that one (or more) of these things is probably happening in your life.
- You are getting married (or celebrating an anniversary)
- You are ramping up meeting time with your staff and/or attending your state Coaching Association football clinic in preparation for the upcoming season.
It is amazing how many of my coaching colleagues have anniversaries this time of the year… the end of July to the first week of August. It seems we all try to squeeze in one more joyful event before our other love… the grind of the season… begins. My wife and I got married on a Friday, and we started 2-a-day football practices on the following Monday. We celebrate our 30th anniversary this summer.
If you are knee deep in meeting/ clinic time right now, here are a couple of things to chew on. Right now is the time to expand your comfort zone (see Expanding Our Comfort Zone or Get Uncomfortable) and become comfortable with new technology and/ or new teaching and coaching methods. Once the season gets going time really is at a premium. We will have little time to get comfortable with new coaching methods or tools. If we are not comfortable at that point, we inevitably revert back to coaching and teaching methods that we are more comfortable with.
Here are a couple of relatively easy projects to tackle to get started. These ideas are from my post Flipping the Practice Field. You can see how to make a screencast is in my post, Making a Screen Recording.
What if you had the most important (or better yet, all!) of your drills for each position group online, described with text, diagramed in an automated PowerPoint presentation, with a telestrated video of YOU explaining the key organizational and coaching points of the drill, and your players demonstrating. Before you use a drill in a practice, you gave as “homework” to your position group the task of studying this online content for the drill. How many more reps would you get in that drill during practice, and how much better understanding of the drill would your players have during the course of the year?
Consider your install days during your pre-season or spring practice sessions. How much more production could you get out of your meeting and practice time if you had your install lectures already recorded on a screencast. Prior to your installation of a particular front/ stunt/ or coverage (or of an offensive play) you require as “homework” viewing the screencast of your install lecture of that piece. How much more efficient could you be in your meeting time (answering specific questions about the install) or how much quicker would you move to actually practicing the piece instead of spending time installing on the field.
Now is the time to do this… to get comfortable with the technology… to get comfortable with a new coaching technique. It is just like everything else in athletics/ teaching/ life. The most difficult time is the first time… just getting started (see post Starting) is at times the most difficult thing. The more you do it, the more comfortable (and easier) it will become
If you are the head coach, challenge yourself and your position coaches to just complete one drill screencast… just one install screencast before your season begins. If you are a coordinator, challenge the staff on your side of the ball to expand their comfort zone by doing this. If you are a position coach, take it upon yourself to learn … be a leader (see post Leading Up)!
Jeff Floyd – firstname.lastname@example.org