Most of the good stuff that I do, know, or teach, I got from fellow coaches who eagerly and openly shared their knowledge. It is one reason that this blog was started… I am attempting to “pay forward” all the good that has been given to me.
Here is the best advice I can give to any aspiring coach… young or old alike. All my most intense learning sessions were during our annual spring practice trips visiting college programs.
Each spring, beginning when I was a head high school coach at a small 1A program in Missouri (Osceola), I would go through this process:
- We would determine (from off-season analysis – see post Becoming a “Stronger” Coach in the Off-Season) what we needed to focus on as a team, or as an offense or defense.
- We would determine which football programs in the country (within striking distance) were doing the best job with that selected focus. It did not have to be a big time FBS program, just a program or staff that was doing a great job of what we wanted to improve on.
- If we knew someone on that staff, we would contact that coach… if not we would contact the coordinator.
- We would find out when they were holding their springs practice, and if they would be open to our staff visiting and spending some time with their position group coaches.
One tip that I would share, that made the trips consistently productive… we always tried to narrow our focus to one key concept. Here are some examples:
- Defending the option out of an even front
- Cover 2 pass coverage change ups
- Defense Call Sheet (see post Defensive Game Planning – the Call Sheet)
- 4-3 stunt package backed up with zone coverage
- Specific drills (pass rush, tackling, etc)
- Practice organization
We were always welcomed, and always treated with enormous respect and kindness… Mike White, who was the head coach at the University of Illinois, spent the better part of a day with me (a young 1A high school football coach), going through QB development and drills. Later in my career, when I was at the University of Central Missouri and we had coaching staffs visit us (both high school and college), we always tried to treat those coaches with the same respect and kindness that was afforded us.
Go and get it.. then pay it forward.
- EDD’s – Every Day Drills
- You Reap What You Sow
- Defensive Game Planning – Genealogy
- Practice – Not a Minute to Spare
You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!
Jeff Floyd – firstname.lastname@example.org