EDD’s – Every Day Drills

A question about football drills from a young coach got me thinking about practice scheduling, drills, fundamentals, and ultimately a concept and term that I learned from a colleague while at the University of Central Missouri, Corey Batoon.  Coach Batoon in now at Florida Atlantic University as Defensive Back Coach and Co-Defensive Coordinator

The concept and term that Coach Batoon brought to our staff was EDD’sEvery Day Drills.

For every position group there are a set of basic fundamentals that they need to master in order to be successful on the playing field.  For DB’s it might be the shuffle, back peddle, crossover and run.  For the LB’s that I coached it was stance, read step (start) and shuffle.  The point is, every position group on the field has this set of fundamentals that are important enough to do EVERY day – hence the name EDD’s.

All the coaches on my defensive staff were teaching these drills, but we were all going through the process of writing down each drill, every day, on the practice schedule.  Coach Batoon helped us streamline the process of setting our practice schedule, and also helped us imprint the idea on our players that these drills were important; they were important enough to do every day; they were our position group’s EDD’s

I cannot tell you what the EDD’s for your position group should be…  that depends on your (and your coordinator and head coach’s) philosophy.  What I can tell you is that from my experience, many coaches, especially the first few days of spring or fall practice, tend to hurry through these basic fundamentals in order to get on to the process of installation.  Often they assume, especially if they have veteran, experienced players, that they already know this “basic” stuff.  I think this is a mistake.  I have observed many successful coaches, in many successful programs at all levels – high school, college, pro – and one thing they all have in common – they all spend time teaching their athletes fundamentals; they spend time coaching their position group’s EDD’s.

Below is a picture of a defensive practice schedule from a couple of years ago.  You can see how we began teaching the concept of EDD’s with each position group.  You can download the Excel practice schedule template by clicking on the picture – or clicking the link – practice schedule template.

Practice 1

Next week – more about scheduling practices

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

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Flipping the Practice Field

flipped practiceThe flipped classroom inverts traditional teaching methods, delivering instruction online outside of class and moving “homework” into the classroom.  5 Years ago, “flipping the classroom” would have been an impossible undertaking. Improvements in technology, and the advancements in proliferation and access have made “flipping the classroom” not only feasible, but easier than it has ever been for teachers and coaches.  My question and challenge is, “Could “flipping the practice field” make you a more effective coach?’”

I want to refer back to several recent posts regarding using technology in coaching.

“… I wanted them to move towards using dynamic content whether that was Power Point diagrams with animations, still shot step-by-step illustrations with coaching points, film or preferably a combination of those things. I also encouraged them to use our editing system to prepare video walk thru – essentially a screencast of them talking through a play and giving coaching points. I like this method for an install because your comments as a coach are saved and accessible for player review later, whereas if you just talk through video in a meeting, once the meeting is over, there is nothing for the player to refer back to.”

What I am suggesting now is that you can expand this concept to “flip your practice field”.  Here are a couple of ideas.

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.

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?

This online content embraces many different learning styles.  It can be viewed on their own device, at their own pace.  The content can be played, rewound, played again… over and over and over… on their own time.

Let me know if you have any questions, or if I could help you in any way.

You Can Do More!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Running an Effective Drill

ucmoIn my first season as a coach at the University of Central Missouri, during one of our first staff meetings, our Head Coach, Terry Noland gave us some advice.  His instructions regarding how to effectively run a drill were not only good advice to a young coach with eight years experience (me), but lasting concepts that have served me well for over thirty years.

  1. Have a name for the drill – that way when you run it successive times, you don’t need to spend as much time explaining it.
  2. Teach the athletes what technique(s) you are trying to improve with the drill.
  3. Have the drill set up prior to the athletes arriving at your station.
  4. Have an organized progression as to how the athletes move through the drill – for example “the first person in line will be the ball carrier.  You will go from being the ball carrier, to tackler, to the end of the line.
  5. Don’t be a part of the drill – Coach!
  6. Give the athletes specific instructions regarding the speed of the drill – Is it full speed, ½ speed, or walk through.
  7. Give the athletes a specific start point for the drill.
  8. Give the athletes a specific end point for the drill.

These are simple concepts that make for effective daily teaching.

Comments and Questions are always welcome!

Remember – You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

You Reap What You Sow

Those things you spend time practicing, talking to your players about, and teaching, you will improve on.  True story….

reap sowDuring the spring of 1992, our defensive coaching staff at the  University of Central Missouri took a learning trip to several universities, including Oklahoma State University, to learn more about the 4-3 Defense they were running.  Billy Miller was the defensive coordinator at the time, and OSU had a history with the 4-3 that could be traced back to Jimmy Johnson and Dave Wannstedt.

 

We were able to spend some great meeting time with their staff and then watched a couple of their spring practices.  At their first practice they ran a crazy drill that Coach Miller had warned us about – they called it the fumble score drill, and is diagramed below.

fumble score drill

It was a spirited, high-energy drill, and all the coaches and players were having fun with it.  As a defensive staff we decided that we would implement the drill, but I knew as defensive coordinator that I would have to do some “selling” to get our head coach to agree that it would be productive practice time.

When we talked to our head coach, Terry Noland, about the drill, we told him all of the great fundamentals that we would be working on.; footwork and pad level while we were going over the bags, and the correct technique of recovering a fumble.  We talked about how recovering the fumble was job #1 – everything else was secondary.  We taught that if they were in any traffic at all, or had any difficulty recovering the ball, do not attempt to scoop and run, but curl and recover. We kind of glossed over the whole idea of defensive lineman and linebackers pitching the ball to a teammate part of the drill!

We implemented the drill during our pre-season camp, and ran it at least once a week.  It became one of our weekly team defensive drills.  Just as it was with OSU, it was a high energy drill that the athletes and coaches both had fun with.  One day, as a big lumbering defensive lineman recovered a fumble and pitched it to another, big lumbering defensive lineman, our head coach came over and said something on the order of “this is all well and good, but the first time we lose the ball when a DL tries pitching it, you will have some explaining to do.”

Our first game that season, 1992, was against the University of North Alabama, who would go on the become National Champions that year.  In the second quarter, on an option play, our corner made a jarring tackle on their RB out in the flat.  Our safety scooped up the ball and raced down the field until the QB caught him.  Right before going down, he pitched the ball to the corner who ended up taking it into the end zone for the TD and the go-ahead score.  We ended up losing that game 16-17, but defensively gained great confidence.

Over the next 4 weeks our defense scored a TD in a 10-7 win vs Missouri Southern State University and another in a 24-10 win vs Southwest Baptist University.  Against Northwest Missouri State University in our 5th game that season we set up a score in a 10-7 win.

By this point in the season, the fumble score drill became the high point of our practice.  Even if we wanted to eliminate the drill, our players would have revolted.  They believed!  They believed that because we were doing this drill each week, we were scoring defensive touchdowns.

The bottom line – we talked about recovering fumbles and taught the correct way to do it.  We talked about scoring on defense and taught the correct way to do it.  After 5 games into the season, we had scored 3 TD’s and set up another score for our offense. The previous season we scored exactly zero touchdowns!

What seeds are you sowing with your players?  What crop do you want to reap next fall?

Comments and Questions are always welcome

Remember – You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Jump Rope Training

pat jump ropeThis is not your 5th grade, out on the playground during recess, jump roping!  This is a slightly expanded, and better video, version of the jump rope training that I shared in an earlier post –Jump Rope Drills;  We do each pattern for either 20 seconds with a 10 second rest before switching to the next pattern, or 25 seconds on with 5 seconds rest.  These are the patterns in the order we complete them:

  • 2 feet in the same place
  • 2 feet front to back
  • 2 feet side to side
  • 2 feet round the clock- clockwise (12-3-6-9)
  • 2 feet round the clock counter-clockwise (12-9-6-3)
  • Alternate right left
  • Alternate 2 right – 2 left
  • Ali Shuffle
  • Rocker – right foot forward
  • Rocker – left foot forward
  • Rocker – side to side
  • Right foot in the same place
  • Left foot in the same place
  • Right foot front to back
  • Left foot front to back
  • Right foot clockwise
  • Left foot clockwise
  • Right foot counter clockwise
  • Left foot counter clockwise
  • Backwards

The following video demonstrates each of the patterns.  The male athlete in this video is a defensive lineman on our football team.  The female athlete plays volleyball, basketball, and soccer.  We feel these drills can benefit athletes in all sports.

We go through this sequence twice then end with the following:

  • 30 seconds – as many jumps as you can
  • 20 seconds – as many jumps as you can
  • 15 seconds – as many jumps as you can
  • 10 seconds – as many jumps as you can
  • 5 seconds -as many jumps as you can

10 seconds rest in between each “burn out” set

We finish with a 1 minute cool down of slow jumping – their choice, whatever pattern they want, 10 seconds rest, then 40 seconds cool down of slow jumping.  The entire workout takes between 26-30 minutes.

Here is a short video of an entire class (about 60 students) doing some of the drills

As always if you have any questions, just comment or email!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Be a Quick Purple Cow!

The next quality I am going to discuss, the next quality that will set you apart from the other 250,000 high school seniors that are playing football, is the Purple Cow Quality of Athleticism and Quickness

pro agilityThis quality is related to speed and explosion, which were discussed in previous posts (Purple Cow Quality #2 Speed and Explosion-how to get it) but slightly different. Coaches look for the ability of an athlete to change directions, stop and start, adjust angles, and their overall body control.  Some of this can be measured by tests, the most notable the NFL Pro Agility shuttle test.  This video is a very good description of the NFL Pro Agility shuttle test (also known as the short shuttle, or 5-10-5 shuttle).

Aside from testing, coaches will evaluate film, and possibly evaluate performances in other sports such as basketball or wrestling.

How do you improve your Athleticism and Quickness thereby improving your time in the NFL Pro Agility Drill?   How do you develop Purple Cow Quickness? Now that would be REALLY remarkable… a Quick Purple Cow!

Much of the same type of training (plyometics, dynamic weight training, etc.) that lends itself to increased speed and explosiveness will help improve quickness, too.  In addition, if you are currently not doing quickness drills as part of your workout program, ask your coach for a program you can do on your own, or look at some of these drills:

These links are an excellent series of drill,  Lateral Speed and Change of Direction Drillsfrom Central College:

Here is the Lane Shuffle Drill

And the Sprint Agility Drill

This link (Florida Gator Agility and Foot Quickness Drills ) will take you to another list of football specific drills from the Florida Gators Strength and Conditioning Coach.  There are drill descriptions and some accompanying video: 

Another good series, and time tested set of drills are the BFS (Bigger Faster Stronger) dot drills.  Here is a pdf file explaining the drills: BFS Dot Drill and this video showing an athlete completing the drills.

Like all the other qualities I have discussed, mastering this one does not come easy, or all at once.  Practice, improve, and become a Quick Purple Cow!

Tomorrow video and coaching points on the first of our four core lifts, the Bench Press.

As always, any questions comment or email… I will answer!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Purple Cow Quality #2 – Speed

Today it is all about the second Purple Cow Quality, Speed

One of the first thing college recruiters will look for, and one of the first things they will evaluate on film, is how well you run and how explosive you are on the field.  College coaches are a pretty confident group. They will always figure they can get you bigger, stronger, and teach you better technique once you have been in their system.  The one thing that they will want to see you have coming in, is that you can RUN – and that you DO RUN on the field during a game!

One of the biggest mistakes many athletes make as they prepare for their college career is to work very hard  at “getting big” but neglect the running part of their training regimen.  Do you want to be a remarkable high school football player?   Do you want to be a Purple Cow?  Then run – and train for speed, quickness, and explosiveness .

College coaches will look for (and ask about) three things related to speed and explosion:

  1. What is your 40 yard dash time?
  2. What is your vertical leap?
  3. Does your speed show up on the field? (Do you play FAST)

How do you improve speed, and thereby improve your 40 time?  How do you become a remarkably fast athlete… an athlete with Purple Cow speed?

speedSpeed training – If you are currently not doing this as part of your workout program, ask your coach for a program you can do on your own (or look at this sample speed training program).  There are also some excellent videos of speed training drills at this Central College web site.  In order to improve your speed, you have to run fast.  Running long slow distance may improve your overall fitness, and help you lose weight, and improve your cardio-vascualr system, but to learn to run faster, you have to RUN FAST!  Speed training programs are all about running shorter distances, and running at top, or near top speed.

When I was an assistant coach at the University of Central Missouri, we used to test our athletes in the mile run before the pre-season practice started.  Now, the mile run is probably not the best indicator of “football speed” or being in “football shape”, but we used it just to test their toughness more than anything else.  One year we had a track runner (800 M runner) walk on our football program.  Needless to say, he tested lights out in the mile, although in the 40 and all the other speed and agility  tests he was middle to end of the pack for his position.  When he finished his mile test, one of the other assistant coaches turned to the rest of us who were helping time and said, “Well, if it is ever 3rd down and a mile to go, we know who our man is!”  That was the last year we tested in the mile, opting for a 10 x 40 yard dash test instead.

Hear is a TIP …

40 ydOne of the easiest and quickest way to improve your 40 yard dash time is by improving your start.  Most high schools (and colleges) will have you start your 40 yard dash test in a three point stance.  The watch (or electronic clock) will start when your hand comes off the ground. An efficient, explosive start can shave .2 to .3 seconds off your 40 yard dash time! This video from the Parisi Speed School is one of the best I have seen on teaching the technique of the 40 yard dash start.  Most of the collegiate players testing at the NFL Combine will use the techniques taught in this video

An efficient way to get some good speed training in, is go out for your high school track team if you are not involved in another spring sport.  College coaches like seeing athletes (contrary to popular belief) involved in other sports.  If you can take part in another sport, and improve your playing speed, that is a bonus!

Tomorrow we will talk about explosion – how to improve your vertical leap, and playing FAST!

Remember – You Can Do More …. your brain is lying to you, don’t believe it!

Any questions – comment or email – I will respond!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Jump Rope Drills

patriot jump ropeTypically once a week during the year we do a variety of jump rope drills with our athletes.  In our Strength and Conditioning class  we have students from all sports, both men and women , in-season and out-of-season, and in all shapes and sizes!  Along with a cardio benefit (our heart rates are elevated for 20 minutes or so) we also see benefits in quickness, jumping, agility and coordination with our athletes.  The workout is quick-paced and not monotonous, so it keeps our athletes fairly well engaged.

The workout consists of our athletes completing a series of jump rope patterns, doing each pattern for 25 seconds, with 5 seconds off to reset and communicate the next pattern.  We will go through the following patterns 2-3 times, totaling 25-30 minutes of jump rope time.  You can download a short video that shows two of our athletes demonstrating each of these patterns by clicking on this link:  Jump Rope Demo Video  (or click on the picture above)

  • 2 feet jump in the same place
  • 2 feet front to back
  • 2 feet side to side
  • 2 feet round the clock (12-3-6-9) clockwise
  • 2 feet round the clock (12-9-6-3) counter clockwise
  • Right foot only in the same place
  • Left foot only in the same place
  • Right foot only front to back*
  • Left foot only front to back*
  • Right foot only side to side*
  • Left foot only side to side
  • Right foot only round the clock clockwise
  • Left foot only round the clock clockwise
  • Right foot only round the clock counter clockwise
  • Left foot only round the clock counter clockwise
  • Alternating Right and Left foot jumps
  • Ali Shuffle
  • Backwards

* Not shown on video

After going through these patterns 2-3 times, we conclude with the following jumps, all with a 10-second rest in between

  • 30 seconds – as many jumps as possible
  • 20 seconds – as many jumps as possible
  • 15 seconds – as many jumps as possible
  • 10 seconds – as many jumps as possible
  • 5 seconds – as many jumps as possible
  • 60 second cool down – choice of jump at a comfortable pace
  • 45 second cool down – choice of jump at a comfortable pace

All the patterns are completed using the following guidelines:

  1. 1 jump per turn of the rope
  2. Stress staying on the balls of the feet
  3. If jumping on 2 feet, stress landing on both feet and jumping off both feet at the same time.
  4. If they miss (and they will at some point during the 30 minutes!) then they must get right back to spinning the rope

If you have any questions, please comment or email.

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com

Two Birds With One Stone

All football coaches know and believe in the importance of conditioning.  Vince Lomardi’s classic axiom, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all” is just as true today as it was 50 years ago when he coined the phrase.  At the same time, coaches (and athletes) are always strapped for practice time, both in-season and off-season. Just “straight running ” for football conditioning (such as “wind sprints“) might be good, but probably is lacking in the area of creativity and efficiency.  Today I am sharing my favorite sport specific (football) conditioning drill called “Pattern Runs” that allow you to “kill two birds with one stone”  combining football drills and conditioning.

This “Pattern Run” conditioning workout is designed to help you improve your conditioning for football by performing different movements specific to the position you play. The Pattern Run workout was developed by strength coaches in the NFL, primarily Russ Ball (then of the Kansas City Chiefs now with the Green Bay Packers). While at the University of Central Missouri, our staff received permission from Coach Ball to use it with our players (Coach Ball is a graduate of the University of Central Missouri) and when members of our staff moved to William Jewell College, we used this workout, and had excellent results, with our players there, too.

RB patternsThere are different patterns for each football position group.  A description of the workout, as well as diagrams (including target times and distances) for each position can be downloaded at this link:  Pattern Run Workout

Keep in mind that the target times are for college athletes, and the pattern terminology is what we used at the University of Central Missouri and William Jewell College.  This workout could easily be adapted using your terminology and a adjusting the times to the targeted fitness level of your players.

If you have any questions about this workout, or anything else I have shared, leave a comment or email.

Remember – You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!

Jeff Floyd – youcandomore1@yahoo.com