Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
"WORK HARD, IMPROVE EVERYDAY,BE UNSELFISH, BE THE BEST!".
Just fininshing our third Fall with these kids I must say that the consistent approach has served us well.
Friday, December 25, 2009
We have all seen the professional and the college football players look up at the Jumbotron video replays to gain feedback to improve performance. More recently high school football venues allow for this same feedback opportunity. This got me to thinking a year or so back about something to possibly improve current football workout methods. My idea involves utilizing, combining and improving the use of the ever popular indoor workout facilities (controlled environmnt for great video sesions) and improved video technology specifically designed for coaching (now available to get fast and efficient feedback and play results for analysis ie. live capture). I truly believe we can combine or mesh the two together more seamlessly for a better workout. What? Change what we are doing now? Yes, I realize that many old habits die vey slowly and this holds true even in the world of coaching. In this regard I would like to quote Coach Chad Morriss of Lake Travis, Texas fame (just won his 2nd straight state championship there). Last year I heard coach Morris at the DFW coaches clinic and he referenced the fact that the world is changing at a much faaster pace than it used to and how this impacts us all even coaches. He referred to people in the business world who must adapt rapidly oftentimes re-inventing themselves and their whole careers due to "revolutions " in the business world. He boldly stated that unless we are going to be left behind "we must change too." This is so true especially when it comes to teaching our student-athletes on the field. They process information much differently than they did even 4 or 5 years ago. With gaming technology improving it is more challenging to keep them engaged as learners in the classroom and on the practice field.Just check the following link for more on this. We must change to teach them more effectively as they are conditioned and designed for more immediate feedback (video games again). This begs the question. How are we currently getting feedback to players using video?
Here I think it is best to take a look at how video technology has been been used in the past. I will just refer back to my own high school playing days in the early 80's. Typical of most schools we watched game film on Saturday mornings after the Friday night game. Our coaches pointed out the good and bad and we moved on with a better idea of what we needed to correct to improve our team for the next week game. We also analyzed our opponent on game films that were exchanged so we did not have to rely solely on scouting reports for information. Our head coach (Ronny Ray) was cutting edge purchasing a computer breakdown of oppenents tendencies from a service located in Plano, Texas.
The next breakthrough came with "video" technology allowing for more affordable and faster but oftentimes poor product. Some schools now attempted to utilize video better by using different angles (wide, tight, end zone). There has been differing degrees of success but there is no doubt that todays cameras and digital technology video systems (DSV,Hudl,etc.) with the ability to "live capture" for quicker feedback far exceed any prior methods. It is safe to say that very few staffs fully utilize the editing sytems available to them. It has become so specialized now that every staff has a "video guy". You know the guy on the coaching staff that is the "techie" who supervises the video crew. I will suggest here that all coaching staff members need to have some basic familiarities with your video editing system. The real point here is that we now have the technology to get immediate feedback to our players. So now we have all the pieces in place:
1. Indoor facility with adequate room providing for a consistent and great environment to video practice.
2. Video editing system with ability to gain instant feedback via live capture and a place to immediately show the video(Wall in the inddor).
3. Capable and trusted video crew.
How do I put these ingredients together to give our players the "immediate" feedback they so desire thusly improving learning and motivation during our workouts?
1. Design your practices(we could utilize this best during our "good vs. good" hull sessions. THis would be Tuesdays and Wednesdays and would include live pass hull and run hull sessions and at least one team session. The trick is organizing your workout (including transitions) to be more gamelike concerning reps and conditioning ( This actually allows for time between "drives"-5-7 plays mini-hulls to review the video just shot quickly projected on the wall of the practice facility. This also allows a brief teaching moment to reinforce good and bad and using the game-like tempo then go to next series or special teams-remember it is as gamelike as possible. This will also increase intensity and competition. THe trick will come in to customizing the modifications for the transitions which will have to be a very well thought out process due to various personnel who will move to perform their job during each phase whether offense/defense/kicking.
2. To increase the intensity have at least 1 coach be the official spotting the ball and whistling in time, etc. Defensive scouts can "tee up" and simulate movements and or blitzes (realistic look).
3. Fewer reps but greater intensity during these "mini-series hulls" will also allow for "scripting" plays into looks. Here is where the video feedback for great teaching is awesome. Take the time after each "series is over with to coach them up on technique, alignment and assignemnt.
4. Transitions- Transitions can be videoed just to grade body posture or reactions to something negative occuring on the field. Special teams transitions are huge too so remember to keep it gamelike go from a "hull series" to special teams segments and vice versa for best results.
Some notes from the Lamar County and Paris High 'Bama Legend. We were very fortunate that my Mom and Dad are from Paris and coach extended the favor for my Mom Marie Wright. A great big THANK YOU to Coach Gene Stallings from the whole Denison Yellow Jacket Staff!
Philosophy vs. Methodology
I was the sucker on this deal and bit on the bait. "We believe in running the ball"is NOT a philosophy.
Zone defense vs. Man DEFENSE!
Be a technique coach and know always what technique your players are using and you are teaching and why. Everybody is an X and O coach and can win with the pencil last. Develop players that have great fundamental techniques that work for them in your scheme and it makes the game much simpler. The game is blocking, tackling, and some pitching and catching and kicking. Get better at that. Put team emphasis on getting better in good on good live super intense game situations. Zack nailed the "what do I have to give up to play "nickel defense" question. (in reference to the 49'er drive in (the catch" game where Dallas got killed with nickel runs on end hand sweeps and Charlie Waters was in coverage). Coach was merely sharing with us the valuable lesson he learned that day. Great job Zack! The correct answer was that you have to give up a force player for end run plays to put the 5th DB in the game playing "prevent nickel". Coach Stallings also re-emphasized the importance of responsibility football with the example of "forcing" wide plays. "One man to force, one man to play cutback, and one man to play the play action (fooler) pass." He emphasized that as coaches we must reiterate the importance of developing "TRUST' in each others assignments. ie. COACH-"Why are you not playing the cutback like you should? PLAYER-I was getting to the ball coach and we stopped them.COACH-Your job son is to play the cutback. If he cut the ball back you would not have been there to make the play. Do you not trust that your teammate can do his job?PLAYER- Uhhhh..END
What is a Blitz?
This is a great lead question that Coach used to prove a point. Simply put to be effective a defender can fundamentally with great technique and talent defeat a blocker or blockers to make a play on the ball. When struggling to get to the passer or the ball carrier the simplest way to "fix" this is to bring "one more defender than they can block".."that is a blitz". Point made.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
The football gods have spoken
Now think of yourself being a high school or even a college football coach truly wanting to challenge young men to become not only better players and teammmates but better people. It is definitely a challenging task especially with the aforementioned examples fron the pro players and coaches alike. One can only hope to use this possibly negative information as a good guide of what not to do and how not to be.