Chalk It, Talk It, Walk It, Rep It

First let me say that on the last page of this article, I have reproduced an article I found in the High School Player Development 2008-2009 Student Planner that is published by the NFL.  I was reading the section that teaches student-athletes about time management, goal setting and better study habits when I found a section titled ‘How Do I Learn?’ on page 14.  The information located there does a great job explaining why we use the Chalk It, Talk It, Walk It, Rep It method of teaching when we introduce new plays or schemes to our team.  So what do we mean by Chalk It, Talk It, Walk It, Rep It?  Well, let me explain.


We start by sitting our players down and drawing the new play on a chalkboard or a dry-erase board.  We also spend a few minutes and revisit previous plays because this gives us an opportunity to have the players come up and draw in their assignment.  Drawing plays on a chalkboard shows an entirely different perspective that many players never get a chance to see. Think about most clinic videos you’ve seen, most of the time you get to see footage but you can’t really understand what the presenter is explaining without the drawing.


Take some time and explain the play.  Explain how it works in your offense and sets up companion plays.  Discuss the techniques used by each player so that the players can see how those techniques affect spacing.  Ask questions and get your players to explain the play; get them to explain the techniques.  Quite often this ‘classroom’ setting makes it easier for kids to ask questions that they might not be comfortable asking when you are out on the practice field.


Move the players to the practice field and line them up and walk through the play.  Show different defenses and make sure each player can point to and explain his assignment.  Walk through the play at walking speed, then a little faster and continue to get faster until you are ready to run the play at full speed.


Full speed repetition against air, then against dummies and finally against a live defense with success at each level will give your players confidence in the play when they use it on game day.  You will never know how good a player’s technique is until you see him execute it multiple times against a live defense.


“Simplicity + Repetition = Confidence”

How Do I Learn?

Each person has his own interests, skills and abilities. On the football field, you have a certain position in which you excel – whether you are a quarterback, running back, lineman, safety or kicker. Each day, you spend time crafting and perfecting your position to the best of your ability. Similarly, as a student, each of you has a certain learning style that works best for you in the classroom.

The benefits of knowing your learning style will help you meet with success in your academic, football and personal life and will help you identify the proper study strategies to process the information effectively for a successful experience, both in the classroom and on the football field!

Visual Learners … Prefer to See the Information

  • Take detailed notes, carry a notepad
  • Use visual aids: maps, flip charts, diagrams, flash cards, draw pictures
  • Highlight information with different colors
  • Sit in the front of the class
  • Write everything for quick review
  • Copy your class notes in a computer and use a printout for review

Auditory Learners … Prefer to Hear the Information

  • Study with a friend or in a group
  • Use a tape recorder and fill in with your notes
  • Read the text, questions and answers out loud
  • Dictate papers
  • Listen attentively
  • Sit in the front of the class where you can hear well

Tactile Learners … Prefer to Touch or Manipulate

  • Build models, use flip charts and puzzles
  • Write and re-write notes
  • When reading, use your finger as a guide/trace the words as you repeat
  • Be hands on, don’t watch
  • Absorb your information by feeling and touching

Kinesthetic Learners … Prefer Moving Around or Hands On

  • Learn by doing things with hands and body
  • Movement in athletics, dance and acting
  • Use charts, flash cards, etc.
  • Turn ideas into material objects
  • Study while working out, observe while doing
  • Organize ideas by re-arranging sentences

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