Category Archives: Practice

Standard 2 Hour Practice Plan

OK, so I get a lot of questions about how we practice.  First I try to find a volunteer or an Asst Coach to keep time on a stop watch or countdown timer of some sort.  Warning us when we have 2 minutes left in each period and then telling us when we have to switch (moms are great for this one).  Second, we have to find a volunteer to set up drills ahead of our schedule or set them all up at the beginning of practice.  We NEVER want kids standing around waiting for us to finish setting up a station.  It is very important for us to establish an uptempo practice rhythm or routine so that our kids are always moving and they know exactly what to expect and when to expect it.  This routine keeps us on a very quick pace for practice every day.  But we also have the flexibility built in so that we can do some ‘unexpected’ things to keep the boys interested as well as work a little extra on something we are doing poorly. Continue reading Standard 2 Hour Practice Plan

Centipede’s Dilemma

I had a conversation with a good coaching friend of mine named John Koester that revolved around different techniques and footwork that we teach our players.  Now we each already know pretty much everything the other teaches so this conversation revolved around why we teach what we do.  Some of the things that we said were:

“I am not very good at teaching kids techniques that require more than a three-step progression. So by eliminating the punch step the QB can just: 1. Receive the snap, 2.Spin and 3.Toss.”

“I think that is why LEG also works better for me than the  BEEF blocking progression that many coaches use.  Teaching and repping 3 steps instead of 4.”

The main theme of the conversation was ‘KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID’.  But John also reminded me of a great (old) nursery rhyme that makes us both think of how some kids react to coaches who ‘overcoach’ a technique or try to control every step a player takes during a play … that rhyme is called the Centipede’s Dilemma.

A centipede was happy quite,
Until a frog in fun
Said, “Pray, which leg comes after which?”
This raised her mind to such a pitch,
She lay distracted in the ditch
Considering how to run.

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.

Continue reading Chalk It, Talk It, Walk It, Rep It

Power Hour

Power Hour ends up being a little bit of a misnomer.  We usually only do this drill for about 30 minutes unless we are feeling particularly sadistic that day.

Power Hour Icon

We do want to try and do this drill once a week until at least the middle of the season.  But we don’t want to use this drill until our TOSS play starts looking pretty good.  That should be around week 2 or 3.  Just be sure to use it before Game 1, a couple times if you can. Continue reading Power Hour

Birddog / Greyhound Drill

In my never-ending pursuit of ways to coach more efficiently, I ran across this drill at a USA Football Clinic in 2007.  Jerry Horowitz was speaking about practice organization and one of his drills that really struck me was something he called the ‘Rabbit Drill’.  Now we had practiced pursuit angles before but never in a high-repetition, fast-paced manner like Coach Horowitz was explaining.  His explanation got me to thinking about how we could use this drill to not only work on taking proper pursuit angles, but also how we could incorporate conditioning into the same drill to kill two birds (rabbits) with one stone.  The result of all this is what we call our Birddog / Greyhound Drill.  We try to do this drill at least once a week near the end of practice as a ‘combo’ drill.  It is a combination of bird-dogging our defensive steps with pursuit angle work and conditioning. Continue reading Birddog / Greyhound Drill