Consider helping MosleyTheCat keep the web hosting hamsters fed and happy. Please Donate.

Author Topic: Acheiving & Maintaining Excellence  (Read 1423 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline MHcoach

  • Moderator
  • Platinum
  • Posts: 7728
  • Total likes: 1816
  • Coaching: High School
  • Defense: Other
  • Offense: Other
Acheiving & Maintaining Excellence
« on: June 24, 2018, 02:53:43 PM »
One of the hardest things to do is to get a team to play at very high level & then maintain that level. I have been very fortunate to have several runs with different teams & different ages. The easy answer is to have great players, this always leads to the Jimmy's & Joe's vs X's & O's argument. The harder answer is to make great players. I know this can be done, if you are consistent in your approach.

The very first thing a coach must understand is, it's all about our team & never the opponent. There will be times you will play teams with much more talent than yours, & times you will play teams with much less. In either case it's never about what they do but what your team does. Will they execute at a high level? Will they play hard? Will they be disciplined? Answer those 3 questions to start, & you have the beginnings of achieving excellence.

Next, you as a coach have to have a plan for everything. It doesn't have to be the best plan or the only plan, but you have to have one.

What if they score on the opening kickoff?

What if we score on the opening kickoff?

What if we are down at the 1/2?

What if we are up at the 1/2?

What will we do on 3rd & long, 3rd & short, near our goal line, near their goal line, at mid field, & any other situation that will arise? This goes for both sides of the ball.

You have always be prepared, & so does your team. Whatever the answer you have, that has to be the one you use. You as the coach can never get flustered or over emotional, you are in control & know it.

I coach quite differently in practice than I do in a game. In practice every detail matters, no mistake is allowed. In a game only the next play matters. When a mistake happens & it will, my focus is on what to do next. This is not the place to get negative, instead be positive & go forward. Never coach from the negative," Don't go offsides" is a clear negative. "Watch the ball" is a positive.

Don't Fumble = Secure the ball
No body behind you = Deeper than the deepest
No missed tackles = Rally to the ball

This applies to everything you coach, do it from the positive.

Next, make them believe they are the best. Not the best players, but the best team. I have often coached bad teams but they never knew it.

Hope this helps.

Joe
"Champions behave like champions before they're champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners"
Bill Walsh

Offline chucknduck

  • Copper
  • Posts: 336
  • Total likes: 34
  • Coaching: High School
  • Defense: Other
  • Offense: One Back
  • Title: Assistant
Re: Acheiving & Maintaining Excellence
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2018, 02:57:51 PM »
Awesome, thanks for always trying to help us.

Offline MHcoach

  • Moderator
  • Platinum
  • Posts: 7728
  • Total likes: 1816
  • Coaching: High School
  • Defense: Other
  • Offense: Other
Re: Acheiving & Maintaining Excellence
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2018, 03:48:24 PM »
Something really important is getting your plays at practice. This is something I hear all the time. The first thing is my best Youth teams only practiced twice a week. People who saw my teams never believed we only practiced twice a week. Our practices were fast, & efficient. There was never any standing around. Coaches were expected to coach, every rep was coached without slowing down the next rep.

We have one rule, miss a practice miss a half. This is the rule in season & there are no exceptions or excuses. "My grandpa died", wow I am really sorry. You can play the second half on Saturday. In preseason 2 unexcused practices & you are off the team. An excused practice has to be something legitimate. I didn't have a ride isn't valid. Players always have coaches & other players #'s so this doesn't work.

Next, practice must be planned & players need to learn to practice fast. I only use drills that are football centric. They need to learn how to hustle from drill to drill. Don't waste time on foolish things. Ever see a team that does an elaborate warm up, we will always beat those guys by 50.

Our practices were always 1 hour & 55 minutes by design. Players are expected to arrive 15 minutes before practice starts. Practice always starts on time & ends on time. This is something you have to firm about.

Joe
"Champions behave like champions before they're champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners"
Bill Walsh

Offline MHcoach

  • Moderator
  • Platinum
  • Posts: 7728
  • Total likes: 1816
  • Coaching: High School
  • Defense: Other
  • Offense: Other
Re: Acheiving & Maintaining Excellence
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2018, 05:53:09 PM »
Game day is what it's all about. While I am a nut or a football geek as Mahonz calls me, & love practice; I remember being a player & what game day meant. Your team is a reflection of you, if come in tight & envious so will your team. If you are over the top, they will play out of control. If you come in under inspired so will they.

Be confident, but respectful.

Be loose, but focused.

The last the I always remind my players is this is a game, go have fun. You as a coach need to remember this too. Nowadays I am in the booth, the instant our QB comes off the field he is on the phones with me. I can remember being in the middle of a see saw game with our arch rivals, big crowd, on TV & I tell him, "Wow isn't this great, let's enjoy this". He threw the winning TD with 5 seconds left.

Don't make rash decisions, but don't be afraid to make player changes. A back fumbles(cardinal sin in my book) pull him & talk to him. Don't yell & scream he knows he made a mistake. Instead tell him he's a better player than that, & remind him High & Tight. Then get him back on the horse.

When the game is on the line think players more than plays. You have to know who you can depend on with the game on the line. Don't try to pull a rabbit out of a hat you don't have.

Always do in the game what you have practiced. Bad teams put plays in at 1/2 time, good teams adjust plays.

1/2 time is about making adjustments & keeping your team focused. At the Youth level we always gave the team the first 5 minutes for water & whatever. During those 5 minutes the coaches determined what is needed to be corrected. Usually if we are up(most times we were) I would be aggressive in maintaining focus. If we were down(rarely) it was a completely different approach. I would be very calm & usually start with something like, " We got them right where we want them". Reassure them & make the corrections needed.

Joe
"Champions behave like champions before they're champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners"
Bill Walsh

Offline MHcoach

  • Moderator
  • Platinum
  • Posts: 7728
  • Total likes: 1816
  • Coaching: High School
  • Defense: Other
  • Offense: Other
Re: Acheiving & Maintaining Excellence
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2018, 07:00:48 PM »
Next, know your scheme's. This goes hand in hand with coach what you know. This doesn't mean never run anything new, rather learn what you will coach. Know what happens against every front or every formation. Know how to teach it. I have changed offenses many times over the years, same for defenses. Every time we did something new I went to the best source to learn it.

The part that I believe a lot of Youth Coaches overlook, is the how to teach it part. I want to know how to teach what I do better every year. Just knowing the scheme's isn't enough. What is the foot work every player needs? What techniques do they need? How can I drill those techniques? How does this fit with everything else we do?

When I was a young coach I filled notebook after notebook drawing everything until I understood it completely. I ask questions, made phone calls, & did everything I could to be sure I knew what we would do. This is where having a mentor is important. More the merrier, I had several great mentors when I started. They often kept me in check, & I listened for the most part.

Joe
"Champions behave like champions before they're champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners"
Bill Walsh

Offline MHcoach

  • Moderator
  • Platinum
  • Posts: 7728
  • Total likes: 1816
  • Coaching: High School
  • Defense: Other
  • Offense: Other
Re: Acheiving & Maintaining Excellence
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2018, 07:20:10 PM »
Those that know me, know I always feel our team stinks early in the preseason. That's because I am always expecting them to practice like last years team did the week of the Championship. Repeating excellence is about building your team to that level. I am never satisfied until the season is done. It becomes we need to get better every week, every practice, every drill, & every rep.

One of my AC's commented that I start coach as my car pulls into the parking lot. Point is always be coaching. Find time to make every player better. It maybe something as small as a player's stance, or step, or as big as their effort. Coach them all, no detail left undone. Yet, don't over coach them. Understand it's a building thing. When I coach QB's I correct one fault at a time rather than all of them. Every coach needs to be coaching.

Joe
"Champions behave like champions before they're champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners"
Bill Walsh

Offline PSLCOACHROB

  • Administrator
  • Diamond
  • Posts: 12482
  • Total likes: 2414
  • Coaching: 14 & Under
  • Defense: 5-3
  • Offense: Multiple
  • Title: Retired
Re: Acheiving & Maintaining Excellence
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2018, 10:22:51 AM »
I really like your last point. Don't overwhelm your athlete. Correct one issue at a time starting with the most important one. Bombarding a kid with 10 things they are doing wrong helps nobody. It discourages the kid. But once the fault is corrected never allow it to happen again.

Offline mahonz

  • Administrator
  • Kryptonite
  • Posts: 24075
  • Total likes: 2416
  • No Wimps
  • Coaching: 7 & Under
  • Defense: DC 46
  • Offense: Single Wing
  • Title: Head Coach
Re: Acheiving & Maintaining Excellence
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2018, 11:45:26 AM »
Thanks Joe. Good stuff.
Collect moments, not wins.

Offline MHcoach

  • Moderator
  • Platinum
  • Posts: 7728
  • Total likes: 1816
  • Coaching: High School
  • Defense: Other
  • Offense: Other
Re: Acheiving & Maintaining Excellence
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2018, 12:29:08 PM »
Coaching is teaching. We don't expect a student to know differential equations without teaching them to add. Yet, we expect a player to block without teaching them a stance, how to punch, and how to step.

IMHO it's something that builds with each practice. It's an unnatural act to run your body into another body as fast as you can. This is a learned behavior, therefore it has to be taught. I often say, do what your team can do. This is why teams get better as the season goes on.

Joe
"Champions behave like champions before they're champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners"
Bill Walsh

Offline MHcoach

  • Moderator
  • Platinum
  • Posts: 7728
  • Total likes: 1816
  • Coaching: High School
  • Defense: Other
  • Offense: Other
Re: Acheiving & Maintaining Excellence
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2018, 06:32:05 PM »
Building a culture of excellence, it is often difficult to get players to believe. The easiest way is to make them prepared for exactly what they will face in a game. How many times do we see the offense not able to run a play, because they always practiced with a coach in the huddle? We make sure to do exactly what we will do in a game at practice. If we are using a player to shuttle plays in, no huddle wrist band, or simply calling out plays we do the same in practice. Game day it just seems normal.

One of the last things I always did before we took the field was go over the Game Script. I reviewed the coin toss with the captains, then called out Kick Off, Starting D, Starting O, Goal Line O, Kick Return, PAT, Goal Line D, Punt, etal. We make sure we have 11 & everyone knows where to go. The whole Game Script lasts 4 minutes. I then remind them the only play that doesn't end on a whistle(FUMBLE).

When you team is honestly prepared they will play like it. This carries over to the first play of the game. In Brooklyn we started every game for 11 years in a row with the same play. At MH we had a 4 play script. Either way our offense knew what we would do to start. This stopped any hesitation.

Joe
"Champions behave like champions before they're champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners"
Bill Walsh

Offline mgriffin88

  • Copper
  • Posts: 29
  • Total likes: 0
  • Coaching: 10 & Under
  • Defense: 5-3
  • Offense: Double Wing
  • Title: Coordinator
Re: Acheiving & Maintaining Excellence
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2018, 07:38:16 AM »
That was some good reading. Thanks Joe.

Offline MHcoach

  • Moderator
  • Platinum
  • Posts: 7728
  • Total likes: 1816
  • Coaching: High School
  • Defense: Other
  • Offense: Other
Re: Acheiving & Maintaining Excellence
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2018, 06:30:02 PM »
My first year in MH we went to & won the NC. It was also a brand new organization, & their first year. So, I don't buy it can't be done with a new team. Tito year in & year out takes over poor programs who barely won any games the last season & usually plays for the state championship. GP hasn't had a team under his win a game in years, yet every year he is in the Championship. DC has often taken loser teams to winners in one year. DP in a new situation with a losing identity, always seems to turn it around.

The point is it can be done. As a coach we need to stop blaming the players if we are never successful. This mean being accountable for how your team plays. Stop using the stock excuses & find a way to be better.

My players are stupid= All players are stupid.

If your players are making stupid mistakes, & not doing what you want or have taught; then maybe you have to change how you are teaching. One of my mentors always said "any player can make a mistake, when several are making the same mistake it's coaching". In the early 2000's I was coaching a JV team. We had gone undefeated & really ran everyone off the field. In reviewing the season's video I noticed a lot of arm tackles. Rather than say it was the players, I said I need a better way to teach tackling. I spent the next couple of months researching how to teach tackling. Players will only do what you teach them.

We have trouble going on 2. Either teach it differently or only go on one.

We always get called for holding. Analyze why, & fix it.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. You need to always be working to be better. If we won by 50, I want to see what we did wrong rather than right so we could be better. Beating a bad opponent by a big score doesn't mean you are good, just that they are bad.

Joe
"Champions behave like champions before they're champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners"
Bill Walsh

Offline CoachDavidP

  • Silver
  • Posts: 2056
  • Total likes: 53
  • (Fizzlife)
  • Coaching: 6 & Under
  • Defense: Undecided
  • Offense: Undecided
  • Title: Other
Re: Acheiving & Maintaining Excellence
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2018, 10:11:01 PM »
Early in my experience as a head coach, but I have been reviewing film from last season and I am almost disgusted with myself. I just donít see what good football looks like and I know while the players were the ones playing, that is the product I put on the field.  It can be embarrassing but at least we hopefully learn from it and take some of thi and apply it to our coaching.  All this is such a great read. Thank you for your time Joe!
David (Fizzlife)

Extreme Ownership -- Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Offline MHcoach

  • Moderator
  • Platinum
  • Posts: 7728
  • Total likes: 1816
  • Coaching: High School
  • Defense: Other
  • Offense: Other
Re: Acheiving & Maintaining Excellence
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2018, 10:16:23 PM »
Fizz

The whole point is to grow as a coach. I have had teams that I did a terrible job coaching, they won in spite of it. There are times I wish I could go back & apologize to those players. The funny thing is they contact me today, thanking me.

Good football is more than suggestive, it is a viable thing. I have often told young coaches go & watch a good team practice. Could be College or a good HS, get a feel for their level of commitment to excellence.

Joe
"Champions behave like champions before they're champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners"
Bill Walsh

Offline spidermac

  • Silver
  • Posts: 2422
  • Total likes: 507
  • Coaching: 7 & Under
  • Defense: Killer Bee
  • Offense: Double Wing
  • Title: Head Coach
Re: Acheiving & Maintaining Excellence
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2018, 11:47:43 AM »
Joe,

First, thanks! Good stuff in here, I am sharing it with my coaches, they need to "hear" it.

The grow as a coach thing is awesome...my son who I coached, on a really bad team (and I was a pretty bad coach at the time too) gives me some hell periodically, why didn't you do this when I played for you :) My answer was I didn't know what I didn't know, I always try and keep learning...

Thanks again!

Chris
None of them suck, they just haven't found what the kid is good at yet.