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PostPosted: 20 Oct 2014, 20:11 

Posts: 157
Thanks Don,

Yeah, that is about what I was asking about.

I'm curious, what did you streamline your teaching down to? You mentioned that you worked on fewer things. What did you think were the most important things to work on? I mean what was your focus?

Brian Sass

PostPosted: 21 Oct 2014, 07:22 
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Posts: 3139
We worked on fundamentals every day without fail. Some days we spent more time on them than other days..... like the day before a game we worked on our game plan.... "How we were going to defend certain things they were going to do offensively. " There were times we would break that down too

What they did with their presses and how we were going to attack them - odd front vs even front.... we tried to keep our press offense the same, just change where we would attack it first. I learned very early that I did not want to get beat by a press, so we worked on that every day

Our biggest problem was our lack of size vs theirs.... we ran a match up zone and a m2m D, switching up just to keep them off balance.

As for the time we allotted for certain things.... that depended on who we were playing. We had a list of 10 things we needed to do to be successful in that game..... they went into our practice plans.

The game becomes a chess match at times..... and there are times you will be outmatched, outplayed and at times, out coached..... but if a coach did something to us one time.... we made sure that wasn't going to happen again . ....we would break that down if we had too... . we ran "situations" at the end of every practice to make sure that we corrected certain things that happened in prior games.

PostPosted: 21 Oct 2014, 09:42 
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Posts: 186
Location: Miami, Fl.

Some of this is experiential and there really is no other way to sort it out. Also, the levels that I coached, being higher than yours, it made it easier for me to sort out.

I used to worry bout the minutiae, I tried to coach every little thing. I learned to look more at big picture things. In most cases, the little things took care of themselves. If not, they became easier adjustments when the larger objectives were in focus.

The first thing I did was made a critical examination of the things I could actually effect by coaching. Those are the things I concentrated on. Then, I had to decide if I had enough time to work on those things to make an effect. If the answer was "Yes," I would commit practice time to it. If it was, "No," I would expose the team to it and turn it back to them to get better at. This was all done in the context of what we would need to try to become successful during the season.

I was taught very early in my career that you can't coach everything and you can't be good at everything. That didn't stop me from trying. It took me a long time to take that to heart. But when I did, we got better. I chose the things I thought we needed and became more productive. Weaknesses stayed weaknesses but our strengths became so strong that we were able to control games with them.

The time you take has to give you a return. What does working on something for 5 minutes do if 5 minutes is not enough to provide a return, besides waste 5 minutes? I think that coaches do things just because they think they should (like run suicides or 5-man weaves) when there are better and more effective things to do with the time that give a better return.

As Ken says in his post, priorities change situationally, but even at that, the basic philosophy stayed the same, pick what you can affect in the time you have. As he mentions, game prep. I have worked for people who were incredibly complete. We would prepare to defend every cut of every play our opponent ran. As I said, it was very complete, however it was ineffective. Players got confused (most could remember our plays, there was no way they were going to remember our opponent's plays) and it took a lot of time. It prepared us but stopped us from getting better. What I decided to do was tho take the things they ran most often and then try to disrupt the first 2 passes. We had more time to get better and opponent's offenses broke down pretty often. Didi we get beat on some things? Sure. But, you're not going to stop everything. I picked our weaknesses and didn't allow our opponent to do that.

That's just an example. Decide your philosophy, decide the best way to sell it, figure out what is most important and get the other things as you go along.

Don Kelbick

PostPosted: 23 Oct 2014, 19:11 

Posts: 157
Thanks Don. I actually e-mailed something to you, not sure if you can do it or not. But thank you so much for the feedback here. It was very helpful. I feel like I'm headed in the right direction.

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