5 Tips For Rebuilding Your Football Program
I am currently coaching in a rebuild of the football program at Indian Hills High School, but in the past I have taken over programs and have always improved and rebuilt the program to great heights. In order to do this some very important things have to happen in order for players to improve and get to the next rung on the ladder.
Here are five helpful tips along that path
#1 Set expectations and standards of where you want the program to go and what you expect from each player.
Too often coaches don’t set expectations of what the expect the program to be and forget to help them along the way with that roadmap. That roadmap includes developing team goals, side of ball goals and individual player goals. Also important areas like individual development and mapping out your offseason program will help tremendously.
#2 Set the tone and develop progression programming
By nature i am very intense and i think in a rebuild intensity is required to get the players from a laid back approach to football, to an intense one. Focus on constantly developing moving targets that they have to reach. Make sure each step along the way, players have small milestones they can reach. Have competition and specialized items that can really help. You can have lifting contests, max press days, skills competitions, teams competitions, group competitions and more. You must have it mapped out the levels that you want your team to progress to and begin to follow that path. Evaluations with player grading is critical to this process and helping them understand their own areas of improvement.
#3 Create competition and adaptability as much as possible
You must have a competitive environment in practice and force that process in a rebuild, if your athletes do not understand how to compete, there improvement will be limited. The key is to also create a competitive environment where the competition is adapted. For example unbalanced competition, where one side clearly is outmanned but they must overcome. Thinking on the fly, forcing them to make decisions on their own and execute. Situational competition like 3rd down conversions, goaline scores required in a certain timeframe. One of the things I have found that is a problem with teams that are in a rebuild is that they do not know how to score around the goaline and they do not know how to stop teams inside the red zone. You must create a competitive landscape in this area. This can be done by forcing an execution of a number of touchdowns (on offense) in a certain time period. You can also create a number stoppage of touchdowns in a certain time period.
#4 You must have a sound strength and conditioning program and develop speed and explosion.
This is the key, what i have found is most teams are slow in a rebuild and you can combat that in number of ways. #1 always getting them moving in warmups and in drills. #2 Making them run on and off the field. #3 Stressing running to the ball at all times. #4 Always doing some form of sprinting at the end of practice to work running technique and speed. #5 Lifting in the core lifts bench, squat, clean and adding trap bar deadlifting, abs, hyperextensions and RDL’s create explosion and speed. Tracking their strength over time will help them with progression as well.
#5 Creating an attitude with a positive atmosphere, creating trust and an holding everyone accountable
Players must trust that you are looking out for them, that you will help them get where they need to be and must know you care about them. If this happens then you can create trust, gain accountability and hold them to those standards. Everything happens over time and there are very few quick fixes. If you always focus on building up a player after you criticize or critique them, they will continue to develop. The players must know they can trust you and what you want them to accomplish, they must know you care about them. They also must be held accountable to accomplish those goals by checking them continuously to measure improvement.
By David Schuman David Schuman
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