COVID-19 has taken everybody by surprise. With schools closed across much of the United States, practice for spring sports have been cancelled and offseason regimens for all sports have been put on hold. This pandemic has left nearly 36 million youth athletes and their coaches stunned, and unsure of what to do and how to move forward.
While this may spell trouble for many programs, those coaches and teams who are using the MaxOne Team App for coaching, training, and team management can coach their entire team while students are social-distancing at home.
MaxOne’s Team App is being used by hundreds of high schools and colleges across the U.S. to stay connected in a time of limited face-to-face interaction. To date, MaxOne has helped more than 20,000 coaches and 200,000 athletes improve performance ranging from 12-40%, by creating virtual on-demand training environments.
How to keep your athletes active during COVID-19
As classrooms and meetings are turning virtual, it’s still important for coaches to stay connected and keep their athletes moving forward. MaxOne has always been concerned with improving youth sports around the nation and times like this require an all hands on deck approach that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
During this time of uncertainty, MaxOne is here to help give coaches the tools necessary to keep their teams moving in a positive direction. MaxOne is being used by hundreds of high schools and colleges across the U.S. to stay connected in a time of limited face-to-face interaction.
“We’ve spent the last year developing our athletes and working towards a goal. The last thing I would want to see is that progress and momentum lost. The ability to customize at-home workouts for our athletes while they are away from the weight room is extremely helpful,” says Riki Valdez, football coach at Sahuarita High School in Arizona.
In an effort to help athletes and coaches,we are providing our training and communication platform for free to any school or club through the end of May. Sign-up by clicking here.
Communicating with your team and their parents
In addition to MaxOne being a resource for keeping your team physically active, it’s also a great way for your whole program to stay connected. SMS, chat, and email are all available with MaxOne, allowing coaches to get updates and messages out to everyone with ease.
“With the upcoming push towards limited face-to-face interaction, it’s important to our program to continue building a strong foundation for communication. Messaging and chat features paired with customizable content sharing gives our coaching staff confidence that we will continue to move our program forward in this new reality that we are facing,” continues Coach Valdez.
It’s important that we get through this together, and take the necessary steps to weather the storm in its current state. Relationships still need to be built and the new reality of the “virtual locker room” shouldn’t change that.
“With the current state of uncertainty, the MaxOne software is going to really help our coaching staff keep the relationship we have with our athletes going even if we aren’t able to be with them in person. Not to mention the ability it has to keep our parents in the loop as well so they can keep track of all the changes that are occurring.” says
Keith Kilmer, football coach at Lowell High School in Indiana
Change is here, and whether you are ready for it or not, the MaxOne app is a great place to help you get started.
Need more assistance? We are here to help.
Here at MaxOne, we are doing our part to help stop the spread of COVID-19. We’ve closed our headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan for the near future, but are operating at full capacity as a remote team. If you need assistance, our customers come first so you can count on MaxOne to be there for you.
This article is from Radius Athletics, a basketball coaching consulting firm that exists to serve, grow and develop basketball coaches at all levels.
You’ve Got Bigger Fish To Fry
I am a product of The South. I was born in the Mississippi River Delta country of Eastern Arkansas.
My grandfather grew up working in the cotton fields of Northeastern Arkansas and the Bootheel of Missouri before joining the Navy, fighting in World War II, then making a career repairing air conditioner compressors for the civil service while tinkering with lawn mowers as a side hustle.
Like many Southerners, my grandfather was known for his repertoire of colorful expressions. He was a character.
My grandfather, Drew (1925-2007).
One of his favorite expressions was “You’ve got bigger fish to fry.” He would use this when he wanted someone to know they had bigger problems than the small problem they were initially worried about. You are worried about the wrong thing(s).
A church-member would bring by a lawnmower that would not start, thinking they needed the spark plug replaced. Drew would take a look and often tell them “you’ve got bigger fish to fry.” Perhaps there was a much more serious issue – the engine needed to be replaced, for example.
“We’ve got bigger fish to fry” meant that we’re wasting time on small stuff instead of big, important things. We’ve got more important things to do. We need to fix the big problem, then the small problem.
In the hundreds of hours I’ve spent counseling coaches, the expression “we’ve got bigger fish to fry” has been useful.
You want to install a 150-page playbook, but you only have one player in your program who can shoot above 33% from three? You’ve got bigger fish to fry.
You ask tons of intricate and technical questions about defending rare and complex actions you might face, but you struggle to get great effort from players on defense? You’ve got bigger fish to fry.
You spend endless hours producing a thick scouting report while your team struggles to even break a press? You’ve got bigger fish to fry.
You want your team to play great in games, but you do not have a high-energy, competitive practice culture? You’ve got bigger fish to fry.
You are trying to win in a physically demanding sport with players who are unfit, oft-injured and weak? You’ve got bigger fish to fry.
This list could continue…
Often the small, immediate problems get our attention. But they only exist because we’ve got bigger fish to fry. Ignoring the big fish we need to fry does not make them go away.
Coaches try to solve big, systemic issues with small solutions. You think you can “coach” your way out of it. Too often we seek micro solutions for macro problems. Why?
Because frying the big fish is hard. It takes time and we want our teams and programs to win and be competitive before we are good. Too often coaches think little things are why teams win when big things are why they win. Little things do not matter until you have your big things in order.
Also, often frying the big fish is confrontational and uncomfortable therefore we avoid it.
My grandfather taught me this lesson using this colorful expression and the lesson stuck. Edge cases and minutiae do matter, but not equally. And they certainly do not matter as much until big things are in order.
Ask yourself if you are tackling the right things. Are we caught up in small things when we have bigger fish to fry? What are bigger fish we need to fry as a program before we can become competitive or reach the next level?
Chances are you are devoting time to low impact tasks, when there are bigger fish to fry.
This article was written by Tim Frechette, Founder of AthleticLift.com. He has 30 years of soccer knowledge and experience, including playing at the collegiate level. Tim brings his coaching expertise to his website by sharing tips and tricks for helping players improve and learn more about the sport. In this article, Tim gives insight on what soccer coaches can learn from three of the top professional coaches in today’s game…
What we can Learn from the Best Professional Soccer Coaches…
The world’s most popular sport, soccer, is huge all across the globe. Money pours into the sport, with three of the top five most valuable franchises being European soccer teams. Even with all this money and popularity, good coaching is still the toughest thing for teams to find. Here are three things that today’s soccer coaches can learn from the best professionals in the world.
Tactics Matter – Pep Guardiola
The modern game of soccer is a far cry from the olden days, where 11 on 11 typically came down to a few brilliant moments from a few brilliant players.
While big moments are still a big part of the game, today’s version of soccer is much more focused on tactics and strategy. The teams that incorporate advanced tactics stand to win – just look at Pep Guardiola for proof.
Pep has won every major title across several different leagues in Europe, and a large part of that is due to the unique tactics he deploys. From utilizing two number 10’s on the field, to his high press mentality, to his concepts of playing out of the back, Guardiola has revolutionized the way soccer is strategized.
Today’s soccer coaches can learn a great deal from this, including:
Use practices to create situations that players will face in games, and do walk-throughs so your team knows how to handle them.
Simulate game situations by harnessing technology and practice equipment. Pick up a top rated soccer rebounder for your forwards, and watch game film with your defenders.
Constantly reinforce the tactics you want to be deployed, and explain the reasons behind them so your team understands.
Win the Hearts and Minds – Mauricio Pochettino
In most cases, all the talent in the world can’t overcome a collective team of 11 all playing together in unison. In professional soccer, where contracts, social media, and transfer fees seem to dominate the headlines, getting all 11 on the same page can be a challenge.
Mauricio Pochettino hasn’t experienced that trouble, though, even against great odds. His team hasn’t signed a new player in over a year, just moved back into their stadium after being homeless for almost two years, and yet have reached the team’s first Champions League final in team history.
Here is what you can learn from Pochettino’s ways:
Never put one individual player on your team above others. Always maintain the team spirit and energy.
Encourage player development, allowing younger players to blossom under your support and guidance.
Eliminate distractions when you see them creep up. Reinforce that you are coaching a team, not a collection of individuals.
Develop Talent – Erik ten Hag
Not every team can be Real Madrid or Manchester United. With professional soccer dominated by the top ten clubs across the world, it can be hard to compete. Budgets are astronomically higher for these elite teams, and yet certain coaches find ways to overcome these odds.
Ajax’s Erik ten Hag is one prime example of this. His Dutch team is typically known for being a club that grows prime talent and then is forced to sell it once the players get noticed by big clubs. While this has unfortunate long term effects for Ajax, it also shines a spotlight on the club’s focus for developing amazing young talent.
Ajax just completed the Eredivisie double, winning the league and the cup. Along with that, they came within seconds of a Champions League final. Here is what coaches can learn from ten Hag and Ajax:
Know and understand what you are looking for in talent for your team. Spend time connecting player traits to on-the-field results.
Create and plan the process your team needs to go through to reach its developmental milestones.
Look in different places to find and groom your talent.
While many are left thinking professional soccer is nothing more than a collection of money hungry athletes, there are several coaches proving that wrong. Their approaches, tactics, and philosophies show that good coaching can have an influence on the end product on the field, no matter what level you are coaching at.
This article was written by Darrin Sheffer, Coach at Brentville District HS (VA), and founder of the Obsessed with Offense Blog. Coach Sheffer has recently transitioned into coaching defense and provides great insight for anyone that has coached on both sides of the ball…
5 Reasons to Go No Huddle (That Make Sense)
Anyone who has followed this blog, or me on Twitter (@darrinsheffer) you may know that I have been critical on the Spread No Huddle/Up Tempo trend that has been hitting HS football for quite some time now. However, it is my personal philosophy to be a Lifetime Learner and also have the ability to adapt/evolve my position on certain topics. So, without any further ado here are 5 reasons why every HS Football program should consider going No Huddle next season (at least 5 that make sense to me) in no particular order:
1. Everyone’s Doing It!
OK, OK I know I just made some Old School Coaches out there upset, but before you stop reading out of anger please let me explain myself. Unfortunately for us the culture of the Transfer isn’t something that has stayed at the college level. HS players are now transferring to new schools left and right.
So what can we do about it as coaches? One thing you can do is to make your program appear more attractive to players outside of your school. How can you do that? If you go to a No Huddle offense it will appear to outsiders that you are more Modern/With It than the Old School programs. The key word here is Appear, which leads me to the next reason…
PSA: You don’t need to be a Spread/Up Tempo team to use No Huddle! If you are a Triple Option team you don’t have to change anything about your X’s and O’s. The only thing that changes is how you signal plays in. Either it’s using boards, wristbands or signals the only thing you change about your offensive system is the fact that your players no longer huddle up to call the play.
3. Control of Tempo
When many people think No Huddle they also think Up Tempo or Hurry Up. In reality that isn’t always the case. I feel that it is easier in a No Huddle offense to control the tempo of the offense than in a traditional under center offense. Many huddle offenses have to use two different systems of calling in plays when using their different tempos. In a No Huddle offense you can have multiple tempos, but at the same time have the exact same signaling system which will make it easier on both the players and coaches. Not to mention the fact that it will make practice time more efficient if you only need to practice one play call system.
Defensive Coordinators don’t like to be rushed. DC’s like to have time to figure out the down and distance, what does the opponent like to call in this situation, etc. From a Defensive perspective facing a No Huddle attack makes you feel like you don’t have as much time to call the right defense, even if the No Huddle team isn’t going Up Tempo. This can frustrate a DC into calling base/vanilla defenses or maybe go the opposite route and try to get too fancy, ether way you are taking them out of their comfort zone.
Unless the rules are different in your area, the offense is not required to give the defense an opportunity to substitute unless you also substitute players. Typically it is easier for the defense to sub in guys versus an old school huddle team. When facing a No Huddle team, even if they don’t go Up Tempo it can be more difficult to sub in players. This is very effective when your kids are in better shape than the other team.
This article was written by Phil Vogt, author of The Speed-T Offense. It can originally be found on thecoachvogt.com. In this article, Coach Vogt breaks down the common play, Power O, explaining the effectiveness and variety in which it can be run…
The Power of Power O
Often referred to as “God’s Play”. It’s physical, it’s downhill, brings bodies to the point of attack and can be downright punishing. The edge defenders must be physical and mentally strong or risk being exposed. The Play I am referring to, of course, is the Almighty Power O. The Power O is aptly named, and it is also one of the most versatile plays in the offensive world. Power O Can be run from any formation and personnel group, tagged with reads and assignment exchanges, and dressed up with formations, motions, fakes and trades. All this done without changing rules for the offensive line, what’s not to love about that? There is only one other scheme that can replicate that kind of versatility, the zone play. This article will focus the basic blocking rules for the Power O against different fronts, the different variations, and how to dress the play up.
I love to run plays as a series, blame it on growing up with a Wing-T coach as a father. I pair the Power O with Widezone, because of this I want every player in the offense to make the first step of Power O look just like Widezone. With that in mind, here are the general rules.
QB-The QB will reverse out and sprint the ball back to the tailback. He will put the ball on the mid-line and keep his body clear for the back. After the hand off the QB will carry out a 3-5 step burst opposite of the play for a boot fake. However, it is not just a fake, he is looking at the defensive edge player and checking him. If that edge player is not checking the QB on boot, we will play action.
FB-The FB will take a path aiming at the inside leg of the tackle. He is going to kick out the first man who shows on the tackles outside leg. This rule accounts for any stunts and prevents the “I got my guy” quotes lol. the FB will put his outside shoulder on the defensive players inside breast plate. We would love for him to destroy this player, but he really doesn’t have too. Just getting a body on him quickly will suffice.
TB-The tailbacks first step will be as if he is running Widezone the opposite direction. He will then go straight down the mid-line for the hand off. The TB cannot come of the mid-line until his first step after the hand off. He then takes a path to the C gap and is looking at the edge defender for a bounce or bang read. He will bounce if the edge player spills and bang it in the C gap if he gets kicked.
PST & G-The play side offensive linemen will use the rule “gap to backer”. They will step with their inside foot at any defender from their nose to the adjacent lineman’s nose. The aim point for the gap defender is his near shoulder, placing the head in front to stop penetration. The blocker will try and wash the defender inside. If nobody is in his gap, his first step will be an inside step to clear any stunts into the gap and then he will go to the “BACKSIDE” linebacker and seal him off. This rule also applies to the tight end, with one caveat. If the C gap defender is shaded on the TE we will arc release him to the Sam or Safety. Here is an example:
C-The center has to replace the pulling backside guard. If there is an A gap defender he will gap block him with the same techniques as the play side linemen. If there is not a defender in his gap he will step flat down the line of scrimmage to wall off the 3tech, or 4i/4. Penetration on the backside does not hurt this play, so he only needs to get his body on the defender to stop pursuit.
BSG-The backside guard is going to your puller. I like an open pull because I want him to the point of attack as fast as possible. He will take a step that gains ground and opens his hips so he can run. He is looking for the fullbacks block. If the fullback gets the kick, the guard will turn up and fit up on the play side linebacker. If the fullback gets spilled and pins the edge defender, the guard will bounce, then turn up and fit on the scraping play side linebacker.
BST and TE-The backside tackle and tight end have one have a rule called “pull check”. On any defender shaded head up or inside they will step inside and then hinge to open hips and wall off the defender, again…backside penetration does not hurt the play, just get a body on him. If the defender is in an outside shade, just base block him and wall him off.
DIFFERENT FRONTS & WHEN TO CALL POWER O
All of the base rules will never change, except for the TE’s. I will include here a quick description of when I like to call the play and what we do to a few different looks given by the defense. I am a big Widezone guy, I also run a modified toss I call blast, as well as the bellyG. All of these plays will eventually cause the defense to do one of two things, and often times both.
They will start overflowing with the play direction.
They will start slanting with the formation
The thing about slanting is 9 times out of 10, you can dictate the slant by your formation. A film scout will tell you where they will go, as well as the first two series of the game. Then all you have to do is get them slanting the way you want.
Once the defense is slanting or flowing, preferably both, then it is time for Power O. Formation the defense in a manner that you know which way the slant is going. Call the Power O the opposite way of the slant/flow. Power O is a gap scheme play, so your guys up front will just take them where they are going already! It makes for a very easy block, and you can wash them down across the formation most of the time, even with undersized lineman like I have. Here is an example vs a “Slant 50”
You can see from the photo that the OL is just taking the DL for a ride. The uncovered Guard will step down to check gap, then go wall off backside linebackers. The ghost 9tech on the play side will be an easy kick for the fullback because he has been checking the QB all night on boot fakes (if he hasn’t…why aren’t you calling the keeper??)
If you are unsure about what direction the defense is slanting, get in a balanced formation and use the count system, which I take about here (LINK). Just count the numbers and go where you have more than them. Simple math. Here is an example formation you could use:
Occasionally you will get a gift for an alignment by the defense. A 3tech and a 9tech to the strength. Why anyone would do this, I will never understand, but when it happens from time to time. You can run the Power O as is or steal what they gave you, with a “solid” call. If the tackle sees that the guard is covered and nobody is in the C gap he will call “Solid”. This tells the FB he is on insert instead of kick, and tells the TE that he just needs to turn out on the 9tech. here is an example:
Here it is vs a bear front:
Blocking a play side 7tech can present some problems if he is a war daddy. I play with 7’s all the time, I like to keep them in a state of uncertainty. We will arc the TE to the Sam on Widezone away, cut block him with the TE on Widezone away, double team him, down block him, and on Power O to him, arc the TE to the Sam and kick him with the FB. The 7tech, 9 times out of 10 will step with that TE and widen up, making an easy kick for the full back, here is a second look at it:
One of the beautiful things about the Power O, is the ability to run it a multitude of different ways, and not change anything. One of the most common variations of the play is the Power Read. Made popular by Auburn when they had Cam Newton, they made a living on this one variation. Instead of kicking the defensive end with the fullback, the QB is now going to read the play side End. Either a guy in motion or the tail back will ride across the QB while the QB shuffles and reads towards the play side. If the End squeezes he will simply give it to the speed back, and he will carry the ball to the perimeter on a jet sweep look. If the End chases the speed back, the QB will keep and run ball behind the offensive line, which is running the Power O. its simple, effective, and places the defense in a big bind. Here are a few ways to run the play:
With the prevalence of RPOs (run pass options) in today’s offensive world, it was only a matter of time before it was tagged alongside the Power O. One of the easiest RPOs to pair with the play, is a slant by the slot. If the LB plays run, the QB will pull and throw the slant. If the LB sits or drops, the QB will give. Here is a look:
One of my favorite variations is also my go too variation when we have been hurting the defensive with Zone Lead. The play is tagged with a “Kick” call. This simply tells the Guard and the FB to switch responsibilities. The Guard will now kick out the edge defender and the FB will jab opposite to let the Guard clear, and then become the fit player. Here is the example:
DRESSING IT UP
Power O can also be “dressed up” several different ways. This is a term sometimes called “window dressings” as well. It refers to making the play look different, but it’s actually the same. Same but Different is an excellent way to conflict the defense. One of the easiest ways to dress up the Power O, is with jet motion. You can run the Power O with the jet fake or against the jet fake, depending on what you are trying to do to the defense. If you are trying to widen the edge defender(s) then go with the motion. If you are trying to influence the Linebackers away from the play, then go against the motion.
Shifting and jumping formations is very effective as well. One of my favorites is to jump from unbalanced one way to unbalanced the other way. The defense will be worried about lining up correctly and not stopping the play. Here is a look at it:
The TE will shift down to become the eligible tackle. The Tackle, Z and X will all jump sides to set the unbalanced the opposite way. The key is to do it quickly and force the defense to scramble. Eventually, they will just start sliding the front, allowing you to attack weak personnel at your desire.
Down on the goalline, you can dress it up out of a 3back, power-i look. The 3back(z) will go outside to influence the edge defenders and become the alley blocker if the play happens to bounce. Effective, and nothing changes for the rules of the play.
CLOSING the Power O is one of the most versatile and physical plays in football. I firmly believe that every offense should run some facet of Power O, whether you are under center pro-i, wing-T or shot gun. The fact that it can be run from all these different offenses clearly shows its merit. It can give a physical component to any offense. It can be used as a counter to zone runs or it can be your staple play. The point is, the Power O has been here a long time, and I don’t see it ever leaving the game of football. Feel free to comment below. Please subscribe via email on my website (TheCoachVogt.com) so you can get updated whenever I post a new article, and give me a follow on twitter at @thecoachvogt.
This article was written by Phil Vogt, author of the book The Speed-T Offense. It can originally be found on thecoachvogt.com. In this article, Coach Vogt breaks down Air Raid concepts and how to apply them to your offense.
Adding Air Raid Concepts to Any Offense
Using a simple quick passing attack in a run first offense can keep the defense on its toes. This article is an excerpt from my book “The Speed-T Offense”. This concept can be used in any run first offense from flexbone/SBV to single wing, but if you are interested in checking out some wing-T stuff, you can get my book HERE!
The passing game covered here will be to use in addition to your current play action passing attack. The purpose here is to put in something that is super simple but still effective. Most of your time will be dedicated to your run game, and play action passes. This needs to be something that is inexpensive yet will yield good results. For that purpose, we are going to steal a concept directly from the Air raid offense so frequently seen in offenses today. So, all that said, let’s dig in.
First, and foremost, it needs to be simple. It needs to be simple for the offensive line, and for the skill players. Both in protection and routes being ran. Second, it needs to utilize high percentage routes. Lastly, it needs to get the ball out in three seconds or less, to make it easier on the offensive linemen and the QB alike. Here is how you will accomplish this.
The play call is going to set the formation AND the protection with one word. We will use the words “red”and “blue” for the sake of this article, but you can obviously use whatever word you would like. Red will be 3×1 right, with protection set right. Blue will be 3×1 left, with protection set left. Next, you will say a number: one, two or three. This will tell the receivers what to run. THAT IS IT! The play is called. Here is a look at an example of each one:
Red and Blue are your protections and formations. A simple half slide will suffice for this, half slide is covered in depth in my BOOK. Big on Big can work, but will require a lot of work fundamentally. Half slide is easy to do and simple to teach, in a future article I will speak on half slide as a base pass protection. If you want to get even easier, go full slide, however, you will need to have a fullback that likes to take on defensive ends. There are not too many of those out there, but if you got one, full slide is the way to go. But if you already have a base protection for drop back passing…. just use that.
The routes are going to be determined by the number that is called. As a base rule, EVERY receiver will have a five yard hitch. This means they will run to six yards, turn back in to the QB and stop when they get back to five yards. Every receiver will assume that they are getting the ball. If the number of the corresponding receiver is called, he will then have a vertical route. (If your QB is a good one, then your WRs can run option routes. I prefer corner/post for that) On his fifth to sixth step the vertical should be looking for the ball if he is an inside receiver. If he is an outside receiver, he will look for the ball on his seventh to tenth step. The number “1” will be the outside receivers. The number “2” will be the Z. The number “3” will be the A. If their number is not called, then they have a hitch. Your quick screens can be used in this series as well. This may be the simplest pass game in America right now, Hitches and quick screens… combined with your normal ground and pound offense, you will need no more.
The QB only has three seconds to get rid of the ball. If he has not gotten rid of the ball in that time he will throw it out of bounds or take off with it. He WILL NOT throw a pick! If he can help it, he will not get sacked, or at least make it back to the line of scrimmage. Where the QB will go with the ball is going to be determined pre snap. He is looking for a hitch to be open pre snap. When he identifies him, that’s it. That is where is going with the ball, catch the snap and get it out there. If there is not a hitch open pre snap, or an obvious post snap movement to take it away, he will go to the vertical. If the vertical is not there, he runs the ball or throws it away. Very simple, even for young QB’s.
Running the football is NOT what this is for, as sacrilegious as that sounds. This is a change up for the defense, and something to add some new era flash to your offense. Your kids will like it and get excited about doing it if you limit its use. You are going to throw the football in these formations every single time, until you get a five man box. Once you get your five man box you can call a run play. Pick just one to use for this series. Good ones to use are trap, Counter and sally draw. Trap is obviously going to hit quickest, and sally draw is going to mimic a pass play. What you choose is up to you. In my personal opinion, sally draw would be the better choice as you will have a body on body, and the linebackers will most likely bail.
These are simple concepts that can be added to anything that you are already doing! You can even incorporate them in to your base formations. Whether that be wing-T or Pro-i. use the same rules for the OL and WR and you are gold! Please feel free to reach out with any questions! Subscribe to the email list to be notified when new articles post and be sure to follow me on twitter at @TheCoachVogt
This article is from Radius Athletics, a basketball coaching consulting firm that exists to serve, grow and develop basketball coaches at all levels.
What’s Your Basketball Genre?
Counseling Coaches Series: Basketball Coaching, like music, has genres. You don’t have to know or even pretend to care about all of them.
Imagine you have a friend, and this friend is into classical music. He can tell Beethoven from Bach within the first few notes. He has recordings of everything from Vivaldi to Chopin on his favorite listening device. His home is filled with the sweet sounds of classical music every waking hour.
He gets tickets to every symphony performance in his city and even travels to New York or Boston to hear special performances. By any definition this friend is a music lover, right?
But this friend could not tell Jay-Z from Tupac or Luke Bryan from George Strait. Ask him who the best rock band of all time is and he could not tell you if it was the Beatles or U2 because he is only vaguely familiar with either.
Classical music is his genre and to reach the depth of knowledge he has of the classics, he simply did not have the time nor headspace for other genres of music. There is simply too much music being made in genres ranging from Techno to Blues to know it all.
We’d have no problem imagining that our classical music-loving friend would not like nor care about Hip-Hop. He knows what he knows and likes what he likes. He is OK with being a classical music lover. You would not ask him to help you with a music trivia question unless it was about classical music. In which case he would be the only person you would ask.
Basketball and Basketball Coaching also has genres. And like music, there is too much info out there to be an expert on all of it. Developing your “Basketball Genre” is vital.
Imagine for a moment that all the written and digital information out there on different basketball strategies, offenses, defenses, drills, plays, sets, zone offenses, man-to-man offenses, full court presses, half court traps and BLOBs and SLOBs were all in hard copies and stored in one single place. How big would that facility need to be?!
If we stood in front of this facility and I said, “To be a good coach you have to know all this stuff.” What would your response be? Impossible.
Here’s something that may sound shocking – not only do you not have to know it all, you don’t even have to pretend to care about it all. You are not missing out.
Coaches often feel like they are falling behind their peers if they do not know it all (Or pretend to be trying to know it all.) In actuality, you will fall behind your peers if you endeavor to know it all.
Pick a genre, a more manageable sized slice of all this information and know it well – very well. And more importantly, be able to teach it to your players very well (which only comes from knowing it well).
Your “Basketball” genre – ball screen offense and man defense, for example – now serves as your filter. It helps you focus on applicable material and tune out info that is not applicable. You no longer have to buy every new instructional DVD or attend every session of the next clinic you go to. You cannot know it all and you most certainly cannot use it all anyway. So you can ignore non-applicable material stress free!
But you may well want to consume any and all materials that are in your genre. You study coaches and teams reflecting a similar genre as the one you have chosen. You develop a network of coaches who share the same genre. Deep knowledge of your chosen genre is the goal.
In counseling coaches, I often receive emails from coaches seeking resources on basketball tactics. Some of these emails are asking about tactics I know little to nothing about. My reply is “I don’t know, but here’s the email address to someone who does.”
This may seem crazy for someone who is branding their services as “a coach to coaches.” I am supposed to know it all, right? False. I know the things I know very well because I don’t know it all. Better stated, I know the things I know well because I didn’t try to know it all. There is not enough time. Giving planned neglect to much of basketball is exactly how a coach gains deep knowledge of a particular basketball genre.
One last analogy. In your first two years of college, you study many subjects at an introductory level. You take a semester of Biology, a semester of Government and semester of History. General knowledge of many subjects is a good thing.
But to graduate from the university you have to pick a major. In your final years, you study one subject deeply. Then you may go to graduate school and receive a master degree in that subject and some even go deeper and receive a doctorate.
Our friend has a doctorate in the classical music genre. He does not have to care about the new Brad Paisley album or wait in line for tickets when the Dave Matthews Band rolls through town. But he would not dream of missing the opening night of the symphony.
This article was written by Darrin Sheffer, Coach at Brentville District HS (VA), and founder of the Obsessed with Offense Blog. Coach Sheffer has recently transitioned into coaching defense and provides great insight for anyone that has coached on both sides of the ball…
Are you an Offensive Guy? Do you want to become an even better Offensive Coach? I have a solution for you: coach Defense! Here are 5 reasons why (in no particular order)
1. You get to study a different offense each week
As the LBs Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator part of my responsibilities this season include breaking down our opponent’s offense each week. How does this help an Offensive Guy? I get to see and study more offenses this way than I would as an Offensive Coordinator.
2. Better understanding of how D-Coordinators think
Do you ever wonder what goes through a Defensive Coordinators mind mid-game? Well, if you coach defense you will get first-hand experience as to how a defensive coach would think and react to what you are doing on offense. Consider this: what would you do on defense to try and stop your own offense?
3. Know the true weaknesses of each defense
How would you change up your offensive attack facing a 33 Stack? What about the next week when you face a 4-3 Defense? Each Defense has weaknesses and strengths. Want to know how you can best learn them? Coach each defense, you will quickly learn where you are weak and where you are strong.
4. Better understanding of different coverage
Kind of piggybacking on #3 how do you attack a Cover 3 vs a Cover 2? Do you know where the holes in the coverage are? How will the D-Coach on the other side react when he sees you are attacking their weaknesses? If you have coached defense then you will have a better understanding of all of these.
5. Insight on which offenses are more difficult to defend
Each defensive coach will have at least one offense that they HATE to defend. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Wing-T or the Air Raid, each coach has one offense that they struggle against. So how do you choose an offense for your team? Maybe pick the offense you hate to defend!
This article can be originally found on Positionlessbball.com. Positionless Basketball provides elite level basketball training and camps for youth players all the way to college and professional. This article breaks down four different offensive rebounding concepts…
Offensive Rebounding Concepts
Offensive rebounding is something coaches are always preaching. Whether it is about not giving up offensive rebounds or having players crash the glass. Coaches have a lot of different philosophies regarding offensive rebounds and they often depend on the personnel. Below I will discuss 4 different offensive rebounding concepts…
In a weakside flood, players flood the weak side of the lane for the offensive rebound. The post player or player on the block goes to the weak side block when a shot goes up. The next two players crashing the glass flood the weak side with one player in front of the rim and the other on the weak side. The point guard retreats for transition defense. This is a concept that has been used by Illinois coach Brad Underwood. Below is a diagram of the weakside flood concept.
The triangle concept is a classic concept to fill all sides of the basket for the rebound. The point guard and shooter (or any players that are designated) get back on defense when the shot goes up. The other three players fill the strong side block, weak side block, and middle lane to form a triangle. Below is a diagram of the triangle concept.
This is a popular concept among pro and college teams. Players who are below the free throw line can crash the offensive glass. Players who end up above the free throw line on the shot must get back on defense. Below is an example of the top back concept.
This is a concept that coaches use who believe that transition defense outweighs the possibility of an offensive rebound. When the shot goes up all 5 players abandon the offensive glass and get back on defense. Coaches may also send their best offensive rebounder to try to get an offensive rebound and the other 4 players get back on defense.
This article is a MaxOne original written by Scott Heitland, Head Football Coach at Dallas Center-Grimes High School (IA). Scott has been a football coach for 20+ years and is an active board member for the Iowa Coaches Association. In this article, Coach Heitland shares the importance of building relationships with the Youth Football Program in your area.
Building Connections with Your Youth Football Program
Whether you’re a veteran head coach or a rookie head coach, establishing a good working connection with your local youth football program should be a goal for us all. Some might view this as an additional responsibility that they just don’t have the time for, especially during your season. But I would challenge you to take some time to rethink that position.
As youth football grows, whether flag or tackle versions, it is a very important time for these young players because their experience will likely determine their desire to play in the coming years. I often tell our youth football leaders that they very well might be the most important football coaches in our community. It is the experience that they provide that might determine whether I get the chance to coach those kids in high school or not.
I ask you again, are you willing to put some time into building a strong connection with your youth football league?
During my journey in working with our local youth football programs, I have tried to follow some very simple steps in creating a strong bridge with them. The first thing that every coach should do is take the time to assess the state of the youth program. The best way to accomplish this is to sit down and listen.
Take an assessment from their point of view on how things are going. How is participation? What is the level of excitement from the kids and parents? Are the people in your community finding a program that they want to be a part of? Taking the time to gather information is a crucial first step. Until you know exactly what is or isn’t going on it is hard to implement change or offer suggestions. Don’t rush this step and take your time gathering your information.
Once you feel you have a hand on what the state of the program is, gather some resources that you have to offer. Sit back down and have a discussion on how you can help, implement change, or be involved. At this point, you can decide what level of involvement you want to have.
Once it is established what your role could be, take the lead and go! If you feel that a window of opportunity is there, don’t let it slip away.
Your position as the football leader in your community is valuable.
Many times, the parents coaching youth sports don’t have the time or the resources to grow and learn about the latest trends or techniques in the game, but you as the head coach are always growing and learning about how you can coach the game better. Don’t be afraid to lead, you may be very surprised on how well received your efforts will be.
When you find yourself in a position to contribute, work collaboratively with the local leaders to create a better and improved pathway for kids to follow during their youth football experience. If your assessment discovers that people are looking for a better or improved game, use this chance to share how you believe the game should evolve for the youth.
Keep your focus on what you as the head coach want kids to develop as they make their way to your program. Fundamentals and skill development are the foundation of any athlete and make sure that these things are the focus of your youth program.
As you take a role in creating the pathway they will follow, it will ensure that these things are being addressed. Create a pathway that is best for the kids in your community. It doesn’t have to look like all the others, but it does have to work for you and the people involved with it.
Next, let the leaders and coaches know that you are there to support them! Don’t come in and make suggestions and offer changes without offering your support.
As mentioned above, many of the youth leaders don’t have development opportunities or know where to go and get them. Offer to include them as part of your staff at a clinic where you get a clinic rate for as many coaches as you want. Offer to put on a local clinic using your staff to teach them during a time of the year when they can all participate. Give them a chance to attend your camps or practice to see drills run in real time. (See Educating Young Coaches)
You can even offer to sit down and help them create practice plans to make sure that they are using their time efficiently. Whatever you choose, let them know that you are there to support them. You will develop a strong group of coaches in the process and people who will support you in the stands on game night.
Lastly, don’t underestimate the importance of your time and efforts.
When you invest in your youth programs you are investing in your future.
You open the lines of communication with the coaches and league leaders in a way that will improve the overall game and experience of the participants. Keep in mind that the goal of any change should always be what is best for the kids and when you keep the kids and their experience as your “north star” you will always do what is best!
Assess-Lead-Support-Invest: these are the things that you can offer your local programs.
We as head coaches must remember that we are the first line of defense in protecting the game that we all love. You have a great opportunity as the leader of the game in your community.
This past weekend, a Youth Football Summit was held in Iowa. It was sponsored by our state coach’s association and the state athletic association. It was a great day of gathering information, sharing ideas, and learning about what the different leagues were doing across the state. If you hold a leadership position within your state coach’s association or know someone in your state’s athletic association, I would strongly encourage you to make some calls and see if this is an event that you can hold for the youth leaders in your state.
There are many great things that can be accomplished when people sit down across the table from one another. If you would be interested in learning more about an event like this please contact me and I would love the chance to share with you what we have done here in Iowa to promote it within the high schools and youth leagues.
Good luck and make the most of your opportunity while you have it!
Scott Heitland, Head Football Coach at Dallas Center-Grimes High School (IA)