This article was written by Joe Daniel with Joe Daniel Football. Coaches like to keep track of any stat they can think of. Here are a few to focus on.
There are a million stats football coaches can look at. Most of them don’t mean much.
Some coaches are stat junkies. Some coaches don’t care.
Most of us are OK as long as we score more points than the other guy. That is the only stat that really matters.
But there are a few more metrics you can look at. They will help you determine how well your offense is working.
More importantly, looking at these numbers helps you get focused on what you need to improve on.
Turnovers to Possessions
Turning the football over is Public Enemy #1 in any offense. You just can’t do it often and be successful.
Looking at it per possession just helps get a grip on everything.
One game, you turn the ball over 4 times on 12 possessions. The next game, you turn the ball over 3 times on 9 possessions.
You did not get better at holding on to the football. You just had it less to start with. Your turnover to possession ratio is still 1 turnover every 3 possessions. By the way, start collecting your things.
What’s a good ratio? Well, zero turnovers. Just keep working to get the number down.
3rd Down Conversions
Converting on 3rd Down is critical for the offense. And demoralizing for the defense.
You need to coach the importance of 3rd down. Knowing the situation.
Where are the sticks? What yard line to I have to get to?
The difference between having guys who know to stick the ball out or drive forward for that extra yard is huge. You don’t want your QB giving himself up a yard shy of the 1st Down. Or your receiver trying to make that extra juke just before the marker, instead of lunging forward for the extra foot.
It also helps the play caller to be aware. Are you calling your best plays on third down? Or going off the script too often?
Power is consistently our best play in the Pistol Power Offense System. On a 3rd & short, we should be calling it. 3rd & long? Power Pass.
Not calling those plays much in 3rd down situations? We’re probably struggling.
Red Zone Conversions
Points in the Red Zone are critical. Your offensive yardage totals don’t matter if you squander opportunities inside the 20.
Just like on 3rd Down, you have to coach up the importance of the Red Zone. Your players need to turn it up a notch.
Take a look at how often you are converting in the Red Zone. And don’t ignore Field Goals (unless you don’t have a kicker and always go for it).
Yards Gained on 1st Down
2nd & 10 just sucks. It’s the worst.
Sometimes you take a shot on 1st Down and that’s OK. It’s part of the plan. But most of the time, you want a first down play that puts you in position to get the next 1st Down.
This means staying on schedule. 1st & 10. 2nd & 6. 3rd & 3. That’s on schedule.
You need to average 4 yards or more on 1st Down. If it’s not happening, start stressing the importance of 1st Down to your players.
Your play calling has to match this goal, too. If you’re calling 4 Verts or some other low percentage pass play on every 1st Down, you can’t expect to meet the goal.
Yards Gained Against The Blitz
Check out how your offense performs against the blitz. If you are more successful when they blitz, use that as a tool to motivate your kids.
If you struggle against the blitz, tell your guys. You need to work on it.
High School players can be intimidated by a lot of blitzing and movement from the defense. You want to handcuff the defensive coordinator by taking advantage of blitzes.
Compare how your offense performs against a base defense to how they perform against the blitz. If you need more work, put it in the practice schedule.