Coaching Football: Part 1 - The Essentials

There is no particular formula for coaching football. Coaches have to consider a variety of factors when developing their game plan and weighing their options. Regardless of the direction you plan to lead your team, there are some essentials that every football coach should focus on.

Teach the Basics

Blocking and tackling are the two most basic actions of football. There are several ways to teach each concept, and all coaches should familiarize themselves with the progressions involved in each.

When teaching both concepts, there should be a great deal of stress placed on technique. When performing these actions with the proper technique, you increase the ability of efficiency, while at the same time reducing the risk of injury. Blocking and tackling well will keep your team competitive.

Speak the Lingo

Teaching the basics of the offense and defense will prevent players from being lost on the field. Familiarize your athletes with universal football jargon. For example, on offense, talk about running holes, the receiver route tree, three and five step drops for the quarterback and reverse pivot, chop blocks, combo blocks, counters, draw plays, snap counts and so forth. Defensively, you can mention cover one, two, three or four; gap assignments, zone blitzing, defensive line techniques, etc. The last thing that you want as a coach is for a player to be lost or not know what to do in the heat of the moment during competition.

Start Simple

Coaches with advanced knowledge and experience can overwhelm their athletes with a complicated game plan.

Know the level of football knowledge amongst your athletes and meet them halfway.

Once your players get comfortable with the basics, you can slowly begin to add more complex schemes. At the end of the day, football comes down to blocking, tackling, running and passing. Once these concepts are mastered, you can expand your options to include more specific details that will accomplish the same goals.

Know Your Personnel

A coach that highlights the strengths of their personnel sets his players up for success. Coaches must be realistic in determining what their athletes can do. Their skill set and talents must be carefully evaluated so that coaches can efficiently formulate a plan around this info.

A coach's style of teaching can influence all of these factors. Know how your personality will impact your players and be sure to adjust according to your team's needs.

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