Coaching Football: Part 2 – Strategy

When it comes to football, strategy is the key to being a successful coach. Here are just a few basic strategies that will elevate your team’s performance and lead you towards more victories.

Playing Personnel

Every coach has a wide variety of skills for each position that they must use to their advantage. On the professional level, coaches can choose the personnel that fit into their game plan. However, not all coaches have this luxury. Simply put, sometimes you have to work with what you have. Once a coach realizes the strengths of their players, the type of game plan can be formulated and not the other way around. For example, if a coach has multiple skill players with speed but an undersized offensive line, it would make more sense on offense to run a spread offense instead of a run heavy north/south or smash mouth, two tight end set. The players would be more successful in space compared to running between the tackles.

Executing the Basics

Running, passing and tackling are all basics for football, but great coaches make sure that their athletes can do these jobs effectively.

Repetition, repetition, repetition. Consistent practice of the simplest of tasks can lead to mastery of the fundamentals of football. This will ultimately be the key to victory.

Having a Plan

Have a plan that revolves around the strengths of your team. Know what your play call will be in multiple situations. Practice your your procedure when it comes to substituting personnel. Plan a variety of options for pivotal moments in the game, so that your athletes can be comfortable and confident in your decision making during competition.

Making Adjustments

Going into the game with a plan is a must, but sometimes the opposition throws a wrench in your plans.

As a coach, you have to figure out what’s going wrong in a timely manner and make changes that will get you back on track.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t stick to the script, rather your strategy has to account for the lack of execution in any area of play.



My motto during a game is, “Force someone other than the opposition’s best player to step up and make big plays.” Take away the opponent’s best options so that other players that lack the experience and ability to perform are forced to make plays. On offense, that could mean loading the box to stop a talented runner or doubling an all star receiver. Defensively, perhaps doubling a great defensive end or avoiding throwing excessively at a “shut-down” corner. Coaches that want to neutralize the other team must begin by taking away the other team’s strengths.

Coaches that aspire to become great must possess a multitude of skills and talents. Strategy is the key–providing coaches with a game plan for success. If you’re looking to take your coaching to the next level, try utilizing these strategies before and during your next matchup.


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