A Week at Practice

Saturday to Saturday. College football is a full-time job.

When I made my transition from high school to collegiate football, one of the most significant differences I noticed right away was the immense amount of detail that went into preparation for each week’s game.

Here’s a quick glance at the week of preparation leading up to a regular season game in college or the pros…

Continue reading “A Week at Practice”

How to Build a Winning Team Culture

Be the leader that you would want to follow.

It’s hard to win when you’re beating yourself.

On most losing teams, that is that case. The players have talent, the coach knows the game, but the pieces of the puzzle just aren’t fitting together the way that they should.

This is true in both sports and business.

When all of the players on a team are working in harmony, together they can achieve much more than they could ever hope to alone.

On the other hand, in the absence of strong chemistry groups lose synergy and struggle to reach their potential.

Anyone can have occasional flashes of brilliance, but there can never be true greatness on any team without first developing a winning team culture.

Building Culture and Managing Expectations

Here are my 3 Keys to Creating a Winning Culture:

#1: Set Expectations On Day 1

As the head of the team, you have to be the one who sets the tempo. You are responsible for creating the environment that your assistant coaches and players will learn in, perform in, fail and succeed in. So think carefully about which behaviours you want to promote and which you want to punish.

On the first day of practice outline the expectations.

Here are some of the ground rules that I give the athletes on my youth football team:

Continue reading “How to Build a Winning Team Culture”

Slow Feet Don’t Eat

Regardless of which drills you are working, Focus On The Techniques & Fundamentals!

3 Quick Thoughts on Agility

Movement skills are essential for players at every position in the game. As a defensive back, I rely on my agility and change-of-direction skills to chase down shifty running backs in space and cover blazing fast receivers all over the field.

Agility ladder drills are my favourite, hands down.  I’ve used ladders and cones in my workouts for over 15 years to develop my speed, coordination, balance, and explosiveness.

A quick YouTube or Instagram search will return countless drills for developing quickness and stop-on-a-dime cuts. So how can you separate the helpful from the hype?

Try not to get caught up in the idea that you need to do something highly complicated to get the high-level results you need.

22’s Tip: “WHAT you do does not matter as much as HOW you actually do it.”

Regardless of which drills you are working, Focus On The Techniques & Fundamentals!

Here are 3 Tips that I keep in mind whenever working on my feet:

  1. Bend Your Knees
    Begin every drill in an athletic stance, just as you would if you were getting lined up to play.  Start with your knees bent and your head up. The goal is to maintain that same knee bend and posture all the way through to the end of the drill. Think “Compact & Comfortable”.
  2. Slow is Smooth & Smooth is Fast
    Do not rush! Give your brain a chance to learn the footwork patterns of the drill at a controlled tempo. This will go a long way in developing the coordination and muscle memory needed to take the drills to the game. Start slow.
  3. Arms!
    Naturally, every lower body movement is counterbalanced with movement in your upper body. However, when people are focussed on their feet they have a tendency to tighten up their upper body. If you want to move your feet quickly, your arms will have to keep up. Do your best to relax and be natural. Shake it out, drop your shoulders and pump your arms.

Work on these 3 things during your next workout or practice.

Do you have any agility tips? Leave your coaching points in the comments below.

– 22

Opt In Click Here

Football 101: Off Man Coverage

Every DB wants to be labeled a playmaker, but before you can show off your ball skills and footwork you need to master the basics.

If you line up against some of the best receivers in pro football week in and week out you can bet that your technique is going to be put to the test.

In my years of experience, I’ve realized that it takes hard work and lots of practice to become a shutdown cover guy at any level. A good defensive back relies on sharp reflexes, great instincts, and composure under pressure to make plays and impact the game.

Of course, you want all of your players to become playmakers, but before they can show off their ball skills and footwork you need to help them master the basics.

As a coach, you want all of your players to become great playmakers, but before they can show off their ball skills and footwork you need to help them master the basics.

When you teach man-to-man coverage (m2m) keep these 3 Coaching Points in mind:

  • Alignment
  • Pad Level
  • Eyes

Continue reading “Football 101: Off Man Coverage”