Tag Archives: Football

Pre-Snap Movements by an Offense: Trade, Motion and Shifting

6 Feb

motion (flickr.com-gravely)

The thing you will often see an offense use to confuse a defense is pre-snap movement — either a formation shift or a man in motion.  Coaches believe it is two things: fun and lethal.

On offense, coaches want to create the illusion that they’re very complex when in fact they’re very simple. They work their magic by running a few plays from a variety of formations or “looks” that they create through various pre-snap movements.

The thinking is that they will be difficult to defend and, at the same time, they won’t overload their offensive linemen or quarterback with too much to remember as the teaching remains the same each week.

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Flop Charts and Clock Management

4 Feb

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Time will decide our fates.  It is no less true in football where clock management – that is to say, the management or mismanagement of the time left in a game – will often decide its outcome.  The team who is winning will want to use or “eat up” as much time as possible, while the team that is losing will want to conserve time so that they can score. Much drama is played out at the end of many games because of the minutes — seconds even – left on the clock that allows one team to convert one spectacular play into one phenomenal and unexpected ending.

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Football’s Most Dangerous Play

2 Feb


Its origins are found on the hard courts of basketball; its strategy based on the simple mathematics of the 2-on-1 fast-break.  Football’s most dangerous play was first conceived by Dan Faurot back in the 40’s while watching a game of round ball.

What he saw was that, in a 2-on-1 fast-break, the lone defender was placed in a no-win situation.  He had to make a split-second decision who to defend to prevent a score: either the ball handler or his teammate running along side but some distance from him.

Spacing, Faurot noted, was critical.

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When Kids Quit — Part 2

31 Jan


Everything can change with a phone call.

Five minutes of conversation and beliefs I held to be true for years were unraveled.   Probably forever.

The phone call in question came from the President of our association.  He told me that he had reinstated the players who quit during last Saturday’s game.

His reason, he said, was that they were kids.   12 and 13 year old kids who made a mistake.   A big mistake, for sure, but dismissing them from the team was, in his opinion, an even bigger mistake.

More than punishment, banishing them from the team denied us, as coaches, a chance to correct their mistake; to influence their thinking in a positive way.

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When Kids Quit…

31 Jan

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We lost big time this past Saturday and to a team we should have beaten.

We lost because we played like we practiced: poorly.  We practiced poorly because we were full of ourselves.  The previous Saturday we had upset a top team in our conference – a team much more talented than us — so that when we came up against our next opponent – a team that hadn’t won a game — we didn’t think we had to work hard.  It would be, we thought, an easy win.

We thought wrong.

Getting beaten is one thing.  That’s when you give your best effort but your opponent is simply a better team or more lucky.  In either case, there is no shame; just disappointment.  Losing badly, though, is something else entirely.  That’s when you don’t prepare to win and you don’t give your best effort and, as a consequence, you’re an embarrassment to yourselves.

We were definitely that and more.  We had kids quit.


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