FNF Coaches Talk

Good afternoon, Coaches. We’ve got some good stories for you.

1. CoachTube Video: Advanced Practice System Introduction (17:19)

Thad Wells is the head high school football coach at Mooresville High School in North Carolina. Wells is known for his creativity and thoughtful approach to life and the game of football. The way he runs his program is unique, his offense is unique, and how he teaches the game is unique.

A good head coach or coordinator spends more time designing practices than probably anything else during the season. How you go about doing so is a major decision for the success of your program. Since most coaches have been doing it the same way for decades, this is an area you can get an advantage over the competition.

The Advanced Practice System is an improvement on the old standard spreadsheet system coaches have been using for decades.

The main improvements are:

  • More space to write in notes for coaches.
  • Adjustable print sizes so a coach could put the schedule inside of a wrist coach or print it off larger to fit in a sheet protector if desired.
  • Easier ability to create templates for each day, week, and phase of the season.
  • The use of checklists to create reminders and make scheduling practices faster.
  • The ability to give schedules to more people within the program, including specialist, so everyone is organized and efficient.

Also included in this course is a discussion on the principles of practice. This discussion includes research from some of the top books on the topic of increasing talent level. You will also get a list of 16 books that Thad recommends for improving your team’s practices.

After gaining full access to this course you will receive both a Google Sheet template and an Excel file. The system works best with Google but will also work in Excel.

To purchase the full course on the Advanced Practice System, visit CoachTube.

2. ‘This only disability in life is a bad attitude.’ (Norcross assistant coach Corey Richardson)

Coaches — Show this to your players over and over again. It’s Gwinnett County (Ga.) Sports Hall of Fame inductee David Saville addressing the players from his alma mater, Norcross.

Saville, who is now the Clemson equipment manager, says: “I want you guys to be ALL-IN. I want you to be ALL-IN,” he said. “That is what Coach Swinney says, and the only disability in life is a bad attitude.”

How do you decide who to invite to provide motivational words to your team?

3. Coaches Need To Stop Kicking Themselves (Deadspin)

This story is about NFL’s coaches’ propensity to kick on fourth down rather than following the analytics, which say that they should be going for it far more often.

So why aren’t more coaches more aggressive, even amid near-universal agreement that it’s often the smart thing to do? During Super Bowl 52, the Eagles had an assistant linebackers coach who communicated realtime advice from the team’s analytics department. By the time the Eagles had fourth-and-goal on that final first-half drive, Peterson had already gotten word that he could and should go for it on fourth down, if it came to it.

The most notable decision to kick on Sunday came from Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury, who decided to send his kicker out three times inside the five-yard line against the Ravens on Sunday. Kingsbury said he did not even consider going for it on any of those fourth downs, even though his team was trailing each time.
“We have a system and have analytics involved and all sorts of things that we go through,” Kingsbury said of the considering to go for it on fourth down. “At those points in the game, that was the decision I made.” As it turned out, no coach had ever made decisions quite like that before.

Jon Gruden also made an odd decision on Sunday. The Chiefs led the Raiders, 28-10, early in the fourth quarter. Oakland had the ball, and went on a five-minute drive into Kansas City territory. Consecutive sacks pushed it back into Oakland territory for a long fourth down. Gruden looked at the situation and punted the ball away. The Raiders had given up.

An 18-point comeback in 6:25 would’ve been improbable. But not scoring a touchdown on that first drive made it impossible. Why not try to win?

What is the No. 1 reason you’re not going for it more often on fourth down?

What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk!

About the author

Dan Guttenplan