FNF Coaches Talk — Directional Kickoffs, 4 Reasons Football Players Get Injured in the Weight Room, Oklahoma State’s Competition Day

Welcome back, Coaches. We’ve got three stories for you.

1. Direct Kickoffs to One Side of the Field to Improve Coverage (FirstDown PlayBook)

Our friends at FirstDown PlayBook published a Special Teams blog post on Monday with some common-sense advice for coaches.

If your Kicker can place the ball to one side of the field or the other it gives your kickoff unit a huge advantage. The kickoff return unit can bring the ball back to the field at their own peril.
It only makes sense to expect some type of boundary return sooner or later. At some point the return teams are going to tire of trying to get the ball out to the field. They will then try to poke a hole in your boundary coverage.

Be sure to check back on the FirstDown PlayBook blog. They post daily so there is always fresh content. During the college and NFL season, one mid-week post includes a breakdown of one of the previous weekend’s biggest plays with designs.

If you are interested in submitting an X’s and O’s feature for publication in FNF Coaches, contact editor Dan Guttenplan at dguttenplan@ae-engine.com. Our friends at FirstDown PlayBook will design all of the plays to complement your scheme breakdown.

2. 4 reasons athletes end up on the injured list (EXOS)

This is one of those topics you don’t really bother to read about until it becomes a problem. If you’re Googling, “Why do football players get injured during the offseason?” … it’s probably too late.

We all want to push our players to the limits at this time of year, but it’s important to remember that keeping them healthy is the only way to sustain the gains they’re making.

This article lists four common causes of injury, and a couple are particularly relevant with football players spending so much time in the weight room right now.

1. They’re overtrained.
Single-sport athletes  overtrain now more than ever with the shift from the traditional three-sport competition to a year-round, one-sport specialization as early as the elementary school years.
Overtraining is most commonly the result of too much sport-specific training. But it also can be the result of too much one-dimensional weight room training at the expense of movement and recovery.

Here’s another common cause of injury this time of year, when we start to hear Bill Belichick’s voice in our head chanting “NO DAYS OFF.”

4. They’re under-recovered.
Work plus rest equals success.
In recent years professional teams have embraced recovery. Some NFL coaches rest starters once playoff positions have been clinched.
While many teams have embraced recovery or regeneration, it’s more than taking an occasional day off or consuming a post-workout recovery shake. It’s a mindset of integrating recovery strategies of sleep, nutrition, soft-tissue work, and other measures into every day, week, month, and year. That can be a tough sell in a more-is-better culture even though the results are supported by science.

What measures do you take to keep your athletes healthy in the weight room during this season of growth?

3. The Speed, Strength and Conditioning Day That Has Strengthened the Oklahoma State Football Program (Sports Illustrated)

We all want to drum up competition in the offseason, and Oklahoma State director of speed, strength, and conditioning Rob Glass brought a lot of new concepts and ideas to the program when he was hired in 2005. One of those that Glass brought with him was competition day.

Glass preaches that the Competition Day activities encourage the competitive drive in players, teamwork is involved in some of the events, and leadership is fostered by the captains of each team and with players within the teams using their influence to push teammates to greater performance.

Rob Glass brought the Competition Day idea with him from Florida and it has flourished at Oklahoma State.

The first week serves as the first round and sends the four winning teams to the championship side of the bracket and the other four to the consolation side. The next week serves as the semifinals for the championship and also determines the match-up for third place, fifth place, and seventh place.
The events range from tractor tire toss, weighted sled pull, 5-10-5 agility, cone drills, bag drills, tug-of-war and one-on-one tug event, and an obstacle course.

What are you doing to bring out your players’ competitiveness during the offseason?