FNF Coaches Talk for March 6 — Jimbo Fisher’s ‘Fourth Quarter’ Drills, Mike Leach’s HS inspiration, Indiana HS coach talks sustained excellence

FNF Coaches Talk

Good afternoon, Coaches. Check out these stories about coaching football.

1. Jimbo Fisher’s offseason approach has a familiar look at Texas A&M (Houston Chronicle)

Second-year Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher is hoping to instill physical and mental toughness in his players, traits that helped him lead a team to a national championship at Florida State. Fisher’s spring drills are all geared toward helping his players remain physical and mentally strong through the fourth quarter of games and the season.

Many of the drills are geared toward lower body development.

“Football is a lower-body game, with lower-body flexibility,” he said. “It’s played low to high, and you have to be able to stick your foot in the ground and change directions, and be explosive from the ground up with your knees bent.
“And you’re trying to do that at full speed, with technique and controlling your body as you’re doing it.”

Coaches who are looking to improve their players’ technique and body control would be wise to try some of these drills.

Hence his players circling cones and running around hoops, shoving their hands in a fast-approaching teammate’s shoulders, going “one in, one out” with their feet on a ladder laid across the turf, rolling from their backs and jumping to their feet, and multiple more activities meant to hone the lower body among other extremities.

What are some of the drills you run in the spring to help build players’ lower body strength and flexibility?

2. Mike Leach at MIT Sloan analytics conference: ‘If you can do it in high school, you can do it anywhere else’ (USA Today)

Where does the innovator of the Air Raid offense look for new trends and ideas? In high school football, of course. And Washington State coach Mike Leach isn’t listening when NFL coaches and others dismiss his offensive systems in the logic that the talent at that level is physical or athletic enough to mitigate the spacial advantages the Air Raid thrives upon.

Here’s what Leach had to say about naysayers when interviewed by Michael Lewis, author of The Blind Side, at the MIT Sloan Sports and Analytics Conference:

Where do you like for new ideas when it comes to scheme?

3. Fresh off state championship in November, Warren Central coach Jayson West stresses doing little things best (MaxPreps)

Warren Central (Indianapolis) may be the premier program in Indiana high school football with nine state championships and at least 10 former players who have gone on to the NFL. MaxPreps sat down with head coach Jayson West to talk about his philosophy.

We recommend listening to the entire conversation if you have a chance. It’s a good reminder that you don’t need an exotic scheme or trick plays to sustain success. Keep it simple, and strive for a mastery of the simple things.

What’s your philosophy when it comes to sustaining excellence?

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!