FNF Coaches Talk — Missouri football manager inspires, free USA Football webinar, UNC players create app for playbooks

Welcome back, Coaches. We hope you enjoyed some family time this weekend. We’ve got three stories for you.

1. Missouri high school football manager inspires community during COVID-19 pandemic (NBC 5)

Here’s a great inspirational story in the midst of a difficult time for all of us associated with high school sports.

Marquette High (Mo.) football team manager and water boy Joe Porcelli was born with a rare genetic disorder, but hasn’t let it define him. He’s beloved by players on the Marquette football team due to his ever-positive demeanor.

With his classmates at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Porcelli has found a new way to inspire.

Porcelli, who throughout his life has had fusions of his skeletal bones and eight different surgeries, challenged his teammates and classmates to a daily push up challenge.

He’s currently doing 15 a day with the challenge to his classmates to join him. He said he thinks he can get it up to 30.

“He makes this world a better place. I’m proud that he’s my son and I hope that he inspires any kids with a disability,” Joe’s mom said.


What are players in your program doing to bring out the competitive fire in each other?

2. Attend the free USA Football webinar on Thursday at 11 a.m. ET (USA Football)

One thing we all need to be cognizant of in the months to come is the effect the stoppage in play could have on our participation numbers. We know the downward trend existed before this situation, and we also know that the spring is the time to bring new bodies into the program and make in-roads with the local youth program.

The best way to increase the participation numbers is to create a feeder system with the youth program. USA Football’s Director of Coaching Michael Krueger is going to host a webinar of Thursday explaining how coaches can make that happen.

Football doesn’t have an obvious natural entry point for young players – like, say, tee-ball for Little League Baseball players – but USA Football is working on that.

Krueger introduced the USA Football Development Model (FDM) with a goal to provide a variety of entry points and options, and empower parents and young athletes to choose the best version of the sport for them.

The objective of the FDM includes instilling fundamentals, developing better players, providing multiple entry points and game options, and creating developmentally appropriate skill instruction. By teaching the game in a fun and engaging way, we can more effectively meet players’ developmental needs based on their individual stages of growth and development.

Register for the USA Football webinar here.

What webinars have you attended since you started coaching from home?

3. A former North Carolina OL helped build an app for football playbooks (ESPN)

Tommy Hatton and two other UNC students, Sasha Seymore and Andrew Powell, helped found an interactive, educational platform designed to help football players more effectively learn their teams’ schemes and playbook called Learn to Win.

More and more coaches are using it in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“There’s really not a tool out there that lets you teach and communicate with your players like Learn to Win,” Hatton said. “People have been responsive to it, because they’ve been seeing this as the only option right now with the restrictions and because of the effectiveness to actually learn through our platform.”

The platform is now being utilized by more than 100 football and basketball programs across the college and high school levels. It gives coaches the opportunity to build lessons, quizzes, installs, playbooks and diagrams all in one place to help their athletes learn the concepts. Beyond hand-written quizzes on plays and game plans, as well as tip sheets that coaches had been using for years, those concepts weren’t able to provide real-time feedback on what the players were actually absorbing and what they were missing.

A coach can go into the software, build their lesson or quiz however they’d like, adding in video or pictures and ask specific questions to different players. They are able to use it in the spring when installing an offense or defense, in fall camp or even the week of a game to make sure the players understand tendencies of the opponent, concepts they’ll use and positional roles.


What apps are you using to help with your coaching during the coronavirus pandemic?

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