Good afternoon, Coaches. Here’s today’s roundup of stories.
1. In a ‘never-good-enough’ culture, 2019 Patriots start to take shape (espnW)
Few can better understand what drives 67-year-old Bill Belichick than his daughter, Amanda. This is how she explained it in an espnW story:
“The Patriots don’t settle for greatness because it’s never good enough. You have no one to chase but your own ambition. It’s a challenging way to live because it means you are never where you want to be.”
One of Belichick’s close friends, Baseball Hall of Famer Tony La Russa, has long marveled at him in this regard.
“I believe his ability and his staff’s ability, and his team’s ability to start at zero every year — refuse to think about last year — is an important part of why they are so consistent,” La Russa said in a visit to a 2017 training camp practice. “It’s easy to celebrate the [last] year. The ability to turn the clock to zero is really impressive and very hard.”
How do you prevent your coaches and players from becoming complacent after experiencing success?
2. The public-to-prep jump so many high school athletes are making is part of a disconcerting trend (Hartford Courant)
This writer is not a fan of the trend of high school public school players transferring to private prep schools to get more exposure among college scouts.
The problem as it relates to so many aspects of this age of specialization, and specifically to the growing trend of elite high school athletes transferring from public schools to private prep schools, is that many kids feel the responsibility to think like adults way too early and … it … just … makes … me … squirm.
Players are forced, or at least encouraged and enticed, to identify major goals like stardom within a major college football program and a future in the NFL. No dream or ambition should ever be discouraged, of course, but a kid mapping every footstep of a years-long and narrow path?
The author argues that prep schools have the inside track to coaches like Jim Harbaugh and Dabo Swinney, so it’s handcuffing public school coaches who want to give their players opportunities to play in front of recruiters from the top college programs.
It’s like an AAU world out there, now. Elite players from all over the Northeast wind up on the same team, like free agents looking to improve their college stock while prep schools raise their profile by winning games and working more closely with the Jim Harbaughs and Dabo Swinneys of the world.
What are some of the problems with the trend of players transferring from public schools to prep schools?
3. A tip to help kickers avoid dropping their shoulder (4th Down University)
Special teams coordinators: Here’s a great video that we found on Twitter to help kickers improve their technique.
Dropping the kick-side shoulder at contact is a common issue w/ kickers. Tip 💡: In the FG stance, use the kick-side hand and grab hold of the waistband of their plant-side. This isolates the kick-shoulder in a neutral (natural) position, not allowing it to drop. 🗣 #ForTheBrand pic.twitter.com/cQLIE49fV7
— 4th Down University (@4thDownU) June 4, 2019
What are some of the common teaching tools you recommend for your kickers?
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!