By Brent Glasgow
Many coaches who are looking for ways to fine-tune their practice regimen have decided to make Mondays more productive.
That’s how it’s done at national power Louisville (Ky.) Trinity High School, where Andrew Coverdale – a football strategy author and one of this year’s USA Football National Conference speakers – is the offensive coordinator. The Shamrocks use Saturday for something the majority of others do on Monday.
While Saturday includes weights and film review from the previous night, they then take a look at next week’s opposition to get the scout team ready.
“Our offensive staff will have come in and watched enough of our next opponent to identify their core structure, how we’re going to call it, agree how we’re going to label it and so on,” Coverdale said.
“We will have already agreed on what the scout defense is going to be next week, so by the time we’re at this point in the film with our kids, we’ll have them in there with us, showing them where they’re going to fit.”
Coverdale and another assistant coach then meet with the scout unit, to discuss the standard looks they’ll provide the starting offense.
“We take our time to make the scout defense feel really important, whether it’s to make one of them a captain, or giving them special names or really loving them up and giving them special seats for the film,” he said.
“They’re going to hear calls that we’ll use during the week so we can go as fast as possible within the tempos we use. Doing that on Saturday allows us to hit the ground running on Monday.”
With the scout team already prepped, Mondays are full work days to establish the core plan, calls and checks.
“That way on Tuesday and Wednesday, it’s all technique, tempo and refinement,” Coverdale said.
Coverdale also wants to show his offense the most challenging blitz aspects on Monday.
“I think exposing your guys to the toughest looks on Monday is incredibly valuable, so that they can fix those mistakes and see the ‘why’ of your plan,” he said. “You want them confronted by all the things that are hard about your opponent’s structure and personnel on Monday, so they can gradually see, ‘Oh, that’s why we’re doing this.’”
The more you do on Saturday, the more time it saves for other preparation on Monday and the rest of the week, which helps because the game plan is in a constant state of evolution.
“It’s still evolving in my mind as late as Wednesday and sometimes into Thursday,” Coverdale said. “I try to take all the stuff that doesn’t require real specific commitment by me and work it out on Monday – fundamentals, screen timing, certain parts of our running game that’s going to change, tempo-like things, anything that’s foundational.
“Philosophically, it’s been really good for us as we’ve evolved this thing.”
Live contact is scaled back on Wednesday, but not the intensity. Thursdays are shorter workouts, with open time left for things the staff’s biggest concerns.
As for what makes the Trinity offense what it is on the gridiron, Coverdale credits head coach Bob Beatty for his segmented approach to the season.
“We’re not trying to have a playoff offense in Week 5,” Coverdale said. “We’re trying to take the necessary step in development in a 15-week process to get us there.”
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