Coaching Management VOL. XVIII NO. 4
F O O T B A L L ■
P R E S E A S O N
How to Handle Criticism Training in the Trenches
CATCHING ON Working with wide receivers
E D I T I O N
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Coaching Management Football Edition Preseason 2010 Vol. XVIII, No. 4
2 LOCKER ROOM
Bulletin Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Update on concussions ... School dis trict emphasizes character … Cutting and adding teams … Jamboree raises funds for high schools … Father and son unite on the field.
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Wide receivers are known for their dynamic plays, but it takes more than a great set of hands to succeed. Here’s how to get the most out of your wideouts.
Quelling The Critics
Q&A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Kalen DeBoer, University of Sioux Falls/Southern Illinois University
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Nowadays, coaches get bombarded with criticism from every angle. Learning how to handle it with composure is key to success (and staying sane).
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HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONS This Ohio high school team marched 97 yards in the final three minutes to claim its first state title over a longtime nemesis.
On the cover: Bowling Green State University wide receiver Freddie Barnes reaches for a pass over Tulsa’s Roy Roberts. Story begins on page 16.
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LOCKER ROOM BULLETIN BOARD Concussion Rules Changes Coming Across the nation, concussions are getting a closer look at every level of play. Politicians and medical professionals are calling for stricter return to play guidelines as more research reveals the potentially devastating effects of playing with a head injury.
The House Judiciary Committee also held a forum to discuss the handling of brain injuries on the collegiate and high school levels in early February. At the meeting, college conferences were criticized for not adopting tougher return-toplay guidelines than what the NCAA recommends. Several individual states received kudos at the hearing,
athlete who exhibited signs of a concussion to obtain written clearance from a physician before returning to play. And in Maine and New Jersey, lawmakers have established committees or working groups to further explore the topic. “We’ve ignored it for so long and now the baby boomer generation of athletes are coming to middle age and
game and cannot return to play until they are cleared by a healthcare professional. Previously, a player only had to be removed from play if he was unconscious. At the NCAA level, the Playing Rules Oversight Panel has endorsed proposals from the Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports Committee that would
“Coaches may have once believed that if an athlete could get up and walk off an injury, they were fine to continue,” says David Klossner, NCAA Director of Health and Safety. “For blows that cause concussion symptoms, that thinking is evolving. Concussions cannot be taped, braced, or bandaged like other injuries, and athletes should not be expected to ‘play through’ them.” In October and January, the House Judiciary Committee held hearings on head injuries in athletics, focusing on the NFL and its current guidelines. The league was widely criticized during the hearing, and soon afterward, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell unveiled guidelines that recommend a player who has lost consciousness or is thought to have suffered a concussion not return to play in the same day. Additionally, a panel of coaches led by former NFL coach and television analyst John Madden is looking into ways to reduce concussions outside of games. The panel has discussed reducing off-season work and limiting helmet use and contact in practice, minicamps, and training camps. Madden is also interested in eliminating wedges on kickoff returns and hits on defenseless players.
For a list of Web sites with concussion resources, please visit: http://bit.ly/bWq3GP
however, including Washington and Oregon, which have both adopted new laws in the past year that require concussed athletes to get a doctor’s clearance before they are allowed to return to play. The laws also concentrate on proper education for coaches, athletes, and athletes’ parents. Now, several other states are following suit. California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island are all either examining or have proposed legislation that would require an
older adulthood and we’re seeing the effects that the bodily abuse has had on them over the years,” Missouri Representative Don Calloway, who filed legislation in his state, told the Associated Press. “You wonder what we could have done as a society or as leagues or just as citizens to perhaps have prevented some of that stuff.” The NFHS is also working on its concussion guidelines. Beginning this fall, players showing signs of a concussion must be removed from the
require student-athletes to exit play if they display concussion symptoms and not allow them to return without a physician’s clearance. In addition, any athlete who loses consciousness would not be allowed to return to play for the rest of the day and until a physician’s clearance is obtained. Pending clarification of procedure, including exactly who (athletic trainers, officials, coaches) would be able to deem if an athlete has displayed concussion symptoms,
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
On the Web
Several states, including Missouri, have taken a closer look at how to handle concussions among high school athletes. Above, Hazelwood Central and Blue Springs High Schools compete in the 2009 Missouri State High School Activities Association Class 6 championship.
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LOCKER ROOM BULLETIN BOARD the rules are expected to be approved in time to take effect for the 2010-11 school year. The panel has already approved the addition of educational materials to the NCAA’s offerings, including videos and other educational materials. Klossner says the take-home message for coaches is that they need to pay careful attention to their athletes, no matter what their current state law, state association, or school guidelines on concussions are. “What used to be referred to as a ‘ding,’ ‘fogginess,’ or ‘bell ringer’ are all concussion symptoms that require removal from play,” Klossner says. “If a coach suspects a student-athlete might have a concussion, they should remove the student-athlete from play, ensure that they are evaluated right away, and allow them to return only with permission from an appropriate healthcare professional.
players during the practice and told them they would run until someone quit. But fewer coaches have probably heard about the new program implemented by the affected school district. At the start of this school year, Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) instituted a program for all its coaches based on its motto of “Character First,” which teaches positive coaching and emphasizes strong character. The program discourages coaches from using negative tactics in favor of more creative and positive ways to motivate athletes. “The seminar is designed to help coaches think about going from ruthless tactics to more rigorous tactics— from using profanity, bullying, or threats to using positive reinforcement and creative ways of motivating kids,” says
Jerry Wyman, JCPS Athletics and Activities Director. “For example, we don’t promote saying something like, ‘You are going to run until you drop, quit, or throw up.’ Instead, we want coaches saying, ‘We are playing this team and it’s the fourth quarter. Who is going to last until the end?’” The workshop also reminds coaches to praise players when they succeed. “I agree 100 percent with the guidelines from the seminar and those were reminders our coaches needed to hear,” says Curtis Higgins, Head Coach at Fern Creek High School in Louisville. “One point was something I was taught by another coach early in my career. He said, ‘Players do something right or wrong on every play and if you’re doing your job, you point it out every play—not just when they do something wrong.’”
“Concussion management continues to evolve as additional data and science become available, and coaches should know the facts,” he continues. “Knowing that athletes often under-report their condition, coaches should be thinking about how they can create an environment for reporting, access to proper evaluation, and conservative return-to-play guidelines.”
Character First By now, most football coaches know about the acquittal of former Pleasure Ridge Park (Ky.) High School Head Coach Jason Stinson, who stood trial for reckless homicide and firstdegree wanton endangerment charges following the death of one of his players. Max Gilpin collapsed during a Stinson-led 2008 preseason practice and died three days later of sepsis, heat stroke, and multiple organ failure. Several media outlets reported Stinson used forceful language towards
Following the workshop, each coach had to submit a written proposal to his athletic director explaining how he would integrate “Character First” values into his team. Athletic directors approved the plans and helped coaches update them throughout the school year. For Higgins, this simply meant putting something he already did in writing. “Each Friday we have a team meeting and meal with a guest speaker who talks about character issues,” says Higgins. “Being around high character people puts us in the right frame of mind going into our ball game on Friday night. If the players have had a bad day or week at school, this usually wipes it clean before we go out on the field.” Past speakers include military personnel, former athletes, and youth ministers. Higgins plans to keep his “Character First” program the same because it has been successful. “Anytime you can do things with your team outside of practice, the film room, or the locker room, you build team unity and relationships,” he says. “Successful coaches have good relationships with their players and that interaction builds good relationships. Give back, and try to do as much of that as you can, not just what is mandated.”
Boom & Bust This fall, headlines from two NCAA Football Championship Subdivision schools seemed to signal a bleak future for the growth of the sport. Away from the media spotlight, however, a different story was emerging.
At Jefferson County (Ky.) Public Schools, coaches are now required to develop a “Character First” plan for their teams that emphasizes positive coaching and strong character. Above, a coach at Jefferson’s Moore High School in Louisville talks to a player.
The day after Northeastern University played its final game of the season, coaches and players were called in for a team meeting and told that after 74 years, the program
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LOCKER ROOM BULLETIN BOARD sion III Pacific University, which has reinstated its program and is set to begin play this fall. “Football is a way to maintain our current enrollment, or if things work out the way we all hope they do, continue to grow our enrollment during times when it is more difficult for parents to send their son or daughter to a private college,” Director of Athletics Ken Schumann says. “I think this is the exact time for smaller private schools to think creatively about new programs that can build enrollment growth.” University officials expect football to bring in 50 additional new students in the 2010-11 academic year, adding nearly $1 million to the university’s bottom line through tuition dollars. And by the 2013-14 academic year, with 90 players expected in the program, football is projected to add over $2 million to the institution’s operating budget.
Director of Athletics Ken Schumann (left) and Head Coach Keith Buckley hope to attract 90 new students to the Pacific University campus through the new football program, adding over $2 million in tuition dollars to the institution’s operating budget. The addition of football at non-scholarship schools to boost the university’s bottom line is a growing trend. would be eliminated. Ten days later, fellow Colonial Athletic Association member Hofstra University held a similar meeting. The Pride also would no longer be fielding a team after 69 years of play. The good news, however, is that several other Division I schools are adding football programs. CAA members Old Dominion University and Georgia State University will debut new teams over the next few years, as will the University of South Alabama, Lamar Univer-
sity, the University of Texas-San Antonio, and the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. The biggest growth, though, appears to be at smaller schools. A progressive idea gaining traction is that adding football at non-scholarship schools boosts the bottom line by adding tuition dollars to the university’s coffers. Alumni who support the addition of a football program are also often willing to donate startup funds. One school pursuing this path is NCAA Divi-
On the web To read more about how Pacific has restarted its football program, search “If You Offer It” at: www.AthleticManagement.com
At the Division II level, sprint football is emerging as a less expensive alternative. Post University announced in December that it will add sprint football to its offerings, and Mansfield University did so in 2008—two years after dropping its Division II team. The playing rules are the same as traditional football, except that athletes must weigh in at 172 pounds or less. But the Collegiate Sprint Football League (CSFL) prohibits offcampus recruiting and athletic scholarships, making the sport a much cheaper option for schools looking to offer football. Heading into its inaugural season, Post Athletic Director Anthony Fallacaro has noticed a lot of interest among current students. “The second we announced the team, there were 10 students outside my office who wanted to sign up,” he says. “Our
other sports do very well and are very well supported, but I think football is the type of thing that people plan around. Students are already asking about tickets and if there will be busses to away games.” Post will join Mansfield, Army, Navy, and Ivy League schools Cornell, Princeton, and Pennsylvania in the CSFL. “For us it’s been a great success,” Mansfield Director of Athletics Operations and Sports Information Steve McCloskey told Inside Higher Ed. “Financially, it makes sense; it’s 75 percent less expensive than Division II football. It’s a great concept, and it was the way to find a solution to a seemingly unsolvable problem. Now, we look like we’re ahead of the game.”
Preseason Jamboree At Rockingham County High School in Eden, N.C., the preseason is highlighted by two nights of competition, 40 teams, hundreds of cheerleaders, and 7,000 spectators. It’s a phenomenon called the NewBridge Bank Invitational Football and Cheerleading Jamboree, and over the past 11 years, the bank has used the celebration to raise more than $350,000 for the region’s public schools. “It’s the crown jewel—the largest sporting event in our area,” says Head Coach Lin Stadler, who has hosted part of the scrimmage at RCHS for the past eight years. “There are teams from 20 schools and five counties, and a well-organized, well-promoted event of this magnitude attracts a lot of fans.” This year’s jamboree included a cheerleading competition in Greensboro on Aug. 13 and football scrimmages at RCHS, West Davidson High School, and Tyro Middle School on Aug. 14. At RCHS’s football field, 10 varsity teams each
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LOCKER ROOM BULLETIN BOARD played two half-field, hour-long scrimmages against different opponents, while 10 j.v. teams competed on the schoolâ€™s adjacent practice field. The scrimmages wrapped up the preseason for most teams, with season openers following a week later.
In a new twist this year, games were moved from Saturday afternoon to Friday night to avoid playing in the heat. In another, the cheerleading competition was scheduled
STEVE CANNULI/REIDSVILLE REVIEW
By the end of the night, the bank had raised $85,600, with over $4,000 going to each school. Nearly half of that money came from gate receipts, with 7,000 fans paying $5 apiece to attend the scrimmages. The other half came from sponsorships and advertisements in the game program.
Morehead High School of Eden, N.C., (on offense) and Central Davidson High School of Lexington, N.C., compete at the NewBridge Bank Invitational Football and Cheerleading Jamboree. Over the past 11 years, the jamboree has raised more than $350,000 for the regionâ€™s public schools.
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as a separate event the night before the football jamboree. For Stadler, the bankâ€™s support has been a big factor in the eventâ€™s continued success. â€œNewBridge Bank does a great job of marketing the event throughout the year, starting in the spring with luncheons for coaches, athletic directors, and the media,â€? he says. â€œThey recruit volunteers to staff the gates, sell the programs, spread the word, and create the festive atmosphere that keeps people coming back.â€? NewBridge Bank founded the jamboree in 1999, when it raised $10,000 with an eightteam scrimmage at RCHS. Since then, the bank has steadily expanded the event,
reaching out to bank branches and public schools in surrounding counties. Along with contributing hundreds of hours of employee volunteer time, NewBridge foots the bill for almost everythingâ€”including referees, emergency personnel, trophies, fireworks, marketing, and the design and printing of programsâ€”which allows all the money brought in to go directly to the schools.
Chip Off the Old Coaching Block
â€œWe donâ€™t take out any money for expenses,â€? says Jillian Gibson, Director of Marketing at NewBridge Bank, which has 28 branches and 500 employees. â€œWeâ€™re a community bank, and one of the ways we demonstrate that involvement is by supporting our studentathletes.â€?
Lopez Jr. was hired as Head Coach at Mt. Pleasant in the summer of 2009. Feeling the pressure that accompanied his first varsity-level head coaching job, he wanted to surround himself with experienced assistants who he could trust to help him get his career off on the right foot.
For more information, go to: www.newbridgebankjamboree.com.
ON THE WEB
Thirty years ago, Frank Lopez Jr. was a waterboy roaming the sidelines at Mt. Pleasant High School in San Jose, Calif., while his father was the teamâ€™s Head Coach. These days, there are still two Lopezes on the Mt. Pleasant sidelines, but itâ€™s the younger one calling the shots.
â€œI told him Iâ€™d love to have him on board. He said he wouldnâ€™t have it any other way.â€? After Lopez Sr. signed on, Lopez Jr. convinced one of his fatherâ€™s former assistants to become his defensive coordinator. He also queried one his dadâ€™s former coaching rivals about becoming the teamâ€™s offensive coordinator. The coach told him okay, but only if Lopez Sr. was also a member of the staff. â€œHe said, â€˜Iâ€™ve always coached against your dad, but I want to be able to say that I coached with him,â€™â€? Lopez Jr. recalls. â€œI told him, â€˜Done, and done.â€™â€?
The relationship between Lopez Jr. and his seasoned assistants soon paid dividends. After dropping their first two â€œOnce I got the job, my dad games to non-league oppowas the first person I called,â€? nents, the Cardinals didnâ€™t lose says Lopez Jr., who is also Ath another regular season contest, letic Director at Mt. Pleasant.
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Circle No. 105 CoachesNetwork.com
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LOCKER ROOM BULLETIN BOARD finishing 8-2 and undefeated in league play. The team won its first conference crown in more than 10 years and qualified for the California Interscholastic Federation Central Coast Section playoffs for the first time since 1996. Making Lopez Sr.â€™s on-field contributions that much more remarkable was his ability to attend every game and practiceâ€”rain or shineâ€”despite limited mobility. His left leg was amputated below the knee due to complications from diabetes and he wears a prosthetic leg, using a cane or wheelchair to get around. Lopez Sr.â€™s dedication is not lost on his son, or Cardinals players. â€œI tell my guys thereâ€™s no way you can complain about running and having to work hardâ€”look at my dad,â€? says Lopez Jr. â€œHeâ€™s an older man with failing health and
heâ€™s out here working hard every day. I canâ€™t accept any complaining knowing what heâ€™s willing to go through to be here.â€? While their accumulation of wins has been nice, both father and son say sharing common ground was the best part of the job. â€œIt wouldnâ€™t have mattered if we went 0-10â€”being with my dad every day has meant everything,â€? says Lopez Jr. â€œWhen I was younger, we were both so busy that we didnâ€™t get the chance to hang out as much as we wanted. Spending three hours a day coaching football together has been especially rewarding.â€?
Lopez Sr.â€™s greatest lessons were taught away from the gridiron. â€œAny time my dad and I go to the mall or out to dinner, former players always come up to him to say, â€˜Hey coach, remember me?â€™â€? says Lopez Jr. â€œMy dadâ€™s memory isnâ€™t all that great, but he
through the years is what really stands out,â€? he continues. â€œI try to model myself after him in that regard.â€? Despite last seasonâ€™s success, health problems have Lopez Sr. hesitant about returning to the
â€œMy dad has probably lost more games than heâ€™s won, but the relationships heâ€™s built through the years is what really stands out.â€?
Beyond invaluable help in the film room and on the field,
doesnâ€™t forget a playerâ€™s name and he is always positive, talking to them about a play he remembers them makingâ€”he really goes out of his way to make that person feel special. â€œMy dad has probably lost more games than heâ€™s won, but the relationships heâ€™s built
sidelines. â€œI told my son not to count on me coaching next season, but that Iâ€™d be there if he truly needs me,â€? he says. â€œReally, I just want to sit back and watch the games from the corner and be out of the way. I sort of want to cut the coaching cord and watch him grow and have success on his own.â€?
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University of Sioux Falls/Southern Illinois University
In just five years as Head Coach at the University of Sioux Falls, Kalen DeBoer accomplished more than many coaches do in an entire career. From 2005 to 2009, the Cougars posted a 67-3 record, captured three NAIA national championships in three undefeated seasons (2006, 2008, and 2009), and put together the longest active winning streak (29 games) in college football. DeBoer also saw his team GPA rise from 2.64 to 2.98 and was named NAIA National Coach of the Year three times. An All-American wide receiver as a student at USF, DeBoer set school records for receptions (234), receiving yards (3,400), and touchdown catches (33). After serving as team captain in 1996, when the Cougars won
CM: What was your goal at the beginning of the 2009 season? DeBoer: Our goal was to win the national championship each and every year. To accomplish that, we had to catch a lot of breaks and stay healthy. The playoffs were tough, and our players knew that if we wanted home field advantage, we had to win all our regular season games. What was the key to winning three national championships in four years? Consistency. Our staff had been together for years, and that made us very efficient at preparing student-athletes both in and out of season. That consistency trickled down to players, who knew exactly what we expected of them.
their first NAIA national championship, DeBoer spent two years as an assistant coach at Washington High School in Sioux Falls before returning to his alma mater in 2000 as an assistant. DeBoer’s tenure at Sioux Falls included the program’s first victory over an NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) team in 2009. Then, in February, he moved up to the FCS ranks himself, accepting a position as Offensive Coordinator at Southern Illinois University. In this interview, DeBoer talks about recruiting, staff continuity, and his new role at SIU.
How do you describe your approach to offense? I like to attack. That doesn’t mean I throw the ball downfield on every play, but whenever there’s an opportunity, I stretch the field vertically and horizontally, putting steady pressure on the defense from sideline to sideline.
a game. But I can adjust my approach to fit personnel, too. For example, in 2008, our defense at Sioux Falls was one of the best in NAIA history, so we implemented a ball control offense and emphasized the running game. It all comes down to finding ways to win based on the personnel you have.
In 2009, I used a very aggressive passing game that averaged more than 50 points
What was the team like when you took over as head coach? I’d been a part of this program as a player and an assistant coach, and I didn’t try to change too many things because I believed in what we were doing before. It was just a matter of continuing what had worked well for so many years. That last season as an assistant, I made a point to approach things as if I were going to be named head coach. I took on more responsibility, kept building relationships, and made sure I understood what I was getting into.
How did you keep the staff together? The key was letting assistants control their part of the game. I didn’t micromanage every little thing they did—I let them coach, and I challenged them to make their part of the program better. I was in charge of offense, but when it came to defense and special teams, I had very little say in calling plays—not because I didn’t have an opinion, but because I trusted my assistants so much. Each assistant implemented his own game plan, then toward the end of each week, we meshed our plans together. That freedom was why our coaches enjoyed coming to work every day.
University of Sioux Falls linebacker Dominic Studzinski celebrates a play during the Cougars’ victory in the 2009 NAIA championship game. The title was USF’s third in the past four years.
What’s the most important lesson you learned from your predecessor, veteran coach Bob Young? He is as good as it gets. He really understands the game, but more than that, he understands the importance of developing young men. To me, success comes down to the relationships you have with your coaches and your players. That’s where he focused his attention, and that’s what allowed him to build a program with substance and staying power.
Q&A My goal is to give student-athletes the best experience I can, on and off the field, and my philosophy revolves around building relationships. People are the most important part of any program, and if I build relationships with people who will devote all their energy into making our team successful, we’ll go a long way. How did you handle the challenges of being a relatively young head coach? Being young gives me the ability to relate to the guys in a different way. I push my players as hard as anyone, but our staff
at USF had an easygoing mentality, and in the end, players know they can come to us with any issues they have—either about the game or about life.
a game against an FCS team, mostly to give our fans the chance to see something a little different. And we won, which showed how good we really are.
What did you say to recruits who weren’t familiar with the NAIA? I told them the talent in the NAIA is a lot better than people think. There are great teams in the NAIA, and we put a good product on the field. Sometimes that gets overlooked because NCAA Division I grabs most of the attention. So for the first time this year, Sioux Falls scheduled
After his first semester at USF, Scott LeBrun left for a tour of duty in Iraq with the South Dakota Air National Guard. How did you mesh him back into the team when he returned? Scott’s ability to balance football, academics, and service to his country is a really exceptional story. He came to Sioux Falls as a wide receiver and finished as a tight end—mainly out of necessity, because that’s where he was needed. He’s 200 pounds soaking wet, but he was willing to make that move and ended up becoming a first team all-conference player. It was amazing to see the impact he made by sacrificing for the team and for his country.
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I always try to find ways to help players reach their full potential, and I’m not afraid to think outside the box, even if that means moving a wide receiver to tight end. It turned out to be a great move, and that goes to show that if you keep plugging away, you can make a good situation out of almost anything. Why are you moving to Southern Illinois University? Because the perfect opportunity came along. There are lots of new challenges in becoming the offensive coordinator at SIU, but I feel very comfortable with Coach Dale Lennon and the rest of the staff. They’re competing at a very high level, and I’m very excited about calling plays in the FCS and learning another approach to the game. How long have you known Coach Lennon? We’ve talked a few times over the years, mainly at the AFCA convention. At this last convention, we talked about bringing my staff to Carbondale for a professional development visit with his staff. Even in those few conversations, I sensed we shared a lot of the same priorities. So when this job opened up a couple of weeks later and Coach Lennon called to ask if I was interested, there were no doubts in my mind.
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What are the challenges of moving to the FCS? The higher you go, the finer the line gets between winning and losing. Southern Illinois has played a lot of close games, and there’s much greater parity in talent at the FCS level. That’s why a close-knit staff can be the difference-maker, with everyone buying in and taking ownership of the program.
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Bowling Green State University wide receiver Freddie Barnes set an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision record with 155 receptions in 2009.
Wide receivers are known for their dynamic plays, but it takes more than a great set of hands to succeed. Here’s how to get the most out of your wideouts.
BY KYLE GARRATT
hen Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Sean Morey completed his four years at Brown University, only Jerry Rice had amassed more receiving yards in NCAA Division I-AA history. Morey was the 1997 Ivy League player of the year and the first to have his number retired at Brown. But he was never content. “Sean always caught thousands of passes in the off-season,” says John Perry, Head Coach at Merrimack University and Morey’s former position coach at Brown. “People look at him and think, ‘He’s already got great hands. Why is he doing that?’ Yeah, he’s got great hands, but he wants to have the best hands. Sometimes we take it for granted that a receiver is naturally talented, so we think we don’t have to work with them as much. You have to be motivated by wanting to be the best.” It’s that type of attention to detail that can make an average receiver great and a great receiver special. The big plays wide receivers relish don’t happen unless a player has mastered the basics—making the catch, running precise routes, and dedicating himself to blocking. These are all components of a position that has become home to some
Kyle Garratt is an Assistant Editor at Coaching Management. He can be reached at: kg@MomentumMedia.com
of the game’s biggest egos—egos that need managing. The good news is receivers have plenty of chances to validate their egos. “Wide receivers face a one-on-one battle every play, whether they are blocking or running routes,” says Clay Stephenson, Wide Receiver Coach at Calhoun (Ga.) High School. “Defensive backs have that sense of cockiness so wide receivers need to be as physical as possible early in the game to show them that we are the better players on the field.” Make The Grab Catch the ball. It sounds simple, instinctual even. It is, but that doesn’t
circular fashion, like a clock. We throw it over their head at 12 o’clock, and then go all the way around. The big thing we emphasize is bringing both their hands and eyes to the ball.” But a good pair of eyes alone won’t get the job done. Hands are also important—as long as the receiver knows how to use them. “I want the receiver’s hands out in front, and I don’t want the ball to cross the receiver’s face,” says Paul Gulling, Wide Receiver Coach at Mount Union College, which led NCAA Division III in passing efficiency in 2009. “If the ball is passing across his face, his eyes have to move and follow the ball so his head is moving and he’s catching the ball behind him. If the player keeps his hands out in front, there are no moving parts, the ball comes through the triangle formed with his fingers, and his eyes don’t move.” If the receiver is the horse, the ball is the carrot on the stick. “Almost all the drills I do end with catching the ball,” says Gulling. “Other coaches have their receivers do countless stance and start drills, but don’t have them catch the ball. I’ll run through these cones, but at the end, reward me. It turns up everybody’s intensity and creates game-like situations, rather than just going through the motions.” Gulling uses a drill in which his receivers run along a straight line in front of the quarterback from one side of the field to the other—without drifting away from the quarterback—while making catches in various spots. The throws are purposely errant so the receivers get used to making tough catches. He also notes that simply catching the ball isn’t good enough. “I pay attention to how the receiver caught the ball,” says Gulling, who coached Indianapolis Colts receiver Pierre Garcon in college. “You may be able to make a lazy catch in practice, but in a game, the defender will likely swat the pass away because you didn’t tuck it away fast enough or your hands are right in front of the defensive back rather than
“You may be able to make a lazy catch in practice, but in a game, the defender will likely swat the pass away because you didn’t tuck it away fast enough or your hands are right in front of the defensive back.” mean consistently making the catch is easy. It takes hard work, focus, solid technique, and more than just a good set of hands. “You don’t catch the ball with your hands, you catch it with your eyes,” says Bowling Green State University Wide Receiver Coach Mark Carney, who coached 2009 Fred Biletnikoff Award finalist Freddie Barnes. “I train our receivers to freeze their eyes on the football for a full second as it’s in flight. Even in the off-season when they’re working by themselves, I harp on them to keep their eyes on the ball for at least a second before they tuck it away.” Carney isn’t the only coach giving eyes their due. “We focus on the smallest part of the ball, which is the tip, and that enables the receivers to catch even the most difficult passes,” says Perry. “In one drill, our receivers remain stationary and we throw tennis balls at them in a
in front of you.” Stephenson drives ball security home by making his receivers do push-ups if they catch a ball without immediately tucking it away—be it in a game, practice, or pregame warmups. For some receivers, simply getting to the tuck is a chore. Whether it’s a temporary or lingering problem, coaches have to know how to cure a case of the drops. “The most common problem is they drop the ball in similar situations,” says Perry. “They drop the long balls or shorter passes that come in hard. We try to identify where a guy has problems and put him in those situations in practice. If he struggles with deep passes, we start from a shorter distance, but in a similar situation. We might be five yards away from him but simulating a longer ball, and then elongate that.” Corrective measures don’t have to be limited to practice. When Carney notices a wideout struggling, he’ll use the play calling to boost a receiver’s swagger. “Give him an easy catch, whether it’s a screen or a hitch route underneath, just to get his first grab to start a game,” Carney says. “Get him thinking he can make catches, and he usually will from that point forward.” The Route Is On Speed turns heads, but it’s a luxury. A receiver needs much more than fast feet to be a great route-runner. Proper technique, along with an understanding of the offense and the opponent’s defense, determine if a receiver will get open— not his 40-yard dash time. “In meetings, our receivers diagram different routes, plays, and reactions from upcoming opponents,” says Carney. “It could be a coverage or how we expect a defender to react based on the stem or the finish of our route. It makes our receivers accountable for knowing how those guys are going to react rather than being bored to death as I lecture them throughout the meeting. Having them take ownership of the final product helps motivate them.” That knowledge gives receivers the confidence to attack the opposition, while working within their own offense. “A complete understanding of our offense is critical,” says Perry. “To be a good route-runner you need to know what each of your teammates is doing. If you
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understand what area you are allowed to work within, it gives you more freedom to work within that area. If I tell a receiver he needs to be at 12 yards between the hash and the bottom of the numbers, he should understand there’s someone outside the numbers, which is why he can’t be there.” When Carney teaches route running, he does a lot of stance and start repetitions, harping on getting off the line quickly, not wasting any motion, and putting vertical pressure on the defensive back as quickly as possible. Once the receiver gets into the stem and break, he turns into a poker player, trying not to show his hand. “We want a controlled run, but not slow, so the receiver is in an advantageous position in the stem of the route where he can get leverage on the defender,” says Gulling. “We always want to create the illusion that we are still running hard even though we are slowing down. We don’t want receivers to throw their hands up for balance or put them toward the ground. Instead, I coach players to keep their arms pumping all the way through the break. “In the break, we want to avoid stutter steps,” he continues. “Just plant the foot in the ground and break away. We have our guys lean into their break, rather than starting to stand up. When you stand up, your weight transfers to your heel and that’s why guys slip. I want their nose over their toes.” The goal of a route is to create separation from the defensive back. That is often determined at the break, and the sharper the better. Carney and Gulling both use cone drills to practice sharpangle cuts. Carney sets up four cones in the shape of a box and has receivers run outside them to simulate 90-degree cuts. Gulling, meanwhile, places three cones in different formations and has receivers make three cuts around the cones before catching the ball at the end. Gulling also emphasizes not drifting upfield when a receiver breaks horizontally to maintain separation from the defender. A receiver’s job isn’t finished once he shakes loose from the defender. “Running the correct route means getting to your point, staying low, and then getting out of your break while looking at the quarterback,” says Stephenson. “Some receivers run a curl route and just stand up.
“Another aspect of coming out of a route properly is showing the quarterback a target with your hands,” he continues. “A lot of receivers throw their hands at the ball at the last minute, which makes it a lot harder to get the timing right.” Block Party Most wideouts would rather run past a cornerback than grapple with him. But chances are receivers will do much more blocking than catching in a game. “The best receivers in the country catch the ball 10 times a game,” says Perry. “We have 80 offensive plays in the game, so that’s slightly more than 10 percent of the game. So what do you do the other 90 percent of the time? Do you just take it off?” Some receivers might consider blocking a necessary evil, but coaches know it’s critical to the running game, and it’s
fueled by desire. “Receivers have to be willing to throw their face in the fan,” says Carney. “I always tell them, ‘If you’re not going to block, I don’t care how fast you are or how smooth you are with the ball in your hands, you’re not going to play.’” The easiest form of motivation is cutting playing time if a receiver doesn’t embrace blocking. But emphasizing their importance in the offensive scheme can also be effective. “Wide receivers have to contribute on any long runs,” says Stephenson. “I stress all the time that if we miss our blocks on the perimeter, a potential 30-yard gain turns into a 10-yard gain. We show them film of that happening and try to get them to say, ‘My guy is not going to make the tackle.’’’ Effort starts the fire, but technique fans the flames. “If the defender has an eight-yard cushion, we want to explode
hen a quarterback hits his receiver on an out just as he turns toward the sideline and with just enough time to drag his toes before going out of bounds, it’s not luck. It’s probably the result of the two practicing the play until the quarterback’s shoulder is sore. To put it lightly, a receiver and his quarterback need to be on the same page.
“There’s no two positions in all of sports that depend on each other as much as quarterback and receiver,” says John Perry, Head Coach at Merrimack University. “Even if we are just doing basic receiving drills, we use the quarterback rather than a coach.” The more repetitions between the two positions the better, and simple throwing and catching and 7-on-7 drills during the off-season can go a long way. “We do a lot of full routes to synch them up so the ball is out of the quarterback’s hand when we are coming out of our breaks,” says Paul Gulling, Wide Receiver Coach at Mount Union College, where Cecil Shorts III led NCAA Division III in receiving yards in 2009. “Some of our players are quicker than others, so you have to get familiar with their depth and where they are going to be. Cecil is our fastest guy so he may be able to take a route two yards deeper than somebody else. We want to get that timing right so he’s not waiting on the ball.” Nothing beats practice reps, but it helps if quarterback and receiver are friendly. “We incorporate them in film study together as much as possible,” says Perry. “I encourage their communication on and off the field as much as I can. That turns into silent communication on game day and they understand where each other is going to be. That innate ability comes from being around each other and caring about each other all the time, not just on the field.”
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for four yards and then figure out where he is,â€? says Perry. â€œWhen the DB makes a break, we still have a cushion to react and get in front of him. Understanding the offensive play is essential. Where the ball is designed to go determines whether youâ€™re on an inside or outside number block, or a cut or crack block.â€?
and staying involved, reveal a guyâ€™s true competitiveness.â€? â€œWith every other position, blocking is pushing the defender out of the way,â€? says Stephenson. â€œWith wide receivers, itâ€™s more of a stalemate. If they can get in a stalemate with a defensive back, then theyâ€™ve won.â€?
season when he coached Daâ€™Rick Rodgers, the second best high school receiver in the country last year according to Rivals.com. â€œWe told Daâ€™Rick we were going to get him the ball regardless,â€? Stephenson says. â€œSo we ran a lot of screens, reverses, and jet sweeps for him. We also fed him the ball even though he was getting double-teamed.â€? At Bowling Green, Barnes didnâ€™t let double teams or any other coverage slow him down. As a senior, he led NCAA Division I receivers in touchdown receptions, receptions per game, and total receptions by nearly 40. â€œHe took double and triple teams as signs of respect and a challenge,â€? says Carney. â€œHe was also excited for his teammates because if he was getting double and triple teamed, it meant one-on-one coverage for the guys on the other side. Freddie could still catch a lot of balls underneath, so we put him in the slot and let him get on linebackers, and move and jitterbug off of defenders.â€? Perry had two top-flight receivers at Merrimack in Jeremiah Watts and Chris
Star Power Coaches want elite athletes at every position, and wide receiver is no exception. But skilled receivers face unique challenges. A defense canâ€™t stop the center from snapping the ball to a star quarterback or line up in the backfield and tackle the stud running back before he receives the handoff. But by employing double teams and special coverage schemes, defenses can prevent top wideouts from ever catching a pass. Stephenson saw a lot of that this past
Success is in the details. â€œThe things they do without the ball separate the good ones from the great ones.â€? Although some receivers may be looking to deliver the highlight reel hit, they should know blocking is more about being active. â€œThe highlights of crack back blocks are great,â€? says Carney. â€œBut being a pest, whether itâ€™s the backside block on a long run, cutting the safety at the third level, or just moving your feet
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Lahamâ€”both ended the year in the top 25 of NCAA Division II in receiving yards per game. Still, Perry had to scheme to get his playmakers the ball. â€œJeremiah played one game in the slot the entire time and then played the entire next game as an outside receiver,â€? he says. â€œWe played a team that had shut down some of the top receivers in our league by doubling the outside receiver. We felt it would be very difficult to double him on the inside and that took them by surprise.â€? Players worthy of a double team likely arenâ€™t receiving attention just from defensive coordinators. Media and fans gravitate toward big talent, and with big talent often comes a big ego. Thereâ€™s a reason the wide receiver position has gained a reputation for being manned by divas. â€œWideout is the one position on the field where so many factors have to go right to make a play,â€? says Carney. â€œThe line has to pick up the blitz and the quarterback has to be balanced and throw the ball on time. I can see how receivers get frustrated if all those things arenâ€™t going
the way they want them to. Some egos need to be stroked a little bit and I have never been ashamed to let a guy know how much we need him in the game.â€? Perry is not opposed to a receiver keeping one eye on his stats, as long as the other eye is on the right place. â€œMotivation is a very powerful thing,â€? he says. â€œSo if an individual is motivated by catching 10 passes a game with the understanding that itâ€™s within the concept of trying to win the football game, then we try to feed into that diva mentality. Our receivers understand that as long as their individual goals donâ€™t conflict with team goals, they are important to us as well. â€œJeremiah broke the school record this year by catching 19 passes in one game and we still ran 90 plays in that game,â€? Perry continues. â€œItâ€™s only a fraction of the game and a fraction of how you can impact the game. I talk to Chris and Jeremiah all the time about how their impact is immense just by them being available to us. Theyâ€™re confident that when the opportunity presents itself, weâ€™re going to get them the ball.â€?
Stephenson uses numbers to evaluate his receivers, but he is not looking at yards and receptions. â€œI grade them on three different things during games,â€? he says. â€œI look at alignment first. Is the width and depth of their route correct? Then I look at assignment. Are they doing exactly what they are supposed to do on every play? Finally, thereâ€™s effort. If they are giving effort on every play, that counts more than assignment or alignment. . â€œWe post the grades on Monday and itâ€™s pretty cut and dried,â€? Stephenson continues. â€œIf the starter has a 65 and the guy behind him has an 80, the better grade is going to start the next week.â€? Ultimately, success is in the details. â€œThe great ones do all the little things correct,â€? says Stephenson. â€œThey sprint off the ball. They stay low, they block, they run the right routes, and they catch and tuck the football. A lot of wide receivers can make plays once they get the ball, but the things they do without the ball separate the good ones from the great ones.â€? n
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Quelling the Critics
BY MIKE PHELPS
Nowadays, coaches get bombarded with criticism from every angle. Learning how to handle it with composure is key to success (and staying sane).
uring his 20-plus years coaching, Jim Long can recall only a couple of instances when someone really got under his skin. But one in particular stands out to the Brenham (Texas) High School Head Baseball Coach. No matter what Long did, a parent of one of his athletes took issue with the coach’s decisions. The parent constantly approached Long with complaints after games and eventually went to the ath-
letic director and school board to air his criticisms. Long even had to defend himself in front of school board members. Fortunately, the board sided with Long, but the whole process made him aware of an emerging reality: handling negative feedback effectively is part of a coach’s job. “For whatever reason, I’ve found that fans today, especially parents, think they have a right to do or say whatever they want when it comes to coaches and athletics,” Long says. “We’re not going to
stop them, so it’s up to each coach to understand the best way to deal with that criticism and not let it affect your team.” Just Ignore It? In the middle of a busy season with practices and games consuming all your time, it can be tempting to ignore criticism that comes your way and hope that Mike Phelps is an Assistant Editor at Coaching Management. He can be reached at: mp@MomentumMedia.com.
it will eventually disappear. But that tactic can easily backfire. Chuck Wilcoxen, Head Men’s and Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field Coach at Principia College, says it’s important to engage with anyone who is
good for the program. Even if it’s the same parent again and again with things you don’t think are justified, you have to let the person be heard.” That’s why instead of ignoring it, many coaches suggest developing a philosophy and strategy for dealing with negative feedback. And the number-one item of “My goal is to be as positive as a good strategy is to always stay I can be when talking about playcalm, even if the other person is not. ers in public. But when we go “Getting mad is not producinto my office, you’re asking me tive whatsoever,” Long explains. to be brutally honest and I will “That can make you look worse than the person complaining, be. If you’re going to challenge which you never want. You or question me, you better be need to remember you’re dealing with people who, because ready for the real answer.” of their emotions, are making ignorant decisions. When I delivering criticism or negative feedback. think of it that way, these situations are a “If someone is upset about something, lot easier to deal with.” sooner or later they have to get it out,” he For Karen Kunka, Head Volleyball says. “If they sit on it, it’s going to simmer Coach at North Central College, staying longer, and that just makes them more calm requires taking a step back. Rather upset, which isn’t good for you, and isn’t than responding immediately, she sets up
a meeting to discuss the complaint. “If you let a discussion go on in the heat of the moment, you can get backed into a corner with someone screaming at you,” she says. Instead, Kunka likes to gain perspective on the situation and think through her solution, rather than being forced into a snap decision or appearing defensive. “You have to allow yourself to pull back from a situation a little bit,” she says. “I also like to have someone I can run things past, like an assistant coach, before I react.” Meanwhile, Wilcoxen tries to learn from all feedback. “What may at first seem to be a petty complaint can actually be very valuable information,” he says. “For example, parents know things about their kids that coaches don’t. The first couple years I coached I was probably a little defensive, but the more open I was to others’ opinions, the more I learned.” The Parent Trap For most coaches, the largest source of complaints is parents. That’s why
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many coaches have developed formal policies on how parents should voice their concerns. One standard and effective rule is to never talk to a parent about anything significant immediately following a contest. Whenever Long is confronted by a parent after a game, he’ll tell the parent that he’d be happy to speak with them and address the problem, but not right now. “I’ll ask them if we can set up a time the next day to discuss it,” he says. “It gives me and the parent a little time to relax and think about the situation. People usually make dumb decisions when they’re really upset.” Kunka uses a similar policy, but with an added twist. She insists the player be involved in the discussion. For example, North Central’s 2008 squad included 18 freshmen among nearly 30 players, and playing time was understandably limited. One freshman’s parent e-mailed to voice her displeasure over her daughter’s playing time. “In my reply, I said that I would be happy to discuss this matter—with the parent and the child present at the same time,” Kunka says. “Nine times out of 10, the player doesn’t even know the parent sent the e-mail or called. I’m happy to talk with parents, but not without their child knowing about it.” The question of whether to discuss playing time at all with parents can be a tricky one. Long is one coach who does not. He explains to parents that playing time is based on what he feels is best for the team and that his decisions must be respected. “Parents will often criticize and say their child doesn’t have a fair chance, but they don’t see what happens in practice every day,” he says. Ed Terwilliger, Head Football Coach at Olentangy High School in Lewis Center, Ohio, doesn’t shy away from discussing a player’s place within the team, but he always makes sure the parent understands one very important ground rule. “I explain up front that my goal is to be as positive as I can be when talking about players in public,” he says. “But when we go into my office, you’re asking me to be brutally honest and I will be. If you’re going to challenge or question me, you better be ready for the real answer. Also, we’re only going to talk about your son and no one else.” At Southwest DeKalb High School in Decatur, Ga., Head Girls’ Basketball CoachesNetwork.com
Coach Kathy Richey-Walton has found it effective to have one parent serve as a liaison between her and the rest of the parent group. “This parent is very good at finding out what the problem is, then telling the parents he’ll talk to me and make sure I’m aware of their concerns,” she says. “From there, I’ll decide how the situation needs to be handled.” Managing Media Of course, unsolicited feedback isn’t limited to parents of players. Whether it’s
on television, over the radio, in the newspaper, or on the Internet, the media are also a regular source of criticism. However, criticism by the media should be handled very differently than that from parents. When parents complain there is a lot of emotion involved that will remain until the situation is dealt with. Criticism from the media is part of what sells newspapers and often will be forgotten tomorrow. Terwilliger’s football team gets a good deal of media coverage and he says the
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key with reporters is to take a professional approach. Understand that their job is to analyze your teamâ€™s performance and that their criticism is not personal. When there is controversy, explain your
decisions and then let it go. â€œI embrace the media,â€? Terwilliger says. â€œIâ€™m not the kind of coach who will get upset over an article and then refuse to return their calls. I understand the
While itâ€™s important to have a great plan in place to deal with unsolicited feedback, you can also work on nipping any potential criticism in the bud through up-front communication. Keeping parents in the loop is a great place to start.
media has a job to do, and I tell my players the same thing.â€? At Brenham, a local radio station broadcasts the schoolâ€™s baseball games, and several newspapers regularly cover
ing off-season. Then, in May, he holds another meeting with all the parents to reaffirm his philosophy, clear up any questions, and discuss the summer schedule. â€œIf someone comes to me with a complaint, my first question to them is, â€˜Were you at my parent meeting?â€™ Usually they werenâ€™t,â€? Terwilliger says. â€œAt that time, Iâ€™ll pull out the handouts and catch them up on what we talked about.â€?
â€œWe have a parent meeting before the season begins to go over logistics, whoâ€™s going to play, and how weâ€™ll make our decisions,â€? says Jim Long, Head Baseball Coach at Brenham (Texas) High School. â€œWe talk a lot about playing time so people really understand what goes into it. Youâ€™ll always have people who disagree with you, but a meeting like that can help stop many complaints. In addition to a preseason parents meeting, Ed Terwilliger, Head Football Coach at Olentangy High School in Lewis Center, Ohio, has a meeting with the parents of his team captains at the conclusion of each season, where he lays the groundwork for the upcom-
Terwilliger is also proactive in dealing with any criticisms that may arise from game-to-game during the regular season. He hosts a weekly meeting with his playersâ€™ parents on Monday nights during the season where he shows game film from the previous weekend and discusses the upcoming opponent. â€œThatâ€™s a very positive thing,â€? he says, â€œbecause it allows me to go through the game, narrate, and explain the good, the bad, and the ugly.â€?
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the team. Following each game, Long does a postgame interview with the radio crew, who can be critical of decisions Long makes during the contest. “I like to let people know where I’m coming from,” Long says. “They may disagree with me, but at least they know the
“I’ve learned to always have someone else in on the conversation if I foresee a problem ... Then there can’t be any ‘he said, she said,’ afterwards.” reason I did it. If a parent comes at you after a game, they don’t really deserve a response, but it’s nice to explain yourself in the newspaper or on the radio so your side can be heard.” Administrative Support When complaints rise above garden-
variety venting, there is one more strategy to employ: Keep school administrators informed. “Administrators have so many things to do, the last thing they want is to be out in public and hear about how the football coach is an idiot,” Terwilliger says. “Any information I give to parents, I also give to my athletic director and principal. It’s documentation that they can read and say, ‘This is what Coach Terwilliger is doing.’” Keeping your administrators in the loop means little, however, if you’re not honest with them. “You head off a lot of problems just by being completely honest from the get-go,” Wilcoxen says. “Most misunderstandings are compounded by people at either end feeling they have to hide something.” Also remember that administrators can be your allies. “One of the things I’ve learned is to always have someone else in on the conversation if you foresee a problem,” Kunka says. “There have been times when someone has been really upset about something and didn’t
get the response they wanted from me. So I’ve brought in to the meeting an assistant athletic director or our senior woman administrator. It’s important to have a third party present so there can’t be any ‘he said, she said,’ afterwards.” Wilcoxen believes that the support he receives from administrators also makes him more confident when dealing with criticism. “If you feel you’re supported, you’re much more comfortable acknowledging you might have made a mistake,” he says. “I’ve always had what I feel to be unconditional support from my athletic directors. So I can say, ‘Well, maybe I screwed up,’ and not worry about losing my job. “But, even more important, that feeling of confidence comes across to the people you’re speaking with,” Wilcoxen continues. That allows a productive conversation where no one feels threatened— and great things can happen.” n A version of this article is appearing in other sport-specific editions of Coaching Management.
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Focus on Heart Rate “Sport Zones” With Jason Gallucci, MS, SCCC, Director of Strength and Conditioning, Princeton University
How can heart rate monitoring improve an athletic conditioning program? Heart rate is a key factor because it allows us to gather clear data on how hard each athlete is working during conditioning sessions, practice sessions, and live competition. We can use that information to create workouts that train athletes’ energy systems in ways that mimic the exact demands of their sport and individual position. At Princeton, we use a concept called sport zones when analyzing athletes’ heart rates. We want to know how much time they spend in a certain heart rate range while competing in their sport, so that we can elevate them to a similar range in our training sessions. During practice, agility work, speed work, or regular conditioning, the more time an athlete spends in their individualized sport zone, the more efficient and productive their workouts will be. Can you elaborate on the concept of sport zones? Some practice activities are great for skill development, but they don’t create the energy system demands of actual competition, and we use sport zones to correct that. For example, when working with football defensive linemen on skill patterns, you typically don’t have the external resistance that they’ll face in games within a split second of the ball being snapped. We’ve found that instead of having them do skill position work on its own, we can add drills like 20-yard sled sprints for external resistance, and thereby more closely mimic the physical demands of a 14-play drive. We might put our linemen through impeded sprints with a four-to-one rest-to-work ratio, and that will put their heart rate into their specific sport zone. The zones basically give us a way to rethink how we prepare athletes for the stresses of competition. How do you monitor athletes’ heart rates in order to make best use of the data? Our athletes used to wear heart rate monitors that would store the information during workouts, and then afterward I would bring the units back to my office, download the data, and break it down on a computer. But now, we have a system that gives us live feedback
through wireless technology. We can strap up 40 athletes with heart rate monitors, and see their heart rate instantly on a laptop or PDA, which allows us to make real-time adjustments to workout activities to maximize the time each person spends in their sport zone. What other benefits does this type of conditioning offer? One of the best things is the way it enhances our training of injured athletes. If I know I want an athlete to do a certain amount of work, but he or she has limitations due to an injury, I can assign activities that provide the appropriate workload without stressing the injured areas. For instance, if an athlete can’t perform the team’s normal field drills, I can set up bike workouts that mimic what’s happening on the field to get the heart rate into the proper sport zone. Of course, there are various muscle memory benefits and other aspects that we can’t duplicate on a bike, but we can at least simulate the cardiovascular response, which is a critical aspect of training and rehabilitation. Can you give an example of how this approach has been effective? Last year, one of our top lacrosse players had a broken bone in his foot, so he couldn’t join the team for our off-season agility, sprinting, and conditioning work. Instead, we trained him on a bike all year long using a heart rate monitor, and by putting him in his sport zone that way, his fitness level improved and he could prepare for the specific demands of lacrosse despite his injury. When he returned to the field, he ended up having the best year of his career—he was in great shape, quick, and explosive, and he finished the season as a first-team All-American. The time he spent on the bike focusing on his heart rate was a big part of that.
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UNiversity of Oregon MEDIA SERVICES
HILE THE GAME OF FOOTBALL
Players who man the line of scrimmage are a special breed requiring their own unique conditioning approach. At the University of Oregon, that means a year-round regimen focused on explosive power, strength, speed, and agility.
seems to grow more complex every year, our philosophy for training high-level players at the University of Oregon remains basic and we stick to simple, time-tested principles. After all, selecting exercises and establishing schedules of sets and reps is important, but it’s the athletes’ commitment to training as elite competitors and maximizing their football ability that determines the success of our program. That said, we put immense effort and time into planning our strength and conditioning program to ensure that it maximizes on-field results. Basic does not mean easy, and that is especially evident
By James Radcliffe
in our program for the players in the trenches—the linemen, tight ends, and linebackers. For these “big men,” our overarching goals are to build explosive power and maximize functional agility, and we use a broad range of strategies to achieve them. A successful strength program isn’t just about the exercises you choose, it’s also about making those exercises fit together like pieces of a puzzle. With that in mind, virtually all of our football James Radcliffe is the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of Oregon, where he works closely with the Ducks’ football team. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Coaching Management
strength and conditioning work utilizes a progression-based model geared toward optimizing performance on game day. Goals and Challenges For the players in the trenches, being more powerful means getting out of a stance more quickly, accelerating, force-
important and often overlooked. Even linemen who are gifted with natural straight-ahead speed are extremely limited if they cannot apply that speed in any direction. Before any player in the trenches can control an opponent, he must first know how to control himself. One major challenge to training our
For players on the line of scrimmage, putting the hips in a position that allows for efficient projection toward the area where a play is to be made, and then having the power to do so, are the keys. fully engaging an opponent, and finishing that engagement efficiently. We break our long-term goal of developing explosive power into three components: functional strength, directional speed, and transitional agility. When working with the big men up front, it is easy to focus on the functional strength element, but directional speed and transitional agility are equally
line players is their larger bone structure and greater body fat. Since athletes with leaner body mass tend to improve at a faster rate and with a lower volume of work, planning a schedule of activity, rest, and recovery days must be approached differently than for running backs, defensive backs, and other traditional skill positions. For instance, we have found that linemen adapt better
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to a two days on/one day off/two days on/weekend off schedule, while skill position groups can handle five consecutive days of work. Big, long-limbed, top-heavy athletes also tend to have postural problems and limitations when it comes to â€œhingingâ€? at the hip, so they often bend over from the lower back, rather than truly bending downward by flexing at the hip, knee, and ankle. In addition to postural and performance issues like these, the popularity of strength training in a lying or sitting position (for instance, bench presses and biceps curls) can hinder overall mobility by creating imbalances between the upper front of the body and the back and lower body. Therefore, proper progression may not always start from scratch, but rather, from some point further behind. Sometimes the first step is not training, but retraining. Planned Progressions The bedrock of training for our players in the trenches is our progression of
exercises that develop strength, speed, and agility. We start with simple exercises, and once those are mastered, move on to more complex ones. Strength. Core: Stabilizing the core in a gymnastic manner helps prepare athletes to handle their own body weight. We make core work a component of almost all our workouts, utilizing exercises such as crawls, V-style torso flexions, rolls, pedestals, balances, walkovers, handstands, and twists. Pulls: Initially, we use exercises that emphasize range of motion at the hip and engage the low back and hamstrings, such as good mornings, back extensions, and deadlift progressions. Then we move to exercises utilizing more of the torso, including the hips and shoulders, such as clean and snatch progressions. These exercises are essential for producing greater force and center of gravity projection via extension and recovery, which is one of the most difficult athletic endeavors in any sport. Squats: We use squats as a form of technical and developmental work designed
to increase mobility from the low-hip power position. Overhead progressions for squatting and lunging movements move from front to back bar placement. Lunge progressions begin from straightstep repetitions and advance to reps at 45-degree angles and finally to a lateral position. Next in the progression are single-leg exercises, including squats and jumps that lead to truly elastic-reactive plyometric-style movements. For players in the trenches, the importance of single-leg power cannot be overstated. Offensive linemen in todayâ€™s offenses must be able to generate maximum power while engaging on the move over one foot (and thus a small base of support). The ability to maximize hip extension and projection, then re-accelerate by properly planting a leg back onto the ground, requires a degree of mobility and power that is best developed through single-leg squats, step-ups, lunges, and bounding. The culmination of our leg squat to jump to bound progression comes in the form of landings that serve as transitions to starts, cuts, and changes
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of direction. Pushes: The progression here begins with traditional presses, like the overhead, incline, and bench. Then, we make the exercises more functional from a mobility standpoint by involving the legs and hips in dynamic movements, such as the push press, push jerk, split jerk, and work with logs and medicine balls. Speed and Agility. Starts: The ability to turn and run is neglected in many drills that supposedly train agility, yet mainly just deal with footwork. For players on the line of scrimmage, putting the hips in a position that allows for efficient projection toward the area where a play is to be made, and then having the power to do so, are the keys. All footwork and agility work should enhance playersâ€™ ability to move, turn, and project the body to the point of attack. More specifically, any drill that involves projection of the hips in all directions is useful. Starting players from a variety of stances during these drills is especially important, so we use squared, staggered, open step (laterally), and
To assess our football players’ progress in a few high-priority areas of training, we perform targeted tests two or three times per year. This usually occurs at the end of our postseason, off-season, and preseason training. First and foremost, we evaluate development in overall joint mobility using the overhead squat with a bar or singleleg good morning with a bar, during which the foot of the non-support leg is placed against a wall, just barely off the ground. Both these exercises show us an athlete’s ability to “hinge” at the hip with the proper posture, balance, stability, and mobility—a vital skill for linemen. We assess power through single-rep scoring of the clean, vertical jump, and jerk, and test for strength gains through single, double, or triple repetitions of front or back squats
and a bench press or incline press. We keep track of 10-, 20-, and 40-yard dash times to measure speed improvement, and 20-yard shuttles and five-yard three-cone “L” runs help us to see agility gains. After preseason training, we assess speed endurance with a series of 10 40-yard sprints with 20 seconds of rest in between. Each player’s objective is to perform at least eight of the 10 sprints within 0.55 seconds of his best 40 time for the year. We have used this form of “football fitness” evaluation for the past two decades and find it to be very reliable as a gauge of the athletes’ ability to handle game demands. I should add that some coaches feel uncomfortable having their athletes run high-speed 40s prior to the start of fall camp, but we have never experienced problems. Rarely have athletes been unprepared for the test, and those who are unprepared are unlikely to perform at an intensity great enough to risk injury.
TAR GE TE D TESTIN G Total Strength and Speed
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drop step (backwards) positions. The drills themselves include shuffles, skips, backpedaling, and kick-slides. Starting from an open or drop step and moving into a shuffle or kick-slide replicates the actual movement pattern a linebacker or lineman uses most of the time on the field, making it an especially valuable element of this progression. Speed cuts: These are drills that train the ability to cut off of the inside leg at sharper and sharper angles. Eventually, speed cut breaks need to be reactionoriented based on a stimulus over the inside step that requires the player to redirect his motion. We set up weave drills that imitate slalom courses, which teach the athletes to shift over the inside leg to maintain speed while changing direction, much like a 200-meter sprinter leans into a curve. This is an important skill for defensive linemen in pass rushes and tight ends on quick routes. Power cuts: Power cutting develops the ability to cut off of the outside foot. When making a power cut, some athletes are inclined to take a “false step,” away from the intended direction, which makes their movement less efficient. That pattern needs to be corrected, as it often indicates a lack of postural stability, balance, or functional leg strength. The goal of power cutting drills is to develop the ability to make cuts over the plant foot, in order to truly distance the hips from the break point. For this type of work, we use shuttle runs, star drills (where the athlete has to run back and forth and out and back at sharp, hard angles), and more slalomstyle drills with cones, bags, or barrels. While cutting, an athlete must drop the hips, plant the outside foot, dip the inside shoulder, and drive the inside (lead) knee in the direction they’re heading. The final element of training players for work in the trenches is increasing their ability to win one-on-one engagements. This determines which side wins the line of scrimmage battle on each play, and usually who wins the game. We use series of movement sequences with certain constraints built in for added challenge, such as hands behind the back, restriction within a five-yard area, or inside a circle or ring. One good example is our “rag” drill, in which a rag or towel is thrown on the ground and one athlete has to keep an opponent from touching it. This can be CoachesNetwork.com
done with or without boundaries, and with or without the use of hands. We’ll also use a large hoop to engage in sumostyle combat, with two players attempting to force one another outside the ring. Progressions begin without the use of hands, then the use of one arm, and finally more traditional sumo wrestling. This type of training is hard work and very technical, but it’s also fun for the players. They enjoy the unique challenge created by the restrictions and
realize that the movement and power skills they develop in these drills will carry over to the field of play. Seasonal Planning We split our training calendar into four main parts: the postseason (winter), the off-season (spring), the preseason (summer), and the season. During the first three training periods, we use three main guidelines in developing our workouts:
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n Exercises that are more dynamic and explosive should precede those geared toward absolute or relative strength. n Train with higher intensity early in the week, tapering to moderate or lighter percentages of load toward the end of the week. n General acceleration work starts the conditioning week, special speed work goes in the middle, and specific work capacities finish off the week. Our lifting through the winter includes longer buildup phases to increase joint range of motion, muscular endurance, and hypertrophy. Start and acceleration training is also emphasized during this period, through technique work starting from a variety of stances. The accelerations from forward, lateral, and backward starting positions help to reinforce the proper techniques necessary for deceleration into speed and power cutting mechanics that will be performed in the agility portions of training. The spring period has a shorter muscular buildup phase, with a focus on maximum strength while continuing power
development. This is also the time when we progress from acceleration to speed by extending the distances covered in our running drills, which also improves speed endurance. During the preseason summer session, we spend most of our conditioning time in power development, with speed and strength training tailored to specific priorities based on identified team needs and goals that change from year to year. This is when the training schedule, including work-to-rest ratios, should most closely reflect practice and game conditions. Once the season starts, we change our training guidelines to accommodate the demands players face from daily practices and weekly games. Again we follow a few specific guidelines: n Strength work is performed early in the week, more dynamic work goes in the middle, and elastic-reactive work is saved for the day before a game to aid in â€œuploadingâ€? the nervous system. n We focus on work capacity early in the week, both to boost recovery from the previous week and to establish a base for
the new week of training. n In the middle of the week, we focus on position-specific conditioning and high-quality change of direction. n We finish the week with an emphasis on efficient reactions and effective accelerations. Continuing power development and For an example of Oregonâ€™s weekly training plan, visit: www.CoachesNetwork.com/football and click â€œOregon In-Season Sessionsâ€? in the Resources box.
the maintenance of certain aspects of strength, speed, and agility is critical during the season. But it must be done in a way that complements the needs and objectives of practice and game performance, so we work closely with the football coaching staff to ensure that players are following a consistent workout schedule without risking injury. n A version of this article appeared in our sister magazine, Training & Conditioning. To access more articles from T&C, please visit: www.Training-Conditioning.com.
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HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONS
THE DRIVE This Ohio high school marched 97 yards in the final three minutes to claim its first state title over a longtime nemesis.
BY ABIGAIL FUNK
HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONS If there’s one thing John Liven good, Head Coach at St. Paul High School in Norwalk, Ohio, can say with certainty about his 2009 squad, it’s that they were a persistent group. The Flyers captured the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division VI state championship last December—the team's first-ever state title—but it wasn’t an easy road and the journey required a cast of tough players.
“This was a very determined team that overcame any obstacle thrown in front of them,” Livengood says. “They perse vered through it all. At each hurdle, we just regrouped and refocused.” The Flyers’ first obstacle came mere days into full-contact practices, when senior all-state quarterback Eric Schwieterman broke the thumb on his throwing hand and was declared out of action for six weeks. Livengood decided to move senior wide receiver Daniel
n ig er s e y D La n d al o Pa du cti e ip H ith ot r w P
Tracht to quarterback. An all-state receiv er the previous season, Tracht proved to be a talented signal caller as well, lead ing the Flyers to five wins by the end of September. Schweiterman returned in October, and led the Flyers to a 55-0 victory in his first game back. The win featured a 55-yard touchdown pass to Tracht on the team’s first offensive play. The remainder of the Flyers’ regular season was obstacle free, and included two more shutout wins. St. Paul’s first two playoff wins came easily as well, but the regional final represented the
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team’s second major obstacle: Wynford High School of Bucyrus. Wynford had recently moved down to Division VI from Division V, and boasted two players who had already commit ted to NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision schools. The game featured five lead changes, but the Flyers led by one point going into the fourth quarter and held on for a seven-point victory. After that, St. Paul routed its state semifinal opponent, 52-7, to reach its biggest challenge yet: the state champi onship game and St. John’s High School
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School: St. Paul High School, Notes: The Flyers broke several sin gle-season team records in 2009, Norwalk, Ohio including points scored, shutouts, Head Coach: John Livengood offensive yards, and sacks … Coach John Livengood is 2009 Season: 15-0, Ohio High School Head also Athletic Director and Dean of Athletic Assoc. Div. VI State Champions Students at St. Paul … The cham pionship game was played at Paul Assistant Coaches: Tom Baker, Jim Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon, Carper, Larry Fisher, Jay Lukasko, Bill which is named for the football Roberts, Dean Shelley, Pete Welch. legend who was born in Norwalk.
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HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONS
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of Delphos. Two of St. Paul’s previous three state title appearances ended with losses to St. John’s. “To finally beat them took the monkey off of our backs,” Livengood says. “We’ve had a lot of really good, very successful seasons that ended in a loss. You can be 12-1, but when you finish with a loss, it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. This was redemption for us in a big way.” The game was a thriller from start to finish. The Flyers led at the end of the first quarter and at halftime, but St. John’s came roaring back in the third quarter. With less than 15 minutes to play, St. Paul trailed by 11. The Flyers cut the lead to 21-17 on a touchdown, but St. John’s had the ball back in scoring position with four minutes left. Then the tables turned. On fourth-andgoal with 3:22 remaining, the Flyers made a huge defensive stop. The St. John’s runner was forced out of bounds at the three-yard line by a St. Paul cornerback who weighed about 60 pounds less than his rival. Now, 97 yards stood between the Flyers and their first state title. A 36-yard pass on the second play of the drive put
I said to him, ‘If it’s fourth-and-one and we need to run behind you, can you get the block even though you’re outmatched?’ “And I told our kicker, ‘If you have to kick the game-winning field goal, can you do it?’” he continues. “When we ran that quarterback sneak to score the gamewinning touchdown, it wasn’t by design, but he ran behind our 155-pound guard. And it was kind of neat that the winning margin was three points and our kicker had gotten us those three points on a nice field goal in the second quarter.” The Flyers won in front of 6,000 fans at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon, and Livengood says the roar after the final touchdown was deafening. “I always imagined how I’d feel, and how our kids would feel, to win it,” Livengood says. “But the single greatest part of this whole thing was standing on the field with the trophy, looking up at the stands, and seeing the thousands of people in our community that we brought joy to.” n Abigail Funk is an Assistant Editor at Coaching Management. She can be reached at: afunk@MomentumMedia.com.
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the Flyers close to midfield. Three plays later, St. Paul faced a fourth-and-three on its own 48. The situation was eerily familiar for the Flyers, who turned the ball over on fourth-and-short twice in the regional final against Wynford. “After that Wynford game, we worked on those short-yardage situations quite a bit in practice,” Livengood says. “I was so pleased that our players didn’t panic at that point. There was this sense of determination that we were going to get this done.” And they did. With 40 seconds to play, the Flyers faced second-and-goal on the one-yard line. The quarterback sneak they practiced so much wasn’t successful the first time around, so on third down, with less than 10 seconds on the clock, Livengood told Schwieterman to try going one gap wider. It worked, and St. Paul won, 24-21. “I talked to them about determination and perseverance all season long and that really had everything to do with how the game unfolded,” Livengood says. “I challenged some of our kids individually prior to the start of the game. One of our guards who weighs about 155 pounds was matched up against a much bigger kid, so
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Learning from Peers Looking to gain a coaching edge in the off season?
Defensive Back Drills
Becoming a Champion: The Quarterback
The Multiple 3-4 Defense for High School Football
The Pistol Offense: Power Running Game
In this 52-minute DVD, Coach John Booty shares 11 innovative drills that focus on building a “championship caliber” quarterback, as well as invaluable lessons and observations he has shared with other young players who went on to become some of the nation’s best HS quarterbacks ever. This video introduces the necessary skills and drills he has used successfully in developing quarterbacks.
In this 119-minute DVD, Coach Fex presents the advantages that the 3-4 defense has to offer. This video uses the combination of a white board, PowerPoint slides, on-practice field demonstrations, and game footage to teach the concepts of the powerful 3-4 defense.
In this 42-minute DVD, Coach Klenakis teaches his power running game out of the Pistol Offense formation. Klenakis thoroughly teaches every aspect of the Counter Gap Play. Klenakis diagrams each offensive player’s responsibility including quarterback and running back footwork. His simple position-by-position rules will make implementing this power running system a breeze.
In this 30-minute DVD, Mark Stoops outlines 25 drills that teach the proper footwork to make a complete defensive back for any type of defensive scheme. These drills teach the fundamentals such as keeping the knees bent, a flat back, weight over the toes, arms pumping, and most importantly – eyes on the quarterback. Stoops includes fundamental football tackling drills that teach proper shoulder tackling to prevent yards after contact.
Item Number: FD-02169
Item Number: FD-03275A
Item Number: FD-03244A
Item Number: FD-02009
Becoming a Champion Offensive Lineman
Defensive Line Drills
In his legendary career, Coach Ed Thomas captured two state championships and sent four of his players into the NFL as linemen. The drills and techniques presented on this 75-minute DVD will help athletes develop into dominant offensive linemen. Coach Thomas teaches the 6-Point Explosion Drill, drills that focus on taking on linebackers, and his uniquely taught trap block progression.
In this 55-minute DVD, Coach Greg Mark teaches the football drills he uses to develop the agility, speed, and explosion necessary for a defensive lineman. Mark starts with the fundamentals and works up to live blockers, highlighting the keys to each drill. He demonstrates effective low-impact and fullcontact drills. He incorporates drills using items such as bags, boards, sleds, chutes, cones, and hoops.
Item Number: FD-02656
Item Number: FD-02005
The Coach’s Guide to Developing Great Team Captains Greg Dale, Director of Mental Training and Leadership Programs for Duke University Athletics, shares strategies for developing a culture of leadership that focuses on team captains in this 33-minute DVD, Dale discusses options for choosing or electing team leaders, effective strategies for communicating your expectations, and how to share decisionmaking to create ownership.
Item Number: GD-03253B
The Team Captain’s Guide to Great Leadership Greg Dale shares his expertise in leadership development to create a foundation for captains to better understand and execute their responsibilities. Dale’s strategies include how to communicate with teammates, how to hold the team accountable to each other and the coaches, how to balance “earning respect” with “being liked,” how to encourage teammates and more.
Item Number: GD-03253A
Order these books & DVD’s by using the form below. Learning from Peers
Dominating with the 3-4 Defense: Pass Pressures In this 57-minute DVD, Coach Morrell highlights the many advantages of running a 3-4 defense. Morrell shows you how to force offensive linemen to move their feet, which helps make the pocket uncomfortable for the quarterback. He explains four pass pressures, utilizes game tape to show each pressure in action, and diagrams schemes to stop the bubble screen and quick screen.
Bigger Faster Stronger
Bigger Faster Stronger is now bigger and better than ever! This second edition of the book presents the most popular strength training system for today’s high school and college athletes. Establish the solid foundation you need to compete successfully and advance your athletic career. During the in-season or off-season, the customizable programs can accommodate any sport, and every level of competition.
**PLEASE Name: PRINT INFO. Address:
Speed, Agility, and Quickness: Comprehensive Drills and Conditioning for Athletes!
This is a new series of 20 sports nutrition handouts that provide copy-ready information (and a CD-rom with all handouts for easy printing) to help your middle school and high schoolage athletes succeed. Up-to-date research on nutrition for athletic performance is translated into easy-to-read recommendations, food lists, and tips.
This 70-minute DVD features, innovative drills/variations. Included are warm-up drills, mobilities, speed development, sprint mechanic drills, non-resistive force production drills, resisted force production drills, complex drills, and ‘pure’ speed drills, athletic quickness drills, ball reaction drills, agility drills, program construction and more.
Item Number: 9780736079631
Item Number: FD-03243A
High School Fuel: Sports Nutrition for Health and Performance (handout series with CD-rom from RK Team Nutrition).
Item Number: TC-0310C
MAG, Inc. 31 Dutch Mill Rd. Ithaca, NY 14850
City: Daytime Phone: Email address:
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State: Zip: (To be used if there’s a problem with your order.)
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National Federation of State High School Associations
NFHS Coach Certification www.nfhslearn.com NFHS Certification Program Designed to deliver the highest-quality professional development online at an affordable cost, this certification will: • Help coaches minimize the inherent risks faced by participating students • Improve the sport experience of participating students • Recognize coaches nationally • Develop a sense of personal and professional accomplishment • Enable coaches to increase liability insurance coverage through membership in the NFHS Coaches Association Level 1 – Accredited Interscholastic Coach
� The coach must complete the following courses: �
NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching
� NFHS First Aid for Coaches (American Red Cross) or its equivalent
� Fundamentals of Coaching (Sport-specific) or Teaching Sport Skills Level 2 – Certified Interscholastic Coach
� Level 1 Completion + (Core Courses and Elective Courses)
Level 3 – Master Interscholastic Coach
� Level 2 Completion + (Core Courses and Elective Courses)
Elective Courses: • Engaging Effectively with Parents • Teaching and Modeling Behavior • Teaching Sport Skills
Take Part. Get Set For Life.™ 48
Circle No. 134
Outstanding Performance and Ease of Use: The Best of Both Worlds
hen in the heat of battle, football coaches have to be great multi-taskers. They’re simultaneously coordinating personnel, calling plays, and modifying the game plan on the fly. The equipment they use to communicate shouldn’t be one more thing to think about—it should just work. With the DX300 wireless headset system from HME, coaches can stay focused on the game. “It’s got everything I could ask for in a headset,” says Jeff Scurran, longtime Head Coach at Santa Rita High School in Tucson, Ariz. “Usually, when a system is very simple to set up and operate, that convenience comes at the cost of clarity. But in this case, it’s the clearest system I’ve ever heard.” Scurran’s team plays some of its games in urban settings, where frequency interference and other technical issues can plague headset systems. But with the DX300’s secure encryption technology, the coaches on his staff have no trouble communicating. “We typically have four headsets on the field and two more in the booth, and the performance is always excellent,” Scurran says. “We recently played a game at the University of Arizona’s stadium, and I thought we might have some interference there because the facility is right downtown. But the system worked just as well as when we play at a rural field out in the country. We were very pleased.” CoachesNetwork.com
Greg McCaig, Head Coach and Campus Athletic Coordinator at Cypress Creek High School in Houston, Texas, also appreciates the secure, hassle-free communication of the DX300. “With our previous system, we had a tremendous amount of ‘bleed over,’ where we would hear things the other coaching staff was saying and they would hear us,” he recalls. “It made things very difficult, and the system was less reliable overall. Since we’ve switched to the HME product, the sound is crystal-clear and we’ve never once had a problem.” Another major advantage of the DX300 is its lightweight, all-in-one design that completely eliminates the need for wires and bulky battery packs. A single charge of the lithium-ion battery lasts for up to 20 hours. “Everything is located right on top of our heads, and the unit is very lightweight,” McCaig says. “We never have to worry about putting belts on or cords getting tangled or catching on an athlete who runs by. Our coaches love the freedom of movement it gives us.” HME designed this system with durability in mind, and McCaig says his staff’s headsets have stood up to harsh conditions. “We played several games this year in very nasty weather—rain, mist, you name it—and we never had the slightest problem with the clarity of communication,” he says. “And we haven’t stepped on one yet, but the other coaches and I repeatedly pull them on and off when things get excited on the sidelines, and it has never affected the performance. You can tell this is a very durable, well made product.” In short, the DX300 simply does what it’s supposed to do. “I’ve been coaching for 36 years, and until we bought this system, I had never gone through a season in which the headsets weren’t a concern at some point,” Scurran says. “With this product, we’ve had no problems at all. It’s given us everything we could want.”
HME 14110 Stowe Dr. • Poway, CA 92064 800-909-6604 • Fax: 858-391-2814 www.hme.com/coaches Coaching Management
Guide to Synthetic Turf systems
More Fibers, Better Performance
A Trusted Worldwide Leader
Outstanding in All Conditions
Footing. Traction. Shock absorption. Playability. A-Turf, a leading synthetic turf field builder, understands what’s most important to coaches and athletes. A-Turf’s dense, plush systems have the most fiber strands per square yard. More fibers mean less infill movement and greater consistency and durability. Ask about the company’s industryleading warranty.
Mondo is a global leader in the sport flooring market, manufacturing flooring surfaces for virtually every sport. The company invests heavily in research and development to produce cutting-edge products that meet the highest quality standards and are environmentally safe. More than 1,100 Mondo tracks and 800 Mondo artificial turf fields have been installed worldwide.
ProGrass is a relationship-driven company specializing in the design, installation, and repair of synthetic turf fields.
Primary Advantages: Safety is at the forefront of every A-Turf field that’s built. As a member of the Synthetic Turf Council (STC), A-Turf uses high-quality fibers from only the top STCapproved fiber producers and infill materials that are tested and proven. With an experienced installation team and superior craftsmanship, each field is custom-built to accommodate field markings and graphic design. A-Turf’s commitment to quality sets the company apart in the industry.
Primary Advantages: Mondoturf Ecofill infill delivers the appropriate amount of shock absorption and energy return for optimal, grass-like athletic performance. An environmentally friendly material, Ecofill retains less heat than traditional black rubber granules, so it reduces the potential for athletic fatigue and dehydration. The Mondoturf fibers have the optimum level of resilience, dimensional stability, and recovery. With their increased resilience and structure, the fibers’ translational and rotational friction characteristics lend themselves to easy pivots and turns, even in hightorque situations.
Recent Installations: Depew High School, NY Alvernia University Buffalo State College Shenandoah University Grand Haven High School, MI Half Moon Bay High School, CA
A-Turf 888-777-6910 www.aturf.com See our ad on page 23 Circle No. 500
Primary Advantages: Harsh weather and overuse can destroy a natural grass field. ProGrass field surfaces allow excellent drainage and offer consistent G-Max ratings. This can reduce the number of rotational injuries and concussions. ProGrass provides a turnkey operation and will assist customers in designing the most eye-pleasing and cost-efficient field possible. The company has a special team that produces logos for installation. Recent Installations: University of Akron Ronan School District, MT Pine Richland High School, PA Ozark High School, AR First Baptist Academy, FL Hope College
Recent Installations: Rockford High School, MI Loyola Academy, IL Elk Grove High School, CA West Liberty State College North Carolina Central University Ferris State University
Mondo 800-361-3747 www.mondoworldwide.com See our ad on page 19 Circle No. 501
ProGrass, LLC 866-270-6003 www.prograssturf.com See our ad on page 14 Circle No. 502
Guide to Synthetic Turf systems
A Tradition of Quality
The Ultimate Home Field Advantage
A world leader in synthetic turf and track installations, Polytan is the only truly vertically integrated producer and installer in the marketplace. The company's range of products is designed to suit your specific application, and with over 300 million square feet of sports surfaces installed since 1969, its heritage and expertise is a testament to the quality and value it provides to customers.
With 20 years of experience, Shaw Sportexe is a true veteran in the sports surfacing industry. The company’s turf is scientifically tested and battle-proven. Fair pricing, superior quality, installation expertise, and customer support all work together to give you and your program the ultimate home field advantage.
Primary Advantages: Polytan’s goal is to provide fields with firm and fast footing and a very safe G-Max rating (a measure of surface hardness). Polytan synthetic turf systems have highly durable monofilament fibers and latex backings to ensure long-term performance and an optional e-layer below the turf for shock absorption with minimal deformation of the surface. The combination of proper force reduction and low surface deformation provides athletes with the feel they want in a quality turf surface. Recent Installations: Prince of Peace High School, TX Bishop Lynch High School, TX University of Tennessee Indiana University Depew High School, NY University of Alabama
Polytan-USA 877-POLYTAN www.polytan-usa.com See our ad on page 27 Circle No. 503
Primary Advantages: You want a turf field that looks natural, keeps your athletes injuryfree, and gives you the best platform for performance. Shaw Sportexe is dedicated to designing and constructing the best surface for your needs. While capturing the natural aesthetics of grass, Shaw Sportexe has engineered turf systems that excel in durability and consistency as well as safety characteristics such as good traction and shock absorbency. Recent Installations: University of Arkansas New York Jets Louisiana Superdome Louisiana State University Dayton High School, NV Big League Dreams Sports Parks, NV
Shaw Sportexe 866-963-8873 www.shawsportexe.com See our ad on page 29 Circle No. 504
You Have Questions. The Synthetic Turf Council Has Answers. A synthetic turf field is one of the largest and most important purchases any athletic department makes. Choosing the right product for your facility, your environment, your planned usage, and your budget can seem like a daunting task, and the cost of making the wrong decision can be astronomical. Luckily, there’s a trusted resource to help you. Since 2003, the Synthetic Turf Council has been dedicated to providing consumers with objective, unbiased information, research, and resources to assist in artificial turf purchases. It’s a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving your understanding of this complex marketplace. Here’s just a sampling of the questions that the council’s Web site answers: • How is synthetic turf made? • How is the new generation of turf different from past generations? • Why have some vocal organizations been raising “serious questions” lately about synthetic turf? • How does synthetic turf impact the environment? • Does synthetic turf conserve water? • What impact does synthetic turf have on athletic injury rates? • How long does a synthetic turf field typically last? • How does the cost of a synthetic turf field compare to that of a natural grass field? • What goes underneath synthetic turf? • How should a synthetic turf field be maintained? Visit the Web site to learn about all those topics and many more. Synthetic Turf Council 678-385-6720 www.syntheticturfcouncil.org Circle No. 505
Block the Wind
The Tuffy windscreen will last for years because it’s made of exclusive Vipol matrix mesh. This is the official windscreen of the U.S. Professional Tennis Association—a super-premium product but surprisingly value-priced. Used by major colleges and worldclass clubs, it’s available in 15 standard colors, including purple (pictured), burnt orange, and Vegas gold. Superdurable Chroma-Bond imprinting technology produces sharp multi-color logos that can match your team’s exact PMS colors. The Tuffy is protected by a four-year factory warranty. Aer-Flo, Inc. 800-823-7356 www.aerflo.com Circle No. 513
Athletic record boards are effective tools for motivating your athletes to do their best. Visit Austin Plastics’ Web site to view examples of football-related boards, such as off-season strength and conditioning record boards, player-of-the-week boards, goal boards, and football record boards. Engraved record nameplates are available, or you can print your own using perforated card stock supplied by the company. Custom boards are also available. Austin Plastics & Supply 800-290-1025 www.athleticrecordboards.com Circle No. 510
In the Palm of Your Hand
This season, take control of your game with a Fair-Play MiScore wireless scoreboard control. Now, controlling your Fair-Play football scoreboard is as easy as changing channels on your TV. MiScore football is the next generation in wireless scoreboard controllers from Fair-Play. These portable devices are a perfect fit for facilities where portability is key and operation from courtside is essential. MiScore controls are also available for basketball and baseball scoreboards. Nothing but Fair-Play on your field or court. Fair-Play Scoreboards 800-247-0265 www.fair-play.com Circle No. 511
Lockers to Be Proud Of
AirPro lockers from GearBoss strengthen program pride with distinctive features and rugged durability to enhance team room functionality and aesthetics. The open grid design promotes airflow, sanitation, and visual inspection. An integrated 52
hinged seat saves valuable floor space and is lockable over a security box and footlocker. Mounting options keep floors easy to clean and sanitize, and there is a variety of color and finish choices, from school colors to woodgrain laminates. Wenger Corp. 800-4-WENGER www.wengercorp.com Circle No. 512
Built for the Long Haul
M.A.S.A. now offers new and improved heavy-duty Shoulder Pad Racks. Conveniently dry, store, and transport your pads with these deluxe four-wheel carts. Features include a 1 1/2-inch square powder-coated steel base, one-inch (diameter) zinc-plated steel uprights, and HD non-marking casters. The tow handle folds for storage. Call or go online for the best pricing and selection. M.A.S.A., Inc. 800-264-4519 www.masa.com www.sportsadvantage.com Circle No. 514
It’s About Time
Fair-Play has answered the call with its latest MiTime wireless handheld control to operate football field timers. On playing fields across the country, game officials are taking more control of time operation, and Fair-Play has put that control in the palm of their hands. MiTime controls have an operating range of 450 feet and feature two user-programmable reset times that can be used for 25- or 40-second time outs. Operating field timers has never been this easy. Fair-Play Scoreboards 800-247-0265 www.fair-play.com Circle No. 520
Your Portable Storefront
The GearBoss Mobile Kiosk helps increase sales of team logo/spirit wear and boost revenue for athletic departments. Schools find that the eyecatching Mobile Kiosk significantly outsells traditional options. This selfcontained cart can be easily wheeled almost anywhere fans go. During storage and transport, inventory is kept secure with one padlock. Panels easily open to provide nearly 40 square feet of vertical display space. GearBoss by Wenger 800-4-WENGER www.gearboss.com Circle No. 523 CoachesNetwork.com
Gridiron Greatness Half the Cost
Wenger’s new GearBoss II storage system improves inventory management, space utilization, and sanitation of athletic equipment at half the cost of the premium GearBoss solution. Requiring significantly less space than traditional shelving, these flexible, high-density carts are easily configurable for a variety of equipment. The carts roll along a fixed track in the floor, allowing easy access and minimizing wasted space. The open design enables equipment to dry quickly, improving sanitation. Wenger Corp. 800-4-WENGER www.wengercorp.com Circle No. 521
What a Track Needs
The Cross-Over Zone protects costly track surfaces at crossing areas from damage due to teams, people, and equipment. It’s constructed of thick, tough geotextile fabric and has vinyl edging with steel chain inserted all around to provide ballast and keep the
protector down, even in high winds. Steel-tipped cleats cannot puncture it, but rain drains through. Easy to install and remove, this product is made in sizes for all tracks. Multi-color imprinting is available, and the unit is black with edging in your choice of gold, white, or a custom color. Aer-Flo, Inc. 800-823-7356 www.aerflo.com Circle No.522
Lights, Camera, Action
When players enter the field through a Sports Central inflatable sports tunnel, the cameras start snapping and great memories are captured. As spectators gaze on athletes emerging from one of these high-quality, eye-catching inflatable tunnels, they’re stirred with pride, enthusiasm, and team spirit. Make every athlete feel like a pro and enhance your facility’s appearance. Go online today to learn more. Sports Central Creations 909-548-3910 www.sportscentralcreations.com Circle No.523
Building Better Athletes
Empower Your Linemen
The Strong Fireout Station provides 50 to 500 pounds of resistance and is ideal for helping linemen learn to play lower, longer. This station, which is excellent for improving players’ first two steps off the line, consists of two rows of four Strong Bands that connect across the shoulders using Jump Stretch’s adhesive strap. Undo the strap and you’ve got two Strong Shuffle Stations to perform regular quickfeet running drills. For details, call Jump Stretch today. Jump Stretch, Inc. • 800-344-3539 www.jumpstretch.com Circle No. 548
Who Wants It More?
The Tug is the ultimate competitive tool—it tests the heart. The Tug also fosters toughness. It’s a variable-weight strength and conditioning apparatus made of a rubber-like resin with the capacity to hold up to 20 gallons of water. The Tug’s shape and flexibility have significantly reduced injuries associated with stick wrestling, towel wrestling, and tire tugging competitions. The construction of the Tug allows for separation between combatants and introduces an element of weight to the equation by simply adding water. You can tug it, flip it, drag it, hoist it, curl it, or row it. It’s versatile and has a variable weight, so use your imagination. The Tug • 405-474-7777 www.thetug.net Circle No. 489 CoachesNetwork.com
strength & conditioning
A Leading Choice
To get the most out of your athletes and the most out of your dollar, Legend Fitness is America’s top choice in strength equipment. The chosen cage of D1 Sports Training, Competitive Edge Sports, and Athletic Republic, the Legend Fitness Pro Series Half Cage features only 12 frame bolts but dozens of features and accessories. Advanced polymer contact surfaces, seven-gauge chrome racking, and East Tennessee-built quality are standard with every cage. Legend Fitness • 866-753-4363 www.legendfitness.com Circle No. 549
Travel with the Band
Made popular by power lifters, Power Systems’ Strength Bands can be attached to weight bars and benches for added resistance during lifts. These unique bands are also effective for common strength exercises. The width of the band determines the resistance, and they are available in seven resistance levels. Packable and portable, they’re made of seamless latex rubber and constructed in layers to prevent breakage. Strength Bands are color-coded to show the resistance level, and all bands are 41 inches long (sold individually). Power Systems, Inc. • 800-321-6975 www.power-systems.com Circle No. 542 Coaching Management
strength & conditioning
Building Better Athletes
This off-season, while your opponents are lifting, you can be putting the intensity of football into your workouts. MAXX provides a lifelike dummy and a durable weight machine with stateof-the-art computer technology. The LED board gives your players instant feedback on their speed off the ball and the power of their punch while they work to increase strength and perfect football technique. MAXX Football • 800-294-4654 www.maxxfootball.com Circle No. 550
Protect the Arms
Tired of bruised arms from zercher squats? The C-0190-O Zercher Squat Device from New York Barbells has three-inch (diameter) closed-cell urethane pads for comfortable lifting. Use it for zercher squats, strongman walks, back arches, and torso twists. This device reduces the pain and bruising associated with the steel bar used in normal zercher squats. It’s self-standing for load-and-lift convenience, and it holds six 45-pound Olympic plates. New York Barbells • 800-446-1833 www.newyorkbarbells.com Circle No.541
From the Ground Up
Ideal for maximizing athletic performance, the Hammer Strength Ground Base Jammer is highly versatile and extremely conducive to explosive or transfer training movements. Users train with their feet on the ground, promoting functional training, total-body stabilization and balance reflective of similar movements on the playing field. Hammer Strength • 800-634-8673 www.hammerstrength.com Circle No. 540
A Benchmark Bench
The Samson Combo/Decline bench (100CD) is the newest and most comprehensive utility bench on the market today. This revolutionary new addition to Samson’s bench line gives your athletes the ability to perform a decline press by making a few simple adjustments. Perform the bench press, incline, military, decline, and even sit-ups all from the same bench. Optimize your weightroom with the best in quality and design from Samson Equipment. Samson Equipment • 800-472-6766 www.samsonequipment.com Circle No.545 54
Lower Price, Higher Function
The Partner GHD is one of the most affordable posterior chain training tools on the market. Get real gains in speed, acceleration, and jumping ability while reducing hamstring injuries. Legend Fitness reduced material costs while keeping the essentials that give the user an effective workout. Already in use by several NCAA Division I programs, the American-made Partner GHD is a highly attractive option for those with limited budgets and those who purchase in volume. Legend Fitness • 866-753-4363 www.legendfitness.com Circle No. 539
Conditioning at Its Best
The Prowler 2 from Total Strength and Speed can be pushed with the upright posts or the low handles, or pulled with a strap or rope. No matter how you use it, the Prowler 2 is an ultimate conditioning tool. The specially designed three-ski system forces the user to remain low—a plus for football conditioning. The skis are also replaceable for use on rough surfaces such as asphalt. Total Strength and Speed • 888-532-8227 www.fatbars.com Circle No. 547
Simulate Game Action
The Maxx Old School provides a lifelike dummy and a durable weight machine. It will give your players an opportunity to increase strength and perfect proper football technique year-round. Coaches dream of their players getting 3,000 game-like reps out of a three-point stance during the off-season. Maxx can make this goal a reality. MAXX Football • 800-294-4654 www.maxxfootball.com Circle No. 546
Work the Legs
The Power Lift Leg Extension is part of the company’s Pro Select line. All Pro Select pieces feature extra-large pads for user comfort, 4” x 3” and 3 1/2” x 2 1/2” seven-gauge steel construction, weight stack guards, and instructional placards. Leg Extension features include a 300-pound weight stack, a ratchet-lock back pad adjustment, an adjustable tibia pad, an adjustable start pad, and a 1 1/4-inch grip diameter. Power Lift • 800-872-1543 www.power-lift.com Circle No. 543 CoachesNetwork.com
Building Better Athletes A Strong Design
Prepare for Battle
Just What You Need
Back to Basics
Using years of experience and a firm commitment to quality, Hammer Strength has created the ultimate multi-rack. The rugged Heavy Duty Multi-Rack exemplifies what makes Hammer Strength one of the most trusted brands of strength equipment in the fitness industry. The Hammer Strength Heavy Duty Multi-Rack is visually appealing, with a space-efficient design that provides the ultimate workout experience for your athletes. Hammer Strength • 800-634-8673 www.hammerstrength.com Circle No. 531 The C-PRO93140-W Titan Adjustable Squat/Dip/Bench Press has adjustments from 14 inches outside to 48 inches outside to accommodate bar lengths from five to seven feet. Attachments are available for wrist roller and body up/push-up. Safety stands and plate holder attachments are also available. This unit is a musthave when space is limited or portability is needed. Two pop pins and two hand knobs allow the rack to break down into three pieces. Bar catches are included. New York Barbells • 800-446-1833 www.newyorkbarbells.com Circle No. 532
Battling Ropes are a great tool for increasing the intensity of your normal workout. You’ll obtain vast improvement in strength, endurance, and core performance. They are also great for tug-of-war competitions. Made of nonshedding, non-abrasive braided polyester, they are perfect for indoor use. A plastic boot on each end prevents fraying. Battling Ropes are available in 1.5”- and 2”-inch diameters, and lengths of 16.5, 50, and 100 feet. Power Systems, Inc. • 800-321-6975 www.power-systems.com Circle No. 535 Speed, flexibility, leg drive, explosiveness, and mental toughness will be improved with the Bear Sled from The Ram Sled Co. The Bear is one of the most versatile, durable, and affordable pieces of equipment to develop strength and overall conditioning. The included harness is hand-made, strong, and comfortable to use. The Bear is a great bridge between the weightroom and the playing field. No bells, no whistles, no gimmicks—just good old-fashioned kick-butt training. The Ram Sled Co. • 616-446-3100 www.theramsled.com Circle No. 536
Professional sports teams and international Olympians train and condition with TurfCordz to increase speed, endurance, and flexibility through explosive start drills, footwork exercises, and simulated play action. Developed by NZ Mfg., a leader in resistance training and physical rehabilitation products, TurfCordz provide maximum function and comfort while withstanding the rigorous demands of team, clinic, and personal use. NZ Mfg. also engineers StrechCordz and MediCordz resistance products. NZ Mfg., LLC • 800-886-6621 www.nzmfg.com Circle No. 533
Extend and Rotate
Log Your Workouts
The Power Lift Performance Training Station is a multi-functional training piece. Standard features include five-peg weight storage on each side of the rack, safety spot bars, Rhino Hook bar catches, pulley handle attachment storage, rotating chrome chin-up handles, and safety spot bar storage. A glute-ham bench can be locked into existing band attachments. Various rack and pulley attachments can also be added to this station. Power Lift • 800-872-1543 www.power-lift.com Circle No. 534
strength & conditioning
The Samson Power Thrust is a dynamic piece of equipment that allows athletes to develop hip explosion, upper-arm strength, and shoulder strength. Each handle operates independently on linear ball bearings to allow for an amazingly smooth movement, and resistance is easily added by the weight horns already attached to the handle apparatus itself. A variety of exercises, including extensions and rotations, can easily be performed using this unique piece of equipment. Samson Equipment • 800-472-6766 www.samsonequipment.com Circle No. 537 Designed as a low-cost strongman training log, the Econo Log from Total Strength and Speed is also a neutral-grip bench log. The outside handles are 24 inches apart to match the handles of logs used in strongman competitions. The other two sets of inside handles are great for regular and narrow neutral-grip bench pressing. It fits standard-width bench and rack J-cups. The handles are 1 1/4 inches in diameter and the dimensions are 1 1/2” x 10” x 84”. Total Strength and Speed • 888-532-8227 www.fatbars.com Circle No. 538
Advertisers Directory Circle No.
114.....A-Turf.......................................................... 23 108.....Active Ankle ............................................... 11 113.....Aer-Flo ....................................................... 21 131.....Austin Plastics & Supply.............................. 44 106.....California University of Pennsylvania . .......... 9 135.....Cho-Pat ...................................................... 56 145.....CoachesNetwork.com.................................. 61 115.....Cramer ....................................................... 24 116.....CustomInk.com............................................ 26 100.....Cutters Gloves............................................ IFC 104.....Fair-Play Scoreboards................................... 8 144.....Gatorade..................................................... BC 10.......Gearboss by Wenger ..................................... 3 122.....Hammer Strength Clinics ........................... 33 139.....HighSchoolSports.net ................................. 59 107.....HME............................................................ 10 121.....HQ, Inc. (Cor Temp)........................................ 31 142.....Jump Stretch............................................... 62 120.....K&K Insurance............................................ 30 128.....Legend Fitness ........................................... 40 132.....M.A.S.A. . ................................................... 44 124.....MAXX Football .......................................... 36 103.....MilkPEP........................................................ 7 112.....Mondo ........................................................ 19
102.....Mueller Sports Medicine .............................. 5 129.....New York Barbells of Elmira....................... 41 134.....NFHS Coach Certification........................... 48 602.....Performance Analysis.................................. 58 117.....Polytan-USA .............................................. 27 123.....Power Lift .................................................. 34 127.....Power Systems............................................ 39 105.....Prep Gear ..................................................... 9 133.....Pro Look Sports.......................................... 45 110.....ProGrass . ................................................... 14 143.....ProPlay ....................................................IBC 125.....Samson Equipment ..................................... 37 137.....Save-A-Tooth .............................................. 58 119.....Shaw Sportexe ........................................... 29 109.....Sports Attack .............................................. 12 118.....Sports Central Creations ............................ 28 130.....Stromgren Athletics .................................... 43 138.....The Ram Sled Company ............................. 59 140.....The Tug........................................................ 60 126.....Total Strength and Speed ........................... 38 136.....TurfCordz/NZ Mfg ...................................... 58 146.....TXR Suspension Training (Fitness Anywhere). .. 22 141.....Wizard Sports.............................................. 60 111.....Xenith.......................................................... 15
Products Directory Circle No.
500.... A-Turf........................................................... 50 571.... Active Ankle (ASI lace-up ankle brace)....... 58 580.... Active Ankle (T2 rigid ankle brace)............. 59 522.... Aer-Flo (Cross-Over Zone)........................... 53 513.... Aer-Flo (Tuffy Windscreen).......................... 52 510.... Austin Plastics & Supply ............................. 52 600.... California University of Pennsylvania........... 62 583.... Cho-Pat ....................................................... 59 570.... Cramer (portable hydration units)................ 58 584.... Cramer (Sideline Emergency Kit)................ 60 560.... CustomInk.com............................................. 57 566.... Cutters Gloves (GreatCatch)......................... 57 593.... Cutters Gloves (Wrist Coach)....................... 61 511.... Fair-Play (MiScore)..................................... 52 520.... Fair-Play (MiTime)...................................... 52 512.... GearBoss by Wenger (AirPro lockers).......... 52 521.... GearBoss by Wenger (GearBoss II).............. 53 540.... Hammer Strength (Ground Base Jammer)...... 54 531.... Hammer Strength (Heavy Duty Multi-Rack).... 55 590.... HME............................................................ 61 548.... Jump Stretch . ............................................. 53 601.... K&K Insurance............................................. 62 539.... Legend Fitness (The Partner GHD)............. 54 549.... Legend Fitness (Pro Series Half Cage)........ 53 514.... M.A.S.A. ..................................................... 52 550.... MAXX Football ........................................... 54 546.... MAXX Football (MAXX Old School)........... 54 501.... Mondo ......................................................... 50 585.... Mueller (MAX knee strap)........................... 60 582.... Mueller (The One)....................................... 59 532.... New York Barbells (C- PRO93140-W)......... 55
541.... New York Barbells (C-0190-O Zercher Squat)... 54 602.... Performance Analysis................................... 58 503.... Polytan-USA ............................................... 51 543.... Power Lift (Leg Extension).......................... 54 534.... Power Lift (Performance Training Station).... 55 535.... Power Systems (Battling Ropes).................. 55 542.... Power Systems (Strength Bands)................. 53 561.... Prep Gear..................................................... 57 562.... Pro Look Sports (One Price Promise)......... 57 564.... Pro Look Sports (Soft tackle twill).............. 57 502.... ProGrass ..................................................... 50 603.... ProPlay........................................................ 62 545.... Samson (Combo/Decline bench)................... 54 537.... Samson Equipment (Power Thrust).............. 55 581.... Save-A-Tooth................................................ 59 591.... Schedule Star/HighSchoolSports.net........... 61 504.... Shaw Sportexe............................................. 51 592.... Sports Attack .............................................. 61 523.... Sports Central Creations.............................. 53 586.... Stromgren (Flex Pad II five-pad girdle)....... 60 565.... Stromgren (Flex Pad II three-pad girdle).... 57 505.... Synthetic Turf Council................................... 51 536.... The Ram Sled Company............................... 55 489.... The Tug......................................................... 53 538.... Total Strength and Speed (Econo Log)........ 55 547.... Total Strength and Speed (Prowler 2)......... 54 533.... TurfCordz/NZ Mfg. ...................................... 55 523.... Wenger......................................................... 52 563.... Wizard Sports ............................................. 57 572.... Xenith........................................................... 58
Circle No. 135
Everything You Need Stand Out
Show your team pride while displaying your team name and logo. Create your own custom design or have CustomInk create a design for you. From basic cotton to wicking T-shirts, you’ll find the perfect shirts on which to display your team name. Take advantage of free shipping and free expert design help seven days a week. Use voucher code CM0410 to save $10 on your order of six or more shirts. CustomInk T-Shirts & More 877-803-5882 www.customink.com/football Circle No. 560
In five short years, Prep Gear Headwear has become a national leader in factory-direct headwear products for high schools and institutions. At Prep Gear, each hat is assembled from scratch using the highest-quality materials and expert craftsmanship. In today’s economy, why pay an extra mark-up when you can buy premium products direct from the factory? Call or go online for more information. Prep Gear Headwear 800-279-7060 www.prepgear.com Circle No. 561
The One Price Promise
Pro Look’s football uniforms offer the newest in high-tenacity stretch-fit materials, including stretch mesh that makes your players virtually unstoppable. As one of the first companies to offer soft tackle twill, Pro Look now brings you a stretch tackle twill that conforms to the jersey. Pro Look’s One Price Promise includes fully customizable uniforms in the newest designs— you get unlimited embroidery, unlimited stretch tackle twill, and unlimited design options. Pro Look Sports 800-776-5665 www.prolooksports.com Circle No. 562
New Three-Pad Football Girdle The Flex Pad II dual-layer integrated football girdle system from Stromgren includes the 1583 girdle. This is a three-pad compression girdle with moisture-wicking hip and tail pads. Its 25-percent 280 denier lycra/75-percent 70 denier nylon fabric is treated with the new Negative Ion treatment to enhance its antimicrobial, moisturemanaging, and anti-odor properties. The unique and patent-pending feature of the 1583 is a new double-layer hip pad design. All Flex Pad II girdles have CoachesNetwork.com
TE AM equipment
closed-cell EVA foam pads both inside and outside the waistband, providing the athlete with dual-layer protection to the iliac crest for better hip pointer protection. Stromgren Athletics 800-527-1988 www.stromgren.com Circle No. 565
GreatCatch teaches players how to properly catch a football by putting all the focus on their fingertips. The palms and heels of the hands cause bobbles and drops—with Cutters’ GreatCatch, the fingertips do all the work for proper catching technique. As a result, players develop soft, reliable hands and fingertip control, resulting in fewer bobbles and drops. Cutters Gloves 800-821-0231 www.cuttersgloves.com Circle No. 566
Kick Into This
Wizard Sports offers a great portable football kicking cage. The new and improved Wizard Pro Kicking and Punting Cage is lightweight and stable, ships via UPS, sets up quickly, and breaks down to fit into a very small but durable carrying case. It’s used by top pro and college teams. “The Wizard Kicking Net handles my kicks with consistency. When the pressure is on, the last thing you need to be worrying about is where your practice kicks are going to end up. That’s why I recommend the Wizard Kicking Net.”— Shaun Suisham, NFL Kicker Wizard Sports Equipment, Inc. 888-964-5425 www.wizardsports.com Circle No. 563
Since 1996, Pro Look has developed award-winning uniforms for title-chasing athletes. The company is proud of its innovation and attention to detail. Its garments work with athletes when they need it most. Pro Look fabrics and construction methods stand up to abuse, season after season. The patented “Soft” tackle twill technology creates tackle twill that is soft to the touch and stretches with the jersey, all the while maintaining traditional tackle twill strength and longevity. Combine stretch tackle twill with stretch-fit jersey fabrics, and make your players virtually unstoppable. Pro Look Sports 800-776-5665 www.prolooksports.com Circle No.564 Coaching Management
Injury Prevent ion
Potable and Portable
Cramer Products offers three types of portable hydration units to help hydrate athletes. Cramer’s newest unit, the Powerflo 50, offers an impressive 50 gallons of portable hydration. Cramer’s hydration units are constructed of 100-percent water-portable and FDA-approved materials for drinking water. Cramer Products, Inc. 800-345-2231 www.cramersportsmed.com Circle No. 570
Comfort and Mobility
The Active Ankle AS1 lace-up ankle brace provides comfort and mobility with the support and security of traditional taping. Non-stretch straps create the heel lock technique used in taping. Additional support is provided against sprains and heel release via steel spring stays on either side of the brace. It features a neoprene-lined nylon shell for comfort and is affordable for athletes at all levels without sacrificing freedom of movement. Active Ankle Systems, Inc. 800-800-2896 www.activeankle.com Circle No.571
Shouldering the Load
Polymer shoulder pad inserts from Performance Analysis fit into most football
shoulder pads. These pads utilize impactdissipating visco-elastic polymer padding and memory foam. This combination of superior materials provides increased shoulder protection while still being lightweight. The pads are strategically scalloped for AC protection and isolation. Velcro™ provisions are included for easy installation into most any pad system. These shoulder pad inserts can be purchased through Sports Health by calling 800-323-1305. Performance Analysis 704-202-0416 www.perf-analysis.com Circle No. 602
Better Fit, Less Impact
The new Xenith X1 football helmet features Xenith Adaptive Head Protection. The X1 adapts to impact by responding in a smarter and more optimized manner, thereby combating the effects of every hit. Xenith Adaptive Head Protection encompasses three components: Aware-Flow shock absorbers provide a more optimized response at a variety of energy levels; the Shock Bonnet creates a suspension system that adapts to impact direction; Fit Seeker adapts to head size and shape to provide a superior fit. Xenith 866-888-2322 www.xenith.com Circle No. 572
You’re on our turf now. Increase speed, endurance and flexibility with TurfCordz™, the industry’s most high-level athletic training resistance tools. Ideal for any high school or college coach, versatile TurfCordz can be used for explosive start drills, power-building footwork exercises, simulated play action and more:
800,000 Teeth are Knocked Out Each Year During Sports! Protect Your Athletes!
t Shoulder rotator strengthening t Agility and strength training t Vertical leaps t Quadriceps, gluteus and shoulders toning t Quick reaction and multiple-direction drills
Save-A-Tooth gives you time to treat more serious injuries and get athletes to a dentist or emergency room.
Order today! Call 800.886.6621 or visit turfcordz.com now.
Call (888) 788-6684 or visit www.Save-A-Tooth.com for more information
Made in USA
Circle No.137 CoachesNetwork.com
Safety First Freedom and Support
The Active Ankle T2 rigid ankle brace provides exceptional ankle protection during exercise and athletic activity. The solid U-shaped design relieves pressure on the ankle and provides superior inversion/eversion protection. The bilateral anatomical hinge allows freedom of motion in plantar flexion/dorsiflexion. The T2 features a single quick-fit strap that adjusts for high- or low-top shoes and custom-molded EVA padding for a comfortable fit and firm support. Active Ankle Systems, Inc. 800-800-2896 www.activeankle.com Circle No. 580
Because Time Matters
Without proper care, a knocked-out tooth begins to die in 15 minutes. The Save-A-Tooth emergency tooth preserving system utilizes Hank’s Balanced Salt Solution (HBSS) to not only preserve, but also reconstitute many of the degenerated cells. The patented basket and net container are designed to protect tooth root cells. This is the only system that keeps tooth cells alive for up to 24 hours. Save-A-Tooth® 888-788-6684 www.save-a-tooth.com Circle No.581
“The One”You Need
The One ankle brace from Mueller is extremely light and low-profile, so it’s comfortable to wear in shoes or cleats during competition. Offering all the traditional benefits of taping but with the adjustable flexibility of a soft strap brace, The One protects against inversion and eversion ankle sprains. Anti-slip criss-crossing side straps can be adjusted while the shoe is on the foot to help prevent slippage and ensure a tight, comfortable fit. Sidepulling stirrup straps imitate the effects of taping while a cushioned, breathable tongue keeps the brace comfortable. Neoprene and latex free, The One fits right or left feet and comes in black and white. Mueller Sports Medicine 800-356-9522 www.muellersportsmed.com Circle No. 582
One Product, Two Benefits
Cho-Pat’s patented Dual Action Knee Strap provides an extra dimension of relief for painful and weakened knees. First, it applies pressure upon the tendon below the knee to reduce patellar subluxation and improve patellar tracking and elevation. Then, by adding pressure on the tendon above the knee, the strap further strengthens and provides an ad-
Only HighSchoolSports.net keeps you ahead of the game with the most complete and powerful productivity tools available. Manage your game and practice schedules for the entire season at stats.HighSchoolSports.net. Find games to fill any open dates with the Games Wanted feature, and then use the Massey Matchups feature to help you select an opponent.
Do all that you do now Coach, only faster. HighSchoolSports.net now offers QuickEdit EZ, the most economical and easy-to-use video editing system available. And The Film Room™ - the fast and easy way for your players to get unlimited online film study from home. Plus it’s FREE. Go to www.highschoolsports.net and click on “Coaches” at the top or call 800-258-8550.
Keeping you ahead of the game
AT THE HEART OF IT.
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Circle No. 139 Coaching Management
ditional level of support and stability to the joint. The fabric-covered neoprene construction allows full mobility. Cho-Pat 800-221-1601 www.cho-pat.com Circle No. 583
Essentials On Hand
With a heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin shell, the Cramer Sideline Emergency Kit is designed to bring together all the necessary emergency management tools into one easily identifiable and easy-to-organize wheeled bag. The four interior bags can be labeled for a variety of specific needs, and they’re color-coded for fast visual recognition in an emergency. Cramer Products, Inc 800-345-2231 www.cramersportsmed.com Circle No. 584
Surrounded by Support
The Mueller MAX knee strap is a lightweight and comfortable support for relief of pain associated with soreness, stiffness, and arthritis. Compression tubes target above, below, and on both sides of the knee. This lightweight and comfortable support provides targeted
YOU CAN’T HIDE FROM THE TUG!™
compression without reducing mobility. Upper and side compression tubes target misalignment and help improve patellar tracking. Breathable mesh fabric allows for an all-day comfortable fit. Mueller Sports Medicine 800-356-9522 www.muellersportsmed.com Circle No. 585
New Five-Pad Football Girdle
Stromgren Athletics has introduced its Flex Pad II dual-layer integrated football girdle system. The 1585 girdle is a fivepad compression girdle with moisturewicking hip, tail, and thigh pads. The 25-percent 280 denier lycra/75-percent 70 denier nylon fabric is treated with the new Negative Ion treatment to enhance its antimicrobial, moisture-wicking, and anti-odor properties. The unique and patent-pending feature of the 1585 is its double-layer hip pad design. All Flex Pad II girdles have closed-cell EVA foam pads both inside and outside the waistband, providing the athlete with dual-layer protection to the iliac crest. Stromgren Athletics 800-527-1988 www.stromgren.com Circle No. 586
“THE TUG IS ABSOLUTELY THE BEST COMPETITIVE TOOL I William Hicks, CSCS, Head Strength HAVE USED IN MY 25 YEARS OF COACHING.” Coach, Syracuse Football •Uses water for weight and can be adjusted simply by removing or adding water up to 180 lbs. Inertia created from movement of water inside works core body muscles, balance. •Simple design allows for a variety of strength and speed training options including: -Weight Sled pulled in any direction with no runners to restrict movement -Overhead for Lunges, Squats, Duckwalks, Balance Bubble and Board -Curls, Upright Row, Behind the Neck Press, Bench Press, Triceps Work -Flip The Tug instead of tires, Relay Races, Karaoke, Crab Push •Safe Alternative to Stick & Towel Wrestling, Ropes, Creates Separation Between Competitors. •Used by High School, College and Pro Teams Including Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, BYU, UCLA, Arizona State, UCF, Colorado, Missouri, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Syracuse, Maryland, Clemson, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, UMass, and the NFL’s Cowboys, Rams, and Titans.
View A Video At
www.thetug.net 405.474.7777 Circle No. 140
Wizard Sports, Orange, CA
1-888-964-5425 Circle No. 141
Coaching a ids Expandable and Reliable
HME’s DX300 expandable wireless headset system provides secure, handsfree two-way communication with superior digital sound clarity for sports, live events, and broadcasting. It offers easy setup and is portable from location to location with no frequency coordination or license required. The DX300 expands for up to 20 users and features the industry’s lightest belt pack. HME has been innovating for more than 35 years. HME 888-760-7836 www.hme.com/coaches Circle No. 590
Visit the Film Room
Use HighSchoolSports.net to manage your team’s schedules, scores, and stats and to communicate with parents, fans, and local media. Go to the site and click on “coaches” to get started. HighSchoolSports.net now offers QuickEdit EZ, one of the most economical and easy-to-use video editing systems available. The Film Room is a fast and easy way for your players to get unlimited online film study from home, and it’s free. Schedule Star/HighSchoolSports.net 800-258-8550 www.schedulestar.com Circle No. 591
Good at Everything
The new Snap Attack Football Machine with solid polyurethane football throwing wheels (no air pressure) provides tight spirals, long distance, and accuracy. In the elevated position using the universal ball cradle, it can pass, punt, or deliver the perfect kickoff. In the lowered position at ground level, it can snap the ball to any depth for shotgun or pistol formations, extra points, and punts. Pre-set locations make any change (left- to right-handed spirals or spirals to end-over-end) quick and easy. Sports Attack 800-717-4251 www.sportsattack.com Circle No. 592
Know the Play
The 197 Triple Playmaker Wrist Coach is made with C-FLEX(TM), Cutters Gloves’ exclusive “fits like a glove” technology, for optimal comfort and fit. It includes three windows for easy reference, allowing you to store up to 300 plays at once. It’s available in 11 team colors. Visit the Downloads section of the Cutters Gloves Web site for free blank play card templates. Cutters Gloves 800-821-0231 www.cuttersgloves.com Circle No. 593
THE ONLINE SOURCE WHERE COACHES CONNECT
with other coaches, exchange ideas, share solutions
coach-specific articles and information
athletes’ parents with educational resources
www.CoachesNetwork.com Circle No. 145
Great Ideas, Great Value
Never Stop Learning
California University of Pennsylvania has helped build the character and careers of its students for more than 150 years. Cal U’s dedication to providing high-quality, in-demand programs to its students continues through the University’s Global Online 100-percent online programs of study. Through an asynchronous format, Global Online allows students the opportunity to complete coursework anytime, anywhere. All that’s required is a computer with Internet access. Go online for more information. California University of Pennsylvania 866-595-6348 www.cup.edu Circle No. 600
Insure Your Success
Protect your organization with K&K’s insurance programs for sports camps, clinics, teams, leagues, associations, instructors, and events. Coverages include general liability including participant legal liability, participant accident medical, equipment and con-
tents coverage, and more. Sign up with the leader in sports, leisure, and entertainment insurance today—online quoting and immediate purchase is easy through the company’s new Web site. Go online to learn more. K&K Insurance 800-426-2889 www.sportsinsurance-kk.com Circle No. 601
Seeing Is Believing
ProPlay Sports offers a hand-sized high-speed video camera that allows coaches to instantly review their athletes’ performance. This immediate visual feedback complements the verbal instruction already being given to the athlete. In addition, the ProPlay Scratch software allows coaches to gain a more in-depth analysis by drawing lines, circles, and squares as well as editing and e-mailing the videos. Call or go online to learn more. ProPlay Sports 866-800-9433 www.proplaysports.com Circle No. 603
Ever wonder where the pro teams get those GIANT rubber bands they use for stretching?
Look no further! Jump Stretch has been supplying the large continuous-loop FlexBands® to high school, college, and pro teams since 1980. We have a total of seven sizes, but most teams use either the Light or Average bands for stretching. For more information, visit our website at www.jumpstretch.com or call 1-800-344-3539.
Jump Stretch, Inc.
1230 N. Meridian Rd. Youngstown, OH 44509 www.jumpstretch.com 1-800-344-3539 Fax: 1-330-793-8719 Circle No. 142
Coaching Management jumpstretch62v0v3.indd 1
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“The Greatest Form of Protein”
The Very Best in Meeting Customers’ Needs
Finally, a Training Tool You Can Depend On
“Egg Whites International has separated itself from all others. This is the authenticity of protein: clear, clean, and pure. Egg Whites International has developed a product that is easily absorbed and digested by the body, allowing for outstanding physical development. Egg Whites International has elevated recovery and building blocks with the egg white protein.
When it came time for East Central University to build a new weight training facility, there was literally only one company that could handle its needs: Samson Equipment. ECU Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Travis Reust already had Samson’s equipment in his existing facility, and he was asked to create a list of what he would need to fill the new facility—but on a limited budget. Coach Reust was in great shape, however, because his existing equipment was still in very good condition, as is the norm with any piece that Samson Equipment produces.
The new Snap Attack Football Machine is extremely versatile and easy to use, making it a huge improvement over competing units that have frustrated coaches for years. From solid throwing wheels to a universal ball cradle to a stainless steel frame, the quality of craftsmanship is a testament to Sports Attack’s 40-plus years of machine design experience. Some of the teams and organizations that have found the Snap Attack an effective training tool for punting, passing, and kicking include:
“The company has now gone into the next generation of super-foods. It broadened the imagination and development of egg whites by simplifying the industry’s use and gained unlimited results. Egg Whites International is the cutting edge for developing the greatest form of protein with the simplicity of the egg.” —Dr. E.J. “Doc” Kreis, Hall of Fame Strength and Conditioning Coach, DISC Sports Performance, CA “Several of my athletes have been taking egg whites for several months now and are extremely happy. Their recovery after workouts is amazing. My athletes are not as sore the next day, allowing them to work out harder. “It is so easy to take, and you can mix it with anything to flavor it. There is no smell and no taste. I have noticed that my athletes who take it are getting faster results than the athletes who aren’t taking it. They are leaning up and getting stronger. “The thing I like most is that egg whites are a whole food and a complete protein, so the body absorbs all the protein and nutrients in it. There is nothing synthetic in it, so you are really getting your money’s worth from this product. Thanks, Egg Whites International, for making a great product that I can trust.” —Mark Campbell CSCS, ACSM, ACE, AFAA, YMCAFS-certified, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, Idaho State University
Egg Whites International P.O. Box 18731 Anaheim, CA 92817 877-344-9448 Fax: 714-921-4674 email@example.com www.eggwhitesint.com
That gave him the ability to buy new pieces and have Samson Equipment take back the old pieces, revamp every piece, and ship both the used and brand new equipment at the same time for the installation. The end result? ECU was left with a facility that rivals any other—not only in the school’s conference, but in all of NCAA Division II athletics, all while saving the athletic fund a significant amount of money. Call Samson Equipment today to see how your school can undergo a transformation such as this at bargain savings.
Samson Equipment P.O. Box 353 Fairacres, NM 88033 800-472-6766 Fax: 575-523-2100 firstname.lastname@example.org www.samsonequipment.com
University of Alabama University of Arkansas University of Southern California Junipero Serra High School, CA Coronado High School, CO University of Florida University of Georgia Buford High School, GA Parkview High School, GA Louisiana Tech University Michigan State University Blair Academy, NJ Rutgers University University of Nevada University of Cincinnati Miami University Tuttle High School, OK Houston Second Baptist School, TX Angelo State University
Sports Attack P.O. Box 1529 Verdi, NV 89439 800-717-4251 Fax: 775-345-2883 email@example.com www.sportsattack.com
film session X X
See more... Learn moreâ€Ś
In Coaches Networkâ€™s film session
Coaches Network introduces its newest feature: the film session. Here you can view coaching videos designed to help you learn more about coaching from other coaches.
But film session is more than just a list of videos for you to sit and watch. You can also comment on the videos, interact with other coaches, and upload your own videos.
Morningside College Head Coach Steve Ryan explains how the no-huddle offense can help you get more reps in practice and teach players to communicate better on the fly.
The spread offense has become all the rage. Steve Fex from Coppell (Texas) High School offers suggestions on using the 3-4 defense to stop the spread.
In this video, NFL and college special teams coach Paul McCord goes over advanced drills for punt return blockers.
To access film session today, go to CoachesNetwork.com.
Ca Inc ecial m lu Coa er de ch a s es & V Pr So ide ice ftw o ar e
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Published on May 26, 2010