The success of a program lies in its ability to practice. The outcome of our games, character of our players, and development of our program is determined during practice. Our ability to utilize that time during practice to prepare, teach, and develop our players and program is more important than any scrimmage, game, or competition.
Our practice philosophy will be built off the following building blocks and expectations.
• Establish the best learning environment possible.
• Show players that you believe in their effort and abilities. Players perform more when they are believed upon. Let the players know how important they are to the program’s success.
• Give each player an opportunity to succeed. Make them feel important and be positive.
• Provide positive feedback, not always negative. (Feedback sandwich – Positive, corrective, positive)
• Out practice our opponent every week.
• Practice harder
• Practice smarter
• Practice at game intensity
• Become great teachers of the game.
• Players’ performance is a result and an evaluation of what a coach taught.
• Build a strong foundation of fundamentals and develop each player from there.
• Coaching is teaching. Have a plan each day.
• Appropriate, challenging and planned drills and periods should be prepared daily by each positional coach.
• A detailed, high intensity practice plan should be designed by each coordinator’s daily.
• Take advantage of every minute. Talk and explain during meeting and film time. When on the field, get as many repetitions as possible.
• Teach at top position skill. While making adjustments for struggling players, remember we want to challenge our players to reach full potential. Coach up, not down.
• Assessment is key to developing players and play.
• Practices will be filmed and shared daily.
• Coaches will watch and make corrections for their players each practice to correct it for the next day.
Practice expectations for players will be instilled and enforced daily. They will be taught and exemplified by coaches through words but more importantly their actions. Setting our practice expectations high will only result in high levels of play and success.
Player practice expectations:
1. Be early!
2. Out practice your opponent.
3. Work hard throughout every drill
4. Challenge yourself every snap.
5. Compete every play until the whistle.
6. Come each day with the goal to get better.
7. Improve weaknesses. Recognize your weaknesses and strive to get better at them.
8. Practice as it was a game.
9. Impact the level of practice of those around you.
10. PRACTICE LIKE CHAMPIONS!!!
It is important to have short segments in practice for many reasons. One I believe it is not a positive to have our players in one period, drill or concept for an extended period of as they tend lose focus. Shorter period will be a more effective strategy in engaging your players throughout practice. It will keep practice fresh by constantly changing. It addition will keep it fun
Finally, I believe it simulates an atmosphere as close to a game situation as you can. Football is a game of many plays, possessions and segments. We need to best prepare our kids to be able to adapt to these. That is through practice.