Thursday, July 30, 2009

Establishing a Tempo / Intensity on Defense

All that inflammatory badass rhetoric is great and stuff.... we can scream, holler, and make faces and all that BS, but how does that really help improve the product?

The bottom line is how do we improve the product? Increase the expectations and standards for performance. If we want them to play fast, we have to give them the vehicle to be fast (simple)
If we expect them to perform a particular way, then we must condition their stimulus (muscle-memorization) to establish that routine. Build the player confidence with simple fundamental drills every practice, make it clear what the expectations are, and rep the beejesus out of it.

What I'm talking about is establishing a tempo.

That even when you just "go through the motions" it still comes out in an acceptable manner. Kind of like saying, you can come into work and coast all day, but just make sure you;

  • come in 10 minutes early
  • finish all projects ahead of schedule
  • keep projects under budget

Well, if you do all that, it doesn't matter if you're inspired to work or not, because you are at least meeting core requirements and PROJECTING the qualities you want others to have. For example, I may be bored as hell - but if I start screaming at the top of my lungs, people will at least THINK I'm geeked up.

That is the 'fake it 'till you make it' concept.
You may not be a millionare, but if you treat yourself like one and dress impeccably, people will THINK you are a millionare.

This is what was meant by the 'fake it 'till you make it' --- you have to play like you're excited, even if you're not. Playing 'excited' isn't about how you feel, it is quantified through hustle and effort. The kids will gravitate to whatever we provide incentives for.

A good example; "Air Raid"
What makes "air raid" so effective?
Not the plays, but the practice format, the meticulous attention to detail. The application of basic fundamentals with tempo.

Just do the same thing for defense.
Tackling,pursuit, tempo.....You can scream, or you can snooze.....but as long as you take care of those three things, your defense will establish an "identity" that matters
The point is to 'condition' it into them.
Are YOU excited when you are teaching them?
Are YOU (and your coaches) going bananas to TEACH them (not ripping them a new one)??
When you go through drills, run-thrus, 7-on-7.........are the majority of snaps high-intensity? THAT is killer instinct we're really after.
If not, why not?
You can MAKE 'emotion' and 'hustle' a part of HOW you play if you enforce it. best piece of advice I heard from a pastor when I was young..IF YOU AIN'T THERE - FAKE IT 'TILL YOU MAKE IT!!!!

If the kids aren't performing or acting like they are ready to go - send them to the sideline until they come back at least SHOWING that they are ready to go.

Of course, you can't really do this CONSISTENTLY if they have difficult (thought-heavy) assignments. Can you plug any moron into a spot and give him a TRUE/FALSE job?

Do THIS, if THAT, do THAT if THIS?.....if not, streamline the process, demand intensity and try again.

Use the CHEAP things........(doesn't cost much)... like breaking the huddle, body-posturing, words used.

How difficult is it to just say..."play over, we are going to NOT walk to the huddle" ?
Maybe not run, but we are at least going to double-time.
If we don't do that, go to the sideline you, Kansas City Faggots!!

It doesn't take much to set the "tone". One guy not ready to go? EVERYBODY hit the sideline, and don't come back until you ALL are ready to go! (send in the 2nd unit) and see what happens.
Nothing worse than seeing kids walk around the field.

Another gimmick that has worked in the past (ala Lovie Smith) is .....QUOTAS
Don't even bother without doing what was outlined above......but just say...
I want ____ amount of sacks/turnovers/interceptions before period ends

if not, we will do ____ amount (the difference) of up-downs/sprints/Hebrews/rolls/etc to make up the difference.

It conditions competitiveness as well as how that ONE PLAY can make the difference between success and failure.

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