Monday, December 14, 2015

Concussion Movie & Coaching Ethos

There is no bigger issue the sport of football is facing today than the cloud of anxiety associated with long-term affects of head trauma. We have addressed this previously, but not to the extent we will be exposed today. This season we are presented with a social impetus that will move this issue into the minds of a wider audience than just football players and coaches. The movie, Concussion, amplifies the wake started with HBO's "Head Games" (2010) and Frontline's "League of Denial" (2013) with narratives too strong to ignore. The movie is a profitable venue because it is something on everyone's mind; everyone wants to learn more about this issue. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Periodization Off-Season Conditioning

Now is the time of year that most programs are just now getting over the siege of the 2015 season.  Kids and coaches are on break and August 2016 is an eternity away.  Most program's approach strength and conditioning in January the same as they do in July.  This off-season, I would encourage you and your staff to sit down and assess how you wish to develop your athletes this off-season to have them primed for competition in game 1.

Below is a sample of a program we built a decade ago with this approach in mind. The goal was to reset our athletes to square one after the semester break.  While we use a maintenance lifting routine during the season , it is difficult to achieve gains during the season.  Therefore, we go back to the basics for core development as well as serving as a great teaching time for our incoming freshmen and underclassmen. 

When you look at the season from January until August, you have quite a bit of time to nurture athletes and work off a foundation of movements.  We structured our 32-week off-season conditioning as a 4 day week broken into 4 phases.  The goal here was to set aside enough time to lay a foundation of proper technique and foster team building in the weight room that would build the core of our team in the fall. During the early phases, we brought in outside instructors, spending a good portion of our time encouraging and involving underclassmen.  This program was built to be progressively challenging while being dynamic enough to change exercises from week to week.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Coaching the 2-Gap Nose

Even or Odd, that is the question.  With more and more defenses opting into basing out of an odd front, I figured I would pass on some notes of my experiences from a true 3-4 defense.  We've touched on this before, but I believe the true multiple defense of today's game is consists of just 2 interior tackles, 1 defensive end and then 1 hybrid 'tweener' or undersized end/speed rusher.  You can get by with these type of players to get into whatever front you need.  Many defenses base out of these odd personnel groups, but are actually playing an even defense, in the traditional sense. These defenses may play a zero technique, but only require this player to control 1 gap.  In addition, they may cover both guards (2i or 3 tech) and control 2-gaps on a read, but aren't actually using a 2-gap technique. 
There isn't much out there on coaching up the zero technique.  The only thing I've seen addressing this is the Mike Fanoga's "Developing 2-gap Linemen For The 3-4 Defense" video and I don't know that anyone has garnered anything of value off it.  The video just reviews basic DL drills and Coach Fanoga mumbling through unorganized cutups of his teams with no meaningful coaching points. In this installment, I would like to provide my thoughts on coaching a 2-gap zero technique in an odd front.