Mini Camp Preps

Mini Camp Preparations

As we finish OTAs and prepare for minicamp, I am reminded of some great advice I received before going on a vacation.  A good friend told me to put out all the clothes and money I would like to take, then put back half the clothes and take out double the money!

The philosophy on clothes is what I have used ever since for vacations, as well as for preparing my “Installation Book,” (The book of plays we plan to install).   Playbooks are like closets.  They contain all the clothes you never wear but refuse to get rid of.  I must have 50 t-shirts in my closet but I only wear about 12 of them, and I would only take 6 of them on a vacation.

Let your Playbook serve as your closet, but make your Installation book your suitcase.  The longer the vacation, the more you can take.  Our Mini Camp has 5 practices during the last week of July.   Mini Camp is a short camp (5 days of only 1 practice/day).  It is geared toward teaching alignment, assignment, techniques, drills, and base plays.  Mini Camp is conducted in shorts and T-shirts.  There is no contact in drills.  It is also the first time we invite incoming freshmen to join us which allows coaches an evaluation of new players prior to training camp.  Mini camp’s limited time and focus equal a “small suitcase” of plays.

Training Camp last for 2 weeks with 14 Practices, 3 Walk-Throughs, and 2 Scrimmages. We are in full pads by day 4 and drills are full contact.  That may be a bigger suitcase, but it is not the entire closest!  Do not spend your valuable time teaching plays that you will never call.  Focus only on the ones that would make it in the suitcase!

One additional note:

Next Saturday, July 28th, we will host the Northeast Kingdom 7 v 7 tournament at St Johnsbury Academy. 7 v 7 (sometimes called 7 on 7) has quickly become a great opportunity to build team chemistry and evaluate potential. We have ten teams from Vermont and New Hampshire signed up to compete and have room for two more. 7 v 7 is a non-contact passing scrimmage with no blocking permitted. Quarterbacks have four seconds to release the ball and teams compete to move the ball down the field and score on one another.  Games are timed and officiated, and we’ve developed quite a tradition for friendly competition.

Further, we will also host the OLine Challenge and Strong Man Competition for offensive and defensive linemen. This event gives student athletes the opportunity to compete in both individual and team-oriented events designed to both showcase talent and build team cohesion.

Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at and share with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for your time!

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