2018-12-06 Rich Speaker's PictureI was privileged to be invited back to present at USA Football’s National Coaches Conference in Orlando, FL. early next year. USA Football’s National Conference is the largest annual gathering of U.S. high school and youth football coaches and administrators. As I’ve mentioned on the blog previously, it is a privilege to be a member of the football coaching community, and I amazed every year by coaches’ willingness to share ideas, schemes, and philosophies. Though we may compete tooth and nail on game day, this fraternity has for decades found ways to extend hospitality and wisdom regardless of the level of play.

USA Football’s conference is a premier education and networking opportunity for administrators and coaches to gain insight on best practices, innovation, and smarter play. More than 1,500 football leaders attended the event in 2018, including international participants from Canada, Mexico, Scotland, and Sweden.

Attendees have gained insight from leaders across football, including Pro Football Hall of Famers Tony Dungy, Bill Polian, and Mike Singletary; Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden; Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis; XFL Commissioner and CEO Oliver Luck; and Green Bay Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy.

It would be difficult to conceive of a small business owner receiving counsel and mentorship from a Fortune 100 CEO, yet Coaches and staffs at ranked NCAA Division 1 schools regularly open their playbooks, film rooms, and practice sessions to help junior high, high school and other college coaches broaden their knowledge and understanding of the game. Somewhere along the way, each member of this fraternity was a beginner or novice and we’ve all benefited from a culture of sharing and learning. I’m privileged to present at a conference like USA Football’s and hope to do for others what so many did (and still do) for me.

USA Football’s conference dives deep on every aspect of the game and affords attendees the opportunity to specialize on topics most important to them. I present on our offensive scheme and describe both concepts like using tempo and pace to our advantage during a game, as well as the nuances of our run-pass options, blocking schemes, and teaching young athletes to make split-second tactical decisions mid-play.

At the same time, I’m often struck by some of the side-bar conversations I encounter. While there are plenty of X’s & O’s to be discussed, coaches approach topics like culture and character with equal fervor, and it’s not uncommon to hear heartfelt conversations about how coaches support athletes and families contending with personal challenges off the football field.

I look forward to posting pictures and sharing some of this year’s lessons learned upon my return from Orlando. In the meantime, I wanted to share this news and wish you all well as thoughts turn from gear inventories and end of season statistics to Holiday preparations.

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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