If people think you are crazy for driving 6 hours to attend a 1 day clinic, they think you are even crazier when you leave in the middle of a winter storm dumping two feet of snow….
The only downside was missing the championship games on TV but thanks to satellite radio, we were able to listen to every play. The plus side was being able to drive 3 hours on Interstate 91 without seeing another car!
The clinic began with Coach Fred Stengel introducing me and promoting my OLine Clinic at the Hun School on March 24. Fred is a true “OLine Guy” and loves to attend my clinics. Although he has coached with great success for decades at the highest level of high school football, he continues to seek opportunities to learn. He also referenced the number of times he has called me to discuss a protection scheme or how to block a certain play. I love to discuss X&Os and am honored when true Pros like Coach Stengel choose to call and pick my brain. The greatest thing about our profession, 2nd only to the impact we have on so many young lives, is the universal willingness to share our knowledge with each other.
I chose to share the emphasis we place on Feet, Eyes, and Hands in Run Blocking with our Heel-Toe philosophy, Visual Targets, and Strike Points. I was lucky to have our defensive coordinator volunteer for the long drive and to stand in as my demonstration assistant. Apparently, the audience got quite a kick out of how physical I got with him in demonstrating the strike points, but he and I both share an appreciation for enthusiasm!
The impressive list of speakers continued with Nunzio Campanile from Rutgers stepping in at the last minute and excelling while discussing 5-man pass protection. Bob Surace, Princeton, followed with game planning against top D-Lines and shared some great ideas on how to pass protect or run read vs the DL you just can’t block 1-on-1.
I then took advantage of the lunch break to meet up with my son who attends college at FDU-Florham Park in NJ but unfortunately did not get back in time to see Villanova’s Sean Devine speak on Game planning to attack the 3-3 Stack, but my DC did a great job in sharing the information on the long drive home. I will follow up with Sean to see if he is willing to share the information.
Brian Gabriel, Monmouth University, also discussed point pass protection & blocking overload blitzes. Again, each of these coaches willingly shared their time and talent with the same community that so generously invested in them. Such a philosophy of giving makes me proud to be part of the coaching fraternity
The last thing I asked John Lovett, our DC, and my travel companion, as we pulled on to campus was “was it worth it? (Drive…time…snow?)” His answer was an emphatic “yes!” It was for me as well. The clinic was a great opportunity to learn and share information, a chance to see so many coaching friends that I do not see often enough, to spend some time with my son, and to share some quality windshield time in 1-on-1 conversation with a loyal assistant coach and a very good friend.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and share http://www.olineskills.com with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for your time!