I always look forward to my Offensive line clinics to teach and share with others what I have spent a lifetime learning from my colleagues and mentors. And I always wind-up learning something as well.
Between clinic sessions, I reconnected with long-time friend Mike Kuchar, Co-Founder/Senior Research Manager X&O Labs | A Research Company for Football Coaches (xandolabs.com). Mike and I became friends when he was a senior writer with American Football Monthly and interviewed me for a piece he titled Developing A Dominating Run Blocking Technique. In it, I shared my Heel-to-Toe Philosophy on the secret of man blocking technique.
In that publication in 2008, Mike references an interview he did with legendary coach Bobby Bowden who shared the following coaching advice: ask plenty of questions, learn to be loyal, and focus on the fundamentals. Mike followed up Coach Bowden’s advice to focus on the fundamentals by doing the technical piece with me. He felt that too much emphasis was placed on scheme and that the HOW in coaching was often neglected. He went on to state that it is not what you know but what your kids know and that is what makes the difference. It is how you teach the fundamentals that gets them better. While the heel-to-toe philosophy is the secret to dominating man blocking technique, the secret to the success of the Alercio OLine Clinics and all the teams I have coached lies with Coach Bowden’s advice: Focus on the Fundamentals.
Mike continues to be a pioneer in the industry of connecting coaches to coaches and coaches to information. Although he has direct access to every top football coach in the country, he continues to come to my OLine Clinics every year. Mike is a self-described football addict and rarely misses the opportunity to learn more and teach others.
When Mike and I spoke at the clinic, he asked how I was blocking the backside of Power. Coincidentally, I just had the same conversation with my former college teammate, Bill Furlong, who was also in attendance at the clinic. After sharing my thoughts, Mike shared a new technique with me he called Shuffle Reach. After speaking with Mike about it, reading his article in xandolabs on it, and reviewing our Power cut ups, we will be implementing his technique this summer. I came to teach and wound-up learning. Mike came to learn and wound-up teaching. That is the beauty of our profession. Always learning and always sharing.
Take a look at some of the amazing student athletes who joined us at the Alercio Oline Clinic this spring:
Together we focused on fundamentals, shared insights and understanding, and clarified the importance of teamwork, interdependence, and the sacrifices linemen across the country make for the good of their team, and love of the game!
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 supporting this blog and joining our conversations, and as always, thanks for your time!