When Andy Williams sang, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” he was referencing the Christmas season. When ESPN plays his song, they are promoting Bowl Week which is now almost three weeks (making it even more wonderful in my opinion!) Including the NFL on Sundays, there are football games to watch every day from December 17 through January 4. For football fans, this is purely entertainment; but for football coaches, it is an opportunity for research and development.
Research and development is the generation of new knowledge. In the business world, it is the development of new products and services. In football, it is the creation of offensive, defensive, and special teams alignments, schemes, and plays. R&D is an essential function for many businesses. Launching new offerings or improving existing ones is a way for a business to remain competitive. Experimentation and innovation are widespread at this point in the season.
With upwards of a month to prepare for these games, coaches design new plays, blitzes, and returns. They mask common schemes with variations on formations, motion, and last-second adjustments. Many of the newest trends in football are first seen during these bowl games as coaches know opponents have been studying films and tracking tendencies. Coaches who want to remain competitive will be able to pick up ideas during this wonderful time of the year.
Even after more than three decades of focused study, learning, and practical application, I’m sure to glean something new we can apply to our schemes. Thankfully, I am blessed with a wonderful spouse who loves football and truly understands what it is to be a coach’s wife. However, even she is tested by too much football this time of year, so I will put the DVR to good use and watch some of these games after the New Year. She and our boys all have their own sense of what makes this “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” and our ability to each enjoy it in our own way is also part of the fun!
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!