In its simplest form, football is a game of blocking and tackling. In week two of our Winter Staff Meetings, we focus on the latter. We will do an evaluation of all generic (non-position specific) drills we teach our players on defense. We always want our drill work to translate to the field so we first identify all the situations a player must analyze on a given play and the questions he must determine answers to in a fraction of a second.
1. Where is the ball? Drills for pursuit, tracking a ball carrier, and maintaining leverage.
2. Do I have to contend with blockers? Drills for both block destruction and block avoidance.
3. Do I have help? Drills for 1v1 open-field tackling, 2v1 Vise tackling with a teammate, and 1v1 Vise Tackling using the sideline.
4. What is the ball carrier’s Size and Speed? Drills for Surface shoulder tackling as well as Rugby shoulder tackling.
5. Is the ball secure? Drills for stripping the ball and recovering the ball.
6. Is the ball carrier defenseless? This is a relatively new question as the focus of the game has shifted so favorably in protecting defenseless players. For example, a QB in the pocket, a RB who just received a pitch or a WR who just caught a pass.
For the purposes of this blog, the specific drills we choose to incorporate into our Spring practices are not nearly as important as answering these six questions and the implementation of any drills allowing our players to answer questions on the field. At its core, football is a time-competitive game of decisions. The coaches and players who make the best decisions given time constraints, win.
As coaches, we expect players to make decisions and execute plays; but they must be properly trained to do so. When discussing the value of training, the Navy SEALs mantra reminds us, “We don’t rise to the level of our expectations; we fall to the level of our training.”
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!