As we wrap up OTAs this week and finalize practice schedules and scripts for Mini Camp next week, I am reminded of something that I have shared this time of year in previous blogs.  It is my advice when packing for a vacation.  Lay out all the clothes you want to take and all the money you think you need then put back half the clothes and double the money.  

You cannot install every play, scheme, coverage, blitz, and drill in your arsenal during a 5-day mini camp just like you cannot fit all of your clothes in that suitcase for a 5 day vacation at the beach.  Ask yourself, what do you really need?  What do you really need to be good at?  What would make it simpler? Try to cap everything at three:  Run plays, Pass plays, Screens, Fronts, Coverages, Blitzes, Stunts, Tackling Drills, Ball security drills, and Takeaway drills. 

My goal on vacation is to never return home with a single article of clean clothing.  That would mean that I packed something that I just did not need.  My goal for Mini Camp is to not spend time on any play, scheme, or drill that we will not use, and use often, throughout the season this fall. If we can simplify the process and reduce the friction, we’re more likely to succeed.

Simplifying the plan builds flexibility and time into the program. Flexibility and time afford us the opportunity to focus, reinforce, and ensure foundational concepts get the emphasis they need. As we revisit elements of team building and culture common to this part of the season, everything has a place, time, and the attention it’s due. We consciously simplify to reduce friction and confusion while reinforcing the essential elements of success.

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 supporting this blog and joining our conversations, and as always, thanks for your time!  

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