Alercio OLine Clinic Re-cap

More than 200 student-athletes and 50 coaches from New York and 2018 NJ OLine Clinic BrochureNew Jersey joined us at The Hun School in Princeton New Jersey for the 17th annual Alercio OLine Clinic. Having taught, coached, and mentored football players for more than 30 years now, I relayed with confidence the challenges young men have in learning the tactics, techniques and procedures essential to success on the offensive line. I’m often frustrated by media personalities who refer to quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers as “skill positions.” Most young men learn the basics of throwing, running, and catching as part of growing up. However, successful offensive linemen begin with fundamentals they’ve never considered and build upon them techniques foreign to nearly all except those who study the game.

 For more than four hours Sunday morning, football players and coaches focussed on foot placement, body position, coordination, balance, vision, and more than a dozen nuanced elements of offensive line play. During conversations between sessions with coaches Jim DeSarno, Westfield HS, and Ed Gurrieri, Manalapan HS, perennial New Jersey state powers, both coaches noted they have been to every one of the seventeen Alercio OLine Clinics we’ve hosted over the years.  It is my sincere hope our clinics have in some small part contributed to the multiple state championships they have won. Regardless of our clinics’ impact,  I think it is more a statement of their commitment to player and team development and a testament to players commitment to the programs.  It is no wonder they have so much success.

Some of the young men who joined us are pictured below:

2018-03-25 Oline Clinic (5)

2018-03-25 Oline Clinic (4)

2018-03-25 Oline Clinic (3)2018-03-25 Oline Clinic (2)

2018-03-25 Oline Clinic (6)

2018-03-25 Oline Clinic (7)

2018-03-25 Oline Clinic (8)2018-03-25 Oline Clinic (9)

Special Thanks to my good friend and fellow Coach Todd Zimmerman from Steinert HS, in Hamilton, NJ, for taking pictures of this year’s participants.

Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss team building, coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at richalercio@gmail.com and share http://www.olineskills.com with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for your time!

Alercio O-Line Clinic…How All Began…

As we prepare for the 17th Annual Alercio Offensive Line Clinic, I share how it all started.  In 2001, I was the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at 2018 NJ OLine Clinic BrochureThe College of New Jersey.  At the end of the season, one of our offensive assistants, Jim Meert, who had great success as the head coach at Hunterdon Central, pitched the idea of hosting an offensive line clinic for players.  He cited that the techniques and schemes we used would benefit all high school players and noted many high schools do not have an OLine Coach capable of teaching them.  I thought it was a great idea until he shared that he wanted me to run it in March…

At first, I thought he was crazy.  These types of player camps/clinics are always run in the summer months.  His thought was that football players and coaches are starved for football in the spring and unlike college, high school players and coaches do not have spring practice.  He then suggested we target a weekend between winter and spring sports and do it on a Sunday so that there are no other athletic related conflicts.  The more he talked the more it made sense.

I created a brochure and began promoting the clinic when I spoke and Glazier and Nike Clinics.  I was thrilled when pre-registration hit 100 players but I was not prepared for what was to come on the day of the inaugural Alercio OLine Clinic.  We had over 200 offensive linemen from all over New Jersey walk up to register.  The day’s attendance totaled 333 players and dozens of coaches.  Jim’s bold idea proved to be a success and I am proud to say that we have coached over 5,000 offensive linemen from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Vermont.

Please join us this Sunday, March 25, at the 17th Annual Alercio OLine Clinic where more than 300 linemen and coaches will focus on the fundamentals and teach all of the run and pass techniques and schemes your players need for success.

Click on the brochure image to get your Alercio Oline Clinic application, fill it out, send it in with your tuition, and join us at the Hun School of Princeton on this Sunday, March 25, 2018. We will again discount individual tuition for teams sending five (5) or more players. As in the past, Coaches may attend for free.

Although this is a non-contact camp, we recognize that there is the risk of concussion with the sport of football.  For education materials on concussions please visit the USA Football at www.usafootball.com 
Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss team building, coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at richalercio@gmail.com and share http://www.olineskills.com with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for your time!

Stepping Up To Help

NoreasterLast week amidst all sorts of weather in the North East and Mid-Atlantic, we were fortunate to find ourselves in Florida for our son’s spring training baseball game.  At the end of a great visit, we received a text message from Jet Blue saying “all flights to Boston Logan were canceled due to the storm.” The next available flight was in three days, which was not an option professionally or financially… We were able to get on a flight that night to Newark with hopes of getting a train to Logan where our car was parked.  While in the Orlando airport, we discovered all trains from Newark to Boston were canceled. Further, no rental cars were being let out and all hotels near Newark airport were booked.  It sounded as if we were going to spend a couple of days in Newark airport until we ran into one of my son’s FDU baseball teammates who was also on our flight.  Unfortunately, he was leaving spring training early to attend his grandfather’s funeral.  As coincidence would have it, the funeral was just outside of Boston.  He was driving there the next day and agreed to bring us along.  2018-03-20 DependabilityHe also offered us a ride to his home and gave us a place to stay.   This young man just transferred to FDU and joined the baseball team.  We had never met him before.  He just said that he remembered seeing us at the stadium the day before, but when he heard a teammate’s family was in need of help, he stepped up.  These are the relationships so quickly cultivated through athletics…  In developing character and dependability, we teach our student-athletes to “do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason.” This young man clearly is the product of great parents and coaches.  

2018 Alercio O-Line Clinic
Please join us this Sunday, March 25, at the 17th Annual Alercio OLine Clinic 2018 NJ OLine Clinic Brochurewhere more than 300 linemen and coaches will focus on the fundamentals and teach all of the run and pass techniques and schemes your players need for success.

Click on the brochure image to the right to get your Alercio Oline Clinic application, fill it out, send it in with your tuition, and join us at the Hun School of Princeton on March 25, 2018. Early bird rates are still available and will again discount individual tuition for teams sending five (5) or more players. As in the past, Coaches may attend for free.

Although this is a non-contact camp, we recognize that there is the risk of concussion with the sport of football.  For education materials on concussions please visit the USA Football at www.usafootball.com 
Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss team building, coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at richalercio@gmail.com and share http://www.olineskills.com with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for your time!

Coaches Are Teachers…

2018-03-07 coaching_at_the_blackboard
Coaches are teachers, but what is teaching?  Perhaps I can offer a football analogy.  Consider the teacher to be the quarterback, the information the ball and the student the receiver.  In order for the teacher to be successful, the information needs to be passed AND received in such a way the receiver has the ability to do something with it.
Though a coach may pass the information, it is not what you as the coach can do that matters. It is what you can get your players to do. While the pass and catch analogy works fine in basic concept, there is actually a far greater task at hand. With eleven players on the field at any one time, we have to teach, coach, train, and mentor our players on BOTH their individual assignments and the roles and responsibilities of the players on their left and right. When players begin to grasp how each role complements another, and how together teammates are stronger than any could be alone, the team builds cohesion and interdependence.
Now back to the quarterback analogy… As Spring approaches and we as coaches consider the task ahead of us, we clearly have to “throw a lot of passes,” teaching our players their roles and responsibilities. We only return one starter from our championship offensive line, and none of his fellow starters this year will be seniors. With 30 years experience coaching this great game, I have enough plays to fill a high school full of chalkboards. My staff and I could be “throwing passes” all spring… However, 30 years experience has also taught me the importance of focusing on fundamentals, establishing a solid foundation of understanding, and cultivating a culture of interdependence. Prioritizing the “passes we throw” (lessons we teach), will make all the difference if we are to defend our state championship. I look forward to the journey of our 2018 season and am thankful for the opportunity to share it here with you.
Please join us Sunday, March 25, at the 17th Annual Alercio OLine Clinic 2018 NJ OLine Clinic Brochurewhere more than 300 linemen and coaches will focus on the fundamentals and teach all of the run and pass techniques and schemes your players need for success. The Alercio OLine Clinic will prepare your players for “the passes you throw” at them this Spring, Summer, and Fall.

Click on the brochure image to the right to get your Alercio Oline Clinic application, fill it out, send it in with your tuition, and join us at the Hun School of Princeton on March 25, 2018. Early bird rates are still available and will again discount individual tuition for teams sending five (5) or more players. As in the past, Coaches may attend for free.

Although this is a non-contact camp, we recognize that there is the risk of concussion with the sport of football.  For education materials on concussions please visit the USA Football at www.usafootball.com 
Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss team building, coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at richalercio@gmail.com and share http://www.olineskills.com with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for your time!

Chalk Wars & Pre-Game Preps…

Chalk Wars this Saturday Feb 24th, in Atlantic City, NJ!

2018-02-22 Football Play

While hosting the state semifinal game in 2016, we were faced with a 4th and 10 on our own 22 yard line with just over a minute to play.  After our 3rd down play failed to convert, I muttered to myself, “Damn now what”.  It was overheard by our booth coach, John Lovett, who quickly reminded me our Game-sheet says “Quads Power Pass” under Last Plays from just outside the Red zone.  I signaled in the call, we threw the ball to our Tight End in the corner of the end zone and moved on to the state championship game.

Had we not prepared for that situation in the stress-free setting of our football office on Wednesday night, we would never have pulled that play out during the stress of the moment.  Chalk Wars this weekend at the Atlantic City Glazier Clinic will be a time-competitive decision making game designed to simulate the pressure and decision making processes of a real football game.  Therefore, I need to approach Chalk Wars the way I would any other game and consider the circumstances and contingencies for making rapid effective decisions.

In preparing for the “Chalk War” vs Bakersfield HS’s 3-3 Defense, Bergen Catholic’s 4-2-5 Defense and Princeton University’s 3-4 defense, at the Atlantic City Glazier Clinic this Saturday, February 24  I share with you the questions I ask myself and our staff in preparation for any game plan.

  • What formation and play do we call on the first play and why?
  • What are we running on 3rd & 4th downs by distance?
  • What do we run if we are up (4-minute offense) or down (2-minute offense) late in the game or half?
  • What do we run on the goal line going in and coming out?
  • What is the last play of the game when QB cannot reach the end zone, can reach the end zone, just outside the red zone, in the red zone, at the goal line?
  • Do we play for the win or for overtime?
  • What is our 2-point play to win the game?

Mental training and preparation are just as important (if not more than) physical training in football for players and coaches. There’s a nearly 3,000-year-old quote from a Greek philosopher Archilochus: “We don’t rise to the level of our expectations; we fall to the level of our training.”

How do you prepare for challenges? What “pre-game” questions do you ask yourself. Whether in football or in life, looking ahead… thinking through contingencies… asking “What?” and “Why?” matter.

I hope to see you at the Glazier Clinic in Atlantic City this weekend, or back here on Olineskills.com next week!

Click on the brochure image to the right to get your Alercio Oline Clinic application, fill it2018 NJ OLine Clinic Brochure out, send it in with your tuition, and join us at the Hun School of Princeton on March 25, 2018. Early bird rates are still available and will again discount individual tuition for teams sending five (5) or more players. As in the past, Coaches may attend for free.

Although this is a non-contact camp, we recognize that there is the risk of concussion with the sport of football.  For education materials on concussions please visit the USA Football at www.usafootball.com 
 Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss team building, coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at richalercio@gmail.com and share http://www.olineskills.com with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for your time!

“Chalk Wars” at Glazier Atlantic City

2018-02-12 Glazier Clinic Atlantic City LogoI am thrilled to be one of Glazier Clinic’s first “Chalk War” participants.  On Saturday February 24 I will present our spread offense vs Paul Golla’s 3-3 defense at 1:30pm.  Paul is the head coach at Bakersfield HS in California.  At 2:45, Nunzio Campanile will pit his 4-2-5 defense versus our spread offense.  Nunzio is the head coach at Bergen Catholic HS in New Jersey.  We will face will face Mike Mendhenhall’s 3-4 defense at 4:00pm.  Mike is the OLB coach at Princeton University.  I look forward to sharing how we attack those defenses and am equally excited to learn how these great coaches will align and defend our formations and plays.

 

2018-02-12 Chalk War Line Up 2

Click on the brochure image to the right to get your Alercio Oline Clinic application, fill it2018 NJ OLine Clinic Brochure out, send it in with your tuition, and join us at the Hun School of Princeton on March 25, 2018. Early bird rates are still available and will again discount individual tuition for teams sending five (5) or more players. As in the past, Coaches may attend for free.

Although this is a non-contact camp, we recognize that there is the risk of concussion with the sport of football.  For education materials on concussions please visit the USA Football at www.usafootball.com 
 Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss team building, coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at richalercio@gmail.com and share http://www.olineskills.com with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for your time!

 

The Alercio Oline Clinic… Back to Our Roots…

There were many highlights during the weekend in Orlando at the USA Football conference but none better than running into Jim McNally.  Coach joined us at the bar for a conversation on Friday night.  Coincidentally, I first met coach bellied up to a bar in the summer of 1992, when I attended his OLine Clinic in Cincinnati with my mentor, Jim Pry, who worked with Coach McNally at Marshall.  The techniques I teach at the Alercio OLine Clinic were developed from what I learned from Jim McNally and Jim Pry.

Coincidentally, they were “taking the head out of football” long before USA Football coined the phrase and supported the cause.  Not only is it safer, I’m convinced it’s more effective! Everything we teach at the Alercio OLine Clinic removes the head from blocking.  It is all about the Feet, Eyes, and Hands.  Our emphasis is on what step to take (Base, Reach, Angle, Bucket, Pull, Kick, Power), what our visual target is (near pec, 2018 NJ OLine Clinic Brochuresternum, far pec) and what are strike points are (near shoulder, sternum, pecs, far shoulder).  We will teach the proper steps, visual targets and strike points for a base drive block, reach block, cut off block, down block and a variety of pulls.  We will also teach the steps, targets and strike points used in pass protection versus an inside alignment, head up alignment, outside alignment and wide outside rusher.

These techniques have led to our teams setting rushing, passing and scoring records as well as win championships at both the high school and college level.  I am also proud to announce that we have seen the same results at the schools who attend the Alercio OLine Clinic.

Click on the brochure image to the right to get your Alercio Oline Clinic application, fill it out, send it in with your tuition, and join us at the Hun School of Princeton on March 25, 2018. Early bird rates are still available and will again discount individual tuition for teams sending five (5) or more players. As in the past, Coaches may attend for free.

Although this is a non-contact camp, we recognize that there is the risk of concussion with the sport of football.  For education materials on concussions please visit the USA Football at www.usafootball.com 
Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss team building, coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at richalercio@gmail.com and share http://www.olineskills.com with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for your time!