Sunday, December 21, 2014

Taking Advantage of Sideline Technology

Before the 2013 season, NFHS lifted it's ban on using technology on the sidelines.  Since the 2013 season, we are all allowed to use any sideline technology we want (we just can't take it past the numbers or beyond the 25s).

I began taking advantage of lifting the technology ban this season.  I had seen a few different companies that offered replay systems and ended up emailing SkyCoach, and asked for a trial.



I was intrigued by SkyCoach because it had less equipment than other systems I had seen.  Their system relies on iPhones to film with, and your cell signal to upload and download the clips.  I am a big apple fan (iPhone, iPad, and MacBook user) and I know that most of our kids have iPhones. Some coaches have concerns over cell signal strength and upload/download speed.  I didn't have any connection issues in any of the stadiums we played at.  You can use a free app called Ookla to test download and upload speed.  Pretty much anywhere is going to have fast enough download speed, just need to make sure upload speed is at least 1.0 MBPS.  Every stadium on our schedule was well over this number.
A case with a magnifying lens attaches to one iPhone to get a tighter view of the play.  I would have my TA film the games from the press box, and I would auto download them onto my iPhone in my pocket on the sideline.

You could have infinite iPads or cell phones logged in looking at the clips (clips are easy to sort and filter by O/D/ST, by series, by play type etc.). What I chose to do was pick up a TV, and have my players and myself watch in between drives.

You can find generic brand flat screen TVs for really cheap, and I got some adapters (iPhone 5/6 to HDMI) that you can find at any electronic store to connect the iPhone to the TV.
If you have power in the stadium you can run an extension cord, or use a car battery, or buy a portable battery pack like I did.

My game day sideline set up looked like this.

I would review the film each drive and have any of my kids not in on defense reviewing with me.  I found this to be a tremendous resource for me as an OC.  It definitely helped with play calling, making adjustments, and fixing our mistakes.  I think this is a more valuable tool than talking to a coach up in the booth.  The guy in the booth can only spot one thing at a time, with this I can rewind the play as many times as I need to in order to see every position on the field.  I can also pause it at the snap and see the exact alignment of every defensive player to each of our formations.

I am not a SkyCoach employee, but I got to use this technology this year and I absolutely loved it.  I have shown this technology to a few schools in my area since our season ended and they have seen what an advantage it can be. 

One knock on SkyCoach was the price ($1500 this season) but the 2015 pricing is down to $1095.  That is a good chunk of money but this is a resource that can add a few wins to your season, and I think having easy instant replay on the sideline seconds after the play is worth one or two extra summer car washes to raise the funds.  

Definitely check out their website and give it a trial, I am confident you will enjoy it.  Tell them Coach B Dud sent you.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Great New iBook!

Sorry I have not been around in a while, it was a busy football season.


I want to share with all of you a great new resource brought to you by Coach Grabowski.


It can be found HERE>

Coach Grabowski reached out to coaches from all over the country to contribute a chapter to this iBook and it does not disappoint.  I have been reading it all week.  For those who have missed out on my past blog post about iBooks, they are a remarkable resource.  Embedded within the chapters of the ibook are slideshows of drills, diagrams, and video.  This makes it a great teaching tool that makes the content more digestible and more helpful than a standard coaching book or coaching DVD.

I am one of the contributors to this Pistol "Anthology".

My chapter is titled "Offensive Line Play in the Power Scheme".

Mid 2013 we transitioned from a 4 wide spread system to a Pro Style Pistol Offense.
Power is the core of our offense.  My chapter focuses on how I teach the Power scheme both schematically, and with individual drills.  It includes written description, diagrams, and multiple video clips of some of my players executing the basic skills and drills needed to run Power. 

This year, with power being the focal point of our offense, we broke every single individual and team school rushing record (school has been around since the 1920s).
We rushed for over 3500 yards this year!


This iBook is an excellent resource for all things Pistol.  I highly suggest you all check it out!

Volume 1 includes:
Chris Ault – Foreword
Larry Beckish Reflections on an Idea:  East
Tom Kaczkowski – How Did the Pistol Start?
Chris Klenakis – Interview on the Innovation of the Pistol Formation
Jim Mastro – Pistol is a Formation; video chalk talk on “Zone Slice”
Scott Baumgartner – Innovation of the Pistol; video chalk talk on “53 Pass”
Robbie Owens – Systematic Approach to Building an Offensive System
Dave Brown (former GA at Nevada) – The Bubble as a Pre Snap and Post Snap Answer
Anthony Pratley – The Sweeper Method of Zone Read
Justin Iske – Something to Hand Your Hat On:  Inside Zone
Ty Rogers – Using the H-Back to Leverage Defenses in the Pistol
Zach Tinker – Using the Diamond Pistol in the Red Zone
Tim Kilgore – Run the Horn
Brett Dudley – Offensive Line Play in the Power
Keith Grabowski – Setting Up Effective Play Action

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Coach Grabowski does it again

Last off season I stumbled across the coolest coaching resource I had ever seen.  Coach Grabowski's Pistol iBook. I had never seen this type of technology.  It was a book created for the iPad and Mac, that had diagrams, presentations, and movie clips built right in to it.  It became a constant resource that I revisited and took ideas from throughout last season.

I wrote a review of it last march that can be found here.

In an attempt to out do his first masterpiece, Coach Grabowski's latest project is available for download.  I spent spring break reading, watching, and experiencing his second major iBook.

The Zone Offense

Coach Grabowski has created an encyclopedia worth of knowledge on running a zone based offense.

The entire iBook can be purchased here.


The iBook can also be purchased in sections, a la carte style.

1. Define the system and build the foundation

2. Structure a starting point and develop coaching methods

3. Develop the fundamentals



Each volume comes with a wealth of information and TONS of video from practice and games.

The iBook contains 51 minutes of video and 75 interactives.

Here's a blog post from Coach Grabowski about his latest iBook.

Be on the lookout for future projects coming from Coach Grabowski, including one that I helped contribute to.  It will be a another interactive iBook on the Pistol featuring articles, diagrams, and video from various coaches throughout the country.

I contributed a section on OL play in the Power Scheme.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Reno Glazier Clinic

I attended the Reno Glazier this past weekend.

Here are my clinic notes, hope you can pick up something useful from them.

A couple things... Noel Mazzone was awesome to listen to.  He is a great speaker, entertaining, and his system is everything I want our offense to be.  Sadly he had to live earlier than expected to so his 5 sessions got cut in half, but still got some useful information from him.

Click for Mazzone notes Here.

A highlight was probably meeting Jerry Campbell.  He is great to hear at a clinic, he is energetic, and demands the audiences respect and attention.  There's no coming in late or sleeping in the back.  He made some great points about stimulus response and was a captivating speaker.

Notes from Paul Golla and Jerry Campbell are here.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

San Francisco Glazier Clinic Notes

This weekend I went to the San Francisco (Concord really) Glazier Clinic.

Rather than take notes on paper and never be able to read them again, I now take notes on my iPad using an app called Paper Desk.

This app is only a couple bucks, works well and I can sync everything to my dropbox automatically.  This app allows me to type text, as well as freehand draw in different colors.

Below is a dropbox link to my notes from this year's clinic.  I generally try to stick with one speaker for all 3 topics rather than bounce around from speaker to speaker.  I've found most speakers reference their earlier lectures and you get a better overall experience listening to one speaker for all of their sessions.

Please excuse the sloppiness of some of the diagrams, I lost my stylus after the first session and my ability to draw via finger tip is not as good as with a stylus.

There were many speakers from out of state.  Each shared something "special" that they do not normally share when speaking in their own state for fear of it getting back to their opponents.  Out of respect for these speakers', I deleted these "special points" from the notes, so they don't end up in the wrong hands.

Clinic Notes

Monday, January 27, 2014

Naked Concept

I want to share an awesome play action concept that was one of our best plays this past season.

Our Naked Bootleg Concept

I've run bootlegs before. We did some last season from a 100% 4 wide environment. At my alma mater we ran a lot of bootleg off of our criss cross action. This year I would say the Naked concept was cleaned up some because of the great work of Coach Grabowski..
If you haven't picked up his ibook yet, do yourself a favor and get it. There's a ton of information there that heavily influenced what we did offensively this year. We only scratched the surface this year, I plan to include more of his concepts this upcoming season.

The core components of the Naked concept

A vertical play side route... We used both the "K Route" (an inside stemmed corner) and a Go route. The K route is great because that inside stem helps sell the run action better to the Corner, thus opening up space behind him. We ended up going to a Go route at the end of the season because our K routes were getting sloppy and we weren't getting deep enough.

A deep drag or out route... from a slot or a TE.

A backside post with a hard inside stem to not out run QB's arm

A flat/DE control route - this route is the most important in my opinion. It is his job to control that back side DE... it is "Naked" meaning OL is full run flow the other way. He has to take an angle at the DE so DE thinks he will be blocked. This flat route runner can't be in a hurry to get out on his route. If the DE is up the field, he will lose his route and block the DE so the QB can set up and throw elsewhere. This was something we struggled with. We need to do a better job of picking this DE up to avoid costly sacks.

The flat route can come from anywhere. Same side, across the formation, from an H back... even a TE.

From the 21 personnel offset pistol we used last year it would look like this

Naked to the TE side. TE in this case would run the deep out. We are trying to get 15 yards deep.





Here we have Naked going away from the TE. He now has the drag, trying to get behind LBs and be at the other hash at 15.




Here's some film with my horrible voice over. Only thing holding back my rap career is the fact that my voice isn't deep enough.













One thing you will notice from the pistol is the mesh mechanics we used. I got this from Coach Grabowski as well. It is a reverse pivot, followed by 2 steps vertical, looking back at the RB, with open hand extended. This he feels, is the best way to sell the play action. We fooled a lot of defenses, and quite often our own coaching staff (if they didn't hear the play call).
I am contemplating whether or not I want to keep the reverse out next season. I agree it sells the play action better, hides the ball well, but I felt at times, especially if it wasn't a great snap, it slowed the RB and the timing of the play down a little bit.


I want to leave you with one last concept off of naked. I put this in late in the year, I really thought we would hit it for a big play but never did. It is a wheel concept. It's drawn up below from Twins, with the TE and FB still doing the same assignments. The major difference is that I have the X running a deep post with the Z running a wheel route. I hoped the Corner would follow the Post, opening up a home run to our wheel route but the corners stayed very disciplined.

I am thinking it might be better to send X on a GO route to remove him from the picture, and hit the wheel route trailing him.

I think it definitely had big play potential, and I will continue to play with what route configuration works best for us on it.













Friday, January 24, 2014

Meal Prep For Coaches

Recently I have really gotten in to fitness and nutrition.  I don't plan on being a body builder or anything, but I value looking and feeling good.  I have done any polling or research into our profession, but just from staring at teams' sidelines... there is a large percentage of football coaches who are overweight.

When I was 21 I made some big changes in my life and I dropped a total of 90 lbs from my biggest down to my smallest.  I wrote about that here.  I no longer care about the number on the scale, I only care about how I look from working out.

I want to share some pieces of advice, simple things that you can do to help yourself lose weight.  We are still in January, the month where everyone vows to drop those extra pounds.  However most people that start a new years weight loss plan, give up within a month or two.

I won't get into working out... do something you like... do it often.  Burn Calories.  For me, I enjoy lifting.  I hate cardio.  If I want cardio, I will lift weights faster.  But that is just me, do whatever makes you happy.

I wont to focus on what I feel is the most important part of losing weight...

Meal Prep

We spend hours of time every week breaking down film, preparing for opponents, and organizing our team.  We can spare an hour per week for meal prep.

I typically do all of my cooking for the week on Sunday night.  I am an extremely picky eater but when I find something I like, I am able to eat it on a daily basis.  I do not want to get too much into the actual foods because everyone has different tastes and favorites.  But if you are curious here are some things I eat almost every day...
A lot of chicken (I genuinely like chicken more than beef and it has less fat/calories)
Tuna fish (I prefer pouch over can because I hate draining and I don't need to bring can opener with me)
Ground turkey (I sub this in for any recipe with ground beef)
Eggs/Egg whites with turkey sausage
Whole grain Pasta (With a little low calorie alfredo sauce)
White Rice (most will tell you to use Brown Rice... I just think white rice tastes much better)
I have a whey protein shake every day post workout as well.

I have other snacks at times, or I will switch a meal up... but these foods are fairly constant in my day to day eating.

The are multiple benefits in mass preparing all your foods.
-Saves time.  It is actually quicker to do all of your cooking at once for the week than making each meal
-Less prone to cheating and over eating.  The meals are already done
-Convenient, quick, Can eat on the run
-save you money, avoid eating out and fast food

What you will need




A digital food scale.  I picked one up a couple years ago.  You can get them for $20 or less on amazon, walmart, or target.



A Calorie counting App - The best in my opinion is "My Fitness Pal".  I have tried others, but this one is the best.  You just type in the food and it has everything you can think of in it.  You just adjust the serving size to enter how much you ate.  It even has a scanner function.  You just hold it up to the bar code of any food and it will automatically input the food's data.  I've seen it work on dollar store brand items.  it has everything programmed in there.  Using the app is where the food scale comes in handy.  It allows you to measure what you are eating so you can enter the data into your phone.  You can't expect to get solid weight loss results until you begin tracking your calories (and macronutrients).  What some people might think is a serving of a particular food might actually be 2-3 servings.  The app is awesome because you can enter in some info about yourself and it tells you how many calories to consume in order to reach your goal.  When I want to lose fat I choose the 1 lb per week goal, which will give a 500 calorie deficit per day.




TupperWare to store your food in.  I bought most of mine from the dollar store.  I have no idea what size they are but they are big enough to fit each meal, stackable, easy to clean and reuse, and they were cheap.  Buy a decent amount of them, since you will be prepping probably 3-4 meals per day for 5-6 days at a time.

Cooking Tips

Multitask!
I am able to get my cooking done quickly because I do it all at once.  A typical Sunday evening looks like this.  BBQ or oven cooking chicken, boiling pasta on stove, while cooking eggs/turkey sausage on another burner, while my rice cooker is doing its thing making rice for the week.

Once all of the food is cooked I use the scale and Tupperware to divide the food out evenly into packaged meals and stack the meals up by which day I will eat them.

Add Flavor without adding Calories/Sodium
I try to add as much flavor to my food without adding extra calories, recently I have shifted away from eating anything with sodium in it as well.  A lot of what I eat is high in sodium so it is important for me to not add any.

Since you other coaches are like family to me I will let you in on my secret recipes.

I add spices to almost everything... they are zero calorie, and have zero sodium... literally if you look at the nutrition facts they all say 0 for every category.

These are my go to seasonings. I got all of these at Sam's Club (just like Costco for anyone who isn't familiar with the warehouse store). I love the taste of pepper.  I love anything spicy and feel the crushed red pepper helps to give otherwise bland egg whites some needed flavor.  My mom used garlic salt on everything growing up so garlic powder is my no calorie/sodium way of replicating that taste in my food.  If I could only pick one seasoning it would be Mrs. Dash.  Mrs. Dash has a wide range of flavors and the good thing is that now ALL of their products are salt free.  I recently purchased the chipotle version and I like that as well.  It tastes good on everything.



PAM
I can't imagine cooking without PAM.  Makes clean up much easier because food doesn't stick.  No need to cook food in oil or butter when you can use PAM and add ZERO calories to your meals.

Zero Calorie Foods
Hippies will tell you they are bad for you and aren't natural.  However there a number of zero calorie foods you can experiment with.

Walden Farms produces nothing but zero calorie foods.

One that I have not tried but have heard is amazing is "I can't believe it's not butter" Spray
ZERO (that's 0) calories and I have heard it tastes just like butter.  Ideal for putting on potatoes/toast/ anything else you might like without adding all of the fat and calories of butter or margarine.


Closing
Give it a shot.  You do not have to eat any of the foods I mentioned above.  However I promise you, give meal prep a try for a month and you will see results.  It seems like a lot of work to do up front but I assure you it saves time compared to cooking food each day of the week.

If you get bored with food easily pick out a few breakfast meals, a few lunches, a few snacks, a few dinners and this way you can change it up.
Monday: breakfast A, lunch A, dinner A
Tuesday: breakfast B, lunch B, dinner B
Wednesday: breakfast c lunch c dinner c
Thursday: start the pattern over

Give this a shot.  We all want kids that are in shape and take care of their bodies... don't they deserve a coach who does the same?

Monday, December 9, 2013

POWER game film

I have been an all 4 wide coach my entire time at my current school.  A number of factors contributed to us needing to make a change midway through the year.  We became a 21 personnel "pro style" offense.  A major play for us was the standard "Power" play.  Just wanted to share a few clips of us running power that I felt we executed decently.  You will notice the guards skip pulling, it is a technique I understand in clinic talks but I am not 100% sold on it.  They entered the hole square, which is the whole idea behind it. However I feel most kids can get to the hole quicker, and with more speed (and therefore momentum) with a standard pull.  I think I will experiment with both through spring ball and summer next year.

Well, enjoy a handful of POWER clips



video

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Planning an entire week of offensive practice

I consider myself to my a minimalist.  I want to run a few things but be very good at them.  Even with my minimalist approach when I began planning our Summer practices I couldn't help but feel stressed for time and reps.

We made a major program wide decision to make our lifting/conditioning the primary focus of our summer practices.  In the past we put too much emphasis on running plays.

When we began breaking down practice times for offense and defense after our lifting/conditioning sessions I quickly realized I didn't have that much time to schedule for offensive practice.  I knew I needed to restructure how we were practicing because there was no way to practice all of the techniques and plays we have in one day.

I came up with the following format...

I remembered the 3 day install plan I used a year ago for Spring Ball, and thought to myself, "Hey I can do something similar to structure a focus for each offensive practice.  I also wanted something that would be easy to transition into the season and mirror how a typical week in season looks.

I started, like any teacher does, at the end.  Fridays would act as our final assessment.  In the season the game friday night is the ultimate test, for our summer practices Friday we will run only team offense and throw everything at the kids, we can grade through film and see how well they are understanding the plays and their assignments.

Monday would act as our learning day.  Typically in season this is a day we watch a lot of film, break down the opponent and the game plan.  Monday is also our heaviest lift day and conditioning day.  To save their bodies after their intense lift/running we bring them into the classroom and will show them film, review things on the whiteboard, any new installation, and give them a focus or main thing we are trying to improve on for the week.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are where we really get our work in.
I split our entire offense up into a 3 day plan, each day focusing on specific plays  so that all of our individual, group, and team periods can focus on these plays.

I essentially broke down the offense like this...

We have 3 core run plays: IZ, OZ, Counter
We have 3 core spring outs: Curl/Flat, Flood, what we call Wide
We have 6 core pass concepts: verts, snag, Boot,  stick, smash, spacing,
We have 3 core screens: Solid, Jail, RB

I took these plays and divided things up so that each of those 3 "work days" every drill, and every segment on our practice plan will be focused on

1 run
1 sprint out
2 passes
1 screen

It made planning practices much easier for me because I can keep the rough schedule pretty similar and just change certain parts of drills depending on the plays we will work that day.

Some of our other schemes, Draw, 2 in 1 plays, rocket toss can be sprinkled in because while in the playbook aren't the things that we absolutely have to be perfect at to move the football.  They are necessary side dishes but this summer is all about getting better at the main course.

This practice format has especially helped my OL because I can tailor all of our INDY time to the skills needed for 1 specific play and we rep that play to death.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Improving effort and tempo in the weight room

Improving our participation was the biggest priority of this past off season.  I wrote a prior article about Creating Off Season Competition.  The numbers went up, and this trickled through to our spring ball and now into our summer practices.
We essentially were able to weed out the non committed kids and our attendance is better than it has ever been in my 4 years here.  We finally had kids showing up every single day but then came the next hurdle.

I looked at what our kids were doing in the weight room and I wasn't happy with all of them.  They were there in the weight room but some left not sweating and I saw them milling around far too much.  I knew I needed to make a change to make sure each kid was WORKING during hour lifting sessions.

I then recalled a phone conversation/interview I had with CAL S&C coach Mike Blasquez.  Since CAL has no made the change to no huddle spread, I asked how it has impact his weight room philosophy, especially in regard to their tempo and rest in the weight room.  He said they had to change how they rested and now all of their rest times are sped up.  They try to mirror the frantic pace of a Tony Franklin style practice within their weight room.

I decided with our equipment limitations I wouldn't be able to go quite as fast as what a D-1 college might do in their weight room, but I knew that the days of just writing the workout on a whiteboard and letting the kids free lift were OVER for our program.

I decided that from now on, EVERYTHING is going to be timed.  We use a segment timer in practice every day, why not in the weight room as well.

First I analyzed our weight room, the equipment we had, and the number of players we had at each level.
we typically have in the low 40s per level.  For some reason everything in our weight room comes in 3s... 3 squat racks, 3 bench presses, 3 adjustable benches.

Using that information I came up with the following guidelines for our weight room.


  • We will always workout in groups of 3, no groups of 4 are allowed because it will destroy our tempo
  • We will have 5 lifts/exercises per day
  • Each of the selected lifts has 3 locations (rack, bench, pull up bar, location outside)
  • Each "station" will have 9 minutes, then we rotate
  • This totals out to 45 minutes to complete our workout
We typically do between 3-4 sets of each lift... 9 minutes doesn't give the kids much time to screw around.  To complete their lifts they basically have to do their set, rack it up, change weights, and the next person is lifting right away.  Kids can't hide out like they used to, I know where I started each of them so I know what lift they are supposed to be doing at a given time.

To keep the kids on schedule I use a timer app on my phone.  Since the rotations happen every 9 minutes, I just keep restarting the 9 minute timer after we rotate from each station.

I see our working harder and getting more done than ever before.

Our school is months away from an entire reconstruction, which includes a new weight room.  This process will be even easier when we have a more state of the art weight room that has nothing but racks in it.  

If you have a set up with many racks and free weight your players never have to move... each rotation simply means changing to a new lift.  This way is even better because you can better control the lift order of each student for maximal gains.

The next step I am going to make is to create a CD with music that has the 9 minute intervals built in to it.
I got this software for doing so and it is my new weekend project.