Happy 4th of July folks!, I always felt during my coaching days that the next big holiday will have me knee deep into football (Labor day), so I better get busy now on the details!
This is a great time to get your preseason checklist in order if you're a football coach running the spread offense.
One other house keeping item, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for daily spread offense updates and announcements.
Here's my list of what you should be working on daily with your players during preseason sessions:
- Quarterback/Center Exchange
If you're running a true shot-gun spread offense, your quarterbacks and centers should be getting hundreds of snaps in weekly. These snaps should include different tempo's, ques, and verbal communications used to ignite your offense.
I always like to add some D-linemen in my centers face for half of these practice snaps, making simulated jerking movements, verbal 'smack', and the like to simulate wars in the trenches.
2. Bubble and Rocket Screens (Turning the double play)
My personal feeling is the bubble screen and rocket screen are two very important plays in the shot-gun spread offense. They assist in keeping defenses 'honest' on the perimeter vs. the zone run or zone read, and when executed correctly they can break for big plays for your offense.
These two plays need to rep'd daily in the preseason, just as an infield in baseball rep's 'turning the double play' over and over, the quarterback bubble or rocket screen throw needs to be practiced from all spots across the field (based on college or high school hash-marks and your #2 receivers alignment) over and over.
3. Situational Football
Bill Belichick from the New England Patriots has made the word 'situational football' a very important term in the sport of football. What is it? Well, it's making your players and coaches think of the situation at hand (down, distance, time on the clock, area of the field, score of the game, weather conditions, protecting the football, time outs remaining, etc..) in practice so during the game when the scoreboard is on, your team is intellectually prepared for the situation at hand.
I feel the preseason is a great time to discuss this stuff with your team, it will also allow your coaching staff to think about situations prior to it happening during camp or more importantly the season.
I know Urban Meyer has really made a conscious effort down at Florida to train his team on 'situational football'.
With the competitive SEC becoming like the NFL in respect to the slim margin of error involved in winning or losing a game, this is a priority as you would imagine.
4. Know the Rule Book Inside-Out
How many of you can say you know the rule book of your league, state, or conference equal too or better than the officials calling your football games? Well, you should! Especially if you run a spread offense with unbalanced lines and hybrid type sets.
The month of July is a great time to get a copy of your latest rule book from your Athletic Director or League Representative and learn it all.
5. Pick up the tempo
It's time to start getting on your players and coaches about 'picking up the tempo' in everything they do. In the weight room, in running drills, in 7 on 7 passing camps, etc...
Set the tone now so that when camp opens, it's already ingrained in their DNA.
6. The Eye In The Sky Doesn't Lie
Get your team on film as much as possible and go back and watch old film from last year. Set the tone with your team that you and your coaches are perfectionists, and not only are we watching you live at practice and in games, but we are also videoing you constantly and reviewing your every move in slow motion and rewind.
There's nothing like visual feedback for a player, no matter how much it may hurt them to see it (In the long run, it'll only help them become better).
Best of luck in your preseason preparation leading up to camp.