It’s important to grow as a Coach between seasons. Football is in an unique position where the season is relatively short and player’s bodies need the offseason to recover and prepare for the coming season. Unlike baseball or basketball, extended seasons do not help football players which is part of the reason why strength and conditioning programs have become such a huge part of the sport. While players will work to make gains during the offseason it’s important that coaches are also looking to improve.
Getting the Most From the Coaching Clinic’s You Attend
Many coaches use Coaching Clinics as a way to improve. There are a variety of different clinics but the Glazier Circuit is by far the easiest to access because of their variety of clinics across the country. Clinic Season is a great time of year where coaches are able to get together, network, learn from each other and enjoy each others company. I truly believe the atmosphere at clinics is what makes the football coaching community so unique.
With that being said many coaches go to the clinic without looking at the speaker list or any real plan. There are so many different speakers at a clinic that this mistake will make it difficult for you to get as much as you could. Before I go to clinics I always take some time to prepare using the steps below.
- Do any speakers address your work ons specifically?
- Are any speakers covering your specific scheme?
- Are there any speakers who are covering a scheme on the opposite side of the ball you have trouble with?
- Are there any great coaches?
Do any speakers address your ‘work ons’ specifically?
This is the number one thing that should be addressed during clinic season. It’s crucial that you have some areas where you want to improve on. During the clinic your primary goal should be to go and listen to speakers who can help you with these issues.
Are any speakers covering your specific scheme?
Once you have addressed all of your get betters, it’s time to look to improve your specific scheme. Whether offense or defense there are parts of your scheme that are unique. It’s critical that you hear how other coaches are teaching the techniques and schematics of your scheme. Even if you don’t agree with them, it’s a great learning experience to see where your scheme can be flexible and where it needs to remain solid.
Are there any speakers who are covering a scheme on the opposite side of the ball you have trouble with?
This is a huge element of the clinic season. Most times if you struggle with a opposition scheme it’s due to not having a full picture of the scheme and where it’s weak points are. To be clear, this is for when you struggle with a scheme (maybe the 3-3 Defense or the Wing-T). There will be times where you play a unit that you will struggle with because they are just better athletes, but if you tend to consistently struggle defending Wing-T teams, regardless of how good the athletes are, then it might be a good idea to sit in on a Wing-T speaker to see how they attack defenses.
Are there any great coaches speaking?
This is the last question but could also overrule any of the above. Sometimes there will be a coach speaking that is so good it would be stupid to miss. This happens a lot with some of the older coaches. Most of these great speakers are more focused on how to coach than specific schemes or techniques which can apply to any coach.
(See Also) Why You Should do Post Season Evaluations