This past weekend we had the pleasure of speaking at the Baltimore Glazier Clinic.
Not only were there at least 20 youth football coaches there that were running my system, I got to sit in on some excellent presentations myself. There were even two brave souls from North Carolina that had driven about 6 hours to get there. No wonder these guys team had gone 9-1 last season, they were two very focused guys.
Worst to First Story
Scott Burton from Richmond University really impressed me as a speaker and I’m going to share a couple of very simple things he talked about that you can do to help develop your offensive linemen. Scott just started at Richmond University this season.
The past 10 years he has been the Head Football Coach at Highland Springs High School in Virginia, a very down, low on numbers inner-city team. Before he got there, the program had fallen on hard times, the team was 1-19 the two previous seasons before Scott arrived. Under Scott they made the playoffs 7 of 10 seasons and were even District Champs twice. He finished 72-26 at a place most thought no one could win at. He is the kind of guy I like listening to, he’s had success, he knows how to get the job done and he did it from virtual scratch. My kind of football coach, a real up and comer, he is one of those young on fire, no excuses types I would love my kids to play for.
His first order of business as a head coach of this 1700 student school at age 25 was to get the kids to believe in his processes and system. As a very young coach, he suffered a lot of initial resistance both from players, parents and imbedded coaches. The way he sold it to them is that while he was only 25, he had been successful with his previous team. He shared his vision and plans with anyone that would listen. He didnt just tell people to do things, he told them why he was asking them to do things. He was very confident he had a “recipe” for success, those were his exact words. He said “I told the players all cakes need oil, flour and eggs, but if you put 18 eggs into the cake rather than 2 that the recipe calls for, the cake probably isn’t going to turn out very well. If you follow me I’m going to give you a recipe that if you decide to follow it, is going to make a very good cake”. Scott got the kids to believe in him because he was consistent, had a vision, a concrete plan and they trusted him.
Offensive Line Tips For Those Coaching Youth Football
He also had a real tough time with his offensive linemen, he didn’t have any, no one wanted to play offensive line on this team. Scott was a defensive back in college, but became the offensive line coach out of necessity and made the offensive line something very special at Highland Springs. He did things like: all the lineman drank water first during breaks, the offensive linemen were written up in the newspaper each week, no individual pictures in the newspaper all team shots and the linemen got to do special drills that no one else got to run. For conditioning for the offensive linemen he did 40 yard fumble “scoop and score” drills, where the lineman were allowed to spike the ball as they entered the endzone. He had special t-shirts made for his offensive linemen and gave them an acronym “ACT”, he would not share with us what ACT meant. His linemen were also not allowed to tell ANYONE what it meant. It was like the offensive linemen were in some type of exclusive fraternity or something. The more exclusive they became, the more kids wanted to be an offensive linemen and the better they played.
Haven’t We Heard This Before?
For you that have my book, doesn’t that sound familiar, and aren’t all of those specific points in the book, minus the scoop and score drill, which we will add next year? I was amening the heck out of Scott like he was some type of on fire Evangelist preacher and I was in church. I was nodding so much during this presentation, I think I hurt my neck.
Scott didn’t talk about a single scheme, playbook or even any football plays, he talked about developing trust and having fun with his football team. It was his opinion that this had much more to do with this teams huge turnaround than did his schemes or football plays.
Jet Series Tips
My next post will be on the Jet Series tips I got from a record setting Junior College Coach in California that runs the Jet. We are definitely going to take one concept from that presentation.
Baltimore Area Youth Football Coaches
What a pleasure it was, finally getting to meet so many coaches at this clinic that I had only known via e-mail. I’ve probably traded at least a dozen e-mails with coach Mike. We were able to have lunch and dinner with several coaches, what a treat. Tony and his 4 guys had about 30 questions written down as we worked on strategies for his 2008 squad over crab cakes. You know guys are going to do well just based on how well organized and the type of questions they ask. It was very obvious Tony and his staff had been studying the materials well, it was a real pleasure to help them out. I know they are chomping at the bit for next season and it’s only February.
Have you ever had one of those trips where everything went wrong? This was the exact opposite, my flights were on time, the people at Midwest Airlines are incredible customer service types, the driver was on time and a real pro, the hotel staff was friendly and eager to please at the Inner Harbor Sheraton, the restaurants were great, the clinic was well run and most of all; the coaches were very knowledgeable and open minded. Rarely do that many things go right, it just happened to be one of those “perfect storm” weekends. I even got home at a descent hour and was able to find my truck in the parking lot. If every trip was like this I would do 30 dates instead of 15, but my trips RARELY if ever go that well and guys like Tony and Mike just don’t grow on trees.
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