Tuesday, March 25, 2014

More Chuck Martin goodness!

I was lucky enough to see Coach Chuck Martin speak at our State Clinic. The now Head Coach of Miami University was, as always, in rare form! His presentation was Program Development.
Here are my notes (with help... THANKS Coach Randy H.)

Good Players, Good Staff, Good Program

I want players that...
Must love to compete 
Out prepare their opponent

The problem with today’s kids?
“We gave them everything, but taught them nothing”

Best Weekly Team Goal is
“Make ONE more play than your opponent”

1. Be a great teammate

  • Care more about the guy next to you than your own success.
  • Stress thus every day!
  • Give them examples.
  • There were years where this was the only rule…an all-encompassing concept.

2. No Stars

  • You should be afraid to challenge your best players.
  • He can watch you practice for 30 seconds and know who your start players are because you coach them differently. His goal is to coach his best players the hardest.
  • Understand that you are nothing without your teammates and staff.
  • We and our, NOT I and My.
  • Selfish Behavior- ask: Is that being a great teammate?

3. Accountability in Academics, Football, and Personal Lives

  • We must learn from bad choices.

4. Leaders are made, NOT born

  • Challenge them everyday!
  • Coaches should lead their position group, then teach them to lead.
  • **Create suffering (opportunities to rally around each other).
  • Push up position hold, wall squat…not a prolonged conditioning session!
  • Go Best on Best, Competition!

5. Develop Relationships

  • Developing someone as a student athlete starts with knowing everything about them.
  • You gotta have a great relationship to be demanding!
  • Put high demands on players in practice; try to get them to "wilt".
  • Relationships start with knowing everything about the player- all aspects of life- cannot push them without a relationship. Promise kids that they will be able to compete for a starting position

6. Sacrifice

  • Doing so in the off season, creates a bigger sense of investment in the program.
  • Players want to be better and willing to sacrifice more.

7. Be Realistic

  • It is important that each player understands where he fits into the program.
  • Don’t make a weekly goal that could back fire at the start of the game. (No turnovers, Negative yards, Shutout).

8. Process over Product

  • The players must be focused on the details and work necessary to reach the goal, Don’t point fingers at kids, even in difficult times…stick to your plan and if you are doing the right things right, things will break for you!

9. The Best Prepared Players Play

  • More games are lost than are won, We value preparation over ability…Believe in what your doing!
10. Immune to Momentum
  • This is the most overused “theory” used in sports, mostly by writers! If momentum is so important then why aren’t we all looking for it when we lose it! Absurd…
  • Players need to focus on the next play…not the last one…we gotta make one more play…momentum as good as tomorrow’s starting pitcher.

11. Practice 11 on 11

  • The best approach to getting better at football is playing football!
  • Put your players in as many different situations as possible. You can work situations every day.
  • Coach Martin’s favorite is going out/coming in drill.
  • Start with the ball on the 1 yard line ball coming out, we are up 3 points, they goal is to get ONE first down. If the offense is forced to Punt? Then turn it around at the 40 and put the onus on the defense.

 At the end of season they have a 1 hour 15 min practice, 1 hour could be 11 on 11.

Other articles from the archives

Sunday, March 16, 2014

TOP THREE TECH to get you through the OFF SEASON

As the clinic season draws to a close, here are three TECH items to get you through...None are FREE but ALL are worth it!

#1 The MIND BLOWER! until Coach Grabowski releases the next one!

They already give coaches a TON of FREEBIES. When you become an INSIDER you get expanded articles and VIDEO.

#1 all22video.com
"Get UNLIMITED access to the largest collection of football coaching videos on the net, including college game film, cutups, and clinic film you can't get anywhere else."

Yes, I know they are all listed #1... why? you gotta read Tim S. Grover's RELENTLESS

Monday, March 3, 2014

Recoded and Reloaded...a review that is finally done

Long overdue, I can’t believe that it was almost a year ago when I wrote a preview… 
You don’t just read a book by Dan Gonzalez, you digest it. Once again, Coach Gonzalez produces a book that makes you think. When is the last time you saw a quote from Benjamin Franklin in a football book? The great thing about this compilation is there are many ideas that can easily transfer to your offense. This is not Coach Gonzalez’s “first rodeo”, but an evolution of his first book , but you don’t necessarily need to buy it to understand the second work. In my opinion, BOTH books are significant additions to my permanent library.

Coach Gonzalez’s packs a large amount of football goodness into 171 pages. The book’s size resembles a notebook…

no small pictures or print to contend with!



The book contains 10 chapters

1.    The need for restructuring
2.    Traits of a complete pattern system
3.    An offensive flow chart
4.    Formations and Personnel Groups
5.    A structure for calling pass plays
6.    Protection
7.    Structural tags and backside tags
8.    Distilling pass concepts and attacking the defense
9.    Assembling patterns
10.  Installation

Route Tree that I love!

Coach Gonzalez has a Route Tree that makes sense. I’m not a big fan of the traditional route tree. But I believe it can have a place in your offensive system. It is a great teaching tool for rookies. I HATE the traditional route tree! WHY? Many of the traditional route trees (YAWN) have “branches” that are used seldom. Coach Gonzalez’s tree has all routes that are staples to his offense. The pictures in the book grouped some of the routes together… I would have liked to see each route diagrammed separately too. I’m sure if you hire Coach Gonzalez, he could make that happen. I am intrigued by the 2 route, which is describes a 3 step IN. This may replace the slant…

Protections using colors…

We have used names for pass concepts and the lineman and backs had to know their assignments based on the just the name. Two years ago, our head decided the Oline and backs needed some concrete verbiage. So a THREE digit system was introduced:
  • First number tells type of concept and direction for line.
  • Second number tells which direction for back to block.
  • Third number tells the CONCEPT.
It has it flaws, but I have learned to live with it.

Coach Gonzalez uses colors to signify the protection type.
You want the BACK in typical slide BOB protection? That would be BROWN or BLACK call. If you want the back in a route or GONE from the protection? That call would be GREEN or GOLD. If you have a Tight End in formation and want to keep him in the protection…the call would be TAN or TEAL. More protections and codes are fully diagrammed in the book. If you are struggling for pass protection communication that is simple, then I highly recommend using the Coach Gonzalez coding.


SWITCH, CUBE, DEPOT, BRONCO, BENGAL, BADGE…these are a few tags diagrammed in the book.

Coach Gonzales groups the tags into three groups:

o    “B” TAGS
o    “R” TAGS

Great teachers use teaching methods that work. Coach Gonzalez is a big fan of acronyms. I love them too. They are an excellent memory tool. HIDE and SLIDE are two staples of the backside tags. HIDE is simply “Hitch, then come Inside” and SLIDE uses switch release then HIDE technique. for those of use that love the TRIPS formation, the tags CUBE and CASH are used.

The names Dolphin, Patriot, and Redskin are used…no, not as play names but as part of the “STRETCH FAMILY”.

Dolphin = OUTSIDE to INSIDE Read
Patriot = INSIDE to OUTSIDE Read
Redskin = DEEP to SHORT Read

Coach Gonzalez is easy to reach through his website. I have had a few telephone conversations with him that always seems to humble me (No, I don’t know everything)


wondering how to get a visual conversation the next time....

A couple of nuggets I have gained from his conversations

He would rather have a GUY that makes the catch, not a playmaker

When setting the Pass Protection, you should set the slide to the field. Most Zone Blitz comes from the field.

What is your favorite concept? Anything with a  DRAG route

What do you like on 3rd and 8? It starts with 2 back protection and a DRAG route...

He loves 4 verticals and the adjustments off the concept.

So, if you are struggling with your pass game then buy Coach Gonzalez' books.


If you need more help...HIRE HIM!

And finally, I am hoping to have a PART THREE to this story...


please oh please pretty please

: As always If you find errors in this article let me know... Any questions or comments? please post HERE or contact me.