My coaching staff and I set these four keys to victory for every game, regardless of opponent. If you practice and pride your team on these four goals you will win football games.
Win turnover battle. We pride ourselves on winning the turnover battle each game. Offensively we do not want to turn the ball over. So in practice we rep ball security with all the skilled positions. We install the philosophy that we will not fumble or throw interceptions. As far as defense goes, we want to get some turnovers. Creating a turnover on defense can really give our team momentum, as well as another offensive possession. We make a big deal when our defense creates a turnover. We practice stripping the ball as well as creating interceptions. The team that creates the most turnovers in a game has a 78% winning percentage. With that said, we want to win the turnover battle.
Win special teams. I think my staff and I spend more time working special teams than any other youth football team. We PRIDE ourselves on winning the special teams battle. This includes, having solid kickoff and punt coverage. We do not want the opposing team to gain positive yardage on kick and punt returns. We practice coverage and directional kicking/punting (kick/punt the ball away from their best return players) often. We also work heavily on our kick return. We understand the benefits of creating a big play with our punt and kick return teams. Our goal each game is to score or set up at least 2 scores with our return game. We want to pop some big plays on special teams and create some positive momentum for our team.
Win tough situations (sudden change). When things are at its worst, that’s when winners perform their best. Handling sudden change, having resilience is what football is all about. Teams that overcome and can handle adversity will win big games. When things are not going well in games or in practices we have a motto it states- “RELOAD”, we will move on and get it back the next play. Remember, kids will take things hard so it is imperative that the coaches do not let the negatives linger on the kids and influence the next play of the game. Having consistent success requires consistent resiliency. Winning coaches perform their best in tough and crucial situations. Resilience is the most beneficial trait that is developed from playing youth football (in my opinion). Resilience is needed in everyday life. Like football, life is full of adversity and obstacles, how you face these obstacles will define your character. No other sport develops resilience like football does.
Win the conditioning battle. Who wants it the most for four full quarters? The team that is better conditioned will take control of the game, especially in the latter minutes of the game. We pride our team on playing at the same pace for an entire game. We execute our no huddle offense with relentless tempo. We will play fast and hard every single play. We will outlast our opponents; we will make them play at our pace. Everything we do in practice is at a fast pace. We do not spend too much time doing team conditioning drills, our entire practice is like a conditioning drill (no player walks on the field). We do position oriented conditioning drills during our individual position session and sprints at the end of practice. Having a well condition team will help deter injuries and help keep the kids aware and focused during the game. When kids are fatigued that is when kids get hurt or mistakes or made on the football field.