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10/8/2012 8:58:32 AM -
Football Update

I’m back. Between work and coaching for the past few weeks, things have been insane, but I’m going to make a better effort to keep up to date with everything. We had three pretty big games over the past three weeks, and we went 2-1, losing the big one that I really wanted. This pretty much sucks, but there’s cause for optimism, as I’ll explain.

Here’s the thing about rebuilding a high school team. You can spend three years turning the kids into absolute beasts, and you can install the most brilliant offensive and defensive schemes in the world, but until they actually beat someone good, they’re always going to have a bit of an inferiority complex on their backs. Unfortunately, it looks like that’s what’s happening with us, and it’s something we should have factored in at the beginning of the season.

How this manifests itself is that we tend to come out nervous against teams that, historically, have beat the shit out of our team in past years. When we come out nervous, we do stupid stuff like giving up touchdowns on the opening kickoff. In fact, three weeks in a row now, we’ve spotted our opponents two scores in the first quarter. In two of those games, we came back and won big. In one of them, we didn’t—although in that game, we came back and destroyed them for the last three quarters of the game, but when you start out a game down 17 points, it’s not really conducive to beating good teams.

Here’s the good part, though: We’re absolutely killing these teams in the 4th quarter. In four games so far this year, we’ve given up 7 points in the fourth, and although I’m just doing the math out of my head, I think we’ve scored over 60. This past weekend, against a pretty good team, we scored 15 points in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.

I think this is a direct function of the way we “condition” the kids—which is something I got from Mark McLaughlin and Joel Jamieson, and I’ve been doing it this way for years. Now, this is something I’ve adapted from what they’ve talked to me about, because I’m dealing with 40+ kids and I don’t have heart rate monitors for all my kids, but this stuff works, and we’re living proof of it.

It’s very, very simple. For our direct conditioning, since January, we’ve been doing our “football intervals” by pushing Prowlers, blocking sleds, and whatever else we can get our hands on. You blast out an all-out effort for 6-8 seconds, and then you wait until your heart rate goes back down below 130 or so for a measured interval—let’s say it’s 20-30 minutes or so. Since I don’t have the monitors, I started this out around 3 minutes back in January, and by the time we were in our pre-camp preparations, it was down to 20-30 seconds or so.

From The Thinker (and Charlie Francis), I stole the idea of doing light tempo runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays (for aerobic improvement and recovery). In between tempo runs, we’ll drop down and do high-rep ab circuits.

That’s it for now. I’m writing this in a hotel room in Las Vegas and have to go to work soon, so I’ll elaborate on this during the week.

On the road for work,
Angry Coach

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