This article is designed to highlight some of the mistakes that are common in the game plan process for offensive coaches.
By X&O Labs
Does this scenario sound familiar? You spend all week studying film, opponent tendencies, drawing plays, teaching your players in the film room and on the field; you have put together what you thought was the perfect game plan only to see your team fall short. The next day you study the film and all you do is ask yourself why did I do that? Why were we trying to be something that we are not? Your film session is filled with players making mental mistakes and not playing like they are capable of playing. This article is designed to highlight some of the mistakes that are common in the game plan process.
It never fails, you are watching game film on your opponent and the other team is just moving the ball up and down the field at ease, and you think to yourself, “we could do that.” The problem is, their team is making a living throwing the ball 60 times a game and your team is built to run it 60 times. You watch the passing schemes that they are having success with and you immediately run to the dry erase board to draw them up and install them in this week’s game plan. It is okay to borrow one or two plays from someone else but you don’t want to change your offensive identity week to week. You get good at what you do by committing to it and practicing it over and over. As a coach you get a better understanding of what defensive schemes may give you problems and how to make in game adjustments because you know your offense inside and out. A new scheme might look good on film and even in practice against the scouts, but you might know the true ins and outs of it to make it successful on a consistent basis and there is no way your players will not know it well enough to execute it against any defensive package that they might see.
The next mistake that you could run into is trying to add too many wrinkles to a play. You are watching film and your offense is moving the ball extremely well and then you get greedy. Instead of just lining up and running a play and trusting that your players will make the right decisions, you try to give them too many checks. It always seems to start off very simple, if they give us a certain coverage, we should throw a quick screen. If they give us a certain front, but the LB is out of place, we should check the run to this gap. So what starts off as one play, now has two or three different components to it. The offense is now at the line of scrimmage thinking about what they might have to do on three separate calls instead of just one. It’s going to slow them down and they will not be as successful as they could be. Remember all eleven players have to be able to execute it, not just the quarterback.
A very common saying is often made after you have been burned by the mistake in the previous paragraph, and that is: “Coach, we need to get back to the basics.” Mistake number three is not focusing on the basics of the game plan to begin with. I know being simple in your offensive approach can seem boring, but its imperative that you keep it simple and focus on the basics. What are the basic plays that you know your offense can execute? Once you have established those plays, try and find as many different formations and backfield sets to run them out of. There will be a time when it is necessary for your quarterback to make checks at the line of scrimmage, keep those checks simple and have him only look for one thing.
The last mistake is not honestly evaluating your personnel. It is easy to watch a team having success throwing a certain route or combination that you already have in your playbook and then want to add it to your game plan. But you need to ask yourself, is that play having success because it’s a great call or is it because one of the receivers that is in the route combination a 5 star prospect and is taking two defenders out of the equation leaving the flat route wide open? Knowing what your players’ skill set is and then designing your offense to highlight that skill set is what makes a great offensive coach. Do not be afraid to keep it simple.
Do You Still Use Spreadsheets for Game Planning?
As coaches, we're always looking for new ways to increase our effectiveness and efficiencies. We're pulled in more directions than ever before, so it's important that we manage our time effectively to ensure we get the maximum results for our efforts.
That's why at X&O Labs we’re excited to share some good news.
About a year ago, we were introduced to the good folks at Game Planner Pro. If you're not familiar with them, in short, they have an online game planning tool that is very good for offensive game planning. We were so impressed with Game Planner Pro that our offensive coaches began using it last season... and now they are hooked.
By using Game Planner Pro, our coaches saved up to 10 hours per week on practice scripts and game day call sheets because they were only entering their plays once and then selecting which plays they wanted to include each week. It was that easy.
And that brings us to the good news... We liked using Game Planner Pro so much, we had to get more involved with the product. So now, Game Planner Pro is powered by X&O Labs.
What does that mean for you?
That's easy... just like our coaches are saving up to 10 hours per week managing their playbooks, you can too using Game Planner Pro Powered By X&O Labs.
Here's how Game Planner Pro works...
Watch this two-minute video and see Game Planner Pro in action. You’ll see how easy it is to use, how you’ll be more effective as an offensive coach and how efficient it is with your time.
With Game Planner Pro, you'll be able to easily and quickly print your practice scripts, game day call sheets (based on scenarios) and even your wristband cards.
Here’s what other coaches are saying:
Dennis Harmon at Harborfields High School told us, "Game Planner Pro saves me 6 hours per week on practice scripts alone."
While saving time is great, we're also hearing from coaches who say that Game Planner Pro helps them better prepare their game plans each week...
"Game Planner Pro helps me concentrate my offense specifically to win every situation during the week of practice," Nick Schmidt, Walnut Hills High School.
And here's the best part... You and your coaching staff can access Game Planner Pro from any Internet connected device, including mobile devices, tablets or desktops. Plus, you can print your daily practice scripts, weekly playbook, call sheets and wristband sheets at any time.
If you're like us, you don't like wasting time using spreadsheets and other outdated tools to manage your play books. That's why we invite you to get instant access to Game Planner Pro Powered By X&O Labs right now!