I absolutely love Special Teams! I have for a long time. Not sure what it is, and why it makes me tick, but it does. I was named Special Teams Coordinator at Linfield Christian in 2002, and ever since then I’ve coordinated the Special Teams of every team I’ve been a part of. (It helps since I’ve been a Head Coach for 8 of those 10 years!) I really believe that when the Head Coach is the Special Teams Coordinator your team will always get the most fair shot of practice time to do it right.
Currently, I’m the Special Teams Coordinator at Excelsior Charter School in Victorville, California. This is my first year with the school, I was hired as the Athletic Director back in May of this year.
Like most of you reading this, I’m an absolute film junkie! There is NO better way to evaluate your Special Teams than by video. As they say “the eye in the sky don’t lie!” I’ve developed a system for each weekend for me to evaluate my Special Teams play. This does two main things: 1. Helps me to evaluate our personnel and how we are executing the plans. 2. Organizes my Special Teams Player of the Year chart.
The system that I use every weekend works like this:
1. I watch every single Special Team a multitude of times. I try hard to watch every player on every play. Sometimes, depending on the film, this can be hard.
2. I have a spreadsheet in front of me. This spreadsheet has the list of my kids on my Special Teams in alphabetical order on the far left column. It’s an Excel spreadsheet.
Across the top of the spreadsheet are 10 columns:
|TACKLE||ASSISTED TACKLE||KEY BLOCK||EXTRA EFFORT||CAUSE TURNOVER||RECOVER TURNOVER||DECLEATER||PENALTY||MISSED ASSIGNMENT||TOTALPOINTS|
|3 points||2 points||3 points||3 points||10 points||10 points||3 points||-5 points||-5 points|
3. For every single play, I will grade out the kids and give somebody some kind of points, OR take some away! I think it’s just important to give the “extra effort” points to kids as it is to give them “tackle” points or take away points for a penalty. This will help motivate kids.
One thing I’ve noticed over the years, is that these kids come to my classroom/office first thing Monday morning to see where they stand. You will find that some kids really start fighting for their points. And some don’t care. Those kids racking up the rushing yards or passing yards, they care about those things. But a lot of kids don’t have anything to measure themselves by. This is a great measurement for kids. A lot of times, especially when points are taken away, they want to see it on film! “Coach, I don’t believe I missed an assignment, show me.” It becomes a great teaching tool.
I update this chart after every single game, and the players get a copy in their Scouting Report each Monday. Many times, it’s the first thing the kids turn to. I also keep a running total for the season. It looks just like the weekly report. Names on the left, the schools across the top, like this:
So, here is what my running total looks like through one game this year (I’ve changed the names):