Yesterday I posted WEEKLY GAME GOALS CRUCIAL TO WINNING by Coach Lee Weber. He is the Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at Mission Valley High School in Eskridge, Kansas.
Here is part 2!
GOAL #7: SCORE EVERY QUARTER
We felt like scoring every quarter was an extremely important goal for the confidence of our team. If we were able to score in every quarter, then we are in a flow and rhythm offensively that will allow us to win the game. This leads me into sharing with you one of my assistant coach’s interesting theory about high school football. I have seen this theory proven over and over again. His theory was that the first team to get to 21 points typically wins a high school football game. Rarely have I seen a high school football game that has proven this theory false. I think it would an extremely interesting case study.
GOAL #8: GET 2 SHUT-OUT QUARTERS
Our ability to hold our opponent scoreless in half of the game is a strong precursor towards winning. This goal goes back to wanting to have attainable goals for our team that we can check off as achieved when we win. To have a goal of a shut-out every game would be admirable, but asinine. A good goal is achievable. Even your most dominant defenses in the history of football gave up points. I want our kids to be happy about any great defensive effort whether it results in a 0 on the scoreboard or a 3, 6, or 10.
GOAL #9: NEVER ALLOW OVER 8 POINTS A QUARTER
Keeping our opponent from having a big quarter is an important focus for us. Our opponent most likely will at some point score. If we can keep them from scoring more than eight points in a quarter, then we feel like we have a good opportunity to win.
GOAL #10: NO PROCEDURE PENALTIES
Romeo Crennel was universally mocked as coach of the Kansas City Chiefs for a sign he put up in the locker room that said “Eliminate Bad Football.” Given the 2012 Chiefs’ record, they didn’t do a very good job of achieving that goal, however Romeo was a very intelligent coach to make eliminating bad football a focus. Bad and good teams often beat themselves with very avoidable procedure penalties. We want our players’ focus to be eliminating those very avoidable mistakes. We want you to be the first to blink. You make the mistake because we will not. A team with no procedure penalties is extremely disciplined.
GOAL #11: SCORE ON SPECIAL TEAMS OR SET THE OFFENSE UP TO SCORE
We spend a lot of time, effort, and focus on our special teams. We view our return teams as opportunities to score not just ways to get the ball back to our offense. We want to very solid, fundamental, and aggressive with our return teams. The momentum pay-off of a huge return in my opinion is worth much more than a 10-15 play drive.
GOAL #12: SCORE ON DEFENSE OR HAVE A GOAL LINE STAND
Scoring on defensive or having a goal line stand can be a huge momentum builder for your team. As I mentioned before, we are extremely aggressive with turnovers. We will scoop and score every fumble and any interception is a potential pick-6 for our team. I think the risk that you take in trying to score off a turnover is well worth the gamble. We feel that if we try to scoop and score a fumble, and don’t get the ball, then we are in no worse shape than we were before. We are right back to playing defense. On the goal line, we feel like if we can bow our backs and hold out their offense then we break our opponents’ spirit.
GOAL #13: 0 LOAFS
We classify our loafs on a specific scale with 9 different types of loafs.
- Loaf #1- Staying blocked
- Loaf #2- Not running out of the pile
- Loaf #3- Noticeable change of speed
- Loaf #4- Not running to the ball
- Loaf #5- Being passed in pursuit
- Loaf #6- Non-aggressive finish
- Loaf #7- Taking the path of least resistance
- Loaf #8- Turning down contact
- Loaf #9- Poor play entry
If you can get a group of players to not commit any of these types of loafs, then you have a fine football team. Critics may contests that we may never get this goal in a season, but I think it is good to have this possibly unattainable goal on your board. Loafs are detestable, and if you can cut out laziness and lack of effort on every snap of football that your team plays then you will be very, very good.
GOAL #14: 100% ON THE 7-PLUS CLUB
To explain the 7-Plus Club, we want 7 players in view of the camera when the whistle blows. I think the idea of coaches saying get all 11 to the football on every play can be a little ludicrous. Those are the coaches whose teams get burned by reverses and trick plays. We want our players to rally to the football, but I want my backside players to follow the rule of “Play Away- Slow Play.” We felt this was a good balance of swarming to the ball and while not turning a blind eye to our players on playing their cutback and backside assignments.
Good goals are realistic, achievable, and measurable. I think these goals are great for our football team. The weekly game goals that you set for your team should be the same.
For us, focusing on statistically based goals was counterproductive so we moved to these process goals.
If you are going to use statistically based goals, then make sure that they are achievable, reasonable, and an essential part of the process of winning.
Special thanks to Coach Chris Fore for allowing me to write this guest column, and I hope at least one thing I shared can help you win football games!
Lee Weber, Head Football Coach, Mission Valley High School (Eskridge, KS)
Follow me on Twitter at @coachlaw71