I recently saw a tremendous clinic by Coach Steinberg at the Los Angeles Glazier Clinic. The clinic was about practice planning and hearing about the overall week from Coach Steinberg.  He has won several CIF Championships here in Southern California, and is a dynamite head coach. Currently, he is the Head Football Coach and PE teacher at Beaumont High School.  You can find his YouTube videos here.

Check out Coach Steinberg’s Plan to Win:  Resources for Building an Elite Program

3 Key Components of Assistant Coaches

  1. Passion/Enthusiasm/Industrious – Beyond Passionate in working with HS student-athletes.  Understands his role in developing them as young men.  Will do everything to develop strong relationships with players in the program.
  2. Loyal – Understands the Vision of the HC & can help sell that vision to EVERYONE.
  3. Competent – Has a strong knowledge of the position he will be assigned to.

Success is a byproduct of doing the right thing!

Keep the focus on the process, your program & players.

Faceless opponents.


The one element all programs have in common is TIME.  It is what we do with that time that determines our success.

We will attempt to outwork our opponents with the time we have.

We will be OBSESSIVE with the efficient use of practice time.  

Quality control – Identify the ways you & your staff inadvertently waste time & create remedies ASAP.  Make the remedies into routines.

Game Week Prep – Friday


  • Rock Award
  • Brief Team Meeting – Keep comments extremely brief.   Absolutely no critique or analysis of game.  Emotions are high whether it was a win or loss.
  • Brief coaches meeting.  Ensure all post game duties of staff are complete.
  • Win or lose remind players we love them (unconditional).
  • Post game food/snacks.
  • Athletic Trainers Report following game.

Game Week Prep – Saturday

Preliminary Prep (on own)

  • Players day off (treatment at Sports Clinic).  Communicate with players that need treatment.
  • Review & Evaluate Friday’s Film-ensure comments/points of emphasis are indicated on Hudl for players to review.  Have coaching points loaded & out to players by Noon.
  • Communicate Injuries/Discipline etc. that may have an effect.
  • Preview Film of Upcoming Opponent (most recent game first)
  • Study minimum of 3 games of Opponent

Scouting Your Opponent

In Scouting Your Opponent develop a report based on: 

  • System
  • Personnel
  • The Playcaller

Must List of 10 Items We Identify

  • What is their overall Defensive Philosophy?
  • What is their Base Front(s)/Coverage(s) vs teams similar to ours?
  • What are their top Blitzes?
  • What is their Red Zone Defense?  What yard line to they start playing this?
  • What do they do on Short Yardage, Goal Line, vs Offense backed up?
  • Who are their top Defensive Players?
  • Who are players that we should attack?
  • Do they show any flaws in their system/scheme?
  • Are there any 2 way players?
  • Have their been any recent changes to personnel (injury or other)?

Preliminary Prep (continued)

  • Prepare Scripts & Cards (Front Cards, Coverage Cards, Blitz Cards, Inside Run Script, Perimeter Script, 7 on 7 Script)
  • Assess Practice Needs for the week (Share through text/email, Google Docs, etc.)
  • Begin working on Game Plan Sheet (Highlight Formations & Plays we will be successful with)
  • Update locker room boards (goal boards)

10 Ways To Win A Game

  • Win The Turnover Margin (or 0 Turnovers on Offense)
  • Score on first drive of the Game
  • Hold opponent from scoring on first drive
  • Outscore opponent in the 2×4
  • Win Special Teams game (Points & Yards)
  • Fewer than 15 loafs in the game
  • Outnumber Opponent on Average Yards on 1st down.
  • 1 Big Play on Special Teams
  • 100% Scoring in Red Zone
  • Fewer Penalty yards than opponent

Defensive Game Goals

  • Hold opponent under 100 yards rushing
  • Hold opponent under 150 yards passing
  • 3 Take a Ways
  • 8 TFL’s
  • 50% Pass Completion
  • Score or set up a score
  • Hold to 3 yards or less on 1st Down.
  • Hold to 33% 3rd down conversion – 3rd Down Defense is most Critical
  • 50% 3 & Outs
  • Limit opponent to 4 Explosive Plays

Offensive Game Goals

  • 70+ Plays
  • 0 Sacks
  • 100% Ball Security
  • 400 Yards Offense
  • 65% Pass Completion
  • 100% Red Zone Scoring
  • Average 4+ Yards On 1st Down    75% 3rd down conversion
  • Outscore Opponent in 4th Quarter
  • 0 Dead Ball Penalties
  • 8 Explosive Plays (20 Yards Pass/12 Yards Run)

Special Teams Game Goals

  • Score/Set Up a Score
  • 100% Punt Get Off
  • 100% FG/PAT Get Off
  • Block 1 Kick or Punt
  • 100% Scoring on PAT
  • 100% Scoring on FG
  • Avg 12 yards per Punt Return
  • Avg 25 yards per Kick Return
  • Limit opponent to 5 yards per Punt Return
  • Penalty Free

Game Week Prep – Sunday

  • Send out weekly Google Form to players Sunday morning. They must have it filled out by Sunday evening.
    • Mental & Physical Health Check
    • Goal Setting for the Week
    • Include Commitments for the Week.
  • Scouting Report sent out Sunday evening for players to review.Staff Planning Meeting
    • Staff Meet & Share thoughts. Each position coach to report.
    • Game Awards
    • Position Reports provided.
    • Discuss Opponent System & Personnel for deficiencies
    • Finish Up Scouting Reports (Coordinators)
    • Scouting Reports/Film available for players online (Hudl)
    • Prepare/Discuss Practice Plan for the Week
    • Discuss THEME for the week
    • Determine What it Will Take to Win (Game Goals)

Game Week Prep – Monday

Tone Setter Monday  (Helmets/Shells)

  • QB’s film before school or lunch (15 min)
  • Players fill out commitment cards (3 Commitments)
  • Football Class – Weights & Special Teams Film (60 min)
  • Team Meeting (Theme for the Week)
  • Film before practice (20 min)
  • Scouting Report, Spec Teams & Base D,
  • Run Down tendencies
  • Practice – Install & review Base Fronts/Covgs/Run Downs
  • Meet/Review/Update Practice Plan for Tuesday

Game Week Prep – Tuesday

Take Away Tuesday (Full Gear)

  • Football Class – Weights/Review Blitz Pick Up & Opponent Pass Tendencies (60 min)
  • Study Hall after school (60-90 min)
  • Team Meeting & Film before Night Practice 
    • 10 Minute Team Meeting
    • 15 Minute Unit Meeting
  • Song Night
  • Discuss Preliminary Game Plan with Team
  • Meet/Review/Update Practice Plan for Wednesday

We don’t rise to the level of competition in game situations.  Rather we fall to the level of our training.

Game Week Prep – Wednesday

Competition Wednesday (Helmets/Shells or Full Gear)

AKA The Day Before The Day Before

  • Football Class – Weights (60 min)
  • Film before Practice – Practice Film & Review Opponent (15 min)
  • Game Simulation Practice (Hashes, D & D, Fire Alarm Series, Red Zone, Backed Up, Mayday, Cougar Ball)
  • Meet/Review/Update Practice Plan for Thursday

Game Week Prep – Thursday

Perfect Preparation Thursday (Helmets/Shells)

  • Football Class – Run Through Practice
  • Review Game Plan on Field
  • Review Opening Script
  • Review Special Plays
  • Review Goal Line, 2 Point, Backed Up
  • Review all situations & sideline procedures.

Under 60 min

  • After School – Varsity film review & Kahoot test (15 min)
  • Print Up Game Plan Sheets, Sideline Sheets & Pressbox Sheets

Game Week Prep – Friday


  • Football Class – Light Indo work & Walk Through
  • Review Situations & Sideline Procedures
  • Review all special teams & 2 point plays
  • Review Game Plan on Field
  • Review Offense & Special Plays
  • Review Defense & Assignments

After School

  • Players on lock down
  • Team Meal, Weekly Awards, Honorary Captain
  • On field for Stretch, Warm Up & Spec Teams Call Out
  • Staff meeting to review coin toss, special situations, 4th down situations, weather

Pre Practice Meetings

  • Keep Meetings brief .  If it’s a longer meeting have a break (maybe a 1-2 question trivia quiz)
  • Make meetings interactive.  Make ”Cold Calls”.  Keep players on the edge of their seats.
  • Spend time on Opponent film but always review practice film.
  • If you are doing install in a meeting follow it up with walk thru on the field.
  • Have opponent film arranged in playlists (Base, Blitz Package, Red Zone, Goal Line, 3rd Downs…)

Check out Coach Steinberg’s Plan to Win:  Resources for Building an Elite Program

Practice Planning

  • Practice is planned on Sunday for the entire week
  • Needs are discussed & submitted by position coaches.  Every minute of practice is scripted in 5 minute segments.
  • No Stretch – Players responsible for stretching Hamstrings & areas needed prior to practice or as early outs are being conducted.
  • Uptempo Practice – reps, reps, reps.  Stay on the clock.  Coach off the film & pull guys out for corrections.
  • Strive for minimum of 3-4 reps per minute on Inside Run & 2.5 reps per minute on 7 on 7/Perimeter & Team
  • Pressure Practice – Make Practice so intense mentally & physically that the kids feel the games are easier.  Competition as much as possible.
  • Practice Harder, Smarter & with Greater Intensity than our opponents.  This is where you create an Edge.
  • Be demanding on all players.
  • Emphasize & communicate what periods are Teach, Review, Tag, Thud & Live.  We run VERY LITTLE Live Period work. Lots of Quick Whistle.
  • Emphasize what periods are 1’s vs 1’s & which are service.
  • Coaches responsible to set drills up to maximize reps.

  • MON – EO (Install/Walk Thru)Inside Run, On Air, ½ Side Pass, Play Action, Boot, Quick Pass
  • TUES – EO (Fire Alarm) On Air, PUP, Blitz Beaters, 3rd  Down, Cougar Ball
  • WED – EO (Spec Series & Gadgets) Inside Run, PUP, 1 on 1’s, 7 on 7, Cougar Alley, King of the Boards, Cougar Ball
  • THUR – “Perfect Practice” – Game Script, Opening Script, Review Special Plays, Gadgets, Fire Alarm, Mayday, Review Game Plan
  • FRI – Walk Thru
  • During special teams players that are not directly involved are doing skill work with coaches or working on Offense/Defense.
  • Practice is filmed Monday through Wednesday

Check out Coach Steinberg’s Plan to Win:  Resources for Building an Elite Program

You can find his YouTube videos here.