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Scouting
Inspirational Quotes
Evaluation Forms
Medical & Physical Aspects
Equipment and Budgets
Travel & Locker Room Regulations
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Scouting
   There are three basic methods of scouting another team.  Teams scout "in person," via video tape or film, or by written reports or charts.  Most use some combination of all three.  Usually conferences have some system of rules for exchanging films or other scouting data, but when the play offs come around against non conference opponents schools sometime "ignore . . . common . . . courtesies," as evidenced by long time coach Bob Reade
   No one method can stand alone.  Each has its advantages and disadvantages.  Film allows visual inspection of an opponents play calling tendencies, provided the correct film was supplied and the opponent still follows those tendencies.  But since the camera usually doesn't run between the plays no useful information concerning player substitutions or game day conditions is provided.  Also, film can be expensive as can today's computer programs designed to analyze a team.  Scouting reports can provide detailed information on facts that one would have to be present at game time to compile. Aspects like weather conditions and the caliber of the opponents as well as other personal observances are also augmented by such personal observation.  But such reports are often subject to the interpretation of the scout and only so much information can be humanly absorbed during the course of a game.  Written reports and especially tendency charts can also provide a wealth of information.  Basic formations, tendencies, and adjustments can be categorized. 
   The best way to ensure the scouting desired is to have the team scouts actually scout your own team in the pre season.  In this way the scouts can be instructed as to the type of information being sought and, in the process, one's own tendencies and markers can be observed and modified so as to make other's scouting of your team more difficult. 


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Inspirational Quotes
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<http://www.eldar.org/~ben/funny/html/375.html>
...on the love of the game...
1976 Greg Buttle, New York Jet linebacker, explaining his contractual obligations: "They pay me to practice. Sundays I play for free."
...on balance in life priorities...
1981 Dorothy Shula , on the career dedication of her husband, the Miami Dolphins' coach: "I'm fairly confident that if I died tomorrow, Don would find a way to preserve me until the season was over and he had time for a nice funeral." 
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<http://crimson-tide.tusc.net/quotes.html>
Paul "Bear" Bryant
...on respect...
"I can't imagine being in the Hall of Fame with Coach Bryant. There ought to be two Hall of Fames, one for Coach Bryant and one for everybody else." 
    Ozzie Newsome, upon his induction to the Alabama Hall of Fame. 
...on respect...
"He literally knocked the door down. I mean right off the hinges. A policeman came in and asked who knocked the door down, and Coach Bryant said, "I did". The cop just said "Okay" and walked away." 
    Jerry Duncan describing an irate Bear after a 7-7 tie with Tennessee. 
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<http://www.cmgww.com/football/lombardi/quote.html>
 Vince Lombardi
...on resilience...
"It's not whether you you get knocked down, it's whether you get up." 
 ...on determination and will...
"A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done." 
...on sport's impact on every day life...
Football is a great deal like life in that it teaches that work, sacrifice, perseverance, competitive drive, selflessness and respect for authority is the price each and every one of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile. 
...on quitting...
Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit. ... 
...on accomplishments...
If you'll not settle for anything less than your best, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish in your lives. ... 
...a team of individuals...
The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.  Our greatest glory was not in never falling, but in rising when we fell... 
...on the winning attitude...
"Bobby Layne never lost a game. Time just ran out. Nobody hated to lose more than Bobby." 
           Doak Walker <http://www.cmgww.com/football/layne/quote.html> 
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My personal favorites:
Winners never quit.  Quitters never win. -- Unknown
A good football player is agile, mobile, and hostile.---------------- (paraphrased) Hank Gathers
I have never lost. I have only been out scored. -- Unknown
Submission is how a loser deals with adversity.  -- Unknown
If you gave your all 'til the final whistle then you're a winner, regardless of the score. -- Unknown


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Travel and Locker Room Regulations
   At all but the highest levels, teams travel by bus a great deal of the time.  When more than one bus is required seating arrangements vary considerably.  At least one member of the coaching staff should be present on every bus.  Many coaches group their players dependent on class status (freshman through senior).  I support this system to a large degree but encourage some significant mixing.  In this way freshmen can observe first hand how the upper classmen behave and conduct themselves and what is expected of them as representatives of the school.  When travel plans including overnight stay, players should have hotel room sharing arrangements preset by the coaching staff.  Players should eat together and remain socially interactive during road trips.  Individual excursions should be discouraged, limited, or even prohibited.  The one rule of thumb in traveling is to leave no evidence of one's presence other than the game itself.  In other words, when a team leaves a restaurant, hotel, or any other establishment, it should leave it as (or better than) it found it. The only mark made on the host site should be of a positive nature.  To leave trash about or act rudely or otherwise inappropriate is unacceptable. 
   While on a recent road trip with the Trezevant Bears I was speaking with a waiter at a local restaurant.  He complimented us as to the behavior of our student athletes in his restaurant.  He spoke of another school that had also eaten there earlier in the season complaining how boorishly they acted, how rude many of them were to his staff, and how nasty they had left the place.  "I can't tell you how happy I was to read in the paper the next morning that they had lost," he concluded as he wished us well. 
   A team needs to have class.  It must start at the top and be demanded all the way down the power structure.  Only then can a team develop style


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Evaluation Charts
   The single most important evaluation chart that will ever be filled out is the evaluation chart your players fill out in evaluation of your own program at the end of the season.  A program should come under the same scrutiny as the individual players themselves.  In this way a coach can learn of any areas in his or her program that the participants believe need improving.  While no single response should be over magnified, a collective response might indicate an area which needs improvement.  Here is Bob Reade's Program Evaluation Form for Players (to be completed at season's end): 


Name (optional)________________________________________________ 
Program Evaluation Form for Players

Please complete each of the following questions. Be as honest and constructive as possible Your input into this football program is essential for its future success. 

1. In terms of football skills and strategies, I learned . . . 
     1                   2                  3                   4                   5                   6                     7 
     nothing                                                                                                                   a lot 

2. My performance of football skills and strategies improved . . . 
     1                   2                  3                   4                   5                   6                     7 
     not at all                                                                                                                 a lot 

3. I enjoyed playing football this season. 
     1                   2                  3                   4                   5                   6                     7 
     not at all                                                                                                                 a lot 

4. The coaching staff helped me develop as a player. 
     1                   2                  3                   4                   5                   6                     7 
     not at all                                                                                                                 a lot 

5. The coaching staff helped me develop as a person. 
     1                   2                  3                   4                   5                   6                     7 
     not at all                                                                                                                 a lot 

6. Players are treated fairly on the team. 
     1                   2                  3                   4                   5                   6                     7 
     not at all                                                                                                                 a lot 

7. Players on the team respected team rules. 
     1                   2                  3                   4                   5                   6                     7 
     not at all                                                                                                              very true 

8. Practices were well organized, challenging, and fun. 
     1                   2                  3                   4                   5                   6                     7 
     not at all                                                                                                              very true 

9. The role I played in games was the best for the program. 
     1                   2                  3                   4                   5                   6                     7 
     not at all                                                                                                              very true 

10. I feel more positively about the program now than I did at the beginning of the season. 
     1                   2                  3                   4                   5                   6                     7 
     not at all                                                                                                              very true 

The best thing about being a player in this football program: 
_______________________________________________________________________ 

The worst thing about being a player in this football program: 
_______________________________________________________________________ 

Explain changes you would make to improve or eliminate the worst things about the program 
(be specific):_____________________________________________________________ 

What can the coaching staff do to make the program better than it was this past season? 
_______________________________________________________________________ 

Additional comments (use reverse side if needed): 
_______________________________________________________________________ 



Here is a typical player evaluation form (not position specific).  This evaluation should be filled out by every coach and team captain on every player.  This form should be completed as the pre season ends, about a week prior to the opening game.  More position specific charts and forms should be compiled for each player position and filled out by coaches only.  These position specific forms and or charts are too detailed and numerous to be included here but their exclusion here should not minimize their importance to the coaching staff.  Such charts can often expose a player not being utilized to his or her fullest potential.  For example, a player with good speed and footwork and a great work ethic and attitude, but not possessing particularly "good hands" might be better suited as a defensive back than a wide receiver. 
Player Evaluation Form
Player Evaluated:_________________________________by:__________________________ 
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1.  Player's Attitude in Practice: 
     1                   2                  3                   4                   5                   6                     7 
     poor                                                                                                                   excellent 
.
2.  Player's work ethic: 
     1                   2                  3                   4                   5                   6                     7 
     poor                                                                                                                   excellent 
.
3.  Player's skill level:
     1                   2                  3                   4                   5                   6                     7 
     poor                                                                                                                   excellent 
.
4.  Player's leadership abilities:
     1                   2                  3                   4                   5                   6                     7 
     poor                                                                                                                   excellent 
.
5.  Player's ability to execute directives:
     1                   2                  3                   4                   5                   6                     7 
     poor                                                                                                                   excellent 
.
6.  Player's overall speed and/or quickness:
     1                   2                  3                   4                   5                   6                     7 
     poor                                                                                                                   excellent 
.
7.  Player's ability and/or effectiveness in making significant contact:
     1                   2                  3                   4                   5                   6                     7 
     poor                                                                                                                   excellent 
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8.  Player's best quality or trait:____________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
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9.  Player's worst quality or trait (needs improvement): __________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
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10.  Additional Comments:_______________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________


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Equipment and Budgets
   The cost of outfitting a football team can be staggering and the price continues, like everything else in our current economy, to climb.  In fact many schools in recent years have discontinued their respective football programs altogether due to escalating costs.  I doubt if there is a head coach anywhere that is satisfied with his or her current budget, and does not lobby for more funds from the administration.  Likewise, surely every administration would like to trim the football budget to either save money or reroute it to other sports programs.  Like in all other aspects of life, some equilibrium must be met.  Once a budget is established, it is usually the coach's or athletic director's duty to disburse or spend the money.  Safety must supersede style. 
   A helmet's compliance with industry safety standards takes precedence over the paint job.  Safe shoes, correctly applied to the specific terrain are also critical, as they are the wheels to the vehicle.  Sacrifices and trade offs may be required to build up the supply of adequate equipment, particularly if a program has been struggling "at the gate" in recent years.  Liability concerns (fines for non compliance, and potential lawsuits from those injured due to inadequate equipment) should keep those who control expenditures available for discussion when it comes to budgeting equipment needs. 
   Generally speaking, once a program has achieved a high standard and supply of needed equipment, the reconditioning, purchasing, and maintaining of a program's equipment should remain fairly constant, rising and falling proportionally with the rate of inflation and other economic influences. 


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Medical & Physical Aspects
(Physicals, release forms, insurance, risks) 
   Football is a physical, often brutal game played by relatively large, fast, powerful players.  Despite the finest equipment available, injuries will occur.  Most colleges today employ certified trainers and team physicians who screen athletes in the pre season for human deficiencies.  Corrections in diet, exersise, muscle mass, and flexibility are often addressed here.  Complete pre season medical exams are often required by either conference guidelines, insurance carriers, or school administrators and should be performed even if not required.  The signing of some type of release form acknowledging a certain assumption of risk are usually required by most athletes. 
   Once the season is under way, these trainers and or physicians often dictate when a player is ready to return from an injury, or whether and when a player who "had his bell rung" can return to the game. 
   Football is a game.  True it is the single greatest game ever conceived and played by men of such character that they often later climb to great social stature and success.  But it is still just a game.  Football has never been, nor will it ever be more important than any single human being that ever played it.  As I mentioned earlier, a coach should wear his heart on his sleeve.  Players can ascertain how much a coach really cares for the individuals on his or her team by the manner in which he or she speaks of, to, and about those players.  Another barometer indicative of a coach's real concern for a player is how the coach reacts to the player's absence.  For example a coach arguing with the team physician and trying to compel a player back before ready could, in effect, convey to the player that his or her sole worth can only be achieved on the field. A "nagging" injury that seems to never go away can often be a sign that the injury has never been allowed to properly heal before returning to action. 

The following is the Works Cited page or bibliography for Das Book. Please visit the Credits Page for hyperlinks to these sources (if available). 
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Works Cited
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  • Allen, George H., and Joseph G. Pacelli. George Allen's Guide to Special Teams. Leisure

  •  

     
     
     
     
     
     
     

              Press, 1994. 
     

  • Reade, Bob. Coaching Football Successfully. Human Kinetics, 1993.

  •  
  • Mallory, Doug. Spalding Football Drill Book. Masters Press, 1993.

  •  
  • Hawkes, Dwight "Dee", MS. Football's Best Offensive Playbook. Human Kinetics, 1994.

  •  
  • Brandow, Tom. Toby's Football Coaching Site. Aug 1997-May 1998.

  •  

     
     
     
     
     
     
     

              <http://members.aol.com/tbran1996/private/1index.htm> 
     

  • Ray, Mike. Mike Ray's Coaching Football Online. Nov 1997-May 1998.

  •  

     
     
     
     
     
     
     

              <http://web.dbtech.net/~mray/coach.htm> 
     

  • Amazon Books [Online] 4 Aug 1997.  <http://www.amazon.com>

  •  
  • Arrow Web Clinic's List of Books for Football Coaches. Aug 1997.

  •  

     
     
     
     
     
     
     

              <http://www.arrowweb.com/clinic/fbclin.html>


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