I come from a school in my younger years where we were worried about fall basketball and spring baseball. There was no summer football. While many of my friends were football freaks, I was not. I was watching Michael Jordan dominate the NBA, and I hated football. Fast forward to four years ago, I became a teacher and my assistant principal managed to get me to go along with this idea that I could be a football coach and I could get my CDL to drive a bus (Which ain’t happening.) I settled for just a football coach and not any football coach, I am the junior varsity coach for a middle school.
Football is one of the steepest learning curves I have ever witnessed, and I seriously still am learning so much of the basics. I keep hearing about the “spread” and the “ISOs” and the “I Formation.” I’m still not well acquainted with knowing what the positions all are, and what they all do. The art of plays changes tasks so much, that you would need a big ass encyclopedia to know when duties change. Football is also one of the most epic games in terms of coaching because of the vastness of techniques. You have to focus on your quarterback, and every little thing he does from footwork to where he is facing is critical. Then you have your halfback and fullback and I still don’t know the difference. Hell, in my playbook, they are the same (I keep the playbook simple). I have five big boys on my offensive line and they have certain techniques they must master to stop the defense from blowing up my quarterback. Then I have running backs and wide receivers that also have certain techniques they must master. This is only offense!
I am the offensive coach for our JV boys and I am in the fire as we hurry to prepare for our first game. If you can refer to the image at the top, that image is a “formation” called the “halfback split.” We run a few plays off of this formation, and they primarily involved the Halfback and the Fullback moving with the ball. Oh yeah, I didn’t mention the tight end (I still don’t know what this guy is, but for an extra block or another set of hands to pass to).
As the offensive coach, we are focusing on those techniques, and we are running plays, but the nightmare is changing formation. I hope that when game time comes, we can change formation. What really screws my head up is when we go from one tight end to two tight ends. I am always confused about who leaves the field.
Fortunately, as a teacher, I am willing to learn and willing to let the players show me some things. This is my third year coaching and I am going to write a little bit about my experiences on the gridiron from time to time. It’s fun.