App Tips: How Coach Charlie Coiner Uses His Own App
By FirstDown PlayBook on Oct 11, 2012

By Coach Charlie Coiner – Founder of FirstDown PlayBook™ and current NCAA® Coach.

As coaches across the world, literally, are using FirstDown PlayBook™ in its first football season since inception we have been getting excellent feedback regarding how it’s being used to help generate offense and win games.  Most coaches are thanking us for the ability to find passing game concepts that are proven at the highest levels of football at a price that just doesn’t exist anywhere else for this level of quality. That alone has a lot of coaches hooked on the tool.  As one coach put it to me last week, “Ten different coaches could use this app and come away with ten different offenses designed to attack coverages the way THEY want to attack them. “ When I heard this I smiled because that has been the mission of the FirstDown PlayBook™ app since day one.  Our goal is not to give the coach a system or an offense, instead it is designed to give the coach a tool to make his system better.

Many FirstDown PlayBook™ coaches have become proficient at finding pass game concepts using our 3main ways of navigating the app, especially those that are benefiting from the full library of 5,000+ plays. These menu options include:

1. Concepts

2. Half Field Combos

3. AnyRoute™ – which allows you to tap on a receiver and choose a route for that specific player.

A lot of coaches are using FirstDown PlayBook™ in a lot of different ways which brings me to the point of this article.  I am constantly asked “Do you use the app when you are working at your current job and if so how do you use it? Well, the answer is an obvious ‘yes’.”  After all, this tool was initially created for selfish reasons.  I wanted a way to organize all of the different concepts that I have been exposed to in the past 28 years of coaching. So to the point, I have detailed out below three specific ways I use the app to help me with day to day coaching.

1. Search by concept – I use the search engine to find concepts across formations.  I think this might be one of the most over looked functions in the app.  I own all ten formations, so when I want to find a concept that I think would be good for my Tight Ends or good for that week I go to the little magnifying glass or “SEARCH” button.  Let’s say I want to find different ways to run a Corner on the backside of the concept while running a Clear-Dig on the front side.  I just type in 794 using the “SEARCH” button and instantly I have nearly 30 ways to run this concept out of the ten formations in the app.  The beautiful thing about this is that if I don’t completely understand the route tree then I can go to AnyRoute™ and see the route that I want.

2. Search by play name – I also use the “SEARCH” button to go back and find plays I have renamed to fit my system.  We have given you the ability to rename the play based on what you call it.  I’m no different.  If I rename a play I can go back later and find that play by using the “SEARCH” engine to find anything I have renamed.

3. Playbooks – The above methods assume that I haven’t created a playbook of my favorite plays, which is rarely the case.  I usually don’t create a playbook for a game but instead I have a lot of PlayBooks designed to beat a specific coverage.  (i.e. best plays to attack the middle of the field open or best vs. quarters or best plays vs. 2 man). This makes it easy for me.  When we play a team that shows a tendency to play a specific coverage based on our film study I can quickly go and find my ideas.  I will add to my Playbooks as the years go by and this will save me my most valuable commodity as a coach…TIME!

I would be remiss if I didn’t include that I feel the pain of you coaches who are asking for other features like A) Run Game, B) Platforms other than iOS, and C) Coverage Beaters.  I can only say, “Soon…”

Okay, your turn…How do YOU use FirstDown PlayBook™ as a coaching tool? Does it save you time? Do you teach with it? Is it a quick reference tool? Share your “tips” by using the Comment section below. Together, we can Keep the Drive Alive!


Additional Learning Resources…

CLICK HERE to learn how to Get More Plays

CLICK HERE to watch a 4 minute video product tutorial, including using AnyRoute™

CLICK HERE to read Coach Coiner’s Bio.