Succession Planning
By Gino Arcaro on Aug 10, 2017

By FirstDown PlayBook Coaches Community Guest Coach Gino Arcaro

If Youtube had existed in 1998, the game video would have gone viral.

369 yards rushing on 20 carries in one game made no sense. It made less sense knowing a backup tailback was the ball-carrier. It made less sense that he never played running back for even one down in his rookie season – until game 3. It made less sense that the starting tailback, the league-leading rusher, was unexpectedly suspended for the rest of the season by the School Board, four hours before kickoff of game 3. It made less sense that all 369 yards were gained by running the same play 20 times. It made less sense that we were playing Goliath, a team that wore “Decade of Dominance” t-shirts during warmup.

The beauty of football is how it teaches young people to cope with adversity by being prepared through high-performance training. Here’s Real-Life lesson #2,951 that I’ve taught football players for 40 years and college law enforcement students for 2 decades: back-ups don’t back down. In frontline policing, your backup is a life-saver. The same applies to football.

Coaching in extreme Football Poverty taught me the value of REP Distribution, referring to the equal distribution of reps throughout the roster. We believe that the entire roster has to experience starter-reps. We don’t designate “backup reps.” We eliminated the phrase “back-up reps” in 1984 to ensure the Starter Mindset is instilled in every player, regardless of where he is on the depth chart. The adversity in Football Poverty is different than in Football Wealth. It has to be experienced to be believed. The only way to survive in Football Poverty is full immunity from adversity. When the worst happens, don’t fall apart. When a starter goes out, call for backup. REP Distribution is the only way to guarantee that backups never back down and that our team never falls back down to the basement.

REP Distribution curriculum is part of our Succession Planning. Succession Planning = Success Planning. Our Succession Planning is premised on our SWAT warp-speed no-huddle running attack that features only five running play concepts. After my rookie high school head coach season in 1984 ended in a winless non-competitive season, we blew up our offensive playbook and replaced it with our SWAT System. We cleaned out and leaned out. We got cut by losing all the excessive fat in mind, body, soul, and playbook. Our high school game plan has never exceeded the base five play concepts and never will. The reason is REP Distribution. The five play concepts allow us to design curriculum that guarantees starter-reps for the entire roster.

Boramy Seng’s 369-yard rushing performance was recognized by Sports Illustrated in the Faces in the Crowd Section. He followed up with 251 yards rushing the next game. He won the league rushing title and led his team to a championship. Hail to the Underdog. Never underestimate the strength of the underdog to overcome adversity.

The post-modern football era has more challenges than at any time in the history of football. The key for career survival is continuing education. Never stop learning. Coaching football is a Sacred Profession. It’s a calling. My gym, X Fitness Welland Inc., is committed to helping coaches and players by sponsoring Blunt Talk Podcast. Blunt Talk Podcast has included a number of football coaches and ex-football players who have shared powerful insights that are guaranteed to provide optimal learning experience. Please visit Blunt Talk Podcast. All 171 episodes of Blunt Talk Podcast are free, permanently archived, compliments of my gym, X Fitness. Every guest is guaranteed to lift.  Here is the link:

Blessings & all good things.


Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., Level 3 NCCP (Nat’l Coaching Certification Program)

Football Head coach – Niagara X-Men Football

Gym Owner – X Fitness Welland Inc.


Gino Arcaro is a widely published author. Currently, he is finishing another book in his non-fiction series: Mystery of Murder: Working with the Dead. All published books are available on on and www.Chapters/, in both soft cover and eBook format. Additionally, his website, features his books including:

  1. Football coaching and non-fiction books: SWAT System: Offense and Defense, SWAT Tackling Video (with accompanying eBook), and 4th & Hell: Season One and Season Two
  2. Business Books: Selling H.E.L.L. in Hell, True Confessions, and eBooks: Soul of Selling,and, Real Business Relationships = Sales
  3. Fat Loss Book: Fat Losing
  4. Workout System: eXplode: The X Fitness System
  5. Motivational Books: Soul of a Lifter, and eBooks: The Pledge, and, The Focus
  6. Children’s Books: Be Fit Don’t Quit,and, The Beauty of a Dream
  7. Policing Textbooks: Arcaro’s Interrogation Case Law