Introducing Special Teams Football Academy
Coaching special teams is one of the hardest if not the hardest job on a football staff. You are dealing with so many moving parts. Managing six or seven different phases of special teams with different players on each unit can be a nightmare if you are not extremely organized. Add in the fact that high school and most college special teams coaches have an offensive or defensive position to coach and it’s not a stretch to imagine something getting overlooked with weekly preparation.
Some staffs divide up the responsibilities and that is a good way to take the load off of one guy but when you sit back and honestly assess it, there is often something lacking because there is no ownership for the special teams as a whole. The only way that this works is if the head coach is heavily involved with special teams and is well versed in game day strategy and decisions.
Regardless of how you divide your staff up when it comes to special teams there is an 800 pound gorilla in the corner of the room. It is always the last thing you think about as a Head Coach and sometimes as a special teams coach. What are we talking about? Who is going to coach your Kickers, Punters and Snappers? As a thirty year veteran of coaching we can tell you that this can be an issue even at the NFL level.
Specialist are often the most neglected group on the football team and yet their value is immeasurable when it comes to field position, hidden yardage and yes, crucial last second points that win or lose a football game. Why are they neglected? Well for starters all of the things that we just talked about with staff organization but the main reason is that most coaches don’t know a lot about teaching the Specialists.
Most of us played an offensive or defensive position and contributed on special teams but the technique involved with kicking, punting, holding or snapping a football is something we know nothing about. When you consider the fact that most of the techniques involved with being a Specialist are so detailed and delicate that the slightest thing can screw the whole operation up and you begin to see the challenge here.
We have always compared Specialists to Golfers. They often just need an extra set of eyes on them to pick up a small flaw that is causing big problem. In a game where really all coaching is individual there is no better example than what you are saying to your specialists.
So what’s the solution? Well, for starters a lot of Specialists are taking things into their own hands and getting help from somewhere other than their own building. This can be very helpful as a lot of Specialists have never been coached with any detail and are mostly just raw talent that needs to molded. Coaches are also beginning to understand that in order to better help their Specialists during the season they need to go learn from someone who knows what they are doing during the off season.
So where does a coach or a Specialist go get help? That brings us to our point for today’s blog. We want to introduce you to Chris Husby and the Special Teams Football Academy. FirstDown PlayBook has followed the Special Teams Football Academy website for awhile now and we have been impressed with what we have seen. The Special Teams Football Academy is a detailed website that is packed full of information that is helpful to any young Specialist looking to get better.
We encourage you to go take a look. It may not be a complete solution to that 800 pound gorilla in the corner of the room when it comes to you coaching your Specialists but it is certainly a helpful step in the right direction!