Here's my action plan for getting ready for the 2009 football season:

  • Meet with Jacob's defensive coach from last year (he helped lead their 8th grade varsity team to a championship) to get some advice on running a mix of 3-5-3 and split-6 defense. I've had the kids running split-6 almost exclusively for the past 3 years but for many reasons need to bring in a 3 man front this year.

  • Rework the 10 hour conditioning and evaluation schedule for the 7th graders. Before we select teams, and before we start full-equipment practices, we have a week (5 2 hour sessions) of conditioning work that is also used for evaluating players for team selection. Running this process for 140 5th/6th graders vs 60-ish 7th graders will be quite different and we need to adjust our stock plans accordingly. We are adding a few more combine-style evaluations: we typically measure 40 yard dash time and shuttle run time, but this year we will also do a 10 yard sprint time from 3 or 4-point stance as well as a pulling guard timing.

  • Revise my defensive position-specific teaching points and drills. These are 2-sided laminated sheets that I can hand to an assistant coach or parent helper when we do breakout group defensive work.

  • Finalize the first week practice plan with Jim.

  • Finalize the team handbook that we distribute to all players. This handbook covers team policies, player and parent expectations, and additional roles parents can take on to help out the team.

  • Meet with Jim to discuss draft strategy. There will be 3 teams at the JV level, with about 20 7th graders and 4-5 8th graders on each team. As the draft approaches (approximately August 19th) I'll share more details about the process we use for team selection.