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Friday, April 11, 2014

BILL WALSH: PREPARING TO WIN

The following comes from "Finding The Winning Edge," by Bill Walsh:
 
-Once you have a plan, you must sell it to the players. It is not enough to put it on the blackboard and say ‘Okay, here it is.’ You have to convince the players that the plan is a good one and show them, in specific ways, why it will work. If you do, you send them out to the practice field with more confidence.

-Although physical conditioning must obviously be an integral part of an athletes efforts to prepare for the upcoming season, great care must be taken to avoid overtraining your players. Unfortunately, it appears that overtraining is a common occurrence at all competitive levels.

-Overtraining can lead to several negative consequences. For example, it can result in excessive physical and emotional fatigue, thereby exposing a player to a higher risk of being injured and diminishing his capacity to master a particular skill or subject.

 -Training that does not provide adequate time for recovery can also bring on staleness and a decreased level of performance. Furthermore, this type of training can lead to a sense of apathy, irritability, and an altered appetite in your players.

-Somewhat surprisingly, several research studies have shown that the average football player is more fatigued prior to the first game of the season, not at the end of the season when most people might expect.

-It is very important that you, as the head coach, make sure that your coaches and players understand what you expect from them concerning the tempo and pacing of the team’s practices. In this regard, you should remember and be sensitive to the fact that an up-tempo , fast-paced practice offers the most conducive environment for learning on the field.

-Committing to an up-tempo, fast-paced practice does not mean that such a pace must be maintained at all times. In reality, occasionally, a situation may arise when you must temporarily slow down the pace of practice in order to emphasize a particular point.

-As a general rule, however, the basic pace of practice should encourage the players to exhibit a high energy level- one that “forces” them to keep up with the tempo.

-Untutored courage is useless in the face of educated bullets.