The Turnaround: Bye Week

The Turnaround
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Here we are. Already into our bye week. I mean it feels like August 7th was just a few days ago, but we are already at the midway point of the season. Time really flies by, especially as a coach. These seasons blow by so fast when you are constantly working.

It’s actually kind of odd for me. When I was a player I didn’t want a bye week. I wanted to keep rolling. Felt like a bye week crushed my momentum as a player. But now, as a coach, I embrace the bye week. You would think it would be the other way around. But not for me. As you get older you need your mental rest. I use the bye week for some mental relaxation. It does the mind well.

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Here is how we are going about our bye week, in case any coaches are looking for any ideas on how to approach it. I learned this from a bunch of coaches through out the years. I have just kind of created my own approach to it. I think it works, obviously, so I stick with it. Here it is:

Saturday (after game on Friday night) – Players reported at 10:00am for a catered lunch. We ate as a team and had a good time. Players left when they were done eating. Coaches, too.

Sunday – All coaches off. There is nothing to do. Hang out with family and begin recharging the batteries.

Monday (official start of bye week) – The Players came-in and lifted during our athletic period. We had a brief meeting and we sent them back to school for lunch. No after school practice. Coaches go home, too.

Tuesday – We have the same approach as Monday. We give the players 2 full days off from pads, helmets etc. There is just no point to have them padded all week. Coaches will begin watching film and formulate a game plan for Lubbock Cooper on October 13.

Wednesday – We will lift during the period, like we do every Wednesday. We will come back after school and have our first bye week practice. We will practice for a total of one hour. Game plan install etc.

Thursday – No lifting in the period. We will go on the field and work all special teams. Great time to teach and get things done with our kicking game. Again, we will come back after school for another practice that will last roughly one hour.

Friday – Same approach as Thursday. The whole game plan is installed and we are ready for Lubbock Cooper. Now next week we have a full week to just work game plan specific stuff. The bye week is tremendously beneficial!

Saturday – Players come in at 10:00 a.m. for our catered lunch. After that? Go home and be a kid! What about coaches? Go home and be with with family!

Sunday – Everyone is off. Why? Because that’s how I have it set up and it’s what the players and coaches have earned. Why beat everyone down? We are ready for our opponent. Monday we are back in full swing, except we are one week ahead!

That’s how we go about it. It’s what we do. Hopefully someone can steal an idea from it.

Be good to your players. Be good to your staff. Understand what you are doing and the importance of mental health. Be a coach who works smarter, not harder. Don’t work to just work. Have a plan and execute it so it benefits everyone in your program.

That’s all I got. For now. Have a great one.

Until next time…FIO.

The Turnaround Jason Strunk

Eric Karr Photography


by Jason Strunk
Lubbock High School Head Football Coach
Follow @WestTXCoach

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.