The Turnaround: Damn Good Week

The Turnaround

Andrews, Game 2

Listen, I don’t sugar coat things. I don’t say things I don’t mean. I hand out
compliments like I throw around manhole covers. I’m just straight to the point and I have never cared one ounce what anyone thinks. So this what I am going to tell you — we just had a damn good week of practice, one of the best practice weeks I have ever seen.

I don’t do coach-speak or the cliche thing. I just don’t sit here and write what I think people want to hear. I write it how it is. And I just delivered a fact to
everyone reading this. We had a tremendous week of preparation. It started with a long Labor Day practice and rolled right through Wednesday. We were crisp and we practiced with intensity. We did not discuss our win last week, as we just marched forward. We lifted weights with intent; we hit the field with intent. There was no deviation. At. All. These kids get it.

This group is different and I have been saying it from Day 1. They want more. They want to win. They are angry. They practice angry. They function as a team in every facet. They never let up. They just show up and make progress every single day. What more could I ask for?

I know on Friday we are going to leave Chapman Field House with a purpose. This group will not take the uniforms for a field trip. They will not let complacency set-in. It isn’t this group’s nature. They are on a mission to be the best they can possibly be. I love their mentality.

Kickoff is fast approaching. Andrews is always good. And they always play the game the right way. They are a tremendous program with great leadership. It will take our best effort.

I am looking forward to another great game out here in West Texas. Friday night lights is what it is all about!

Our Routine

I am a routine guy. Sticking to a routine allows you to practice better. The kids know what we do and they know how we do it. Knowing what we do allows us to transition from drill to drill with ease. There is no down time. It’s constant movement.

We start each day with 2.5 minutes of dynamic warmup. We roll right into 10 minutes of individual practice. I think that is important. After that we hit our air horn and we are off to four specific periods of offense, all 2.5 minutes long. We work our mesh drill, option read and pitch, quick screen and RPO’s. Its all 2.5 minutes long. We do this all from the 10 yard line and in. Every time we touch the ball we race at least 12 yards into the end zone. Get comfortable scoring touchdowns is one of the principles behind it. The main idea behind it is to constantly work our conditioning. We never stop working on that.

We flow seamlessly into each different phase with the use of our air horn, which is run by Coach Kirton. We do everything in the same place every day. It’s cuts out wasteful transition time. We water-up while we work.

Once our groups 1, 2, 3, 4 periods are over we head into Skelly. We work our this stuff daily, with the scout team going off cards and being coached up by our varsity secondary coaches. We do it with tempo and maximum effort. We rep a lot of plays and concepts.

Once that is done we go team periods of Run Hull, Option, Screens, Team Script, Short Yardage, Goal Line and Blitz Pickup. We practice at a fever pitch and fly around. There is no let up in what we do.

Nick Saban lives and dies by routine. He thinks it’s his edge. I agree with him on this. Format your practice so it flows and you can see progress in everything you do. We can see it happening each day! I think our routine is our edge. We will always have a full tank to play on in the fourth quarter. We demonstrated that last Friday night.

Build a practice plan that maximizes your teams’ chance to win on Friday nights. Be organized. Have a routine. Do not deviate. Trust what you are doing. Your team will soon trust the process!


-I haven’t seen a good alley fight in a long time. Miss the east coast neighborhoods and alley’s. Different mindset.

-Life is tough so you better toughen up for a greater chance of survival.

-Some yo-yo wrote about Texas high school football coaching salaries the other day. Listen, I didn’t get into this for money. Not a chance. It’s just irresponsible crap to think we as coaches got into our profession for money. Come work 80-90 hours a week. Seven days a week. Come find out how easy it is. People need to get a clue.

-I have now officially blocked or muted all major national news outlets, including ESPN, on twitter. Ah, life is so much simpler again.

-The best pizza shop, anywhere, is Mario’s Pizza. Northampton, Pennsylvania. If you want to go, I will get you directions.

-Don’t wake up tomorrow and have any regrets about yesterday.

-I am who I am and it’s never going to change. It’s a good way to go about life.

-Penn St. smashes Pitt this week. Happy Valley will be rocking.

It’s time to end this particularly charged-up blog. It’s about 24 hours until game time and I am ready now!

Until next time…FIO.

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.