• Deliberate Practice week 6: Attention to Detail in Up-Tempo Practice
    In this week’s episode of Deliberate Coaching Keith and Andy investigate ways to be efficient, as well as, productive coaching in an up-tempo practice environment. Keith brings back a clip with Nebraska Defensive Coordinator, Eric Chinander, who talks about the culture working with coaches Scott Frost and Chip Kelly. They highlight the importance of having communication and understanding amongst the coaching staff and that flowing down to the players. The common point is to be focused and have attention to detail for the team as a whole to thrive in that environment.
    01:00 Balancing the up-tempo environment
    02:50 Eric Chinander quote
    09:20 Importance of time
    10:20 Creating a language
    11:50 Sharing game plans
    13:00 Coaching on the run
    14:50 Having learning ques
    16:00 Practice rep v. gameday
    17:00 Having fun with it
    20:00 Inter-staff communication
    23:20 Detail translating into drills
    25:00 Lowest affective dose
    26:00 Protection on special teams
    27:00 Brace and hop drill
    28:05 Putting it all together
    29:10 Resources
    30:00 National Conference Information

  • Game Plan John Palermo D-line Show Notes:
    This week on the Game Plan series Keith and Coach Coiner have defensive line coach legend John Palermo. Coach gives coaches great ways to coach up defensive linemen. He gives coaches the throwback mindset and focuses on fundamentals of defensive line play. How in his time in coaching fundamentals helped him and it can help coaches even with the demand of defensive line play.

    01:12 Joe Palermo Intro
    03:50 Joe Palermo Bio
    07:00 Difference in the game
    08:20 Great hands, eyes and feet
    09:30 Playing the option
    10:12 Playing the spread
    11:20 4 Technique
    12:08 The 3-4
    12:55 Fundamentals in collision
    13:35 Stopping the run first
    14:50 5 technique
    15:30 The changes in defensive line
    17:05 Teaching young players
    17:20 Playing your personality
    19:00 Keep it simple
    19:35 What to teach about the eyes
    19:58 See the different levels of offensive linemen
    20:23 Keep your eyes up
    22:00 How to play RPO (Run Pass Option)
    23:40 Do your job
    24:50 Defending screen pass option
    25:20 Coaches must control it
    26:26 The assignments
    29:15 Drills used to react
    29:30 Screen angle drill
    32:11 Keep feet moving and always fight pressure
    33:00 Reminiscing the Notre Dame championship season
    38:45 Football Development information

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  • Highlights from this week on Coach and Coordinator:
    The Game Plan - Jim Arthur, Strength Coach, Miami Dolphins
    Deliberate Practice - 9 Drills to create task focus
    Coach Grabowski's Notebook - A Process for Adding a Wrinkle
    The Leadership Journey - Win by Don't
    Smart Coaching - Understanding and Dealing with Coach Stress

  • Smart Coaching – Tips for Dealing with Coach Stress:
    Keith and the doctors (Brian Gearity and Clayton Kuklick) talk about coach stress, something that may go overlooked in sports. The trio shares personal battles they have had in their careers dealing with stress. They cover the many different factors that boost stress in most coaches. They also look at some tangible ways to deal with stress to manage that as a coach with so much to balance.
    01:05 Keith reflects
    02:30 What are stressors
    05:30 Strategies
    06:00 Look at causes
    07:10 Changing the environment
    08:00 Too many expectations
    09:30 Having a network
    10:00 Normalizing the stress
    10:44 Dr. Kuklick’s experience
    12:19 Making it fun
    17:20 Looking at the literature
    19:00 Applying the strategies
    20:13 Managing the stressful situations
    20:10 Avoid and reappraisal
    22:21 Time and a place
    25:30 Using the most efficient tools
    27:40 Don’t use the tools to overwork
    30:00 Stop guarding the desk

  • Leadership Journey – “Win by Don’t” Show Notes:
    This week on the Leadership Journey podcast, Keith and Brian get in depth on behavior. Brian calls this “Win by Don’t,” by painting a picture of how behavior is core to a program’s success. He gives us the five “Don’ts” that are pivotal not only to football but life. The hosts give real life examples of how this works and how they have been affected by different behavioral situations, emphasizing why it is important to have these instilled in your program if not already implementing them now.

    02:14 Behavior runs everything
    04:00 Influences of behavior
    05:45 Grinder mentality
    08:00 Culture and strategy
    09:25 Execution is the intersection of culture and strategy
    10:00 Culture is to drive winning behavior
    12:40 Simplify behavior
    13:00 Behavior is 3 things
    13:10 What you do
    13:28 What you don’t do
    13:50 How you do it
    17:20 Win by don’t
    17:30 Success begins with the things you choose not to do
    17:55 Don’t do anything that can cost you everything
    18:25 5 Don’ts
    19:25 Don’t do anything that can take away from practice or playing time
    21:03 Do not lie
    24:07 Don’t BCD - blame, complain or be defensive
    25:15 Don’t violate the culture
    27:15 Don’t get involved with the wrong people
    30:00 You can do everything but those 5
    31:30 Success begins with giving yourself a chance
    33:00 All of it transfers
    33:45 Make sure you’re living what you promote

  • From Coach Grabowski’s Notebook - A Process for Adding a Wrinkle

    On today’s podcast, show host Keith Grabowski takes another page out of his notebook and shares a process for adding wrinkles as well as three strategies for utilizing motions and shifts to add a wrinkle to the offense in-season.

    00:46 Message from 5x state champion Strait Herron

    Points to remember when adding a wrinkle in-season:

    02:00 Focus on what you do best.
    02:40 Keep it simple
    03:23 Tendency after the first game of using this wrinkle
    03:53 Progressing the package
    04:55 Strategies for Movements (Shifts & Motions)
    05:25 Three opportunities created by movement
    05:55 Ways to stress the defense with mo
    06:17 Know the breakdowns and film analysis
    07:30 Use movement for personnel advantage
    08:50 Create an extreme shift in strength
    10:21 Bazooka shift
    12:15 Take advantage of defensive checks
    13:35 Stay a step ahead of the defense
    14:45 Challenges and tips for implementation of movement
    16:09 Anticipate adjustments from the defense
    17:15 Coach and Coordinator in-season line-up

  • In this week’s episode of Deliberate Coaching Keith and Andy look into the idea of focus and ways coaches can get their athletes to maintain focus in different situations in practice which will can translate to games. The coaches introduce multiple drills that can help train an athletes focus while simulating real time situational football.
    01:15 Intro
    02:53 Tony Franklin quote importance of practice
    07:12 Running back A Gap to A Gap Drill
    10:25 RPO focus linebackers
    13:20 Quarterback Power Read Mesh Drill
    16:55 Defensive end pass rush
    17:10 Be accurate with the rush
    17:17 Set drill
    18:49 DE focus for film study
    20:20 Ron Lewis quote on wide receiver deep ball
    23:00 Defensive back “cover regardless” drill
    25:35 Offensive lineman stretch drill – “eat grass”
    29:05 Understanding what people are trying to do
    29:42 Interior defensive lineman “feel” drill
    32:00 Snappers and punters specialist drill
    36:00 National Conference information

  • The Game Plan Show note:
    In week 4, the coaches point out the importance of the strength and conditioning of the athletes. On this episode Miami Dolphins assistant strength and conditioning coach Jim Arthur joins the coaches to help expand our knowledge of strength and conditioning for athletes. They dive into the importance of work load and maintenance for the players’ bodies should be monitored and controlled. Keith points out the strength and condition of an everyday person looks different in some ways in comparison to an athlete. They discuss resources that may be available to find relevant content for coaches to take the best care of the athletes.
    01:46 Jim Arthur intro
    02:35 Different body types
    04:25 Coaches wearing multiple hats
    07:20 Jim Arthur bio
    09:00 Work load for the athletes
    11:35 Conditioning differences
    13:13 Regulate the load
    14:00 Fueling the athletes
    15:10 Carbohydrate issue
    18:00 Strength for high school
    20:10 Balance of strength
    25:00 Knowing the issue
    27:20 Who wears the strength and conditioning hat?
    29:00 Resources
    30:30 Reviewed content
    33:25 Charting the injuries
    34:40 Accumulate the information

  • The Smart Coaching Series on the Coach and Coordinator Podcast is designed to help coaches improve over the course of the season in the areas outside of the X&O’s. Coaches need to be able to take care of people and this podcast will give pause for reflection and well as generate ideas for the coach to be smart about how he improves his players and team.
    This week on the series Keith and the doctors focus on the issue of player stress. Giving the coach the opportunity to not only be looking in the athletic perspective, but the human perspective that will ultimately affect them the rest of their lives. Also, the importance of watching the different types of stressors for players. They give different ideas of which a coach may find ways to monitor stress in their players, as well as, the ability to get involved and help players.
    01:20 The different stresses an athlete may face
    02:00 The different types of stress
    03:35 Sources of stress
    05:55 Seeing the subtle signs
    07:00 Dr. Brian Gearity’s example
    09:20 Tools for athletes
    14:00 Keith’s truth statements
    15:20 Communicate to the athlete authentically
    16:40 Share personal tools
    17:30 What does a coach do?
    19:25 There is support
    22:10 Subtle example
    26:05 Emotion affecting stress
    27:25 Distracting the mind
    29:30 Changing the environment
    30:30 Making it creative
    31:35 Make it different
    32:50 Talk to them after the fact
    33:45 Final thoughts
    34:00 Make a stress plan
    35:05 Be cognizant

  • Leadership Journey: Self Awareness & Entitlement Show Notes
    On this episode of the podcast host Keith Grabowski and co-host Brian Kight look at the importance of self awareness and entitlement. Having a consistent sense of self-awareness is what enlightens a coach, and allows him/her to be more effective. Keith and Brian both observe the culture of coaches and describe how self-awareness can fix some of the issues coaches face. They give different ideas of what kind of self-awareness is necessary and ways to incorporate those in-season and out of season.
    00:46 Chuck Kyle Quote
    02:10 2 ways to look at self-awareness
    02:55 Defining self-awareness
    04:25 Being the coach you have been, instead of the coach you want to be
    06:12 Keith observing coach culture
    10:00 Film a coach’s self-awareness tool
    11:45 Being self-aware in-season
    13:20 Make time for self-awareness
    14:25 How it works
    16:45 Brian’s Observation
    17:46 Put your own self-awareness tools in place
    18:32 Making micro changes
    19:30 Being reflective
    22:41 Don’t underestimate the power of 1
    23:13 Coaches struggles
    24:25 Integrate one behavior
    25:55 Self-awareness is a tool
    29:00 “I’m always trying to get better”
    31:15 Real deep self-awareness
    32:06 The entitlement of adult professional
    33:00 Open yourself up to time and people
    34:00 Put weight room expectation on self- awareness
    35:40 Focus 3
    36:45 National Conference information
    38:50 Daily Discipline

  • Deliberate Practice week 4: Compete
    In today’s podcast Host Keith Grabowski and guest host Andy Ryland talked about incorporating competition into practices. They discuss putting players in competition settings to have them moving and thinking fast so in game time it’s a natural response. The practice highlighted in today’s episode was the scramble drill and half line drill for special teams.
    01:20 Intro to the scramble drill
    02:30 Scramble in 7 on 7
    03:00 Describing the drill
    06:30 Working the drill
    08:10 Scramble drill on defense
    09:30 Coverage adjustments
    10:36 Secondary contain plan
    11:33 Defensive communication
    14:35 Get it on film
    15:00 Adding the line
    17:50 Points on reaction for lineman
    21:45 Finding time
    23:50 Special teams drills and competition
    30:00 National Conference Information

  • Game Plan week 3: Bobby April – Special Teams
    Keith and guest host former NFL coach Charlie Coiner had the opportunity to interview Coach Bobby April. April is known in the coaching world as a special teams guru, coaching on all levels from NFL, college and high school. The coaches talk about the importance of special teams and how it impacts the game. April harped on the importance of communication for the coaches and for everyone to be moving in the same direction and how that process should be involved heavily throughout the week, so it can translate to the game. Coach April emphasized how important a head coach’s involvement with special teams can be for a team on all levels.
    00:40 Bobby April intro
    03:45 Bobby April bio
    06:35 Gameday organization
    07:30 Giving guys responsibility
    09:00 Working the dots system
    11:42 Special teams transition
    14:50 Everybody moving in the same direction
    17:22 Head coach special teams relationship
    21:25 Being on the same ship
    22:30 Communication
    27:50 Playing starters on special teams
    28:40 Coach April’s formula
    30:30 Discussing with the head coach
    31:35 Coming back to communication
    34:15 Head Coach and special teams synonymous
    35:20 Practicing special teams transition
    37:30 Providing resources

  • The Smart Coaching Series on the Coach and Coordinator Podcast is designed to help coaches improve over the course of the season in the areas outside of the X&O’s. Coaches need to be able to take care of people and this podcast will give pause for reflection and well as generate ideas for the coach to be smart about how he improves his players and team.

    This episode of the podcast takes a deeper look into strength and
    conditioning especially during the season. The different styles of training that can work in season, and the importance of monitoring the workload incorporated throughout the year. Gearity and Kuklick express how having a plan to follow helps optimize the most of those opportunities to stay safe and healthy.
    01:30 Strength and condition for the football player in and out of season
    01:50 Different styles for different position
    02:12 Offseason per position
    03:15 Setting goals and maintaining offseason to in season
    04:05 Types of need analysis
    05:40 Periodization and technique
    08:30 Workouts in relation to gameday
    11:00 Working with the discomfort
    12:25 Monitoring load training
    14:00 Workouts in correlation with practice
    14:30 Exercise technique
    16:20 Creative work within practice
    18:20 Stimulus responses
    19:05 Gameday lifts
    23:10 Late season workload
    26:00 Have a plan set
    27:15 Performance measures
    28:15 Tips and recommendations

  • Crosstown Rivalry Jenks and Union with Coach Keith Riggs and Coach Kirk Fridrich:
    Host Keith Grabowski features head coaches Keith Riggs of Jenks Highschool, and Kirk Fridrich of Union Highschool in “Crosstown” series. These coaches compete in Oklahoma’s most treasured high school football rivalry the Backyard Bowl Jenks vs. Union, a rivalry started in 1977. Each team has won the 6A state championship since 1996 Oklahoma’s largest division. Of the 21 championship wins Jenks has 13 and Union has 8. The game is annually played at University of Tulsa’s Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium. Jenks will have new head coach in longtime assistant, Keith Riggs after former head coach, Allan Trimble was diagnosed with ALS. Trimble had been the coach since 1995.
    00:20 Crosstown series intro
    00:32 Rivalry history
    01:50 Coach Keith Riggs joins the show
    02:30 Riggs head coach perspective
    03:17 View of the game
    04:36 Directing the kids focus
    05:32 Community involvement
    06:30 Coaching focus
    07:30 Making adjustments
    08:30 Message to the team
    09:20 Stand out moments
    10:15 Dealing with the emotion
    11:22 Dealing with let down
    12:32 Advice for rivalries
    13:30 Coach Kirk Fridrich intro
    14:20 Community interaction
    16:10 Controlling the hype
    17:40 Coach responsibility
    18:53 Specialty of the Backyard Bowl
    19:50 Memorable turning point plays
    21:40 Keys to winning big games
    22:45 Keeping players balanced
    24:00 Mutual respect
    25:50 Bouncing back next week
    27:10 Winning edge

  • Deliberate Practice with co-host Andy Ryland is a weekly podcast which will run throughout the season. Activity does not always equal achievement. Deliberate Practice is focused on a specific topic for the week and then an explanation of how to drill the different aspects of those skills and schemes. Included in each week’s conversation are specific drills/practice considerations for offense, defense, and special teams.

    Heading into this week of the season, the focus is on confidence. This is a time where a team is starting to settle in and gain confidence in what they do on the field. However, it could also be a time where a team needs to find some confidence. The show focuses on strategies to help players find confidence on offense, defense, or special teams.

    01:33 Focus on the quarterback
    01:45 Half side drill
    02:32 Keys to the set-up to build confidence
    00:32 The quarterback must do all of his progression work
    04:15 How to build in cues for the part of progression not being run
    04:50 Application of ideas to one on one
    05:11 Giving the QB control of the calls in the drill to gain understanding of his confidence
    06:13 Helping as the coach and set-up of the drill and variations
    06:56 Keep the pressure on the timing
    07:32 Learning about the QB’s development by what he calls
    08:13 Coach understanding vs. player understanding
    08:41 Confidence level of players in each other
    09:00 Andrew Coverdale’s “Like it/Love it” list
    10:04 Tom Brady and Peyton Manning
    10:45 Extending quarterback input into the team script in practice
    11:28 "What were you thinking?”
    11:45 Chemistry through player and the QB developed in practice

    12:23 Building confidence in the safeties and communication
    12:45 Adding a competition element
    13:19 Let the safety be the quarterback of the defense
    14:21 Quarters coverage checks example
    15:22 Feeling good about checks and using others as a change-up
    16:04 Make sure you allow for debrief between groups
    17:25 What did you see? What did that mean to you?
    18:41 Making calls that supports the players
    19:03 The debrief period/feedback
    19:30 Using tempo with planned breaks that simulate the pace of the game

    Special Teams
    20:30 Developing the punt returner’s confidence in order to win hidden yardage
    21:00 Limitations of the tradition
    22:17 The pressure catch drill
    23:27 The drill set-up and variations to give a game-like feel

    26:06 Building confidence at every position
    26:58 The importance of the debrief
    27:20 Play to your players strength

  • The Game Plan with Coach Charlie Coiner and guest John Shoop

    Guest host Charlie Coiner joins Keith Grabowski this season for “The Game Plan” series. Coiner is a retired coach and the founder of First Down Playbook. Coiner has worked as an assistant coach in the NFL with the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills and ash the college level with a number of teams, most notably, Vanderbilt, LSU, Louisville, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

    John Shoop has coached at every level. Currently the QB coach at AC Reynolds High School, Shoop spent the majority of his career in the NFL as a quarterbacks for the Panthers, and added offensive coordinator duties with the Bears, Buccaneers, and Raiders. He then went on to be the offensive coordinator at the University of North Carolina and then Purdue.

    00:44 John Shoop bio
    02:09 Change in the focal point of offense
    02:47 Continue developing QB mechanics in season
    04:20 The value of the QB coach
    04:50 Constant feedback is necessary
    05:17 Calibration and timing
    06:14 Coaching “that guy” and protecting him in practice
    07:09 Working with the second quarterback
    08:31 Grading players on their proficiency of the playbook
    09:37 Continuing to prepare for contingency plans
    10:58 John Shoop joins the show
    11:39 Challenge of honing the decision while improving mechanics
    12:09 The best coaches think of an entire practice as an individual period
    12:50 Always coach techniques
    13:50 Working waist up and waist down
    14:49 Two things upper: arm speed and a tight circle (Tom Brady, Dan Marino and Aaron Rodgers)
    17:28 Lower body: wide base and throw with a small step
    18:30 Harder to correct the upper body
    19:51 Training the lower body
    21:14 “The eye of the hurricane”
    21:46 Coaching up fundamentals outside of individual
    22:17 The value of 7 on 7 in QB development
    24:33 Working with the youth league and 7 on 7 coaches
    25:27 Offense today and how they stimulate enthusiasm
    29:38 Number one goal in the NFL for a quarterback – start 16 games
    30:35 Be intentional about durability
    31:05 Dick Jauron – cumulative effects of hits
    32:32 A play that can work at all three levels – “Razor”
    36:59 The upper body – Peyton Manning
    38:36 7 on 7 in practice tips to get a more game like feel
    42:00 Getting more out of the drill for number two QB

  • The Smart Coaching Series on the Coach and Coordinator Podcast is designed to help coaches improve over the course of the season in the areas outside of the X&O’s. Coaches need to be able to take care of people and this podcast will give pause for reflection and well as generate ideas for the coach to be smart about how he improves his players and team.

    Today’s Podcast focuses on team cohesion. We have finished up the portion of our season where players are fighting for jobs and now everyone is understanding their role. Cohesion is important and we need to think about how we install it as coaches. Grabowski, Gearity, and Kuklick share specific ideas and strategies to build a more cohesive team over the course of the season.

    01:00 Shift in fighting for a job to settling into roles and coming together again
    01:30 Our responsibility to be sure we don’t drive the team apart
    02:24 Setting the stage for bringing creating a cohesive team – mental, social, emotional
    03:08 Building upon the existing relationships
    03:38 Setting up a plan early on to keep the team aligned
    04:58 Using time available to implement tasks, problem solving to enhance communication
    06:35 What academic literature says about building a cohesive team
    07:12 Definition of team cohesion
    09:05 Negative behaviors to avoid as coaches and players
    10:30 Dr. Gearity’s example with Philip Fulmer and a display of interpersonal relationships
    12:33 Research suggests coaching staff cohesiveness is highly correlated with cohesiveness of the team
    13:18 Rituals with the team hazing vs. awarding/fulfilling rituals
    14:50 Seniors being servant leaders
    16:50 Figure out what they want to do and tie a reward to it
    17:31 Define roles and look for ways to recognize the role players
    18:59 Grabowski’s example of celebrating role players and bringing a unit together
    21:35 Connecting celebrating roles in the offseason as well through video to lay a foundation
    22:35 Using social media to celebrate role players
    23:03 Getting guys to fight for each other
    24:08 Communication and cohesion are skills to be developed
    25:19 Little things that build cohesion
    25:50 Reinforce behaviors that promote cohesion
    26:35 Celebrating as a team
    27:34 Installing and practicing celebration
    29:40 Example from a high school team in Missouri – “What do you like about being on this team?”
    31:31 Recognizing contributors…Who is a teammate who helped you out today?
    32:35 Drills/strategies to implement during practice to build cohesion
    33:40 A star and a wish
    35:03 Embedding a questioning strategy
    36:43 Reflective and tips
    37:17 Can’t get carried away with this stuff…too much conformity is problematic
    40:00 Must practice being a cohesive team

  • Crosstown is our new series for this season focused on rivalry games. We highlight some of the biggest and longest standing rivalries in the country with teams that are just miles away from each other. The podcast is designed for the coach and we get insight on how to prepare for, for and coach in these big games. We talk with the head coaches of each side of the rivalry and get their perspective.

    This week’s game is one of the biggest rivalries in Iowa as the #4 Valley Tigers take on #1 Dowling Catholic Maroons. The schools are just 2.6 miles apart.

    Valley and Dowling started an annual rivalry in 1968 and this week are playing for the 51st consecutive regular season meeting, 7 p.m. Friday at Drake Stadium in Desmoines. Drake has a capacity of 14,557.

    Dowling owns a 32-18 advantage in regular-season games. Valley has won 10 of 21 playoff meetings, though. Dowling won the last meeting 42-14.

    Dating back to 2000, the two schools have combined to win 13 state football championships — five for Valley, in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008 and 2011; and eight for Dowling, in 2000, 2001, 2010 and every year since 2013 (five in a row).

    Tom Wilson is now in his 14th season at Dowling, and during that time, he’s won 142 games. In his 22nd year overall, Wilson has amassed 234 wins with six state championships. Dowling Catholic is the first 4A school in Iowa to win five consecutive state championships

    Gary Swenson hit his 350 career win when his Tigers beat Southeast Polk last Friday. During his 25 seasons at Valley, Swenson has amassed 225 victories. He is in his 43rd year of coaching with 6 state championship (five at Valley).
    The game can be viewed live and on replay on Youtube:

    03:09 What the mean games to Wilson
    04:15 What is out of the norm for a typical game week
    05:15 Try to keep normalcy and let everyone else hype the game
    05:30 Managing being in the spotlight in the media; a lesson learned in 2005
    07:11 Finding the balance of soaking in the moment yet keep normalcy
    09:04 Growth between week one and two while facing a rival
    10:06 Keep it narrowed down to improvement day to day
    11:10 What do you say before the team takes the field in this game?
    12:54 Appreciate the opportunity of the rivalry and your piece of history
    13:29 Managing the highs and lows of the big game
    15:51 A play that stands out in the rivalry for Wilson
    18:10 Getting ready for the week after the big game
    20:00 Wilson’s tips for being successful in and after the rivalry week
    22:00 What makes the game special for Swenson
    24:06 Balancing the big game and normal preparation over the week
    25:48 It’s one contest on our record
    27:23 Preparing the uptight team vs. the hyped up team
    30:30 The ebbs and flows and how Swenson handles it
    32:36 Mutual respect of the opponents starts with the coaching staff
    33:19 Swenson’s most memorable moments of the rivalry
    35:35 Swenson’s tips for coaching in the big game