Classroom-based training for your team

January 18, 2019 / Football
{Sponsored} The offseason is the ideal time to do some classroom-based teaching and discussion-leading with your team to be sure you’re on the same page about everything from injuries and concussions to expectations and more.

Besides just resting and healing from the repeat injuries that can come with a full-contact sport, coaches should work on team building and learning about the competition to see what other schools are doing. Also, try having a conversation as a team about how to begin next season on a high note (regardless of postseason results).

Here are some things we recommend teams work on together — off the field between seasons — in order to better reinforce what coaches are saying during the season.

Discuss Concussions

The latest in concussion research indicates that a series of concussions can mean each subsequent concussion is more severe than the one before. And since 2.5 million kids and teens report concussions every year, this is a big deal.

An important factor in offseason training with your team is how to protect players from and identify concussions. It’s also necessary to tell them that if they think they might have a concussion, they have to take it easy until they’re cleared by doctors.

Heads Up Football certification through USA Football includes concussion training with the latest research on preventing and identifying concussions that coaches can share with their teams.

Watch Film Together

Teams should watch film together. Coaches can put together highlight reels of the season and include clips from competing local high schools and college programs that can be adopted by the team. Coaches should also encourage players to provide clips they think the team could use or learn from.

Break up the team into small groups — perhaps outside of their special teams — and have them discuss the film. Come together to go over each group’s breakdown and talk about what works and doesn’t work from each set of perspectives. This will not only work as a team-building exercise, but also may yield some perspectives the coaching staff hasn’t come up with.

Ask What Worked and What Didn’t

Every coaching staff should reflect after the season is over, but it’s also important to use feedback from players.

Take the results of the exit surveys you did with your team (as suggested in this article: and talk about the results with your team.

This means finding trends from graduating seniors and underclassmen alike. Keep it anonymous but ask the team to discuss after making sure they’re all in agreement there will be no backlash to anyone who might provide feedback.

Envision Goals

Where does the team want to be next year? Will you attempt to climb rankings or have a more positive team environment?

Ask each player to write down a goal on a piece of paper. Tally the results between classroom sessions and share with the team what the consensus is, perhaps with the top five or so. Your results dictate how many goals your team has and which are the most important.

Next, work with small groups to generate ideas on how to reach these goals. Each group can present their ideas to the team. Pick some excellent ones that can be applied throughout the season.

© 2019 USA Football

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