Thursday, April 28, 2016

Game planning the Midline triple vs the 4-3 front

Everybody loves the midline tuck play (QB / FB only) but the midline triple is a great part of any flexbone attack. While easily run vs the 50, 3-3, and reduction defenses, the problem lies in the 4-3. Yet the fact that the 4-3 contains a "3" technique makes the play valuable.


The problem lies with being outnumbered with unblocked defenders (see fig 1) and not enough blockers.


Due to this dilemma, my first couple of years we would check out of midline triple and into a variation of the tuck play vs. a 4-3. However there are too many advantages to keeping the play in your arsenal.  Those include but are not limited to

  1. It allows you to read the three technique that you otherwise may have a tough time blocking. This includes those studs who take away the paper and pencil from the coach.
  2. It forces the three technique to align tighter making it easier to handle him later in the triple or double option.
  3. It allows you to capture the MLB who may just run over the top on triple preventing it to be run to the three technique
  4. It changes option responsibilities causing hesitation in defensive assignments
  5. It brings the quarterback further away from any "echo" or "back to back" stunts. Simply it is an easier perimeter read
  6. It is an easier interior ("FB" read) as there is no chance of an "echo" or "mesh" charge. The closeness of the three also makes the read much more deliberate.
  7. It allows us to use "Twirl" or "No mo" taking away the motion trigger from a defenses game play. It also allows us to run it to flanks that the defense has left exposed without the ability for the defense to adjust back due to motion.
  8. It allows for an A-gap play to the side of motion that, when talking about the 4-3, stops the defense from playing two "2" techniques and slanting to motion, an adjustment used in the early flexbone days with great success.
  9. Since it is usually pitched off the five technique, the ball is out of the quarterback's hands quickly. it basically becomes a fullback / halfback game.
  10. The fact that the FB is on the midline forces the defense to constrict around the fullback (usually no loop blocking to expand the front. ) We will delay our halfbacks movement when in the bone till the QB's second foot hits the ground.
  11. It stops the backside of the defense from rocking inside quickly to stop the twirl midline tuck and the counter iso.
The most common way we found was to load the DE (No.2 in midline rules) and pitch off number three. (see fig. 2) 


We discarded that immediate as the QB had to run around a man we are blocking to get to his pitch key. First your asking the quarterback to get around a man who has leverage on the tackle while the MLB, performing his squeeze and scrape to b-gap can get to him. you cannot leverage pitch off the scrape MLB because you are outflanked by a full man and a half to the pitch key. Finally, you are asking the tackle to hook a man who has leverage on him but he can't "overreach" as he has him man (inside and outside charge) and if the tackle crashed inside he would still be able to play the quarterback as he has leverage on him. (see fig. 2) So we threw this out.

We finally came up with as our base scheme two calls. The first was to a single split end or no split end (nub side) and the second was to a three receiver side (ends over)

Midline triple to a 4-3 single receiver side

When we have a single receiver side, we ask our quarterback to recognize one additional factor: that there are two high safeties. If there is one high safety (Fig 3) we would check away from the strong safety as that side would become reduced. (You can see our recognition system in a very earlier article devoted to it.) 


With two high we would always run it to the three technique. 
(See fig. 4)



In the above, the inside people and backside people, guard back, would run base midline rules. (same as midline tuck)
We will read the three and pitch off the DE (first man outside the handoff key)

Special rules are as follows:
Play side Wide receiver: Stack widest Corner regardless of coverage. Be prepared for hard corner support and react to softer support. (Since motion is away we do not get hard corners to this side even in cover 2)
Playside Halfback: Twirl and arc flat three steps eyeballing the OLB (#2 in our normal counting system) to the safety. Arc block first to come out.
Playside Tackle: Stack release to #2 (Stacked backer) If you can get any piece of him take him. (We do not feel that once blocked, even partially, he can get back to the pitch.) If you can't block the Lber come FLAT right off his ass and sprint to the sideline eyeballing safety. If you can outflank him turn up and block. If he comes up two quick kick him out, the back will run inside.

We feel that do to the twirl motion, either the safety or the outside linebacker will lean in the other direction.  At the very least they will be flatfooted as the motion is away and safety support will be slower.

Simply stated the tackle and the halfback have the OLB and the near safety. (See fig. 5 and fig.6)




Notes: on this scheme:
  1. It usually ends up as a pull and pitch
  2. It the defense is playing games with bringing down a "predetermined" safety, use phoney motion and a long count and check appropriately.
  3. If the OLB "ups" on the line. The tackle will yell "2 is up." Now the DE should be tighter and easier to block and the QB will pitch off the OLB who is usually up to play him hard. (fig.7) The HB will arc #3 now.
  4. Vs. the scrape MLB, the QB can now leverage pitch off off the MLB because the tackle veering brings the DE down inside with him or at worst sits.
  5. To a Nub side the Tackle and Halfback would handle the OLB and the Corner (fig. 8) This rarely happens as the 3 tech is usually to the three man side.




Midline Triple to a three receiver side
Since we have added a receiver we can eliminate a defender. Normally our inside receiver will block the middle to backside safety but in this case we will use our "force" blocking scheme. "Force" tell the middle receiver he is responsible for the support player of the defense (We put our best blocker in the middle.) This call tells the QB to treat it like a "reduced" front and make the appropriate tag.
(Fig. 9)



Vs. a reduced front the Playside HB will arc #2 (OLB) Vs. echo take first to come outside.
Vs. a reduced front the Playside tackle will veer (get vertical) inside backer to the middle to backside safety. (Note: In middle triple we tell the tackle he only has the Mike if he tries to get over the top. If he tight scrapes we will leverage pitch off of him. This usually allows us to get the tackle downfall on the middle / backside safety.)

This scheme is especially good vs. a team that plays quarters and likes to stay in it. This brings the OLB out of his stack. 

Two variations we like to run vs. this look are box (fig. 10) and Boxer (fig. 11)





In our next article (Part II) we will look at the midline triple vs. a 4-3 to a three man flank (TE side or tackles over)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Are your mental thought processes and coaching causing as many turnovers as the physical mistakes PART II

In this part we will talk about the actual coaching, drilling, and / or  correcting the mental processes (reads / thought processes) that may be hurting your quarterback and causing misreads, indecision, and eventually turnovers. While all these situations may not cross the lines of various offenses, I have witnessed these personally and in many cases have learned from own mistakes.

a) The sink or swim mentality

I've seen this numerous times. A coach teaches a pass pattern and the thought process. Once on the field the individual routes are thrown on air and then the pattern is thrown in 7 on 7 with multiple stimulus hitting the quarterback while he tries to sort out the read process in his head.

Thought processes must taught the same way as any other skill. For example I teach the quarterback to "give unless the hand off key makes a clear path IN FRONT of the fullback's path."I will start off by sitting there and ask the QB if I've made a path in front of the fullback.  (Notice I'm not saying if he sits do this.) Once he answers, he'll take three or four reps with the fullback just seeing the read and giving it; all the while knowing it is a give. We are TRAINING the thought process. We are TRAINING the eyes. We are TRAINING muscle memory to a particular stimulus. Next I'll give him a crash read in front of the fullback - easiest pull read and ask him what he does by rule. Then he'll take 3 or 4 reps knowing the read is coming. Training the eyes and thought process on the proper response. Once he sees this then I'll combine those two reads only (one give and one pull.)

The second day, I will teach a new pull read the same way. Then I will combine it with the one give read from the previous. Finally I will combine all three. The process is repeated till all looks have been trained into muscle memory. It becomes a reaction not a burdensome thought process.

The same is true with the pass. Take curl flat. Take three Qb's in individual and put one where the curl ends up and one where the flat to be. get a fourth to be the SS. First SS goes directly to the Curl only.  So in "I throw the curl unless" the QB would reload (reshuffle his feet) and through to the QB who is standing where the fat pattern would be. Next have the SS jump the flat. Since he's not going to the curl - throw the curl. Next combine those two. And we will progress to throw all the reads two at a time. By doing this the QB learns the read as a reaction. If you throw him to the wolves it becomes a burdensome frustrating thought process and can lead to imperfect mechanics. Thought process trumps technique and you have turnovers.

b) Bad reads in drills

I don't know how many times I've seen coaches with shields on the line split mat taking one step and popping the fullback on the side of the shoulder and telling the QB it's a give read. FALSE. In order to be a give read the quarterback must understand the path has to be in front of the fullback not to his side. The read previously mentioned would end up as an arm tackle you would expect the fullback to break. Then the coach wonders why the qb can't read the up move or gets caught by the handoff key who stepped down  and then came back out.

If you do it properly you must hit the fullback on the front of the shoulder not the side. This requires two things. You must move your feet and you will have somewhat of a minor collision if the fullback is running full speed. This is why I recommend teaching players in pads to be your reads - not old coaches like myself! (Trust me I learned from the shoulder surgery I was required after my last year at Spirit.)

The same holds true when the old coach plays the strong safety in the curl flat scenario and takes three lazy steps toward the curl and announces "good read" as the QB dumps the ball off to the flat. Then wonders in the game why overtime when the SS just opens his shoulders the QB dumps the ball and the SS makes the tackle for 2 yards.

Reads have to be full and realistic. The best way to get this is teach the players to be the read you want as you teach the QB then use the same guy everyday. Besides if you are so busy being the read and concentrating on how you are dropping, how can you coach the quarterback's mechanics. I could never figure that one out!

NOTE: It's not just using a coach as the read, it's what you expect and demand from your person giving the read.

c) Vanilla alignments by reads in practice.

This is the coach who has his defensive key (SS or handoff key or other) align in the exact same spot every time. Reading defensive reaction to a key is based three things: 1) distance from the rule (i.e. how far he is from the fullback's path.) 2) Angle he takes (the further his distance aligned the steeper his angle must be be. A 7 tech has to come flatter to get in front of the fullback then a 4 technique does. A screwed down safety from a cover two has a lesser angle then an OLB in a 3-4 to get to the curl.) 3) speed of his movement. (the further the defender is from the QB's "unless" rule the faster he has to move. (a 4-3 wide 9 better be sprinting to get to the fullback as opposed to a four tech who just has to step down. The screwed SS basically is in the curl with little or no movement. The 3-4 OLB better be on his horse.) So speed, distance, and angle are the three differentiators that a QB must understand and process in order to be a "good reader."

If you have your key align in the same spot every time (i.e. HOK on mat in a 4, cover three SS at 4 x 4) the quarterback will never understand this.

On the contrary, if on the mat ,we would have our read in a 4 or in a 5 or in a 6 or in a 7 or in a 9. Every day would be different while teaching the mental process. We would talk about the alignment as the drill was taking place. Talking about speed, distance and angle to get to the "unless" aspect of the read.

Even in our QB individual segment (other QBs as finished routes.) we may practice curl flat with the SS at 4x4 one time, 1/2 way out one time, screwed down from cover three one time.

In Part III we will deal with D through F

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Are your mental thought processes and coaching causing as many turnovers as the physical mistakes PART I

We all study film of our turnovers endlessly. We go back and forth looking for the reason in the physical aspects of the game. Did the player have the four points of ball carrying covered? Did the players mesh properly? Did the quarterback read properly? What if the cause of our turnovers, including some of the causes for the physical mistakes lay in the way we coached the mental side of the game? What if it lied in the verbiage we used? The way we taught? Or even the way we corrected?

What am I talking about? I once had a running back who made a crucial fumble at a critical time in a very very big game. It happened when he was switching the ball to the proper side but very late. You certainly could take this as a physical error as I initially did. So, when he got to the sideline, I asked the typical rhetorical satiric question "What were you thinking?" The answer was more then I expected. You see, he couldn't decide which way to cut. So when he made a last minute decision, he knew he had to change the ball but wasn't prepared to do so. Hence the sloppiness due to indecision. The error was created by a mental decision.

Take this thought one step further. What if the way we taught caused this indecision? What if the way we corrected caused this delay? Not in the case of the running back's cut but in other decision making processes. Can we inadvertently be causing turnovers? The answer is yes and here are five reasons why?

Drawing too many pictures!

The mind works by taking pictures and then processing them. In order to have a clear, quick choice the most limited number of pictures the player has to respond to the easier the decision. Simple example: If I asked you to pick a picture of a girl you liked from two pictures. pretty simple. You make a choice from two. Now if I give you 1000 pictures, your choice is harder. you'd probably go back and forth narrowing it down. The easiest choice is if I gave you one picture with one choice: Attractive?. You can understand how multiple pictures creates indecision. Indecision causes delay. Delay in the mesh or on a throw causes turnovers. Simple.

Look at teaching the triple. We teach one picture. It either matches that picture or not. The thought process "I am giving the ball unless the read key makes a direct path in front of the quarterback." We don't teach if he's a sitter - give. If he' crashes the mesh pull. If he squeezes pull. If he comes up the field give. We also do not teach teach read the helmet stripe. Or the shoulder tilt. That would be like you trying to pick that picture by checking every hair on the head. (See spatial vs. Fine focus below.)

Do all the multiple pictures lead to the same decision? Yes, on paper at least. It's just more of a cumbersome process.

The same goes for passing. Take a simple curl flat combination.

I interviewed for a college OC position and the conversation lead to teaching the quarterback to read the all curl pattern. When I talked after presenting a pre-snap method of direction I said "I throw the curl unless the flat coverage makes a direct part into the throwing lane then I go to the flat." Simple and precise. The head coach responded that they do the same. "We throw the curl if the strong safety sits, goes straight back, or covered the flat. We throw the Flat if the strong safety opens his shoulders 45 degrees or sits at depth." Think about that thought process for the quarterback. And he fired his QB coach because the QB threw too many picks!

Again it comes out the same on paper in the end but the quarterback doesn't have paper or time!

Will there be early mistakes with one way decisions? Yes. Every read has a distance / time factor built in. How far the read starts out plus his angle of approach plus his speed of approach. This is the learning curve that comes with any process but it is easier in a one way decision.

Using a fine focus read vs a spatial focus read.

I've known coached who will not run triple option football vs back to back reads. They say its too hard to read. When they try it they get turnovers. I also know coaches who get a ton of interceptions on reads that are "right" by there verbiage but nevertheless lead to disaster. Why? They use "Fine" focus when they should be using "Spatial" focus.

What's the difference? "Fine" focus is narrowing vision to a small area. i.e. the logo on the short. It is necessary once the act of throwing the ball has been triggered. It is what pitchers and shooters use. it is what allows accuracy. "Spatial" focus is the ability to see a specific action while your vision takes in a wide scope and is aware of surrounding stimulus.

Take the helmet stripe read mentioned above. That's fine focus. The problem is that he can't see the back to back coming. He can't see the second man crashing at him till he refocuses which is usually right after the smelling salts take affect.

The same is true in passing. A coach explained this to me with the curl flat by saying that "we read the flat players numbers. If the quarterback can see one, two, or zero numbers and their tilt." I asked him what about robber coverage. His answer was "we live with that!"

Sure you have to teach pre snap awareness of possibilities. (i.e. is #2 in a back to back position.) Once you do though, spatial focus allows you to see and reaction to stimulus surrounding your read. (i.e. the flash on #2 crashing while you were reading #1) With practice in a spatial focus read the quarterback cab react to outside stimulus precisely and correctly.

The "Loading principle" in all muscle movements

In order for any muscle action to take place you have to load it to get it out of a state of being static.

Think of a baseball player batting. He goes to the plate with his muscles loaded to swing. (you can actually see the load in many batters as the pitcher winds up.) He then reacts to the ball out of the strike zone by stopping his swing. If he went up with a list of reactions (i.e. "If the ball is down the middle I swing.""If the ball is low I take" "If the ball is on the inside corner I swing" "If the ball is on the outside corner I take" etc.) he would have to load after the pitch was thrown. Needless to say, he'd be a little behind.

The same is true with the quarterback. If I say I am throwing the curl unless ......" when I hit my drop I am loaded to throw the curl. Vs. a"fudged" dropper I am still throwing the curl by rule but my load allows for it to be on rhythm and quicker into a smaller window. He only has to reload if he throws to the flat and that is part of the rhythm.

The same is true in the one way "give unless" decision. It's just like the batter reacting to his initial load and swinging on a strike or stopping the load on ball outside the strike zone.

Like the batter, the quarterback who works off a "listing" of mental processes will not be loaded and late on throws causing interceptions or in the mesh too long causing fumbles.

Being too simple

Considering we are talking about being simplistic this is here because the extreme doesn't work either. He is the coach who says "curl or flat throw to the open man." What is exactly the open man and how does the quarterback get there?

This is the same coach who watches film and says "he should have thrown the flat because he is open." What brought the quarterback to the flat?

Along this line is the attempt to be too simplistic in structure that it causes turnovers due to the quarterback properly executing the mental process. This happens in play design. Take the all hitch pattern. Simple in design. Coaches try to make it simpler by running all the hitches at the same depth. They do this to simplify teaching.

So now the quarterback goes though his read either outside to in or vice versa depending how its been taught. The problem is the timing will be there only for the first load. By the time the quarterback reloads for the second choice the hitch has been sitting there and jumped.

Good play design accentuates good mental training. In this case if the read was outside to inside, the inside route should have been deeper. If it was inside to out then the outside route should have been deeper.

Decisions that lead the quarterback to the dark side

What do I mean by the dark side? It is the area of the field that the quarterback cannot see due to the verbiage in his mental process. This has a lot to do with play design and application of the thought processes to that play. To explain I will give you two examples:

1) Any pass play with a crossing pattern. In our case let's say the tightened is running a crossing pattern from left to the right. If the quarterback's thought process brings from left to right also, he is throwing into an area he has no vision of (Since his eyes were on the other half of the field when they brought him to the drag, even spatial focus will not tell him what he is throwing into. ) This leads to interceptions. Ones thrown to a defender just sitting there in the dark side.

Rather any crossing pattern must be read from the finalized side to give the quarterback a vision into the are he is throwing and avoid interceptions.

2) Inside breaking routes (slants, curls, digs) must be read from the inside out because of the same problem as the crosser. If the mental process brings the read from the outside in. (deeper slant to inside slant) then the quarterback is susceptible to interceptions by people he cannot see. If the mental process brings the quarterback's eyes from the inside out.the only problem defender will be a chaser not an unseen defender. (i.e. "I am throwing the inside slant unless" not "I am throwing the outside slant  unless")

In part two I will talk about how certain correction methods lead to turnovers


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Social Media / the Internet the Serial Killer of Coaches

Just starting to get up and around, so I thought I'd start of with a non- X and O column and what I think is a big problem today and growing,

Back in the early 2000's I wrote a couple of columns for a newspaper down in Virginia. The first one I did was entitled "Coaches face faceless scrutiny." Basically is was about the sudden growth of forums in which anonymous writers could post anything about a coach and not have to face up to examination for there actions. At that time forums were just begging to grow, not everybody had website or a Facebook page, and twitter was still eating pablum as the baby of social media. Since that time there has been a boon in this area. There are forums to voice you opinion on everything. Everybody has their own site or Facebook page claiming expertise and giving opinions on everything. Twitter, well you can't go anyplace without twitter slapping you in the face with some bit of info that either has no credence or is totally useless. (Really! Do I wanna see a selfie of somebody's new hairdo that I DON'T EVEN KNOW!) All of this is because of our basic needs to be wanted and to be special. (Where else can you declare yourself an expert without any experience.)

With this explosion comes a greater threat to coaches then ever before. Never in the history of coaching can  ONE PERSON do so much damage.  Never before can it be so sharp and quick. And never before can it be so harming to one's career. Winston Churchill once said that " a lie is half way around the world before the truth has a chance to be its pants on." If that was true in 1945, then today, with social media, a lie is to mars and back twice before the belt is buckled

In my original column I talked about Dick Tomey, then head coach at Arizona. When he resigned he stated that he had no choice. He couldn't change the opinion of his players as to what they increasingly heard on the websites. Therein lies problem number one: You can't disprove something that isn't true and is founded in rumor and myth. Courts don't let lawyers prove there wasn't any knife. The onus is to prove there was a knife. They can only prove or disprove the facts. People hiding behind false screen names take no accountable and therefore no investment into their statement. When naivety raises its head in the form of an uneducated reader, the opinion becomes fact and is spread as such. Soon you have a full fledge virus threatening the life of your career, all coming from one innocuous insect bite on some meaningless forum.

The second problem with this is boundaries. There are none. Paul Pasqualoni and George Deleone are good friends of mine. Very good friends. They are as classy and respectable people as I know. They will literally give you the shirt of there back. (And to this day have the best record and most bowl appearances and wins at Syracuse.) When they were at Syracuse, there was a group that didn't like them. I use to go on Syracuse.com's forum to read how the program was doing. I couldn't continue because of the vile remarks by these posters. You can have your opinion but attacking the man and his family is just.... off limits. Once when Paul's father died, a calmer mind stepped in asked for a down time to respect Paul as a person. That only served as ammunition. Comments like "#@*# Paul's Dad,"  "Maybe he and George will die next." and "I hope his whole #*%$ing family dies then maybe he'll leave." And these were the ones I could print! I truly believe that Paul and George's dismissal from Syracuse was one of the very first social media death tolls.

The bigger point is that as I traveled and moved ,I talked to people about Paul and George. Fought with people who had heard comments about them from the internet that were nowhere close to the people they are. I knew them very well yet the voice of some hideous hiding wart of a man was taken as fact over my word.

There is a saying "A lie left unanswered becomes the truth." Problem is with the internet you can never answer and convince everybody who has read the comments. (remember the old line "you never get a second chance  at a first impression." Well to many people out there these comments are their first impressions of you. This is all they know about you. You are a name in the sports page till they read the forums.)

To illustrate this take a famous sex harassment case in the nineties brought on a teacher in Maryland by three students. Criminal charges were pressed. The teacher were persecuted in the papers. Given no chance of winning. He was built up to be the worst person on earth since satan offered the apple. Due to the vigilance of one police officer who fought through reprimands for being too tough on the kids, the case finally broke. It was a Hoax. The kids claimed this because of receiving bad grades. Now here's the catch. Once vindicated the teacher, who said all he ever wanted to do was teach, said he was giving up teaching. Not because he didn't want to but because of the millions that read the initial articles there were those out there that would look at him with suspicion. There were those out there who read all the beginning accounts but did not read the the final acquittal.There are those out there left with doubt.

The same is true on the internet. Some no name who doesn't even know you puts out a falsehood. Doesn't have to back up his info. Yet even though you dispel these through your actions in your program, there are thousands who didn't get the good guy memo.

Finally, people use to say "you can't argue with an idiot." It's even harder to argue with an anonymous idiot. I left a job one time and rumors swirled. (Every one ludicrous! One harder to believe then the last.) I'm old fashion. I didn't air my laundry. I actually left because they wanted me to fire good adjunct assistants and hire the guys inside who I already fired and didn't even show for meetings or practice. Anyway I got killed on the forums ( I found out who many of the writers were through their slips in messages and saw them often in town. Boy, face to face they'd smile and act like my friend.) Anyway, one of my assistants got disgusted and got on the board to tell the truth. It only served as gas on the fire. Many accused him of being me. Yeah right - I was on to my next job. Even with an assistant telling them the truth more people rallied to the anonymous poster.

Why are these posters even worth the ink on this paper. Think of this. A friend of mine left a job and even with his stellar record had trouble getting another one. After one interview, an administrator asked if he saw a certain forum that the interviewing parents brought it up after searching his name.  When he looked he was amazed - post after post degrading him as the scum of the earth. All with different names. He continued to monitor the site because when he called, the moderator told him there was nothing he could do. To his surprise about a month later a poster noted that a certain other poster was banned because he was posting under multiple pen names. All these post disappeared but the damage had been done by one poster.

I've heard it said that the internet is new wild west with all the unlawlessness and all the possible good tied together. In coaching it's certainly true but I'm beginning to see the bad outweigh the good. Sites from "Coaches on the Hot Seat" to "Fire Paul Johnson" and the thousands more are springing up, giving voice to people who have no clue. (I wonder if that person would be upset if we started a sight "Fire Joe the Plummer.") With people's basic need to be a part of something bigger they join these sites with really no interest in the person, program, or outcome. (Come on, do you think the 875000 on Facebook are really your friends and care about your causes.) Twitter gives even quicker access. On an account that post score updates a person posted "this guy has got to go. All my buddies join in" Well by the end of the night his entire class had a reunion at the coaches expense.

The main problem lies in the anonymity of the author. He hides like some common thief in the darkness.  (I once asked a moderator why they don't make poster use their real name or email. His answer - nobody would post and we would lose our sponsors! Money!) Just this week I was offered an interview, On a local forum my name came up. A poster who I don't know and wasn't even around when I was at Truman preceded to kill me. All false - even my record. But its there.

Some posters are just nasty people, some look for a bond, a group to put their shoes under the bed with, and some have an agenda. They may be former players who didn't play enough or their parents. They may be somebody who wants the job. (I've actually seen a coach have somebody post about his job competition on a forum. Afterwards he was even proud and boasting what he did.) Whatever it is they have a cherry to pick and if means chopping down the tree - you - to get it they will.

It's not going away and will probably get worse. So I advise coaches to do the following to help themselves.

1. google yourself often. You'd be amazed what you'd find. Especially if you are going for a job. In can assure you that the parents at the new school are.

2. Monitor your local forum. I knew a coach who assigned this to an assistant and once known by all he never had a bad post. Believe me your players are reading them do this. Because posters are not brave to begin with, if they know you monitor sites, they usually won't post for fear you'll figure it out.

3. If something is particularly nasty or defamatory send it to the moderator (there is usually a link on the post page) Many are starting to take it off if it's harmful. (Not the "he sucks as a coach") There have been lawsuits against forum owners

4. If you really really want to get the name - hire a PI. A coach I just coached against did this. There is a way / process  to do this

5. Talk to your players parents about these sites. Let them know your thoughts

When I wrote my newspaper article the social media was in its infancy. It has boomed now as have the problems with it. Be proactive or you might become the next Dick Toomey.


PS I don't allow cellphones or camera film either at practice. They can be doctored and cut to fit. There's a halftime talk by a PA hall of fame coach on the internet. Nothing bad but he does come across as crazy. He hasn't been a head coach since.