Things that must take place during half time. The following half time organization plan is divided into four segments.
Players must be given time to rest.
All injury and equipment problems taken care of.
Staff must analyze the first half and make plans for the second half.
Players must be re-motivated to play the final and most important part of the game.
Halftime divided into four periods:
First period (four minutes).
Injury and equipment care.
Second period (four minutes).
Offense and Defensive position coaches meet with assigned groups.
Third period Offense and defensive Coordinators meet with their entire offense or defensive squads. (Four minutes).
Fourth period (four minutes)
Head coach meets with both offense and defense as a team.
Return to field for warm-up.
In order to stay on schedule you might want to assign a staff member or parent to keep meeting times on schedule. One coach or manager should be responsible for keeping the time as well as letting the head coach know how much time is left before the start of the second half.
Period One – Half Time Organization
The first period is a critical one for the staff. At this time you should be involved in an analysis of what has taken place during the first half and deciding what your plan of attack will be for the second half. The information that you should consider includes:
Fronts by down and distance.
Secondary by down, distance, and formation.
Short yardage and goal line defenses – stunts.
Your play selection by success and failure.
Plays by formation.
Plays by down and distance.
Your defensive calls by down and distance.
Has there been any assignment breakdown in any phase of the kicking game.
Is the fake punt possible?
How is the kick-off coverage and punt coverage?
Should you punt, block or return, etc.
Personnel adjustments because of injuries or other reasons.
Any possible playing conditions such as wind, rain, and so on, affecting the play.
From all points listed above, your staff should arrive at a second-half philosophy. This philosophy will be based on how your opponent is attacking you both offensively and defensively and how you feel they will adjust to you during the second half. All blocking adjustments, route changes and theory of attack is decided offensively. Also, any front adjustments, coverage, or force adjustments are made to stop the opponent defensively.
While your staff is actively involved in second half strategy, your players should be getting ready physically for the second half. All incidental injuries and equipment problems are taken care of in their designated assigned areas of the locker room. Liquids, towels and other needs are brought to the players. This allows them to rest and prevents a lot of moving around. You should try and keep this initial period to approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
Period Two – Half Time Organization
The second period of your halftime is for each coach to meet with the players of his position. During this period, you hope to do two things. First, you quiz your players as to what is happening to them on the field. Your staff should be made to feel that it is extremely important to have open communication with their players. Many times you will find that one of your players will come up with information that turns out to be very helpful the second half. Also, the coach needs to know, for instance, if a receiver can beat a corner on an out route or a streak, or if an offensive lineman can reach a down defender on outside plays.
Period Three – Half Time Organization
As soon as each position coach has met with his players, both the offense and defense meet with their coordinators to tie the schemes together. You should allow 4 to 5 minutes for this period.
Period Four – Half Time Organization
With about 8 minutes remaining the person in charge of keeping time will give a 5-minute warning. At this time your coaches with press box responsibilities and your team captains should leave the locker room for the field. The head coach will take control at this point and the offense and defense join together for final instructions. It is the job of the head coach to finalize all strategy and goals and to motivate the squad for the second half. This time period lasts usually not more than 3 to 4 minutes. The team then departs for the second half.
Post Game Itinerary
One very important aspect that is often overlooked is post game. First and foremost, it is time to talk with your team. Whether it was a win or loss, your team is looking to you for direction, wisdom, and hope. Your words and actions are VERY important right after the game. One thought is to meet with them at one end zone so that you can talk with just them and your staff without parents/media/administrators. Next, you may have traditions like alma mater, fight songs, etc. Make sure that win or lose that you have the team participate with respect. If your team is at an away game, assign one coach to sign the players out that are traveling with a parent home. Assign one coach to call in the scores and stats to the media. Assign members of your staff or equipment manager to collect ball bag, kicking equipment, water jugs, headphones, etc. Lastly, and most importantly leave the field as a staff. Do not let one coach to get cornered by a parent. It is imperative that you stay together as you leave the field.
Fifth Quarter Idea
Research has shown that after high school football games that athletes have so many emotions, adrenaline, and sometimes rage, that they need an avenue to “decompress” after a game. If not, many athletes turn to drugs, alcohol, pre-marital sex, fast cars, etc. One idea is the “Fifth Quarter”. There are several ways to accomplish this through after game pizza parties, film sessions, dances, and other team gatherings. Most cities news stations air the “highlights” around 11:00. So one idea is to go to a pizza parlor and hang out with teammates, family and friends until the news highlights are finished. By then usually the adrenaline/emotions have worn off and the athletes are ready for bed.
About the Author of this post:
Jerry Campbell has over 30 years of high school and college coaching experience. He has experience as a head coach, offensive coordinator, and various position coaches. He has written numerous football coaching articles in various publications, is the author of over 30 books on coaching football, and has produced 12 coaching video series. Additionally, he is a nationally sought after speaker on the coaching clinic circuit.