This article was contributed by Coach Jason Hahnstadt from Pro Style Spread Offense and was originally published on that site.
I don’t know about you, but I am a much better coach when I am organized.
Take for example my weekly practice plan.
If I have a set offensive play script that I am going through, I never forget to run a play that I have planned to run in the game that week.
In fact, I now know that we CAN run it in the game BECAUSE we have practiced it. And I liked it in practice.
If you have ever run plays in games that you haven’t practiced, you know that the likelihood of them being successful is low.
What you need:
A good practice script has not just the plays written down, but they are called exactly how you want to call them in the game.
It includes a hash, a down and distance and any motions or shifts you want to include.
The more you can replicate the game in practice the better. I have learned many times that adding a shift or motion on game day to a play is just asking for a penalty.
You also need to insure your script has a corresponding Defense or a Number assigned to each play that tells the defensive scout team what defense to play against it.
A good way to do this is to draw up defenses on cards to show the scout team exactly how they should line up and what their responsibilities are as a defender.
This practice sheet I’m giving you has all of this on it so you can run efficient Team times and then not get caught unprepared for the game.
I am also a much better play caller when I have an opening script and a clearly organized call sheet.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid to go off script. When I see something I like, let’s go for it!
But if there is ever a time in the game that I am uncertain, I always have a good call in the right category as a fall back. And those good calls are one’s I’m telling myself before the game that I need to call in certain situations.
You also need to know where to call certain plays. If you are on the right hash, especially in High School, there’s a lot less real estate to use.
What you need:
Every good call sheet should have a section for your opening script. If you use arm bands to signal in plays, every play needs to have the # of the play call next to the play.
You also need to have the exact full play that you called on your practice script listed on the call sheet otherwise again you are calling plays you haven’t practiced.
Click Here To Download:
Now this can get tricky if you are building unique game plans every week. That’s a lot of copying and pasting that you can’t mess up or you’ve got no one to blame when there is confusion on an important call in the middle of the game.
Unless you are really good at this and have a lot of time to spend on it and proof it perfectly, I’d recommend trying an excel sheet with formulas all built in so all you have to do is assign the plays where you want them to go with a simple number. I know it has saved me more then enough stress and worry knowing my call sheets are perfect.
Other categories a good call sheet should have include all your core run plays and your core pass plays.
At a more advanced level you can also break down these plays by Down and Distance, Red Zone, Openers, etc.
On our free call sheet we have more then enough categories for you to choose from.
But don’t overwhelm yourself. Remember, it’s better to have an accurate call sheet then anything else.
Why use arm bands (also known as wrist coaches)?
It’s simple. Signaling and play calling become a no-brainer. How much easier and faster can you get then sending in one number and all your players know exactly what to do without huddling.
Not only can they see the play call, they can also get their assignment with individualized arm bands for each position.
So you can now install as many plays as you need to in practice
I used to always have trouble signaling in longer plays to get things like shifts, motions, pass protections…you name it.
Kids are always missing a signal and I’m repeating it along with trying to tell them to hurry up!
When you are putting your offense in, you have to practice until they have it memorized which slows down your installation.
Arm bands can be a pain though. Again, if you are the one responsible for revising and reprinting them you know exactly what I’m talking about. Plus it has to perfectly match your call sheet!
The benefits are great when they work. I believe it’s worth it to figure out a system that works for your team because you can speed up everything in practice and games.
What you need:
Any good arm band system has a simple to use template that is adjustable to your armband needs. If you want to make them individualized by positions you will need to plan what you want to say for each position and then spend some time getting them prepared.
I like saying the play and a direction followed up by a specific cue if I want them to remember something. Ex. Power R (GOLD)
Again, a good programmable system is a great idea seen here to save time and is really why I created something that works like this. Enter it once and use it all season.
Make sure it’s readable and protected by laminating so that rain or sweat can’t ruin the visibility. Remember you will need it early in the week for practice purposes if you make any changes week to week.
Click Here To Download:
You are a better coach and your team plays better when you are organized.
The best way to be organized and maximize your offense in practice and games is with coordinated Call Sheets, Practice Scripts and Arm Bands (Wrist Coaches).
You can call and run a high speed no huddle offense faster then anything else if you put the time and preparation into your game planning.
If you don’t find a system to improve your game planning, you will find yourself struggling more and more as you move up to the next level of coaching.
Help advance your coaching career by showing everyone you are prepared and well organized for the next level of coaching.
CTA: Download and Perfect Your Offensive Game Plan with Our Free Call Sheet, Practice Scripts and Arm Band Templates Here.
Here’s what you get from these free coaching tools:
– Free clean excel sheets that can be used with any offensive system.
– Fully customizable to any offensive terminology.
– You are a better coach when you are organized.
– Your team plays better when you have an organized week of practice.
– You are demonstrating that you are prepared to advance in your coaching career.
– These are brand new templates that have been created with 100’s of coaches feedback to make them helpful to as many as possible.
– They have been tested and used by 100’s of coaches.