When coaches who are not involved talk about nationalteam, they usually talk about the high quality of players, which they don’t have at their own teams. What they often don’t consider is the crazy short amount of time in which a nationalteam must get ready to play on a very high level. In this text, I want to share, how these restrictions actually helped me in becoming a better OC and how you can benefit from my experience.
We are talking about ten practices to install and prepare a completely new offense with a new group of players before facing a defense we do not know much about. These circumstances forced me to change my mindset from “how many weapons can I draw up to beat my opponent” to “what is the minimum amount of weapons needed to win”. Sounds simple. Unfortunately simple ain’t easy – especially when facing a big variety of defensive schemes.
This article is targeted at the majority of organizations in Europe practicing 2-3 times a week led by amateur coaches – not at the few premium-level teams creating an ‘almost-US-like’ environment.
I’ve gained a lot of experience in this environment by coaching the Graz Giants youth teams for 10 years. In the recent past, I have supported the Styrian Reavers, Styrian Bears and Team Slovakia in the process of creating a completely new offense from scratch. Before ever starting to draw and discuss plays, we elaborate the following four topics.
I was introduced to this fundamental philosophy, when I started my career as the assistant of Coach Rick Rhoades back in the late 2000s. We revamped the offense in each of the 5 years he spent in Austria. One thing stayed constant: every package we installed had to be able to attack every inch of the football field. This was one of Coach Rhoades’ most important commandments.
By the time I was in position to build my own offense for the Austrian Junior Nationalteam in 2013, this commandment provided a much appreciated checklist.