TURNING “POWER PLAYS” INTO AN OFFENSIVE SYSTEM WITH IF/THEN
“You’ve got to be kidding me, Ron.”
My coach thought I was on acid. But I didn’t care. My job was on the line so I was ready to do something crazy to save my career.
So what did I suggest?
I took our 10 Power Plays which we originally shaved down from the 42 plays we had…
And shaved down the playbook even more.
I can already hear you...
“Coach, you ARE on acid!”
But hear me out.
Because it’s responsible for a scoreless outing the previous game, to exploding to 41 points the next.
Here it is step by step:
Mini-Step 1: Take your 10 Power Plays and ask yourself: “If I had to go all-in on 5 plays… which 5 plays would I bet our season on?”
Take a look at your avg. yards, your TD ratios and what converts on 3rd down. Think about your team’s talent. What can you see them do?
Mini-Step 2: Take your 5 plays and show them to your QB. Ask him “Which of these are your favorite? Why?”. This will give you all the info you need to pick.
“Alright Ron, I’ve got five plays. Now what?”
Well before we can move on...
We first need to steal something from Noel Mazzone, coach.
THE MISUNDERSTOOD POWERS OF “IF/THEN”
A lot of people think that “IF/THEN” refers to the play calling structure made famous by the Wing-T.
And if you think that, it makes sense.
But what you may not realize is that IF/THEN is faaar more than just a way to call plays.
Luckily, I figured it out thanks to respected coach, Noel Mazzone.
Here’s what I found out by studying him:
“IF/THEN” can be an entire offensive system on its own.
Think about it…
Your QB, your RB, WR, TE and OL all need easy ways to make decisions based on their assignments.
And decisions are based on choices.
The more choices you give your players, the more decisions your players have to make, which means the more thinking they have to do.
I don’t know about you but I hate it when my players have to think too much. I much rather have them see something, and react. That way, we can play fast.
Which is why I LOVE the IF/THEN structure.
It’s only 2 choices for the young kids - it’s either black or white. It’s the simplest way to coach football because it removes excessive thinking.
So what does this mean?
IF/THEN is not just for calling plays. It’s an entire coaching philosophy on its own to make sure your players never make a mental mistake. And it makes our job really easy. IF/THEN works for granular things like teaching QB progressions, individual techniques and alignments… while also making it easy for the coach to call plays on Fridays.
Let’s move on.
Now you have your 5 best plays that you took from your top 10 Power Plays.
Because those 5 plays are now your “IF” plays.
These are your best plays so it makes sense to run these 5 plays as much as possible.
See where this is going?
With your 5 “IF” plays you’re going to create 5 complementary “THEN” plays.
This way, you have a legit counter move for every single play call you have.
For example, if you run Power as one of your 5 IFs, then you would select a GT Counter as a THEN. If you run Stick, then your complimentary play is Y-corner.
Here’s what’s cool: you know your players will love this new tiny playbook because you asked your skill guys what they like.
Once you’re done picking, you now have a 10-play playbook.
But again, it’s not any ol’ 10 plays that “might” work.
You know these plays will work because they are custom-suited to your players.
As I learned from interviewing Wade Phillips legendary NFL DC…
It’s your responsibility as a coach to put your players in the best position.
And that’s exactly what you’re doing here.
The only way you screw this up is by making it more complicated. Which can be tough for coaches because you’re used to using your genius.
Save that high-level football IQ for the beer talk with other coaches!
Otherwise, you’ll end up back where you started.
You might be wondering what happened once I picked the 10 plays?
When I showed my staff…
...the coaches looked at me funny.
But the players?
Eyes got big as golf balls.
The kids are smarter than what we give them credit for. They know what plays they like, and why they like them.
So can you imagine what happens when you go up to the kids and say:
“Yup, we’re only going to run the plays you love AND… we’re going to implement counter moves for the plays… so that the plays you love are even more effective than you remember.”
It gets fun.
So then the question remains…
How do you guarantee your 10 plays to come out absolutely perfect…
...in order to score 21+ points a game consistently?
Thought you’d never ask ;)