As most defensive coaches would tell you it’s hard to find time to build a game plan and stay focused on fundamentals during the grind of a football season. At Midlothian High School, they get just over 2 hours of on field practice time a week to practice fundamentals, implement a new game plan, and ensure the kids are confident they know what they will see from our opponent and are ready to stop them. See how they make this work here.
Midlothian High School (TX)
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As most defensive coaches would tell you it’s hard to find time to build a game plan and stay focused on fundamentals during the grind of a football season. At Midlothian High School, we get 50 minutes per day on Monday and Tuesday, and 30 minutes on Wednesday to guarantee our defense is ready to stop our opponents’ normally fast paced offense. That’s just over 2 hours of on field practice time a week to practice fundamentals, implement a new game plan, and ensure the kids are confident they know what they will see from our opponent and are ready to stop them. I have been blessed to work for some great defensive coordinators and elite head coaches in my 10 years in this wonderful profession. Like many of you, I have “stolen” some great ideas along the way to help maximize defensive practice time.
Tip #1: Practice with a “Conditioning Pace”
In order to get the most out of our 2 hours and 10 minutes of on field defensive practice a week, we have trained our coaches and kids to practice like every second counts. I know this is not a new or revolutionary idea, but sometimes I think we have to remind ourselves and the kids that the game is won Monday – Thursday in the film room and on field preparation. Normally, the better prepared team comes out on top. We try to alternate segments of practice from “slower paced” (although nothing we do on the field is very slow) to “Full speed” (get as many reps as possible in that 5-15 minute segment). By doing this, we guarantee they are well rested during the times we have to slow down and teach.
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- The scout team play sheets that Midlothian High School uses in lieu of having the scout team huddle.
- The route recognition boards Coach Fagan uses to get pass routes communicated to the scout team during pass skelly.
- The five tackle circuits Coach Fagan uses during the game week.
- The five block destruction circuits Coach Fagan uses during the week.
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I hope you can come away from this report with at least something that can help you and your teams be more efficient in practice to be more prepared on Friday nights. Don’t take for granted the great jobs we have been blessed with and always the remember scheme is important, but if a kid trusts you and believes in you he will run through a brick wall for you! Thanks to X&O Labs for giving me the forum to share.
Meet Coach Fagan: Cody Fagan is entering his second year as Defensive Coordinator at Midlothian High School (Midlothian, Texas - Class 5A). He has previously coached at Red Oak High School (Texas class 5A), at Ardmore High Schools (Oklahoma class 5A) and at Ada High School (Oklahoma Class 4A). Fagan is a native of Lancaster, Texas and played 5 years of football at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma.