Offensive and Defensive Pre-Season Installation Models

Jun 19, 2017 | Practice Organization, Program Development

By Mike Kuchar
Senior Research Manager
X&O Labs
Twitter: @MikeKKuchar



With the pre-season rapidly approaching, high school coaches are now designing their installation schedules for summer camp. Finding a way to delegate an entire offensive menu into segments can be a challenging operation, which is why we wanted to research which methods coaches were using to most efficiently plan their pre-season accordingly. 

Editor’s Note: This report is designed for high school coaches exclusively. Please keep in mind that each state has its own regulations regarding pre-season practice time. This will in turn, affect the overall time duration of the installation process. We’ve included corresponding coaches emails if there are further questioning.


Offensive Installation Protocols

We wanted to research which factors were most vital in devising an offensive installation plan. So, we asked contributors what their methodology is in selecting which concepts they begin their install with. Do they base it on last season’s proficiencies? The adaptability of the skill set of their returning players? A mix of both? Their responses are below:

Mark Holcomb, Oak Grove High School (NC) [email protected]: “We will first assess the players we have coming back for the next season. We will then run reports from HUDL based on the most often used plays and success rate. We will then marry the two together based on personnel and proficiency.”

Brian Spicer, Saint Joseph Central Catholic [email protected]: “We are a perimeter first team. We tell our kids that we want to get the defense running to the sideline so we always start off with our perimeter plays during installation. This sets up our attack philosophy right out of the gate.”

Glenn Duff, Spalding High School [email protected]: “The methodology starts with the type of QBs we have for the upcoming season. Next we'll evaluate the OL (big slow / big agile / small quick, etc) to determine run game. Finally, we look at our receivers to determine if we're a vertical or horizontal pass team.”

Matt Kuempel, Oelwein Huskies [email protected]: “We base our installation process based on what our bread and butter play is going to be. From there we install the complements and constraints to that play. We do all of that from our base formation, but from there, we will change formations and install the same play with any additional compliments or constraints that this formation allows. This process is determined by our players’ abilities and who we want to get the football to.”

Rod Stallbaumer, Basehor-Linwood HS (KS) [email protected]: “We are a system offense so we install based on series and type of play. Try to show how they fit off each other. Day one we install our fast flow plays (jet, Iso). Day two we install our mis-direction (FB & QB Counter), Day three we install our option game (IZ triple, speed option) A lot of our pass install is done in the summer with 7 on 7 but we install PAP pass with our fast flow, quick game with our mis-direction and screen game with our option (a lot of our screens are RPO's off IZ).”

Nathan Ferency, Shepherd High School [email protected]: “Our methodology mainly focuses on our personnel of returning players and the abilities of incoming juniors. We will predetermine what we feel will be our strengths and build our offense based on what is best for our personnel.”

Run Installation Methodologies

We’ve found that when installing the run game, most coaches will group run concepts by families such as gap runs, zone runs and man runs. While the priority of each may differ between contributors- the majority of our coaches will base their install off the zone concept- most coaches will choose to select one of these run families per day of install to rep. We asked our contributors what important correlation they use when installing their run concepts. Their responses are below: