Monday, May 23, 2016

No Hats In School... Why Your Program is Lacking in Discipline

Many years ago I taught at a school that, like many schools, had a rule that kids couldn't wear hats in the building. My first day I noticed a lot of kids wearing hats. I told them to take off their hats. They all complied, but not without disdain for my request. Usually they would get out of sight and put their hat back on. The reason was simple... If you have a rule or standard that is not consistently enforced, the standard will not be met. It is that simple. It was very, very frustrating. The standard was that no students were to wear hats. That is very clear. The problem lied in the fact that there was no accountability. A few teachers enforced the rule, but most ignored it. The reason they ignored it is because there was no follow through from the leadership. If you aren't going to enforce the rule or standard at all levels, then get rid of the rule.

I tell you his because this happens in many athletic programs, schools, and companies throughout the globe. Leaders set rules or standards and then don't hold people accountable. Or, they hold them accountable selectively. They don't coach them on the details. They tell them to stand a certain way, and then permit them to deviate. They tell them to wear certain clothing, and allow them to deviate. They tell them to be there at a certain time, and when someone is late, there is not accountability. Permitting is promoting. When you allow it to happen you might as well be asking for it to happen. If you allow one to do it, another will. If you allow it once, then it will happen twice. Then three times. After a few weeks, a coach will have a bad day and  go off on their athletes for not meeting the standard that has never or rarely been enforced. The kids aren't the problem. The coaches are.

"If they don't know the standard, how can they possibly reach or exceed the standard?"

This is not a great way to build trust. It is not a way to build discipline. It is a great way to lose your athletes and drive a wedge between you and them. Before you get angry, ask yourself, "why are my athletes not meeting the standard?" It is one of two things. First, your standards are not clearly laid out. Your athletes don't understand what you are asking for. You are not coaching the details. The second reason is that you have permitted them to deviate from the standard. If you let them deviate from one thing, you need to expect them to deviate from everything.

This is where programs start to have issues with discipline. If you are having issues with discipline,  ask yourself the following three questions:

1. Are our standards clearly laid out AND understood? It is not enough to teach them, you have to make sure the standards have been learned. You constantly have to reinforce the standard. Ask your athletes to repeat the standard to you. Ask them to show you the standard. They can't meet a standard they don't understand. They also can't hit a moving target. If the standard is always moving they will never be able to hit it. You have to have clear set of verbiage for the standard. It has to be the same every time. IF

2. Have I permitted deviation fromt the standard? If you permitted deviation from one standard, expect deviation from other standards. If you tell them they all have to have a white t-shirt, and everyday athletes are missing the white t-shirt and you ignore it, expect a lack of discipline. How will they take your standard seriously? This is dangerous. If you don't hold the standard on the white shirt, how can you expect them to line up right on Friday night? How can you expect them to take a six inch step on your zone play? If they are allowed to deviate from the white t-shirt, they will believe they can deviate from other standards as well.

3. Are WE consistently holding people accountable to the standard? Is every coach holding your athletes to the standard, or does each coach have a different set of standards? There is nothing more frustrating as an assistant coach than holding someone accountable and feeling like you are on an island. It goes right back to the issue with hats in school. If the standard changes from coach to coach, athletes will lose trust and confidence in you and the staff. The standard must be consistent from coach to coach.

If the answer to any or all of these questions sound familiar, chances are you are pretty frustrated. Whether you are the coach permitting, or you are the lone ranger holding people accountable, you are probably having moments of frustration. Your culture is probably suffering. If your culture is suffering, you will never play as well as you think you can. You will lose to people even when you have more talent. You will be inconsistent. Your players will question and lay blame when things don't go well. They will not trust you or what you are doing.

Why does this matter? Why do we even bother? The reason is simple.  Great programs have clearly defined expectations that are consistently upheld. They hold athletes accountable for not meeting the standard and constantly reteach and coach them on how to meet the standard. They try to meet the athlete at their level and bring them to the standard. They are willing to confront even when it might be uncomfortable. Because you are willing to confront deviations from the standard, the standard will be met. Your players will understand that if they do not meet the standard they will be corrected. Correction is love, and consistent correction builds discipline.

If you are struggling with this, the great news is: you can change. But the only way it will change is with action. You have to reset the situation. Set very clearly defined standards of performance. Make sure all of your coaches understand the standards, and explain them to your team. Then, hold them accountable to the standard, every single day. A reset is simply an opportunity to tell your team or organization that you did not hold them to their highest standard, and that will change. It will not be easy. There will be some pain. But the results will be worth the investment.

Several years ago we had to do this. We worked very hard to build a championship culture. We had a couple of very good seasons and we had a strong nucleus returning. We made the mistake of letting them slip on our standards. We did not hold them to a standard of excellence. We let them slide on little details. We thought, well, we are good enough to overcome these things. The problem is, the little things got bigger each day. One afternoon in April we noticed several guys straggling into the weight room late. A couple of these guys were our captains. During our workout we had another group of guys cutting sets. I went ballistic. I let them know this was absolutely the opposite of what we wanted. This was not meeting our standard. While I got my frustration out, nothing changed. The next day we had the same issues. We looked entitled and refused to work hard. They weren't getting deep enough on squat. They weren't locking out their bench. They weren't finishing when things got tough.

We pulled a few of the guys in and asked them why they were deviating from the standard. Their answers shocked us. "Because no one said anything." That said a lot right there. I thought, "we shouldn't have to." But I stopped myself from saying it. That's because WE NEED TO SAY SOMETHING! It's our job. It is just like when guys say, "we are not going to coach you on effort." Then don't expect great effort! You have to coach everything all the time. There is no other way to be successful.

As a coaching staff we made a decision to do a reset. The next day we brought them in and told them we failed to hold them accountable to our standards, and that would change immediately. We reset the whole deal. We retaught the standards. We told them why we were doing this, and that we would never again fail to hold them accountable to reaching our standards. Everything was redefined.

The reset was a defining point in that season. It was vital for our preparation to confront the problem and change. Without the reset we would have been mediocre at best. We would not have been successful as a program. Our players learned a valuable lesson and so did our coaching staff. You are entitled to nothing. When you build your culture and get things going the way you want them to go, you cannot coast. You can never relax. If you do find yourself slipping and standards not being met, immediately confront the issue.

Leadership requires confrontation. There is no other way. You can't ignore deviations from the standard and expect them to improve. And the confrontation does not need to be ugly. You can confront without building resentment. You can confront without trampling on someone's dignity.

Here is a simple 4 step process for accountability:
1. Confront
2. Clarify
3. Reteach
4. Evaluate

Confront- If the standard is not being met immediately stop the person and tell them they are not performing to the standard

Clarify- Make sure they clearly understand what is expected. Have them repeat the standard back to you.

Reteach- Demonstrate the standard. Make sure they can perform the standard whether you are looking or not.

Evaluate- Make sure they are performing to our expectations

It is up to everyone to enforce the standards. If it is important to you, find a way. If not, you will certainly find an excuse. Everyone must be invested in our standards. And if you aren't willing to enforce a standard, eliminate it. It will only lead to deviation from more important standards.

Every single day you are building a culture within your program. Are you building your culture by design or by chance? The biggest part of building culture is to set high standards and to have everyone in your organization enforce the standards.

Shameless plug of my Interactive iBooks!

Early this year I wrote a book RPO's and a book on Tempo. I want these books to be accessible without worrying about $$$. Each book is just $9.99! They are available as an apple iBook and on Amazon. The iBook version contains embedded video! These two books will revolutionize your offense! 

In my RPO book I describe in detail a systematic process to install RPO's. I go over first level, second level, third level, and multi-level reads. I show you how to scaffold the install and build a system that will fit what you are already doing. 

Here is a picture of the cover with some quotes from other coaches on the book:


Here is a link to the iBook version of my RPO book:
If you have an iPad or iPhone, buy the ibooks version! If you have an android or PC based device, I have a Kindle version for sale on Amazon. Here is a link to that version: Kindle Version of Coach Vint's RPO Book on Amazon. The kindle version has everything but the video.

The other part of this equation is adding Tempo. A lot of coaches ask me to help them install different elements of tempo into their offense. The book I wrote will take you through a detailed, systematic process of building tempo into your existing offense. Here is a picture of what coaches are saying: 

The iBook version for the iPad, iPhone, and Mac contains over an hour of embedded video! I give you a systematic process to build tempo into your offense. I show you multiple ways to communicate your concepts, including sign boards! Here is a link to the iBooks version:

It is also available on Amazon if you have an Android or Windows device. You can find it here: Coach Vint's Book on Tempo on Amazon

Combining Tempo with RPO concepts will change the game of football for generations. Any offensive system can adapt these principles without changing the structure of you offense. The biggest issue many schools face is simply thinking they can only use RPO's part of the time. You never have to call a run again that isn't protected by a pass concept. 

I hope you have found something of value in this post! I wish you the best as you prepare for your season! 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Developing Culture, Character, and Leadership

I recently picked up Urban Meyer's new book Above the Line, and it has not disappointed. He had a great quote in the prologue about leadership.
That says it all! Putting up some motivational signs is not going to develop character, leadership or mental toughness. What it will do is add noise to your field house, weight room, and locker room. I saw Tom Herman speak at a clinic last month, and he talked about how they took all their motivational signs down. He asked a player, "hey, how about that sign." The player didn't know what he was talking about. How many players have actually read the signs around your field house? And if they have read them, how many of your players live them?

If you have signs up and expect a culture to develop, you will be very disappointed. You see, culture will develop, but it won't be the culture you desire. Culture is being built each and every day in your organization, and the question is, are you developing the culture... or is the culture developing you? What are you doing to build the culture in your organization with intent? Most coaches think they are doing a lot, but in reality, they are doing very little. They are doing a lot of things, but they are doing these things without an end result in mind. When you don't have an end result and a process, how will you ever get there?

Since 2002, I have been blessed to work with schools across the country on installing the No Huddle, RPO Concepts, Pistol and Spread Concepts, the Odd Stack Defense, and Building Character, Culture, and Leadership programs. A few years ago a school brought me in to help them implement a Multiple Tempo No Huddle Offense. Most of the staff was on board, but as we began our talk I noticed a couple of coaches were very reluctant to make the change. The first question I asked was, "why do you want to go to the No Huddle?" The response floored me. The head coach said, "because our players fight in the huddle." After a brief pause I said, "if that's why you want to go to the no huddle you brought me in for the wrong talk." 

They wanted to fight the symptoms rather than the disease. They wanted to put a band-aid where a transplant is needed. When you do this, you will find yourself constantly running out of band-aids. Your coaches will be frustrated and often disengaged. Your players will be frustrated and you will find them quitting when things get a little bit difficult. Your organization will lack a unity and a trust. You will not be a cohesive unit. This team did not need a new system, gimmick, or play, they needed to change their culture. 

"Culture is the sum of the beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes of a particular organization"

Every single organization has a culture. Every team at every level has a culture. The problem is, only a select few have a defined culture that has been carefully and intently built. Most teams have a culture that has been built by chance. If the talent is good and there are some kids who have been developed as leaders, the team has a good year. If the talent is down, and/or there are very few leaders who walk through your door, the season is a disaster. If I asked you to raise your hands if this is your organization, chances are most of you would do so. Most programs fall into the category I call "Culture by Chance."

Culture by chance programs never achieve as much as they should. They never reach their full potential. They are slaves to the situation. They are slaves to the level of talent that walks through the door. Because they don't have a specific plan for culture, character, and leadership development, they get what they get. These are programs that never seem to get over the hump. And if the talent level is way down, they have a horrendous season. Culture by chance programs often have players that become discipline issues when things get difficult in practice or a game. Raise your hand if you have seen this in your program...

The second level is what I call "Talk About It." This is the group that says they talk about culture and character with their kids, but they do so without a plan. They talk about core values a few times then put them on the shelf. There is no plan, purpose or vision. When a good idea pops up they jump on it for a day or two. They have 8 different coaches going 8 different directions. If you ask the players the vision or mission for the program you will get a different answer from each player. These programs often falter under pressure and fail to win close games or big games. They are never going to beat a team more talented than they are.

The "Talk About It" teams often lose to teams with lesser talent. Programs that talk about culture, character, and leadership often will implode at inopportune times. They often have players who will coast when no one is looking. When things are going well their players work hard, but only until things start getting uncomfortable. When things get uncomfortable, they are going to cut reps and even sets. They are going to have a nagging injury and find the "loser's limp."

"Talk About It Teams" and "Culture by Chance" teams have players that look at coaching and correction with disdain. They make excuses for mistakes. They don't like to be coached. Coaches often avoid confrontation so the start to ignore mistakes .Raise your hand if you work in, or have every worked in a program that would fall into this category?

The coaches of the "Talk About It" teams and the "Culture By Chance" teams often complain their kids aren't mentally tough. They often complain about their kids being entitled. They often talk about a lack of work ethic. These are the guys that say, "we didn't have a good senior class this year." 


"Great seasons are not built in October and November, they are built in February, March, April and May. Conversely, 1-9 and 2-8 seasons are built at the same time."

This brings us to the third level. The third level is the level I call, "Live It, Breath It, Love It." These programs are the elite. They are the programs that are consistently improving regardless of their talent level. These are the programs that consistently outperform their actual talent level. These programs often compete with the elite programs every year, despite not having elite talent. 

These are the programs that excel. And they all have one thing in common. They have a vision, a goal, and a process for building culture, character, and leadership. These are programs where every single kid and coach knows the core values of the organization and what they stand for. They know the vision and everyone in the organization is focused on the mission. These are the organizations where the athletes are accountable to each other. In business, these are the companies that have high employee retention and repeat customers. These are the companies where people don't call in sick because they "want" to be at work.

The programs that Live It, Breath It, Love It have players who embrace being uncomfortable. They have team members who will not give up because they don't want to let down the man next to them. These are the teams where every practice and every workout is a joy to watch. There is purpose and passion displayed in every drill. There is coaching going on every single rep. There is a high level of accountability. If a mistake is made it is called out and corrected immediately. Coaches are coaching the details. Players are hustling. Everything is highly organized and fast paced. Players accept coaching for what it is, "a compliment to say I care enough about you to help you be your best."

Organizations that Live It, Breath It, and Love It have five things that set them apart. Those five things are:
1. Cleary Defined Vision
2. Visible Core Values or Core Covenants
3. Defined Process In Place
4. They Coach Details
5. Clear Accountability

Clearly Defined Vision: I recently heard someone on a podcast say that a vision is simply your purpose put into words. I look at vision as a clear picture describing where you want your organization to go culturally. It doesn't have to be long or wordy. Your vision simply communicates what you stand for. Describe what it looks like. Where do we want to go? Then, reduce this to a sentence or catch phrase. 

Visible Core Values: Your core values shape your culture and lead you to the vision of your organization. What do you want to develop in your athletes? A great way to build core values is to start with your coaches. What three things mean the most to you? Then ask your players. What three things are most important to you with this program. We once asked our team, "if you could design are program from scratch, what words would come to mind? Man, that was powerful! That shaped our core values. We weren't smart enough to call them core values, at the time, but that is what they were. The kids came up with: Trust, Honesty, Work Ethic, Perseverance, Passion, and Accountable.

From there we had them describe each of them in detail. We came up with our own definition for each of those. What do they look like? All of a sudden, our kids had a vested interest in the development of the culture and direction of the program. What does Honesty look like in the weight room? In the classroom? At practice? During games? What does Passion look like? What about Accountability? What will it look like in the weight room? In the locker room? This took a couple of days. It was the best two day investment we made! We then designed signs for each core value. They weren't fancy, but they were ours. 

Bruce Brown, who leads Proactive Coaching, calls these core covenants. He does this because a covenant is much stronger than a value. A covenant is much harder to break. You have to crawl all over yourself to break a covenant. Bruce is one of the best speakers I have seen, and if you haven't seen him speak, you need to! Click on the link above and look at his materials. He has heavily influenced me in my journey as a coach, and I would recommend every single coach spend a little time learning from Bruce!

The players live and breath the culture. They understand the purpose and vision of the organization. They live the core values of the organization. They hustle well regardless of circumstance. They accept coaching. They have been trained on how to handle adversity. 

Defined Process in Place: Having a vision and core values gives you a starting place. Now you have to build your process. Your process is the method you will use to develop your core values. You might start practice with a 5 minute exercise. You might might start practice with 3 minutes and end practice with 3 minutes. You might have 5 core values and focus on one each day. 

Your entire coaching staff must be on board and unified in the process. Every coach must be enthusiastic and passionate about the process. A great way to get buy-in from your coaches is to make them part of the process. Have each coach take turns delivering the message of the day. A great way to do this is to break your kids into small groups and give each coach a group. Rather than presenting to your whole team, meet in small groups to communicate the core value of the day. This requires having a unified coaching staff. You then can rotate your kids each day so they are with a different coach. The more coaches are involved with the process, the more buy-in they will have.

Each day you build a consistency into your routine and your kids come to look forward to this time. You control what you put into their system mentally each and every day. They get so much garbage and negative talk from social media, the TV, and their peers. For the 45 minutes or 60 minutes, or 90 minutes we get them each day we control the message. We can give them our core values each and every day before we start and when we finish. And while they are working we can reinforce the message. 

In our small groups you also need to spend time sharing and learning about each other. Building strong relationships will go a long way toward shaping your culture. It is much easier to care about someone you know than someone you don't know. You want your players to learn to unconditionally love each other, and this starts with coaches loving each other unconditionally. Meeting in small groups allows this to happen. You can build these small groups into your athletic period or practice time at any point. You can put them in the beginning, middle, end, or all three. You control time through your decisions. How will you decide to reinforce your core values? 

Coach The Details: When we set our core values we talk about standards of performance. When we set a standard we held our players accountable. This had to be more than lip service. We all, meaning everyone in our program, had to hold each other accountable to our standard. This is not easy. This requires confrontation. Confrontation doesn't have to be negative. It goes to your culture. What does your culture say about accountability? Prepare your players for how they will be confronted. Teach them an appropriate response. 

When we talk about details, we are talking about the smallest things that most people think don't matter. Remind your team you are not most people. You are special. You are elite. You have a vision. You live to certain values. When we stand at attention, we clearly define what attention is. We then coach the details. If their eyes are not straight ahead, they are coached on that. If their feet are not in the proper position, they get coached on this.

Why does this matter? First, your players will be more detail oriented in practice. If you allow deviation from details in March and April, expect deviation in September and October. You must coach the details every single minute of every day. This is the part about living it. If you have a standard that you are not going to hold your players to every day, get rid of the standard. Having a standard that is inconsistently enforced will weaken your credibility. It will confuse them, and they will begin choosing what standards matter and what standards don't. This is when many fail on developing culture and standards. They inconsistently enforce the standards. Elite programs coach the  details and the players accept the coaching. 

Clear Accountability: When you have well-defined standards of performance and you hold your players to the details, you will begin to build a tremendous culture. Accountability can be handled in many ways. The goal is for your players to meet and even exceed the standard. We must continually remind and reteach. We must make sure we give clear instructions. When they fail to meet the standard we must coach them. This requires some sort of reminder activity. What will it take to help this player meet our standard? That is the question you must ask when determining what accountability exercise that will be done. 

Here is the key: You can't do this one day and quit. Coaches often say, "doesn't this take time out of other things?" That depends how you look at it. Are you taking time from from something else, or are you investing in something vital to your program's success? We all have 168 hours in a week. What are we doing with our time to build the best product we can? I am firmly convinced that culture is the most important ingredient in building a championship program. You get to choose how you spend the time you have with your program or organization. You get to choose what you do with that time. You get to choose how much time you spend in the weight room, on the track, and on the field. 

As you read through each of these, evaluate your organization. Where are you doing well, and where might you be lacking? What is the culture of your team? How would your players define your culture?

Regardless of where you are, you must take an action step. If you don't have a vision, or core values, or a plan to teach character and leadership, the time is now. Bring your team together and talk about what you think a championship organization looks like. Build your vision and core values. Put together a plan to invest time to develop your core values.

If you don't know where to start, find someone who can help. It's okay to not know. It's not okay to not seek out how. Reach out to a coach who can help you build your culture. Reach out to people who can help.

If I can help you please let me know. I have worked with several schools over the years on areas of building culture, character, and leadership. I will be speaking at the Glazier Clinic in Greenwich, Connecticut March 12th on Building Character and Culture with the R.E.A.L. Man Program. The R.E.A.L. Man Program is a tremendous resource for you to build character and improve your culture.

Reach me on Twitter @coachvint for more information. Or, you can shoot me an email at

A great coach that could help you with building a culture is Randy Jackson at Grapevine High School in Grapevine, Texas. He is one of the best at building culture with his athletes. His teams consistently overachieve. Randy Jackson can be found on twitter @CoachJacksonTPW

A few months back I published a couple of iBooks that can help your program with X's and O's. The first is on Installing RPO's into any offense. Here is a link to the iBooks version: The ibooks version includes explanations, diagrams, and video clips on multiple RPO Concepts. It will give you a simple process for implementing them into your offense. I wanted to make it affordable, so it is just $9.99!
If you don't have an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, you can order the Amazon version for the Kindle. It has everything except the embedded video. You can order it here:

I also wrote a book on Tempo. It will greatly help you build a multiple tempo system with simple communication that will allow your kids to play with confidence. It also had over an hour of video clips! You can order the ibooks version here:

Order the Amazon Kindle version here:

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Turning Around a Program

Perhaps the greatest reward in coaching is seeing kids accomplish things they think are impossible. I have been blessed to see this first hand in the classroom, in the weight room, and on the field. It is an awesome feeling when kids light up because they realize how much they are capable of.

Recently I was speaking at a Nike Coach of the Year Clinic and the topic of turning around a program came up. A coach asked me how we took an inner city program that had lost 27 games in a row and had never been to the playoffs, and turned them into a championship contender every year. How did we win 75% of our games despite having limited resources and no feeder program? I wish there was a simple answer...

It all starts with a vision, mission, and a plan. You have to have a picture of what you want your program to look like. You have to have a vision that others can buy in to. You have to articulate your vision so others can see it as well. As you build your vision, you must develop a mission that is greater than winning games. Your mission has to include developing young people off the field. It has to include giving them tools to be better adults and leaders. And then you have to have a plan of action. Your plan of action must begin with the end in mind as Stephen Covey says. Once you know where you want to go, you have to put a plan in writing to get their. If you don't have a plan in writing, all you really have is a dream you will never achieve.

At Columbus High School I was blessed to be the offensive coordinator for David Diaz. He is one of the great men in our business who cared deeply about our coaches and players. He identified three key areas that had to be improved if we were to build a competitive program. First, we had to increase participation. For a school with nearly 4,000 students the participation in football was very, very low. We had to get kids to want to participate. To do this, we had to give them compelling reasons to be a part of the program. We brought a lot of passion and enthusiasm to our strength and conditioning program. We researched new and innovative ways to workout so we kept things fresh. We added an element of competition into everything we did. A big part of increasing participation was putting kids in nicer uniforms and upgrading equipment. This took a lot of time and energy, but we made huge increases in participation. Everyone had very nice matching shorts and t-shirts to wear in the weight room. Gone were the 25 year-old shoulder pads. It took time, but upgraded every piece of equipment our kids would wear. We fundraised daily. Coach Diaz believed the only bad fund raiser was the one we weren't doing. It took a lot of time and energy, but our kids benefited greatly.

Second, we had to get kids to believe they could win. They had to believe that when they took the field we have a chance. Winter and spring is a great time to build confidence in our student-athletes. We gave them record cards in the weight room and had them record everything they did. We had them compete to set personal records each day. We set daily and weekly goals that they thought would be very difficult, and began to build small victories. When we maxed out we wanted things to be very competitive. We wanted them to push each other. When players see other guys breaking personal records they want to to it as well. Our max out days were basically a party in the weight room. I remember one of our players saying, "let's have a max out party!" I wish we had cell phone cameras back in the late 90's and early 2000's to record the intensity and passion.

I recently visited with Randy Jackson, of Grapevine High in Grapevine, Texas. He has been very successful and changing culture and turning programs around. They use their off-season program to set high expectations and help kids achieve them. They do a boot camp program that many successful coaches have modeled. They intentionally put the kids in pressure based situations to teach them to work through adversity. When they get through the boot camp portion of their off-season they feel like they have accomplished something as individuals and as a unit. When you accomplish something you build confidence.

When student-athletes see positive progress they are going to begin to believe. When they can look at a record card in the weight room and see themselves getting stronger, they begin to believe. When you put them into adverse situations and they work together to make it through, they begin to believe. Confidence is not something that can be given, it has to be earned. It isn't rocket science. Set high standards, give kids the tools to achieve them, and support them when they do well and when they struggle.

Third, we had to build a program into something they "belonged" to. We had to build a family that they felt like they were a part of. We wanted them to learn to trust, something that was lacking in their lives. We spent a lot of time getting to know our players and learning their hopes, their dreams, and their fears. We wanted to know their why. What was the reason they wanted to excel? What obstacles did they face? How could they help us overcome those obstacles? We wanted to take our relationships deeper.

Perhaps most importantly, we held them accountable to our standards. Everyone talks about having a standard, but how many leaders have communicated those standards? If you asked your team what your standards are, could they articulate them back to you? The first thing we did was came up with a simple slogan, "committed to excellence on and off the field." We put this on every piece of stationary we had. We talked to our kids about what this meant. We talked about commitment and excellence, and how important those words would be.

Next, we talked about standards of performance. Coach Diaz had read Bill Walsh's book Finding the Winning Edge. That book helped us to better understand that we had to have clear standards and expectations for our guys. What does parallel mean on squat? What is a perfect rep? What is our expectation for being on-time? If you ask anyone who played for us 12 and 15 years ago what our standard for being on-time was, they will tell you being 15 minutes early is on-time. If you were on-time you were late! If we told them to be somewhere at 5pm, they would arrive ta 4:45. They know that parallel was the top of the thigh parallel to the floor.

When you set a standard of performance you have to hold guys accountable. Without accountability you can only go so far. You are never going to be as good as you could be. When a player didn't get to parallel, we did the rep again. When we didn't finish through the line, we did the rep again. When we didn't get all 5 reps, we did some sort of accountability exercise. We wanted our guys to learn to do things right. This starts with a set of clear standards that your players understand and can define.

What it all comes down to is your culture. You have total control over your culture. What does your culture look like? How can it be improved? Your culture starts with you expectations and standards, and is built with your accountability. If you have high standards and low accountability, your culture will suffer. If you have low standards and high accountability, your culture will suffer. If you have high standards and high accountability, you will build a culture conducive to consistent success.

What Coach Diaz understood was that the weight room is the best place to build accountability to self and to the team. He understood that accountability is very hard and requires confrontation. He also understand that confrontation is necessary to build love. To built love you have to confront the act, not the person. What I mean is, you never make it personal. You don't degrade the player, you degrade the act. Coach Diaz was and still is a master of this. You see, this is how you build discipline, and discipline is love.

One of the hardest things we had to do was to suspend players who didn't meet our standards. Sometimes this meant suspending our best players. I remember having to suspend our best lineman for a game. This hurt the team in the short term, but in the long run it improved our program. Our best running back, and arguably the best in school history, missed at least half of 3 games his senior year. He was late to meetings a couple of times and late to school on a Saturday morning. It hurt to have him sit, but it would hurt more if he and the team did not learn that lesson. He learned to be accountable in high school so he didn't have to learn a harder lesson later in life when more was at stake.

This is where most people fail. They fail to hold athletes accountable. It is hard. It takes effort. It takes time. Sometimes it takes time away from other activities that are very important. It is hard to tell someone they are not doing something as well as they can. It is hard to tell someone they are not meeting expectations. It is hard to tell them they are letting their team down. But if you are not doing those things, you are setting your players up for failure down the road.

"We care about you enough to tell you the truth"

Coach Diaz cared so much about each player as a person, and not for what they could do athletically. He taught me how to love players unconditionally, when they were at their best, and when they were at their worst. He taught me that kids will always rise to the standards you set for them if you hold them accountable. 

When I was in my first or second year coaching we had a situation with a very good player. I didn't think we could win without him, but he had gotten into trouble and we had to sit him out. I was frustrated. Coach Diaz told me, "if we play him now you better plan on not having him in the playoffs." He then added that we would be a better team later if we handled this now. He was right.

You have to be willing to make some very difficult decisions. You have to be willing to hold kids accountable on the field and off the field. You have to be willing to sacrifice something small now for a greater gain down the road. Bruce Brown of Proactive Coaching says, "don't make me choose between your behavior and the greater good of the team. The team will win every time." This doesn't necessarily mean you get rid of a player. This means you are going to hold them accountable to the standard of the program. When they make a mistake, you are going to coach them through it.

Finally, we didn't panic when things didn't go well early on. We had some real struggles. We didn't walk out and set the world on fire. It took time to build a solid foundation. At each step of the way Coach Diaz kept us grounded and focused the process. When things didn't go as well as we had wanted them to he reminded us of the vision and mission. 

There are so many factors that go into turning a program around, and none of those factors are easy. Each school is going to be different, but there will always be problems. If you can identify three key areas that need to be improved, and you can focus on solving those problems, you will have success. If you can set high standards and get players to achieve those standards, you will have success.

If you are looking for a great resource to talk to about building culture, I would recommend you reach out to Randy Jackson at Grapevine High School. He is very open to helping schools improve their programs, and loves giving back to this great game that has blessed so many of us. Another great resource is Jeff Riordan at Crosby High School in Crosby, Texas. He has turned that program around and is building a monster. There are so many great coaches that are willing to help, and I would recommend you take the time to seek others who have successfully done what you are trying to do.

A few months back I published a couple of iBooks that can help your program with X's and O's. The first is on Installing RPO's into any offense. Here is a link to the iBooks version: The ibooks version includes explanations, diagrams, and video clips on multiple RPO Concepts. It will give you a simple process for implementing them into your offense. I wanted to make it affordable, so it is just $9.99!
If you don't have an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, you can order the Amazon version for the Kindle. It has everything except the embedded video. You can order it here:

I also wrote a book on Tempo. It will greatly help you build a multiple tempo system with simple communication that will allow your kids to play with confidence. It also had over an hour of video clips! You can order the ibooks version here:

Order the Amazon Kindle version here:

Saturday, February 13, 2016

You Are Not "Just" Anything

I was speaking at a clinic a few weeks ago and a coach came up afterward and introduced himself. He said his name and then said, "I am just a middle school coach." No way, you are not "just" a middle school coach. You are the first football coach many of the young men you coach have ever had. You are the MOST important in that young man's life. If you give him a great experience, he will love the game forever. If you coach him like it's all about you, he will quit and never play the game again.

It is vital we all understand that regardless of our title, or level, or location, we are vital to someone. The job of that middle school or youth coach is as important as Jim Harbaugh's job. It may even be more important than Jim Harbaugh's job. Too often we measure our value by our title or position. We measure our value by our wins and losses. Our value is much, much bigger than any scoreboard, record book, or nameplate on a door. 

The value of a coach, or anyone for that matter, comes from the influence you have on others. We have an opportunity to change the lives of those we coach. We have the ability to influence young people to do more than they ever thought possible. We have the opportunity to be the one consistent person in their lives. We can show them the unconditional love that many of them are missing at home.

That middle school coach is a vital link to the success of that young man. I remember several years ago a friend of mine said he had a middle school player who was 5-2, overweight, and very awkward. He wasn't very strong and he couldn't run very fast. My buddy said his middle school coaches gave this kid such a great experience, and were so encouraging, that this young man continued playing into high school. The coaches realized the game is not about them, but about the kids. My buddy said that kid played at least 20 snaps every game. In fact, everyone on that B team played at least 20 plays. The A team played at least 20 snaps He said they lost a few games they might have won, but every kid had a great experience. Every kid practiced hard because they knew they were going to play. And they all got better.

Fast foreward a few years, and that small, overweight, unathletic young man hit two growth spurts. He went from being 5-2 to 6-3. He was 195 pounds. He never missed a workout. He ran a 4.7 in the 40. He was a team captain. He ended up being a 3rd team all-state safety and went on to be an NCAA Division II all-american. He received a scholar athlete award at a huge dinner, and who do you think he invited? Not his college coach. Not his high school coach. He invited his middle school coaches who believed in him when others wouldn't. 

It pains me when a 7th grade B team kid is standing on the sideline every week knowing he will play one or two plays. We are all competitive, but middle school and youth football is not the NFL. When a middle school or youth coach applies for a high school job, no one asks them what the record of the 7th grade B team was. The real test is, "what did you do to build up the spirit of your players?" What did you do to believe in them when no one else would?

My buddy said his middle school staff is the reason they were able to win a state title. His middle school coaches didn't let their ego get in the way of building a love of the game and a love of being coached in those kids. They made EVERY player feel like they could accomplish more than what others might think. They didn't coach the kids where they were. They coached those kids to the level they saw them getting. 

Another interesting story happened with a team I coached several years ago. We had a young man that didn't play a whole lot, but he was one of the best leaders we had. He had a great attitude regardless of circumstance. He was a selfless player who would do anything to help his teammates succeed. We had a really good receiver with a rough home life. He struggled to get to school for workouts. He often wanted to skip practice. This player didn't miss a workout as a senior. He blossomed into a leader and star player. At our awards banquet he got up and talked. While fighting back tears he thanked the young man who wasn't a great player for giving him a ride everyday, and being a rock that he could lean on. This kid wasn't "just" a third team player. He was the most valuable teammate we had. 

If you are a middle school coach and you are coaching the defensive line, be the best defensive line coach you can be. Be the best role model you can be. Be the best encourager of your players. Love them unconditionally and teach them to love the game. Don't coach with a negative attitude because you think you should be the defensive coordinator, or the head coach. It's not about you and your ego. It is solely about the kids you coach. If you dog cuss them and break their spirit, you are not making them tough. Coach them FOR them, and with their best interests in mind. Coach them to be their very best, whatever that might be. Give them a love of the game and a love of being coached. 

Regardless of what level you are on, or what your title is, work hard to improve your craft. Go to clinics, talk to coaches, and soak in as much information as you can. Coach everyday with the purpose of helping the young men you coach to be the best they can be. Some of the best coaches I have been around are at the middle school and youth level. Your level has no bearing on the quality of coach you are! 

You are not "just" anything. You are the most important coach in the lives of your players right now. Coach with enthusiasm and passion knowing you are going to help them achieve more than they thought possible. 

Shameless plug... If you want to learn about RPO's and Tempo, I wrote two interactive ibooks with video. They are great resources for coaches at any level. If you have an apple device, click here to order yours today:

If you don't have an Apple device.. No Problem! They are also available for the Kindle:

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Combining RPO's and Tempo to Create a Dominating Offense!

I am on my way to talk RPO's and Tempo, and I thought this was a great time to share some thoughts! 

Football is an ever evolving game, with coaches at all levels trying to gain an advantage. Coaches attend clinics, visit other staffs, and communicate via social media to share thoughts on how to best attack their opponents. Over the last ten to fifteen years we have seen huge innovations that have led to explosions in offensive football. The two biggest elements affecting this are RPO's and Tempo. Teams that use either of these are increasing their explosive plays and scoring more points. But the schools that are really blowing circuits on the scoreboard... are the teams combining these two elements together!

Not since the forward pass have we seen an innovation that will change the game for generations. Offenses that have the ability to change tempos and play very fast put enormous pressure on the defense. When you combine this with Run-Pass Options, the defense is in a serious bind. Offenses aren't running new plays to score more points, they are simply running tried and true concepts faster than ever before.

Let's start by introducing a simple RPO concept. RPO's are simply run pass options. What we have done, in a nutshell, is built in a pass concept with every single run we have. If we call a run, someone is running a pass route of some sort. We build them into our calls, and a one word call says it all. 

My favorite base run concept is the inside zone read. The inside zone read attacks the inside gaps of the defense, while allowing the quarterback to "read" a defender. Typically this will be the backside C gap defender after the snap. The reason we say "after" the snap, is because the player in the C gap presnap may not be the C gap player post snap. 

With our inside zone read concept the offensive line is going to use covered/uncovered rules. A covered frontside lineman is going to work in combination with an adjacent uncovered lineman to account for the down lineman and linebacker. It is a two tracking two concept. Below is a diagram showing this principle. 

In the figure on the left the defense ran a gap exchange stunt. We coach the offensive lineman to read color. If color comes to me I block color. If color goes away I help secure the down guy and climb to backer. In the figure on the right, the defense plays their base gaps. Before climbing to the backer the center helps to secure the down guy. We have two simple rules. Secure the down guy first, and don't chase backers. Their landmark is the playside jersey number of the down defender. We want to dent the line of scrimmage and get movement. This pairs well with outside zone because the defensive line doesn't know initially if you are trying to lock the box or get vertical.

Inside zone read in itself is a great concept, but when you build a pass concept into it, it becomes much more difficult to defend. We are going to build in a quick game concept to both sides of our inside zone read. From a 2x2 set we are going to build in what we call quick. Many call this Smoke or Now. The #1 WR is going to show fast feet and fast hands and step back behind the LOS. The #2 WR is going to take a flat angle of departure and read the MDM or Most Dangerous Man. Below is a diagram of the Inside Zone Read RPO concept from a 2x2 set vs. a 4-4 defense. 

The quarterback is going to make a very quick presnap read. If we have leverage on the edge we are going to throw the quick. If we don't, we are going to execute the run. If he feels like we have leverage to either side, he is going to catch and throw. He doesn't have to say anything to anyone. The offensive line is going to block the run. They assume we are going to run the ball every play. The receivers to both sides assume we are going to throw the quick every play. This can be called with one word. You do not need to tag the quick game concept. 

Before we married our run and pass concepts, we hated to see a loaded box. Teams would leave the boundary receiver uncovered and get an extra player in the box. Below is an illustration of what teams would do to get another defender in the box. 

We were not going to be able to account for the 7th defender in the box if we ran the ball. But with our RPO concepts, we immediately can snap the ball and take advantage of the perimeter advantage we have. It becomes very difficult for the defense to have enough players in the box while still defending our skill players. 

What really takes this concept to another level, however, is the ability to use tempo. We use six basic tempos in our offense. One of those tempos is what we call Nascar. Like a lot of you, when we go Nascar we are going to go as fast as we can. As soon as the play ends our players are hustling to the ball while looking at the sideline. As they get the signal for our Inside Zone Read at Nascar Tempo, they are going to sprint to the line and execute the play. The defense has to decipher the formation, make their strength calls and communicate coverage, and get their hand down and get ready to play. Our goal is to snap the ball with 32 seconds on the play clock. We want to snap the ball as soon as the ref's hand is out of the way.

The defense now has to defend 6 gaps. They have to have a dive and a quarterback player, and they have to account for 2 receivers to each side. That in itself is difficult. But when we go at Nascar Tempo, that is a game changer. This is why so many defensive coaches hate the game being played fast. 

Each time you run your inside zone read RPO the play is going to be different. We once ran this 7 times in a rowing a game. The first time we threw to the right. The second time we threw to the left. The third time we threw right. The fourth time we executed the run. The fifth time the defense had 13 men on the field because they were trying to substitute. The next play we threw to the left. The smallest gain was 8 yards. Below is a diagram of our first down play.

The outside backers were hipped, so our QB threw the quick concept. The outside receiver made the catch and got vertical, working back to the sideline. This was a 10 yard gain. After giving up big yards on the quick, the backers lined up wide. We ran the zone read. The read player squatted to play the quarterback and the pistol back gained big yards. This is illustrated below.

It is very difficult to defend the inside zone read with 5 players. The more tackles the safeties made, the better. Every tackle they made was in the secondary. Because we played fast, the defense could not get a new call into the game, nor could they make an adjustment. They were chaotically trying to get their linebackers and secondary to change alignments, but no matter what they did, we had an advantage somewhere. 

Here is a video clip of the Inside Zone Read Concept being used at Nascar Tempo. The clips shows two plays. In the second clip you can see the defense trying to run a 12th player off the field. They are frantically trying to get a timeout. The crazy thing was this was not nearly as fast as we can play. That was our first game installing this! The amount of pressure you put on the defense is enormous! And, we don't have to guess whether we should call a run or a pass. We make a call and let the quarterback choose the best place to go! 


The greatest part of this is how simple it is to communicate. We can use one word calls that tell everyone the formation, play, and pass routes. You can use any word you want. Today's generation uses acronyms and processes things in shorter bursts. The days of having 9 word calls that told everyone what to do are long gone. We need to give them bits of information in short bursts. This allows them to play faster, and it allows your offense to play at a  pace so fast the defense cannot catch up. 

People ask me about whether their quarterback can do this. I tell them nearly every quarterback is capable of running this concept. We are throwing a pass we complete at about 98 percent to a good athlete in space. The quarterback simply needs to be trained on what he is looking for. They will make some mistakes early, but with experience they will be able to make these reads in their sleep.

This is just one of the many concepts you can use to build RPO's into your offense and play with great tempo. If you want to learn more, I have written two new books. I wrote a book RPO's and a book on Tempo. I want these books to be accessible without worrying about $$$. Each book is just $9.99! They are available as an apple iBook and on Amazon. The iBook version contains embedded video! These two books will revolutionize your offense! 

In my RPO book I describe in detail a systematic process to install RPO's. I go over first level, second level, third level, and multi-level reads. I show you how to scaffold the install and build a system that will fit what you are already doing. 

Here is a picture of the cover with some quotes from other coaches on the book:

Here is a link to the iBook version of my RPO book:
If you have an iPad or iPhone, buy the ibooks version! If you have an android or PC based device, I have a Kindle version for sale on Amazon. Here is a link to that version: Kindle Version of Coach Vint's RPO Book on Amazon. The kindle version has everything but the video.

The other part of this equation is adding Tempo. A lot of coaches ask me to help them install different elements of tempo into their offense. The book I wrote will take you through a detailed, systematic process of building tempo into your existing offense. Here is a picture of what coaches are saying: 

The iBook version for the iPad, iPhone, and Mac contains over an hour of embedded video! I give you a systematic process to build tempo into your offense. I show you multiple ways to communicate your concepts, including sign boards! Here is a link to the iBooks version:

It is also available on Amazon if you have an Android or Windows device. You can find it here: Coach Vint's Book on Tempo on Amazon

Combining Tempo with RPO concepts will change the game of football for generations. Any offensive system can adapt these principles without changing the structure of you offense. The biggest issue many schools face is simply thinking they can only use RPO's part of the time. You never have to call a run again that isn't protected by a pass concept. 

I hope you have found something of value in this post! I wish you the best as you prepare for your season! 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Social Media: The Power To Build and Power To Destroy

The advent of social media has changed our society forever. Nothing today is going to be done anonymously. Everything will have a digital footprint. If someone takes a picture at a party and you are there, chances are you are in the picture. They might be taking a picture with you in the background. But with facial recognition software, you may end up being the star of the picture.

Social Media is not all bad. Used correctly it can be a powerful tool that can be used many different ways. Nearly everyone can find a positive use for social media. Unfortunately, one bad tweet, post, or snapchat can be the downfall of the young and old.

For student-athletes, social media can be an outstanding way to build your brand. You may not realize this, but if you are on any social media platform you are building your brand. However, if you don't build your brand with intent, you may be giving people the wrong picture of you.

If misused, social media can be a very powerful tool of destruction. One negative tweet can result in the loss of a job or a scholarship. One negative tweet can destroy a friendship. One bad Facebook post can give people a negative perception of you, and perception to many becomes reality.

Every winter we hear the stories of a school dropping a recruit because of something they do or say on social media. College coaches do not want to recruit headaches. They want to recruit great athletes who will represent their program with class. They will monitor your Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat accounts. One negative tweet or retweet, and you are no longer on the board.

One the other side, you can use Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to build a brand that a school will be proud to have in their program. You can show your community service, your leadership, your ability to build people up, and of course, your athletic ability. I am not talking about bragging about your talent and your stats. Your play on the field takes care of itself. I am talking about a tweet to a classmate who may be having a bad day. Or, sending an inspirational picture on Instagram and tagging a teammate who might need to lifted up. Used appropriately, people can see the greatness you have inside of you.

Social media doesn't lie. It will distort, but it won't lie. The thing is, everything you post is a choice. It is a choice to post something positive or negative. Before you post, like, or retweet something, ask yourself these questions:

1. How will the coaches recruiting me see me if I post this?

2. Will this help me get recruited, or will this hurt me?

3. Is this tweet going to make me look like a liability to a school recruiting me?

4. What will my teammates, parents, coaches, and future coaches think of me?

5. Would I want to be teammates with someone doing this?

If you aren't sure if the post will help or hurt you, then don't post it. It probably isn't good. If it is negative, don't post it.

If you are new to social media, here are a couple of ways to build your brand:
1. Post a link to your highlight film. This is a way to get it viewed. One post will not get it viewed. Post it a couple of times a week.

2. Post positive messages for your teammates and classmates. This goes a long way to build good will and shows potential coaches you care about others.

3. Post pictures of you doing good things. If you are doing a service project, post a picture. If you get an award or honor, post a picture. Make sure you thank others in the picture. It is bigger than you.

4. Tag coaches in your positive posts. If you get an award, tag a college coach recruiting you.

5. Retweet Uplifting messages: If you see something uplifting, retweet or share it. If a classmate or teammate does something great, share it or tweet about it. If someone is down, tweet something that might lift them up.

The ultimate question is, how do you want people to see you? How do you want college coaches to see you? You can't use twitter to impress the wrong people and the right people at the same time. You can't use Instagram and Facebook to impress the wrong people and right people at the same time. You have to make the right choices when it comes to social media. Remember, everything is retrievable. If you say something stupid, it will be screen captured and archived. It will never disappear.

If you make positive choices, social media can be great for building your brand. If you make negative choices, social media destroy opportunities. Don't let 140 characters ruin an opportunity for you.

Shameless plug: I wrote two iBooks that can help your program with X's and O's. The first is on Installing RPO's into any offense. Here is a link to the iBooks version: The ibooks version includes explanations, diagrams, and video clips on multiple RPO Concepts. It will give you a simple process for implementing them into your offense. I wanted to make it affordable, so it is just $9.99!
If you don't have an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, you can order the Amazon version for the Kindle. It has everything except the embedded video. You can order it here:

Monday, January 25, 2016

Implementing RPO Concepts

Back about 15 years ago we started to experiment with RPO concepts. RPO stands simply for Run-Pass-Option. We were talking about how we would call a run and the defense would load the box. The corner over our single WR, however, was playing 8 yards off the ball with no underneath help. I really wish we had called a stop route.

Fast forward a couple of years and we were playing a team that was crowding the box again when we were in 2x2 sets. They were playing cover 3, with the OLB's playing 1x1 on our tackles. Below is a diagram that shows the defensive alignment.

We built in some uncovered rules, and told the QB to alert "BOZO" if the defense showed this alignment. We would rise up and throw to the #2 WR. Regardless of what the play call was, if the defense showed this look we would check BOZO. This worked well, and eventually the defense adjusted and started to cover our #2 receivers. 

During our off-season meetings we started to talk about building quick game concepts into the call. We began to tag our run concepts with a quick game concept. Once we saw the defense was not honoring our perimeter skill players, we would tag the quick game concept. If we tagged it, we were telling the quarterback to throw it. The QB would fake the run and throw the quick. This was great until we added the tag and the defense lined up to take the quick game concept away. Below shows the defense aligned to take away the bubble.
We told our quarterback, if we tag it, you throw it. Our bubble screen got hit in the mouth. This was not very good. At some point we saw a coach at a clinic mention they were having their quarterback make a pre-snap determination of whether he would throw or run based on defensive alignment. This, to me, was very intelligent. From here, our RPO system was born.

We would build in pass concepts to our runs, and if the defense lined up to take the run, we would throw the pass. If the defense lined up to take the pass away, run the ball. There is nothing magical about this approach. It was sound in principal and in practice. 

When we implemented this initially there were some growing pains. We learned we had to have specific criteria of when to throw and when to run. We had to determine how we would communicate our concepts. We had to train our quarterbacks to be able to make a good pre-snap determination. We also had to make sure we had the "right" guy at quarterback. We couldn't have a guy who was selfish. We had to have someone who would be able to make the right read because it was the right read.
Below is an example of a simple RPO concept off our inside zone read. 

Over the last few years we have greatly expanded our RPO package. Every run now has a pass. When we call the run we are calling the pass. This has greatly helped our offense to be more explosive and more balanced. It has forced the defense to defend the entire width of the field while having to remain gap sound. 

Perhaps the biggest benefit was the fact that we could get our skill players the ball in open space. The touches for our X and Z receivers increased tremendously. Below is an example of our inside zone read concept before we implemented our RPO concepts.
If our QB got a pull read we had to hope our #2 WR was able to block the OLB. If the OLB blitzed from depth or walked up late, our QB basically had to give the ball regardless of what the defensive end did. Our quarterback got hit in the mouth more than once. 

Once we added our RPO concept, if the OLB did not honor our #2 WR, we simply threw the tagged quick game concept. This allowed us to have a high percentage throw the protect the run. Below is a diagram of the same concept with the built in RPO.

If the outside linebacker aligned over our #2 WR, we would execute the run. If the OLB aligned inside our #2 WR, we would throw the quick concept. The QB would catch and throw. If we executed the run and got a pull read, we still had to deal with the backer. The QB would replace the read and get his eyes on the OLB. If the OLB widened, the QB would keep. If the OLB attacked him, he would throw the ball to the #1 WR, illustrated in the diagram below.

Essentially we were playing triple option football, just with a twist. And if you consider our pre-snap process, we would playing quadruple option football. The quarterback could throw the quick game pre-snap based on alignment. If you look to the tight end side, our Z WR is running a stop route. If the defense gave us the stop route, the QB could throw that as well based on pre-snap alignment.

This is just one example simple quick game concept that can be built into a base run play to give you a manageable RPO. You can implement this in a couple of days of practice time, and it will lead to some explosive plays. We now have a multitude of RPO concepts in our offense. 

A couple of questions I get are: Do we have lineman downfield? At times we do, but this is a concept thrown just behind the LOS, so we can have lineman downfield. Does our QB ever mess up the read? They do, but more often than not they are conservative on throwing the quick concept pre-snap. 

We complete this concept at a 98% completion rate, and we average over 6.8 yards every time we throw it. It is essentially a toss sweep to a good athlete. It has helped greatly to improve our run game as well.

After speaking at clinics on RPO concepts for several years, and helping several schools install RPO concepts into their offenses, I decided to write a book. It is available on both ibooks and on Windows and Android based systems through the Kindle App. I wanted the book to be accessible to all without $$ being a factor, so it is just $9.99! 

The book covers everything you need to implement RPO's into your offense. Whether you want to add RPO concepts to your entire run game, or you want to start with one or two simple concepts, this book will show you how to do so with confidence. I cover everything from pre-snap to 2nd and 3rd level post snap concepts and reads. The book is written with a very systematic process to installing RPO's. Regardless of your system, this book will give you a method and a plan.

The apple version on ibooks has video embedded. Their are clips of all of our RPO concepts. The Kindle version has everything but the video clips. Both books are chalk full of diagrams and explanation. The biggest thing is that this book is a manual with a very systematic process of installing RPO's into your system. 

Here is a link to the ibooks version: These iBooks are truly innovative as the video brings the concept to life. If you have an iPad or iPhone, or a Mac, this is the way to go. 

Here is a link to the Kindle version for all Android and Windows devices:
The Kindle cover is a little different. I wanted to keep things fresh!

I will be speaking at two Nike Clinics this year, and the Northwest All Sports Clinic in Seattle. The clinic in Seattle is Feb. 11-13. I will be speaking at the Nike Clinic in Louisville Jan. 28th to the 30th, and the Nike Clinic in Mississippi the 18th to the 20th of February!