What are the first few days of practice like for a new coaching staff?

Submitted by taistreetsmyhero on February 19th, 2015 at 9:46 AM

Does anyone know how new coaching staffs generally approach the first few days that they have access to their whole team? Do they immediately try to implement their own drills, etc.? How long does it take for coaches to get an inkling of who are the top performers? Any other insights people (especially current MgoCoaches) may have?



February 19th, 2015 at 4:29 PM ^

That was music to my ears.  I had a coach that was crazy like that when we played like shit.  It motivated the f**king hell out of us.  He would scream like that when we were good and he was happy too.  I loved it.  We loved it.  The panty wastes that could not handle it(boo hoo), did not play or cried to their mommies.


February 19th, 2015 at 6:01 PM ^

Different coaches all have their styles, and obviously Kinght's was effective, but "I've had to sit around for a fucking year with a fucking 8-10 record in this fucking league, and you will not put me in that fucking position again" isn't exactly an ideal attitude, IMO.

Needs moar "we" and "team" and "us" if you ask me.


February 19th, 2015 at 10:09 PM ^

I wasn't really criticizing his style; I'm a millennial and had success with coaches that loved screaming and calling players out and using every profanity imaginable. If he can win I'm fine with whatever verbal tirades a coach goes on.

I just have a hard time imagining Bo yelling at halftime about a situation the team put him in. The Team The Team The Team and whatnot.

Space Coyote

February 19th, 2015 at 10:02 AM ^

The guys on the team are the guys on the team. You have a limited amount of time to work with a bunch of guys that need a lot of improvement. They'll go right into drills. It's spring. They have all spring and fall practice to determine the depth chart, they aren't really concerned about that right now. They are concerned with getting better. And you get better through drills.


February 19th, 2015 at 4:25 PM ^

What do you make of Harbaugh's comments that he hasn't watched a lot of film on the current team?

I think that might have been true while he was trying to finish up the recruiting class, but do you think he plans to go into Spring blind(ish)?

I like the idea of open competition and making everyone earn their snaps, but I could never imagine intentionally disregarding such valuable data as film. It's lip service, right? Theyre watching every frame of film they can, right? RIGHT?


February 19th, 2015 at 10:02 AM ^

My guess is that they're mostly focused on making sure there's a culture of dedication, hard work, and accountablilty. You get the team culture right before you worry about anything else.


February 19th, 2015 at 10:22 AM ^

I expect that you are correct in this regard.  Harbaugh is a smart guy, and has probably identified the culture of the team as perhaps the most important area for improvement.  While he and Hoke may be friends, the two could not be more different in terms of culture.  Harbaugh is going to spend a lot of time during the first few sessions making it known to the players what they should expect going forward, instilling his psycho brand of dedication and intensity and letting the players know that if they aren't all in, they might as well leave (and that those who choose not to leave will be champions).

From what I understand from a friend who played for Illinois during a coaching change, much of spring practice will be about running tons of position specifi drills to get the technique down so that the kids can work on that technique over the summer.  And, finally, towards the second half of spring, the staff will start introducing more and more of their "playbook" so that the kids can rep the plays on their own over the summer. 


February 19th, 2015 at 10:30 AM ^

does it involve pushing players past their own concept of maximal physical exertion? or are there more aspects that a coach can do?

i'm genuinely curious--several injuries knocked me out of team sports in high school so i don't have a great concept of what goes into "instilling a culture" and all those words that have no real meaning to me in terms of what goes down on a day-to-day basis.


February 19th, 2015 at 11:06 AM ^

I read a different article on the same subject that the things that Harbaugh tracks often seem random an miniscule, such as how many minutes a players sits down during lifting sessions, or how many sets they get in during a perscribed period of time.  Bascially, while random, many of these things go to how much effort and intensity a player is exerting,  If you have no idea what crazy metric he is tracking, the safest course is to go all out all the time, and just deal with it.  From a pure training perspective, this leads to better, quicker results.

As to onfield stuff, I read somewhere that he tracks all sorts of things like dropped passes during drills, instances of bad technique by the QBs, etc.  Again, if you never know what he is looking for, you really think about every single practice rep to be a perfect as possible.  Given that in today's CFB world, there are a limited number of practice reps, making every single one count from a technique standpoint can only be a good thing.


February 19th, 2015 at 10:37 AM ^

As much as I hate to assume, I'm sure it's similar to the military minus the drill sgt craziness. Either you buy into it and conform or you're out. "Out" meaing for  a football player means transfer or ride the pine. Unless you're a "locker room lawyer" type, then they'll probably eventually find themselves off the team completely if the coaches can get their way.


February 19th, 2015 at 11:03 AM ^

Attitude reflects leadership ... That is how you get people to buy in to the culture you are creating. You stress discipline in drills, lifting, and dietary habits - you back that up by doing the same in your routines so the players (or employees) can see it. You stress commitment to the team - you show how you trust your staff and respect the players. You want people to stay late to study the Playbook or lift a little extra after strength training - you stay after hours to answer player questions and go the extra to ask coaches their thoughts. In a nutshell ... The culture you create is the one you exhibit. You show people what they should expect from you and, in turn, what they need to expect from themselves. You make the message consistent so everyone can see what it is and choose to fall in line.

Perkis-Size Me

February 19th, 2015 at 10:20 AM ^

While I'm sure drills will be a part of it, I'm guessing much of what Harbaugh is planning has to do with building the culture he wants out of his football team.

Whether we like it or not, this team has a culture of losing right now. They've been getting pushed around by just about everyone they've played. This is Harbaugh's first task, and will likely be his most difficult.

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February 19th, 2015 at 10:32 AM ^

Will focus on dedication to the program and making sure the seniors know it's their responsibility to ensure everyone is on board. The seniors will be told how to handle the underclass men and what's expected of them. Drill work will be described and all will be told how important it is to pay attention to detail.

Every player will be asked what position he would like to play. That will cause some position changes from last year. Attention to detail and effort will be stressed. Position groups will be established and each coach will discuss his philosophy.


February 19th, 2015 at 11:04 AM ^

They will get right into their own drills and begin to explain the offensive/defensive philosophy (on the fly).  Expectations will be set immediately, from the very first sprint to the very last rep.  Harbs will expect his level of enthusiasm and energy to be matched by every player, coach, and support staff member.  I am interested to find out how long it takes before an example is made of anyone not meeting expectations.