Maximizing Opponent Preparation

Introduction of the opponent preparation

Opponent preparation is an important aspect of coaching. You must understand your opponent and what you are to expect on game day.  As a coach, it is your duty to place your players in the best position for success and you do this by watching a film and breaking down opponent tendencies. This article is from The University of Saint Francis’s C0-Defensive Coordinator, Joey Didier. And also explaining the opponent preparation.

About Coach Didier

Joey Didier played for the Cougars through the 2004 season. For the 2010-2012 seasons, Didier served as Inside-Linebackers coach.  In the spring of 2013 Didier (and Eric Wagoner) were promoted to co-coordinate the Cougar defense. Didier also serves as the defensive backs coach and co-coordinates recruiting efforts for the two-time NAIA National Champions.

The defense

Under Didier/Wagoner’s guidance, the USF defense has become one of the elite units in NAIA football.  Since 2013, the USF defensive unit has had 43 players receive all conference honors, with 25 receiving 1st team accolades.  The 2015 cougar defense, en route to a NAIA FCS final four appearance, tied an all-time NAIA record for interceptions returned for a touchdown with 7.  The 2016 unit, which earned the 1st NAIA national championship for the Cougars, set a school record for sacks in a season with 46. It was also headlined by Mid-States Football Association defensive player of the year, Lucas Sparks.

USF Defensive Staff Structure 

picture1

Sunday Before Game Week

This next section is about how Saint Francis will prepare for the upcoming week and what they are going to install.  Break each aspect of the opponents game play into a script and this will allow you as a coach to make the best possible calls. Below is a video on the importance of practice scripting/how to do it and an outline on opponent scouting/scripting.

Opponent Preparation Should be Divided into 5 Sections

  1. Formation/Offensive Sets- Gather the top five formations you will go against (run/pass tendencies, play tendencies) Also, you must check odd formations and the required adjustments your defense must make.
  2. Personnel- Are any formations specific to personnel substitutions?
  3. Top Run Plays: These must be used in all over the inside run practice scripts! You must Identify the 5 most frequent run plays and all explosive run plays of 20 or more yards gained.
  4. Top Pass Concepts: Used for all perimeter 7 on 7.  5 most frequent pass concepts ( 1st down and 2nd down). Organize pass concepts by Offensive set, all explosive pass plays (20 or more yards).
  5. Top situational tools: Conversion downs, vertical field position (red zone, goal line, Backed up).

Call Sheet Creation

The famous Bill Walsh, Head coach of the San Francisco 49ers wrote in his book, ‘The Score Takes Care Of Itself’.

“Most leaders take scripting no deeper than the first level of inquiry. You must envision the future deeply and in detail-creatively-so that the unforeseeable becomes foreseeable. Then you write your script for the foreseeable.”

In other words, PREPARE FOR THE UNEXPECTED BECAUSE TO YOU IT WILL BE EXPECTED AND YOU WILL BE READY.

The call sheet

Create your call sheet only after you have scripted and have a plan of action against your opponent. As a result, you will make your play calling more efficient and more effective for crucial situations. Below is some guidance on the important aspects to include.

  • Make sure it is something that can be easily followed,
  • it includes what has been practiced,
  • make sure to master plan A,
  • cover a plan B with your staff and players,
  • and make sure all plays on the call sheet can be covered in 15 minutes

General Guideline to follow:

1st Down: Stunts and Blitzes to attack best Run Plays

2nd Down 5+: How can we keep you in Third & Long

2nd Down 5-: How can we put you in Third & Long

3rd Down: Utilize coverage to take away best conversion tools

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS = WHAT IS YOUR TEDDY BEAR?

READY TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS?

Make sure to check out our training programs. They will show you what you can accomplish with a little commitment!

THE IGNITION PROGRAM

THE GRIND

Leave a Comment

sport psychologyOline coaching in Europe