Split-field coverages are nothing new. Many coaches around the country run them at all levels of play, but there are not many resources on how to teach them. In Cody Alexander’s third book, he breaks down how to teach the many varieties of Quarters coverage.
From simple match Quarters to defending Empty and Quads formations, Coach Alexander breaks it down and simplifies the concepts for any coach. Xs and Os are great, but the players must still execute and the coach must know when to use each scheme.
Match Quarters: A Modern Guidebook to Split-Field Coverages, allows anyone interested in football to have a deeper understanding of the game itself and why each coverage is used. Along with the basics, Coach Alexander gives you multiple tags and variations within each family (Cover 4 and Cover 2).
Come learn the Art of X.
Excerpt from Chapter 2 (We Talkin’ ‘Bout Practice!):
Saban puts it this way, great coaches reinforce positive behaviors during practice, but this can become a crutch if the coach tries to micro-manage every second. When players become dependent on the instant feedback, the coach can become muted or the player can subconsciously panic during a game. The coach is on the sideline. In an interview with BamaInsider.com, Saban explained how Belichick chewed him out one day for coaching too much. It was a revelation for the now-famous coach.
“I was like, ‘Wow, I’ve never had my butt chewed out before for coaching, teaching.’ But I have to say the same thing sometimes to our coaches now. Because there’s a time when you’ve just got to let the players play. Because in a game, they’ve got to know what to do, they’ve got to know how to do it.”
Saban would go on to explain that in a game situation, the players cannot rely on the coach to make the call. It is 100% on them. Formation recognition and tendencies have to be ingrained in them through the week. The coach can’t become the crutch. This is what is referred to as a dual-leadership model. The coach has control, but the player is responsible for his part autonomously. As Saban puts it, “Let the players play.” The coach’s aim is to arm the players with intent, plus explain to them what they are trying to accomplish. The rest is up to the player to make plays. This type of model functions well in a split-field Quarters defense because each side (and some levels) work independently from each other. There are few “blanket” calls.
In Fergus Connolly’s book Game Changer, he explains that the more coaches can model behaviors, the less is left to chance. This comes from film, meetings, walk-throughs, and drills. If it impacts the team, it is important. Many coaches are familiar with the belief that little things add up to big things. Players, in the heat of battle, will fall to the level of their fundamentals. Pedagogy of scheme and understanding the sport of football is crucial to success. It is the role of the coach to be as knowledgeable as they can. You owe it to the players.
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