First-year Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase has worked alongside some of the most respected minds in the NFL in his career as an assistant, including head coaches like John Fox and coordinators like Adam McDaniels, and Vic Fangio. It was his time with coaches like that that he learned to allocate practice time toward drills that simulated game day situations.
Every day Gase and his staff come up with a plan to educate his players on certain scenarios. Keep in mind, these are guys that are making hundreds of thousands (and in many cases millions) of dollars to play at the highest level, but as Gase points out, you can’t just assume that guys know.
“We keep saying, ‘What do we want to work on today?’ We’ll focus on something, and we try to make sure we educate the players, because you’d be surprised how many times you bring something up and somebody’ll say, ‘Wow, I didn’t know that,’ and you start assuming something and that’s the worst thing you can do, because a lot of these guys, they’ve never heard some of this stuff,” Gase explained, according to the Miami Herald.
“When you hear it for the first time, you probably screw it up in practice and then you make the correction. You want to try to make it to where when those situations come up on Sunday, you’re not coming back Monday and being like, ‘Alright, we need to do this.’ Instead, you’re ahead of that, you make the right play and you get the right result.”
As camp approaches for high school and college coaches, keep in mind that if NFL coaches are taking the time to teach game-like situations with guys playing at the highest level, not assuming that players know anything, chances are you should be finding a way to work game day situations into your practices as well.
Taking 5-10 minutes each day to go over a different scenario and educating your players could easily end up being the difference between adding a win or loss in their respective column at the end of the year.