For the first time in football's long and rich history we're entering a season where some of us will be roaming the sidelines with our teams on the field, while others will have to settle for only a limited amount of practices during the fall and hope for a spring season. Welcome to football in the COVID era.
That stark reality means that there are thousands of great football coaches with idle time on their hands this fall just itching to help out in one way or another. Chances are, if you're playing, you've heard from some coaching buddies near and far that aren't as fortunate that are willing to help with some virtual film break down, self-scouting, or game planning advice just to keep football as a part of their daily routine this fall.
Coaches willing to pitch in remotely can be a huge advantage and is one byproduct of this "new normal" we all find ourselves in. There is also an emerging trend in the coaching community that California high school coach Brad Dal Bon highlighted with a recent tweet.
That trend? Well, it's "Virtual Coaching."
Coach Dal Bon shared a tweet of him helping coach a team in Alaska from the comfort of his home office that sparked a really interesting conversation. But first, take a look at what game day looked like for him.
In the thread that unfolds coach Dal Bon explains that Homer HS (AK) and head coach Justin Zant bought an iPad to accommodate the virtual coaching and three different team managers help him walk around practice. Dal Bon then coaches through the iPad with a speaker attached. While he's not physically there, he is at practice, everyday...just making it all happen virtually.
Having to depend on the internet doesn't come without the occasional hiccup though. Dal Bon notes that his home internet is decent, and the connection up at Homer HS is average. Overall though, it really has worked out really well from the sounds of it.
The videos do a great job of laying out what it all looks like from coach Dal Bon's perspective but we were interested to hear what it's like from coach Zank's vantage point in Alaska ranging from how the ball got rolling with the idea, to what it took to get the idea off the ground from him and his staff.
We will update our article after we hear back from coach Zank.
Sure, haters may say the press box angle maybe isn't the best, but this is a great example of finding a way to stay engaged and make things happen, regardless of the obstacles placed in our way that we have no control over.
If the coaching community can rig up a way live stream the end zone copy, this could go to a whole new (and even more fun) level on game days.
Below is the full (edited) version of the weekend's game that coach Dal Bon uploaded to YouTube.