Programs everywhere are on a mission to use their time as efficiently as possible, and late last night (via Twitter), I came across this message thread from CoachHuey.com that detailed coaches sharing the things that they have decided to cut from their programs or practices over the last few seasons.
Some coaches weighed in with simple cost-saving measures such as getting rid of practice pants and replacing them with shorts and volleyball knee pads, noting that the move seemed to have kept their kids fresh later into the season.
Others have cut former staples from their practices. Ten years ago, nearly every program in America did some extra conditioning after a tough early week practice, but now, conditioning periods are being cut from practices everywhere and coaches are opting to work in conditioning during their drills. Another former staple becoming more and more rare at practices is the Oklahoma drill, as coaches opt for other drills in the face of player safety concerns.
Some of the things that have been scrapped include schematic advantages. One of the more interesting comments from a coach on the thread is that they have scrapped their punt formations, opting instead to punt from their regular formations.
"We started punting from regular offensive formations. We don't install fakes just run our offense if we have a favorable look. It's made teams really passive."
Thursday walk through's are another area that are being cut by coaches. Over the weekend, I was reminded of this excerpt from one of Chris Brown's books that touched on Chip Kelly ditching walk throughs in exchange for full-speed practices the day before games. New Texas A&M offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone touched on the idea recently as well.
Lastly, true two-a-day practices are also becoming increasingly rare. Instead, many coaches are opting for a longer practice, normally in the mornings, with a short break to hydrate, rest, and refuel with some quality foods before taking the field again to work the other side of the ball.
Other things that coaches / programs have cut, according to the thread include;
- Organized pre-practice stretching
- No Saturday meetings / practices during the season
- Hard copies of playbooks
- "Bull in the Ring" drill
- Practicing in full gear
- Practicing PATs - instead, they go for 2 every time
I think we can all agree, that some of the changes, like no more of these polyester shorts, are - beyond a doubt - for the better. Head here to read the full thread.