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Script your pre-game workout.

A 45-minute workout that will prepare your players for almost everything they will encounter in the game.

Like most football teams, Jonesboro used to spend its Thursday pre-game practice running most of its offensive plays, reviewing several of its opponent's plays, and checking out its defensive game plan and kicking game.

A few years ago we decided to change to a scripted format with a scout team. We felt that it would allow us to not only cover specific offensive and defensive areas, but to practice many of the special situations that come up during a game.

On Thursday, before taking the field for pre-game practice, the coaching staff will designate a 12-15 player scout team that will simulate the offense, defense, and special teams of our next opponent. Many of those chosen will have been working in this capacity during the mid-week practices.

One assistant coach is made responsible for the scout team, while the others serve as offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, and special teams coordinator.

The scout team coach will show his team a 12x8 card in the huddle before each play. The card will indicate the alignment and/or play that the scouts will run in each area and situation.

The coordinators will call the offensive plays, defensive alignments, and special team plays and situations during the "game."

The plays and signals will be called from the sideline and the different units (offense, defense, & special teams) will move on and off the field as close to the game scenario as possible.

After a few weeks, we'll be running the whole script in 45 minutes.

THE SCRIPT BEGINS WITH THE...

1. Kickoff Return best suited against the coming opponent.

2. Offense. The offensive team runs five plays vs the scout defense. We move the ball about five yards on each play, and punt as the sixth play.

3. Punt. The punting team uses its normal coverage against the particular opponent, stressing any special keys that have been worked on during the week.

4. Defense. The defensive team comes in for three plays run by our scout offense from the script used during our mid-week practice.

5. Punt Return. On fourth down, the scout offense punts and the return team runs the designated return for the week.

6. Offense. The offensive team returns for five more plays, scoring on the fifth.

7. X-pt Team comes on for the try after the score.

8. KO Team. The kick-off coverage team works on its normal deep kick coverage.

9. Defense. The defensive team returns for three more plays, during which we work on no-huddle situations and third-down long counts (10) and other special situations.

11. Punt Return. On this fourth down, we run a special return and/or block situation.

12. Offense. After the punt, the offense runs three plays, after which we fake a punt (13), then run three more plays to score (14).

15. Two-Pt. Conversion. We leave our offense on the field to go for two points, using pre-selected plays.

16. On-Side KO team works on one or more of its kick recoveries.

17. Defense (GL). Our defense sets up on the goal-line for three or four goal-line plays, most specific for the upcoming game. After the plays, we run our field-goal/x-pt block scheme.

18. Offense Close to GL. The offensive team comes on after the block to run two or three goal-line plays, takes a safety (19), which leads to the next progression, a kickoff/punt after a safety (20).

21. Defense. We run another three-play defense series using backups at each position, making sure we have a substitute ready for Friday night. At the end of this series, we work on a long field-goal attempt with return (22) by the defensive unit.

23. Offense Close to GL. The offense returns for three more plays close to the goal-line, then a...

24. Tight Punt/Quick-Kick Situation from deep in our territory.

25. Fair Catch/Free Kick Situation. We now flip-flop our scout and start teams so that the scouts are punting from the end zone. We work on fair-catching the punt, with a special alignment to set us up for a free kick. We align in a defensive front with six to seven players and use the four to five secondary players to spread out over the field, three deep and one to two short, to make sure the fair catch is made. After the catch, our kicker will get a chance to "win the game" from 35-50 yards out.

26. Defense (Nickel). We run several pass plays against our nickel/prevent package.

27. Offense (Two-min. drill). The offense is given the ball on the 20-yard-line to work on its two-minute offense. This usually ends with our field-goal team running out for a quick field-goal (28).

29. On-Side Kick Return. We send an on-side kick recover team (the good hands people) to recover a kick.

30. Run Out the Clock. We end the script with the offensive team returning to the field to 'take a knee" two plays to run out the clock.

Obviously, many other situations could be incorporated into the script, but we try to limit our pregame workout to an hour. We cover the other situations during the mid-week practices and also make minor changes in our script from week to week.

By scripting our pre-game day, we prepare our players (under game-like conditions) for most of the special situations they will encounter during the game.

The scripting also enables us to work on our substitutions, getting them in and out of the game and making sure we have the right players on the field.

All of this, we believe, will improve both our players' confidence and performance on Friday night.
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Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:football
Author:DeVazier, Jim
Publication:Coach and Athletic Director
Date:May 1, 1997
Words:958
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