twitter

10 Ways to Sell the Wing-T

There is no denying the success of the wing-T offense.  It has perforated into all levels and all offensive styles today as described in a previous article (A Legend of the Fall).  However, choosing to run this system in today’s age of flashy spread schemes does come with a few speed bumps that you must overcome.  This is mainly due to stake holders like parents, boosters and players simply not understanding the offense, as all they see on tv is what they want to do.  That’s not just football, that is life in America.  The masses tend to emulate what they see on tv and other media outlets.  But for those of us who know and understand the offense, we know that it is simply the most cost effective and adaptable system available.  Hence, the wide spread use of its concepts from youth leagues to the NFL.  This article will give you 10 easy ways to help sell the wing-T offense to your players, parents and other stakeholders in your program.

  1. The ball is spread to multiple playersWhen run correctly, this is a true spread the ball around offense. At minimum it is a 3 back offense, 4 if you incorporate the QB in the run game!  Due to the deception and ball hiding nature of the offense you don’t need a dominant player at WR, QB or RB, (of course it always helps when you got one lol…) but, you can spread the ball around while faking it to the other players, forcing the defense to spread itself thin to account for multiple ball carriers and to play assignment football or they risk following the wrong player!  As far as who is getting the rock, it is hard to beat the true balance of the wing-T offense.  Use this when selling to your athletes.
  2. History of successHistory is on the side of the T based offenses. Most other offense produce “flash in the pan” success.  They will be good for a year, two years, and then back to obscurity. Especially with spread teams!  If they can’t recruit a DUDE at QB every year… its hard for them to stay consistent. While the teams that run a T based offense are consistently good, regardless of talent levels.  I don’t need to convince you of this, simply think of the successful teams in your state, or district.  Good chance the ones with sustained success are ones basing out of T concepts.  On top of that, its very easy to call plays in the system.  I detail that HERE. Use these things when selling the wing-T to your coaching staff, boosters and AD.
  3. If you can play, they will come“You won’t get recruited by a college in a wing-T offense” what a completely ASININE statement! Yet I have heard it multiple times!  This tends to be a thing repeated by players as why they would transfer…. Lets be real about this… this is from ignorant adults, not kids.  The ranks of college and the NFL are FULL of athletes that played in the wing-T or a derivative.  Hell, you still see the Wing-T in the NCAA and NFL today!  One simply needs to show this to the kids and parents with real statistics to squelch this silly rumor. 9 times out 10 this is told to players and parents by “street gurus” that have an investment in a rival school.  Like most things in life, look at the motives behind what somebody says and the light will shine on their true intentions.  Fact: it does not matter where you play ball at… if you are good enough, the recruiters will come.
  4. VersatilitySomething that I believe is unique to the wing-T offense is its versatility! There are more ways to incorporate wing-T concepts than you could ever do in a season.  Double options, triple options, shot gun, pistol, gun option.  People are even running the wing-T out of 4 wide personnel groupings.  It is truly adaptable to any skill set your players may or may not have!  This is reflective of the wing-T’s pathogen like infection of every offensive system you see today! This is also why you will see sustained success with wing-T teams. Target your coaching staff and AD with this one.
  5. Change NamesSimple word change propaganda goes a LONG way. Case and point:  in the 1980’s the Afghanistan militants were fighting against communist Russia and the USA called them “Freedom Fighters” and even supplied weapons and training.  Fast forward to the 2000’s…. and well, we wont get into all that, but you get the idea.  What I’m saying is… change the terminology to pander to the minds of your athletes!  Call your base wing-T formation “Spread rt” and “Spread lt”!  instead of calling the Fullback a Fullback, call him a B back… or even better, call him a Tailback! Instead of calling the wings, wingbacks… call them Slots!  You know they are wings… but that simple title change goes a long way.
  6. It’s a Team first offenseThis is the ULTIMATE team offense. Your Backfield and WRs will be selfless and block or fake on play they don’t get the ball. Which will help them, when they do get the ball.  Your skill guys know that if they block hard, or fake with conviction, the same will happen for them when they get the ball.  This is self-promoting!  This happens on its own with just some guidance from the coaching staff.  Everybody knows they will get the ball, everybody is involved in the game.  There is no need for that one WR that gets the ball every other play.  It is a true team system, that helps lead to a IDENTITY.
  7. It makes the defense tougher
    1. There is simply no arguing here. This type of offense is down hill and physical with high frequency, further building the team IDENITY. This forces the defense to develop an edge and a hardness that they simply cannot get by lining up in space every snap and playing tackle 7on7. This tends to ruffle feathers when I say this to folks… but facts are facts.  Furthermore, the nature of the offense means you can run the clock and have your “better” athletes play defense!  Your DC will be your new best friend.
  8. It’s DifferentBeing a wing-T offense you will be different. You will be something that, with a good chance nobody else you play is!  This will cause your opponents to have issues defending you.  They will be used to playing against 4 wide and shotgun 20 personnel all season long, and in practice against themselves all preseason and spring.  They will only have week to get ready for your formations and deceptive ground and pound offense.  Your players will also discovery that they are different, than anyone they play against.  This further leads to building an IDENTITY!
  9. Angles and NumbersThe use of angles may be the single biggest advantage of this offense! Your blockers, OL or Skills, will never have to drive a defender backwards, they will always have an angle to their blocks. This allows you to use smaller or less athletic linemen and still be successful.  The entire system is based on taking what the defense is not defending and getting there with as much speed and simplicity as possible.  The formations of the offense allow for extra run gaps to be created while still posing a vertical passing threat.  This creates a natural conundrum for the defense. They can load the box and expose themselves to the Play Action game, they can defend the edges and give up the quick hitting inside game.
  10. IdentityDifferent, hard nosed, team first. This all leads to strong sense of identity for your players.  You will watch your players start to take pride in the fact that they run this offense.  As somebody who has run multiple offensive schemes, I have not seen this happen with other offenses.  This sense of identity is self-feeding into the team first, hard nose nature of the system.  But don’t take my word for it!  Watch this video and then try and tell me these kids (and Coaches!) being interviewed don’t have a strong sense of IDENTITY:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOrwXVlpFfU

Bonus: It’s Fun!  Fun to call plays, fun to watch on film. Fun to coach. And ive NEVER had an offensive lineman that did not LOVE the offense.  OL enjoys the offense…. Nuff Said.

Be sure to sign up for my email list to get updated any time a new article posts!

Follow me on twitter here @TheCoachVogt

Check out the STORE for books and Merchandise!!!

 

Advertisements

BUILDING AN AERIAL ATTACK AROUND THE WIDE ZONE: Guest Post by Chad Weeks

About Coach Weeks.

Coach Chad Weeks is the Offensive Coordinator at Mosley High School in Lynn Haven FL. I first met Coach Weeks via twitter and we started having in depth discussions about the Wide Zone.  Very quickly he showed a strong aptitude for understanding football schemes as a whole.  Operating predominately out of 12 personnel, in two years time his offense would become what may be the best High School Wide Zone team I have ever seen.  Below is a guest post about building an effective play action attack in conjunction with the Wide Zone!

BUILDING AN AERIAL ATTACK AROUND THE WIDE ZONE

wzpic

INTRODUCTION

2 years ago, I came across some tweets by Coach Vogt talking about the “most consistent play in football”. Immediately I was drawn to the consistency of the play and was sold by Alex Gibbs’ proclamation of no-negatives. In the time since, I have built my offensive philosophy around Wide Zone and the mantra that Gibbs preaches in his clinic talks…if you are gonna run it, you better be willing to commit to it and cut out the rest of the fluff that seems to fill all of our playbooks at one point or another.

This article will not be covering the in’s and out’s of Wide Zone. This has been done in great detail in Coach Vogt’s eBook Installing The Wide Zone which is one of the finest manuals for running a football play I’ve ever read. This book is a complete guide to installing, applying and running the Wide Zone play. The book covers the philosophical applications, coaching points, drills and briefly looks at the many change ups that can be added.

Instead, I will focus on the pieces that go around the base play. The “answers” if you will, to the many different challenges defenses will deploy once they make the decision to take away the Wide Zone. This be done in 2 parts. Part 1 will discuss the keeper off of Wide Zone and part 2 will discuss the play action passing game off of the Wide Zone. 

PART 1 – THE KEEPER

The keeper goes by many names…keeper, naked, boot…it doesn’t matter what you call it, but a Wide Zone team had better have it and had better be good at it. The secret to it is in the acting and the mechanics involved. The best QB mechanics I’ve come across to date come from the National Football Academies Self Correct System DVDs. They utilize the Set, Show, Snap, Sell moniker to describe the mechanics and I have found it to be very effective. The video below shows the keeper mechanics for Tight Zone, when adjusting for Wide Zone Keeper, the QB and RB would simply need to widen the track and landmarks.

The second part of the acting is the offensive line. The biggest mistake that I hear from other coaches on this is to simply tell the OL to “block the play”. This is one of the many gross oversimplifications coaches use that do not respect the details of making the play successful; much like a barber being told “just a razor fade”, without any respect for the skill and precision required to obtain the perfection at such a difficult haircut.

For the keeper to truly effective the OL must get the linebackers to displace themselves by selling the run. To make this happen they must come off the ball fast and flat down the line of scrimmage, literally running horizontally picking up anything that crosses their path.

A crucial part of this play is the “slam” block (or whatever you want to call it, it honestly doesn’t matter) by the TE/H. The player must come off the ball flat and fast to protect the QB from a free shot. In the video below you can see what happens when he gets beat inside…which then causes the QB to be rushed into a bad throw.

There will come a time that you may come across a DE that is so well coached that he will not bite, no matter how much Wide Zone you show him. In this case you can either abandon the keeper (not the wise decision), or you can tag the blocking scheme to deal with him by pulling a guard. The illusion you are showing the linebackers is somewhat affected but the result is that you don’t let one defender take away a significant compliment to a base play of the offense.

boot

The next piece to think about is the route combination part of the keeper. This can become convoluted very quickly. We as coaches tend to make things more difficult than they should be. This page from the 2013 Auburn playbook says it all:

nakedrules

BASE NAKED RULES: To the side we are running the naked back to, we always have a receiver in the flats (1), a receiver climbing at 10 – 12 yards (2), a Deep 20 yard comeback* to the sidelines (3) and a backside home run post (4). The way we get people in these spots may vary, but we will almost always have 4 players at these different landmarks on the field.

*For high school adaptation I would adjust the comeback to 15 yards if the QB didn’t have the arm for the deeper throw.

Keeper 1

keeper2

The location of where these routes originate can vary, and there can of course be substitutions for the routes they use, but the general idea is that you want receivers in those locations at all times on keepers so that the QB knows instinctively where to go. Often times he is going to be under pursuit and will inevitably have to make a throw under duress, so it is crucial for him to know where his people will be without having to think.

PART 2 – THE SOLID PASS 

“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”
― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Any play caller worth their salt knows that there comes a time when one must drop the hammer on the defense. The good ones know are able to find those moments and also dial up the right play to make it happen. In this article I will discuss the different play actions that compliment Wide Zone as a base play. Some are deep shots, some are simple constraints to instill hesitation in the defense.

PROTECTION

As all good play do, this starts up front. Our Wide Zone play action protection is a simple one. We take exactly the same tracks and steps as we would on Wide Zone for 3 steps. After that we begin retreating and sorting out the defenders as they come to us. The only person who this changes for is the person blocking the backside end. This can be the backside TE or a H-Back slicing across the formation, this person’s goal in life on this play is to not let the QB get hit in the back.

WZ PA Protection

WZ PA Protection with Slice

ROUTES

The routes we use for play action have a High-Low progression with someone running a deep route, an intermediate route, and a flat route . We call these plays because we want to take a shot, but things do not always go the way we planned them and the QB needs to have options if things don’t work out.

Up Rt Purple 38 Z-BlazeUp Rt X-Cross

CLOSING

Coach Vogt talking here:  This is about as good as a guide you can get for the play action game off the Wide Zone!  It is very apparent that Coach Weeks is very sharp and knows is stuff.  Incorporating these concepts into your offensive attack is a must! That goes if you are a Wide Zone team, and Inside Zone team or a gap scheme team.  You must make safeties pay for getting nosy, and you must keep DC’s out of the box by stretching the field vertically for touchdown strikes and explosive plays.  Lets face it, every weekend defensive staffs meet and they say two things: 1) we gotta stop the run, and 2) we cant get beat deep.  Adding these concepts to your attack will allow you to exploit the two biggest fears defensive coaches have!  Be sure to subscribe to the email list so you can be updated any time a new article posts! You can follow me on twitter here at @TheCoachVogt and you can follow Coach Weeks on twitter here at @weekschad 

The Power of Social Media for Coaches

The power of social media has made itself widely apparent.  Nobody can deny that platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and linked in have an ability to influence and connect the population like never before in human history.  However, one must be careful using it.  Social media is an extremely sharp double-edged sword.  It can be an unmatched power tool for networking and marketing, but it can also drag you into being unproductive and even depression! It’s no secret that social media creators engineered it to be addictive, they openly admit this.  But if you can mitigate the negatives, you have an unrivaled tool at your disposal for connecting to other people in your profession, keeping tabs on your players, students or employees and driving your own marketing FOR FREE!  So how can utilize the power of social media for our own benefits?  This article will focus on how to establish a following and add contributions of worth to the world of social media with a focus on Twitter as the network of choice. The goal is never more followers or views, it is creating something worth sharing, and creating new connections. Do that and rest will take care of itself.  Let’s take a look at how we can accomplish this.

PRODUCING CONTENT

giphytype

When trying to grow a following and establish a network, producing content should be your first priority.  What do you contribute to the network you are trying to establish? Why should people follow you?  This doesn’t mean that you need to go out and start a blog or website (though it doesn’t hurt), but it does mean that what you post matters.  Simply retweeting everything and never posting your own content will garner very small results if any.  Original posts will always out perform retweets.  But there is more to it than that.  Your posts must have a purpose.  They must do one of the following: share information, state a “strong” opinion or maybe a not so popular fact (without being offensive), ask an open-ended question or comment on a trending topic.  Of all of these, sharing information will get you the most results.  Especially if it is a topic that is A) trending or B) a subject area you have a lot of knowledge in.  Being professionals, specifically coaches for most of you reading this article, it is also a big help to keep your posts focused on your primary niche.  This is your passion live your passion, put out posts that show this.  If you can tie your content into a trending topic, it is even better!  As coaches we ALL have content to produce.  Everybody in this profession has a perspective to share and angle to give, it’s part of what makes this profession so great.  And social media has provided ways for us to network and “daily clinic” and learn more, at a faster rate than ever in the profession of coaching!  I’m not the only coach who feels this way I’m sure.

“Social Media has opened up a daily coaches clinic each day! Being able to network with coaches around the world at anytime is amazing. If I was a young and up and coming coach I will take notes all day long from the amazing coaches that use social media to learn and help other coaches grow in our profession. I personally have learned and built so many great relationships with coaches that I wouldn’t have it wasn’t for social media. — But to me it’s more about friendship’s and respect that you earn from these great men who have taken the oath to mentor to young men and build character and relationships..”

Well put from a coach I have been lucky enough to connect with via twitter @slade248 Coach Singleton.  Make sure you check out his “More with Four” system!

“Social media has changed the complexion of coaching in numerous ways. For me personally, I have made great connections, written articles, and spoken for online clinics. Young coaches trying to make it have a voice. Veteran coaches who have much to offer can contribute. All coaches can enjoy the benefits. The chats have really been a neat twist as well. Social media is the new way to get information out there and while good ole fashioned face to face meetings and clinics still have their place, those conversations are never-ending with social media.”

As @coach_harvey18 Adam Harvey has put wonderfully, the open-ended conversation never really has to end with social media you’ve got a new soundboard for ideas and feedback, A great place for growth for all coaches. He is also a great reference in our next topic if you are a young coach looking for someone to emulate as far as coaching posts, he utilizes hash tags very well along with trending topics.

You also need to be sure to post content consistently and frequently.  Your followers will quit visiting your page if you are not doing this.  If time management is an issue because of work, or just life in general, then use an app like Hootsuite.  Apps like these allow you to preschedule posts ahead of time so it looks like your very active.  In reality you just managed your time wisely and scheduled your tweets to be released at certain times.  Usually I do this the night before.

TRENDING TOPICS

tintedtestyaquaticleech-small

When producing content, you should try to somehow tie it into trending topics.  You can get a general idea of what’s trending by tapping the little magnifying glass in your twitter app.  It will show you what’s “hot” for that period of time.  You can also tap the “trending for me” tab to see what your followers are into for that moment.  This is particularly useful when your following begins to grow.  You could also, simply ask.  Ask your followers what they want to see more of in general about a subject or from you specifically and tag them into the question as well.  If they are tagged, they are more likely to share the post with their followers as well. It is also very easy to tell if you have hit a trending topic or started one. The post will garner a lot of immediate action.  If it doesn’t… well it will disappear from timelines all together, but we will touch on that a little later in the article.

USING THE #

giphy#

The almighty hashtag is probably the most useful part of social media as far as connecting to new people to network with goes.   By using hashtags, you can connect with people of similar interests, connect your content to trending topics, discover new people to network with and follow, as well as gain new followers yourself.  The football coaching sect of twitter may have perfected the use of hashtags for this purpose.  Several coaches are utilizing #chats to connect and network with coaches across the world to share ideas and provide each other with information and an extended network.  Here are some great #chats to check out ASAP:

#hogfbchat (probably the best one)

#33stackchat

#txhsfbchat

#flhsfbchat

#425chat

There are others but as far as at the time of this article being written, those are the hottest ones tied to coaching.  You can also add a hashtag to any of your own content so it will appear on the time line for that hashtag.  For example:  you could post a philosophical opinion or quote, and use #wednesdaywisdom to connect it with any other person on the planet that uses that same hashtag.

ALGORITHMS

giphyalg

Algorithms are used to decide what should be displayed on the different personal feeds out there.  You might choose to see your feed in a “most recent” display, but that does not mean that you will see everything posted.  The more “trend” a post has, the more likely it is to show up on the feeds of your followers.  Algorithms are constantly changing based on whatever the whim of the network programmers may or may not be.  Trying to know exactly what they are from day to day is a futile effort.  If you can understand them well enough to manipulate your posts to fit in with certain criteria you can gain traction quickly on a post. Now, all that said, here are some things that have tended to hold true and have remained relatively static over time.

Comments need 4 or more words to produce more engagement.

If you have no engagement on a post in 5 minutes of posting it, it will disappear from feeds. The internet is vast with so much content being added every second you have a very small window to get in if you want something to turn from a regular post to trending or even viral.

Comments have higher value than likes.

Retweets increase likely hood of comments seen by others, more audience engagement.

The best times to post are 10am, 1pm – 2pm, 5pm and 8pm, days of the week matter too, Monday night is better than Monday morning, Tuesday/ Wednesday midday are ideal, and Thursday/ Friday early morning are usually pretty good as well.

Since we are talking twitter and football is our topic of choice: planning posts and content releases around major events is no accident, when we’ve done things like reducing the book cost and doing it over the holidays or on big game days is by design.

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!

giphysmart

When you create content for social media, you are publicly putting yourself, your ideas, and your creativity out there. Make sure it is worth sharing, writing, or vlogging about.  You want followers to share and comment on your post.  Your posts should be geared towards starting a conversation and interaction.  Open ended questions tend to produce a lot of engagement.  Ask a question that has more than one answer based of viewer perspective and tag in some followers to entice sharing and commenting.  Original content will always outshine something you retweeted from somebody else.  Remember, you want to produce things that make you worth following. What are YOU contributing? That’s what people want to see and share.  Surveys and asking for perspective will usually encourage engagement as well.  Thanking followers and showing gratitude for anything in posts will also encourage engagement.  Using visuals to help “grab attention” is a big time aid in audience engagement!  Use things like pictures, GIF’s and videos frequently. Humans are visual creatures, having media attached to your post will pull eye focus away from the general feed and onto YOUR individual post.

THINGS TO AVOID

tenor

We have been covering things to do for building your social media brand, but we also need to cover what you should not do.  Here are things that you should avoid doing when creating your content:

Vulgarity

Religion and Politics (posting on your faith or belief is OK, but refrain from engaging in any religious or political debates as it only tends to lead into nasty arguments and name calling)

Graphic Images

You also need to be aware of the fact that everything you have ever hit the like button on can be seen.  It is public and anyone can see anything that you have liked.  It does not matter what you say, or what “disclaimer” you put in your headline.  If you like something on social media, YOU ARE ENDORSING IT!  That cannot be over stated, hit the like button with discretion.

“Twitter has definitely helped in building our brand as offensive line coaches and football coaches in general. It has influenced me into being a better coach and person as well. As we tell our student-athletes, you never know who is watching you and that goes for us too. You never know who is reading your Twitter feed and making mental notes. As far as networking, this has opened me up to so many coaches and friends in the past few years. I value this platform much more than anything else.”

Wise words from the godfather of @hogfbchat; @coachshiffman. Thank you for your input on social media and I couldn’t have put it better myself. Too many times we see likes or comments from kids and wonder why put that out there that’s not a good look. Adults do it too and it looks a thousand times worse. So, mind your likes and posts. Keep it positive, keep it clean and keep it fun.

THE “HATERS”

decentsoupybichonfrise-small

It is inevitable, eventually you will get some “haters”. It’s hard not to get worked up when someone comes after you or your brand that you’ve put lots of time and effort into, but pause before you react. Negativity begets negativity. Rule of thumb for haters, not everyone will like what you put out there. Period, not a grand statement, it is just the way it is. — Thank them for there feedback and move on. You can continue your path to productivity, and potentially make them a fan in the future, how I see it, they are already watching what you do. A hater is just a low key fan, otherwise they wouldn’t pay such close attention to what you’re doing.

Here is something to remember about haters though.  They are simply trying to elicit a response and it is actually helping you out.  Haters are just fans in denial.

GRATITUDE

giphy

Always be thankful for the opportunity to meet new people to expand your world from the comfort of your home desktop or while leisurely checking your feed on your cell phone. It takes ten seconds to thank someone for following you (it also starts a new conversation; audience engagement 101) or for sharing some of your content. I’m so thankful every time I have shared something with my community of coaches, and they’ve liked it so much they’ve felt compelled to share it with others, so much so they took time out of there day to write something nice about something I’ve created.

CLOSING

Social media is here to stay, but always evolving.  The platforms may change (RIP myspace) but the social network will never disappear.  Just change face.  You have three options when it comes to dealing with social media.  You can ignore it, get used by it, or you can USE IT!  It is a tool that can greatly help your personal and professional network when used appropriately.  It only makes sense that we as coaches should harness its power to make ourselves and those we influence better.  Would the world be better without social media??? That is another subject entirely, but it is here, here to stay, so we might as well tame it!  Please make sure to follow the coaches that helped contribute to this article, as well as the mastermind behind my social media presence, my wife @karlymarie322.  If I post something on twitter that works… its probably because she told me to! She works very hard to support me and what I’m trying to do, and I am very grateful to have her decide she wanted to be a part of my life forever!

Follow me on twitter here @TheCoachVogt, subscribe to the email list to be notified anytime a new article is posted and if you like to read and learn football, check out these ebooks:

Installing the Wide Zone.   The Speed-T Offense Vol.2