Video: 4-star Aquinas WR is ready for football to start
See St. Thomas Aquinas wideout Elijah Moore make an amazing snag.
This is the second part of a three-part series about pregame routines. See the first part here.
What is the No. 1 mistake coaches make with their pregame routine? I surveyed about 60 high school coaches, most head coaches, on this topic. The results were very clear: spending too much time on the field. Here is what head coaches all over the nation said about coaches being on the field for too long. I think there is some great insight here. "Keeping their team on the field way too long. I think from when your first group (specialists) comes on the field, until the whole team leaves should be 45 minutes total. I've seen guys on the field with the entire team for 45-60 minutes." — Jeff Steinberg, head coach, Rancho Verde (Moreno Valley, Calif.)"Teams arriving too early for a game and losing focus." — Nick Lucey, head coach, Squalicum (Bellingham, Wash.)
"Overworking the players. I like a short dynamic stretch, some position specific movements and drills, and then let's play ball." — Bill Liedy, associate head coach, Cardinal Gibbons (Raleigh, N.C.)"Stretch far too long (1B is static stretch after dynamic)." — Justin Dottavio, athletic performance/assistant head coach, Willamina (Ore.)"Wearing their team out." — Bill Harrelson, head coach, Gravette (Ark.)
"Being disorganized. Having players standing around, sitting on the bench, dancing, etc., because you allotted way too much time per segment. I'd rather be hustling through stations than have a player standing on the 50 dancing because he has too much down time." — Jim Singiser,head coach, Arroyo (El Monte, Calif.)
"Overcoaching before the game." — Lamont Butler, assistant head coach/defensive coordinator, Trinity International University (Deerfield, Ill.)
"They go too long." — Juan Merida, offensive coordinator, Paloma Valley (Menifee, Calif.) "Too long of a warmup; too intense. They try to get their team to intimidate the other team instead of just warming up." — Brian M. Barnes, head coach, Bishop Foley (Madison Heights, Mich.)
"Doing too much. I was guilty of this my first few years as a head coach. All you need is some dynamic movement warm ups, one or two quick drills for offensive and defensive positions, a group drill (routes with skill and pass pro/rush with line). At most we ran five plays with offense and defense. Specialists were out on the field prior to the full team — kickers/holders/snappers/returners/QB reads." — Dave Murello, assistant coach, Holy Trinity Pride (Schenectady, N.Y.)
"I think the biggest mistake is coming out unorganized and in a hurry. Also, I don't think you have to be in full pads 1.5 hours before a game when it's 90 degrees out." — Eric Preszler, Saddleback College assistant coach, former high school head coach.
So, how long is too long to be on the field? Most coaches told me that one hour or more is way too long to be on the field. I would agree with that sentiment. Do not overthink it. I am a big fan of getting feedback from my players on this. Years ago, I had a team who hated going back in to the locker room before the game. They wanted to stay out the whole time. So, we adjusted the time we went out, and never went back in. They loved the change.Chris Fore is a veteran Head Football Coach and Athletic Director
from Southern California. He consults coaches and programs nationwide
through his business Eight Laces Consulting.