Preparing to coach like an athlete

Coach Phillips D-Line clinicCoaches are just like athletes. They either get better at what they do, or they let everyone catch up and overtake you. Athletes get better by practicing their technique until it becomes muscle memory. They train to improve their strength, power, and speed. They seek out other methods or approaches to what they do, in hopes of adding weapons to their craft.

Coaches are similar, they review what worked, and hasn’t been working. They look for ways to keep doing what works and eliminate or tweak what doesn’t. They look at what their opponents are doing and what has made them successful or unsuccessful and then prepare for it. Among the many things coaches can do to improve themselves, one the best they can do is learn from someone else who has had success. Of course what stops many coaches from doing this at the High School level is their ego. Not me, I’m an eternal student and am always eager to learn how to improve my athletes.

I had the pleasure of meeting Hartnell Community College Coach Mike Phillips this last week and was able to do just that. Coach Phillips is known locally as one of the best D-Line coaches in the Community College arena. So when someone deemed an expert by his peers opens his doors for you to have a peek at how they work, you jump out of your seat and run in. Coach Phillips was kind enough to invite a small number of High School coaches over for a quick D-Line clinic. It was a quick demonstration of some of the drills his team uses for Defensive Linemen, as well as some Q & A. All in all it was short but extremely useful and content packed! I’m looking forward to implementing some of his methods into our practices.

Below are some short videos I was able to take from the knowledge session.

Coach going over “Panther Paws”:

Coach going over some additional hand fighting drills:

Coach discussing his approach to teaching pass rush:

Coach going over stance set up and man keys

Coach going over base stance set up

Coach Phillips discusses the difference with Defensive Ends and emphasis on Ball Disruption

Coach talks about how power foot feeds into hand strikes, and discusses hip explosion drills

some of the coaches go over Drill and equipment selection

Coach Phillips talks about how the escape and snatching sets up the finish

Coach discusses some pass rush and counter techniques, jet stance. more counters

Finishing on counters and talking about how to coach taking on double teams and trap kickouts


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