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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for a Youth Football Head Coach, February 20, 2008
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This review is from: Impact! Coaching Successful Youth Football: Volume One: The Program (Paperback)
I don't know Derek Wade personally, but several years ago I first "met" him through an Amazon book review. I was so impressed with his review that I did a search on his name and found out that he had a web site. At the time I was not coaching, but I was closely following my older son's progress in Youth football. I was trying to fill in the holes in my son's skill set, that his coaches were not able to cover because of their restrictions of practice time and ability to spend one on one time with the players. I soon realized I had good tactical knowledge of the skills required for individual football positions, but hardly any strategic knowledge of a football team from a coaches view. Derek's website [...] contained tons of the knowledge he had gathered and shifted through on his similar quest for a strategic knowledge. His writing style was written in "Conversational" manner, where the emphasis is on communicating ideas in an understandable manner, as if having a conversation with an acquaintance, as opposed to trying to sound like an expert.

Chapter 1 History: This really filled in a lot of the holes in my knowledge. In other writings (or in my son's Madden Football) I would read references to offensive systems or defenses systems and I could only guess about them (ie. West Coast offense, 4-3 defense, etc.). Coach Wade explains these system with just enough detail and history to understand them from a 10,000 foot view. I couldn't put the book down while reading this. Then Coach Wade goes into a 5,000 foot view on the rules of football. This is an easy read as the entire section is labeled with bold headings so a person can skip what they don't want to read, and not worry about missing something they want to read.

Chapters 2 & 3 Video & book Reviews: There are a lot of coaching videos on the market. They are expensive. Most of them seem to be "Garage Projects". I agonize when I am trying to find the right video to fit my present need because it will cost a person tens of dollars to find out what you bought is not what you wanted. There needs to be more video & book reviews from trusted sources, so I was thankful for Coach Wade's insight. Coach Wade also has a few more book reviews on his web site.

Chapter 4 Film Study: Coach Wade makes it clear this is time intensive, but has big payback. I have been doing this for several years and I very much agree. As a dad, I would film a close up of the line where my son was, then slow it down to about 0.4 speed. That is VERY entertaining to watch as it emphasizes the hand to hand combat of the front line and has been VERY helpful to my son. Lots of good lessons learned in this section. Coaches should measure their resources and allocate them to film study accordingly.

Chapter 5 Dealing with Parents: Good philosophy and "lessons learned" in this chapter.

Chapter 6 Selecting Staff: Good philosophy and "lessons learned" in this chapter.

Chapter 7 Practice Preparation: Good philosophy and "lessons learned" in this chapter.

Chapter 8 Practice Plan: This chapter is the biggest in the book. Coach Wade takes a person through weeks of individual practices. I had to keep in mind that Coach Wade talks from his present coaching assignment at the Jr. high level, but I felt there was lots of good philosophy and lessons learned to help me at the K-4th level. I just finished coaching K-2 graders, all first time players, and my team would not have been able to progress as fast as the outline, but my older son's 5-6th grade team would have been able too. I will be coaching 3-4 graders and I plan on incorporating a lot of Coach Wade's practice philosophy here. I am presently rewriting my future practice plan accordingly.

Appendix 1 Misc Drills: Having this many drills laid out by subject area, with diagrams, and field tested is really really nice.

Appendix 2 Practice Plan: This is what I am referencing while I rewrite my future practice plan.

Appendix 3 Helpful Charts: If you are a visual person like I am, having things laid out in forms and organized into relationships is very helpful, but it takes time and a good form evolves from its initial concept to its working state. This section allows a person to skip the evolution stage and get right to the working stage.

Appendix 4 Letter to Parents: Interesting.

Appendix 5 The Black Lion Award: Interesting.

Appendix 6 Concussions: Very helpful. I plan on taking this seriously.

Appendix 7 Football Terms: Very helpful and interesting to read.

Index: Even this shows that some time was put into it.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 21, 2008 7:35:58 AM PST
What a great, thorough review!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2008 4:56:41 PM PDT
I agree, Ted. Coach Stucker, thank you so much for the thorough and comprehensive review, and for the many positive comments. I hope the book helps you out a ton on grass!

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