As we enter spring it is time for the college football clinics that have become so numerous over the years. What determines which clinic you and your staff attend can be varied.
Football clinics are an important part of the growth of any football staff. In addition to gaining some vital knowledge, clinics are a great way for staffs to bond and spend some fun time together. The head coach should try to save a little money to pay for meals and let his staff go as much first class as possible. Finally, clinics are a great way to network with other coaches and maybe draw a few X’s and O’s with your buddies. There are basically four types of clinics that attract most high school coaches.
Glazier/Nike Clinics- These clinics are very popular for a couple of reasons. They feature a number of different college and high school coaches speaking about a variety of topics. The Glaziers are famous for having very specific topics dealing with strategy rather than fundamentals. A good thing about these clinics is that most take place in January and February. This allows a head coach to possibly get most of the members of his staff to attend before they start spring sports.
Conventions- The ALFCA and AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) Conventions not only have strategy sessions, but also talk about the latest issues affecting football in our state as well as the nation. This is also a great way to meet coaches from other states and develop relationships with them.
Specialty Clinics- These clinics spend a weekend with sessions that deal with one certain subject. Tony Franklin’s Air Raid clinics have been popular for years. We recently had a spread offensive clinic in Birmingham. We have a Southeastern Wing T Clinic each year in Georgia that includes a defensive section and a national Wing T clinic in Pittsburgh.
College Clinics- These are some of the high school coach’s favorite clinics. Some coaches have gone to the Alabama or Auburn Spring clinic for years, staying at the same hotel every year. Some bounce around and go to other clinics in near by states like FSU, Ole Miss, Tennessee or Georgia. These clinics are popular because they have lectures from the college’s staff, usually talking about fundamentals. They also bring in top high school coaches to speak. The most popular part of these clinics is the practice session. Everyone loves to watch the team practice and it allows younger coaches to watch the college guys coach the fundamentals. Offensive line guys can watch the offensive line, linebacker coaches watch the linebackers, etc. Some of the small colleges put on great clinics as well.
So what clinic is best for your staff? If you have some younger coaches, go to a college so you can watch them practice. If you want to get better and more knowledgeable at a certain part of football, scout out the clinic agendas and see what subjects are being offered. Sometimes a college runs the same offense and defense that you are running, and it allows you to get some valuable information and insight as you watch them work. But it is important that you attend one of the conventions and keep up with the latest football issues.
Talk with your coaching staff and get their input on where they would like to clinic and make it a fun time for everyone.