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December 2012

December 2012

Welcome to the Pre-Season

by: John Gallup
Editor and Publisher
© December 2012

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By the time you receive this issue, your season will most likely be over. Whether you led your team all the way to a championship or fell short of expectations, you probably have a sense of relief that another season is behind you. Now you can finally take some time off from football, clear your head of Xs and Os, maybe take a vacation. Just get away from the game for a while. Right?
    Wrong. Your 2012 season might be over, but all that means is that your 2013 pre-season has begun. The weeks and months ahead are critical times to evaluate what went right and what didn’t last season, sow the seeds of leadership in those players who will return next season and organize activities that will keep them involved with their teammates and motivated to improve.
    Today’s committed football coach understands that coaching requires a 12-month commitment. You can’t walk away from the game just because your field might be covered in snow or your footballs have been locked up in storage.
    In this issue of AFM, we put the focus on the issues that you’re facing today, namely the steps you can take to analyze your 2012 performance and build a solid foundation for next season.
    To give you time-tested advice on how to set off-season priorities, evaluate and motivate coaches and returning players, assist seniors who want to play at the next level and conduct team-building activities that bridge the gap between seasons, we assembled a “panel” of eight notable coaches from some of the most high-profile high school programs in America. You can learn how they approach the months between seasons beginning on page 20.
    Obviously, strength and conditioning programs take priority in the off-season. Since competition is the essence of football, we think that it’s wise to build your strength training programs with a competitive mindset. In “Keeping Score”, we turned to four coaches for ideas on how to keep players motivated during their strength training regimens by incorporating competitive challenges.
    In his “Managing Your Program” column, our regular contributor Coach Keith Grabowski gives you some great tips on how to analyze your 2012 Xs and Os performance from a statistical standpoint to uncover where you were most successful and where you need to improve.
    Of course, it pays to spend some time during the off-season learning from others in the coaching community. For those of you who plan on attending coaching clinics in the upcoming months, we’ve included complete 2013 schedules of the country’s most popular clinics in “Get Educated” beginning on page 43.
    However you decide to spend the months ahead, we know that your mind will never be far from football. We hope that you can use some of the ideas in this issue to launch a successful pre-season and set the stage for an exciting year ahead. You might even find time to take a day off here and there.
    On behalf of everyone at AFM, best wishes to you, your family and your team for a healthy and successful 2013!

                        John Gallup
                        Editor & Publisher


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