This week is what I always considered the start of pre-season camp: the Louisiana High School Coaches Association Clinic in Baton Rouge.
The LHSCA hosts their annual summer clinic where some of the top coaches from across the country come to present workshops to our interscholastic coaches. The clinic is kicked off with a golf tournament, includes an array of sports vendors, and concludes with the general business meetings for the LHSCA.
This was the start of camp for me because every phase of the game is covered at the clinic. Not every topic is on things that you do, but you will probably have to face that tactic at some time. The presenters get you thinking about what you do and what your opponents do. Your juices start flowing.
It is the end of the summer and start of the fall. Even though it is 90 degrees outside with 90% humidity. That is South Louisiana football weather!
This week is the clinic, next week is the finalization of pre-season plans, and then players report.
We always used August 1 as our initial reporting date. That way, no one had to think about when to show up. We were starting August 1.
The only exception was if the 1st was a Sunday. If it was you had better go to church and be on time on August 2.
When the players did report, everything would be planned ahead of time. The pre-season plan covered the time period from reporting day through Jamboree Week. This includes practices in shorts, half-pads (shoulder pads and shorts), and full pads. Every item and contingency is covered in excruciating detail. If we had to make a change, and we often did, we found that it was easier to adjust a plan than to have to make one up.
After the Jamboree we would be into our regular season plan. Those plans would also be in place with the knowledge that what you had to do that week was based on your opponents.
One of the interesting things about coaches is their willingness to share what they do with their peers. There are very few, if any, professions where people are willing to tell you what they do that has made them successful.
Such is the fraternity of coaches.
Barry Switzer once said, "That's the great thing about football coaches. They'll kick your (butt) on Saturday afternoon and then tell you how they did it."
The LHSCA Clinic is not only about football. There are also workshops in basketball, volleyball, soccer, baseball, softball, track, wrestling and powerlifting.
The University of Arkansas Razorback football staff will be the out-of-state college coaching presenters. They will give eight (8) presentations on both defense and offense.
Four lectures will be on the defensive side of the ball headed by Defensive Coordinator Coach Paul Haynes speaking on Arkansas Base Coverage. Defensive End Technique will be demonstrated by Coach Steve Caldwell. Coach Taver Johnson will discuss Linebacker Drills. Defensive Tackles Coach Kevin Peoples will lecture on Fundamentals and Techniques.
The offensive side will be led by Offensive Coordinator Paul Petrino on the Razorback Passing Game. Wide Receiver Coach Kris Cinkovich talks about Wide Receiver Fundamentals. The Pistol Offense will be outlined by Offensive Line Coach Chris Klenakis. Running Back Coach Tim Horton will discuss Drills and Fundamentals.
Since they are in the SEC, we will get a good idea on how the Razorbacks plan to do things and compare that with what they will actually do. With the late coaching change in Fayetteville, you can be certain that there will be changes.
In-state college and high school coaches also play a large role in the clinic.
On the college side Head Coaches Curtis Johnson of Tulane University, Mark Hudspeth of the Ragin' Cajuns, Ron Roberts from Southeastern Louisiana University and Dennis Dunn from Louisiana College in Pineville will lend their expertise to the program. They will be joined by LSU assistants Defensive Coordinator John Chavis, Tight Ends Coach Steve Ensminger and Defensive Backs Coach Corey Raymond. McNeese State University is represented by Offensive Coordinator Tim Leger. Defensive Coordinator Greg Stewart and Wide Receivers Coach Jorge Munoz join Hudspeth in representing UL-Lafayette,
High School Head Coaches Terry Martin from Cecilia, Terence Williams from Donaldsonville and Neil Weiner from Zachary High School are joined by Assistant Coaches Daniel Bristo of Ouachita Christian, Mike Doherty of Teurlings Catholic and Terry Tidwell of St. Thomas More.
LHSAA Director of Officials Keith Alexander will conduct two sessions of great importance to coaches. One is titled Sportsmanship – The new policy and what you should know. After some incidents last year, sportsmanship is gaining even greater attention this year.
The other is the LHSAA Football Rules Clinic which is mandatory for all Head Coaches. This annual topic is critical since a coach certainly does not want to be surprised by a rule change during a game. Once again, prior planning and thought keep unforeseen occurrences from happening.
Are you ready for some football? The LHSCA Clinic provides it all for the football coach with topics covering offense, defense, kicking game, rules and sportsmanship. This week is the kickoff to the football coach's year where everyone is undefeated and hope springs eternal. It is a safe prediction that 2012 will be another banner year of Prep Football in Louisiana.
For more information go to: http://lhsaa.org/
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