When you see that big time coordinator on the sidelines covering his face with that football play call sheet, it’s pretty exciting. You think that’s just what a football coach is supposed to look like. What you need to have in your hand on game day to be official.
This week’s JDFB Quick Clinic takes a look at those offensive and defensive call sheets. What needs to be on your call sheet? And do you even need one in your hands?
Do You Need a Football Play Call Sheet?
Before you start downloading templates and filling out every call in your playbook, take some time to consider if you even need a play call sheet. If you can’t remember your play calls, do you have too much?
The Coach Simple, Play Fast, Win philosophy does not rely on a big playbook. You aren’t trying to win a chess match. You’re putting the faith in your athletes to execute on the field on game day. You keep the play calls simple so that your players are confident in what they’re being asked to do, so that they can play at a high level on game day. The play calls aren’t the secret sauce.
But, you probably do need a call sheet. Especially at first. When you start using a new coaching system, it can be hard to keep it all straight in your head. Even if the calls are simple. And if you’re going to be using wrist bands for your calls, you might need a play call sheet just as a reference to those calls on the wrist band.
What Needs to Be on Your Call Sheet?
You’ve made the decision. At least for starters, you need to have a call sheet in your hand on the sidelines. Who knows how long you’ll need it. There’s a good chance you won’t look at it much after the 1st Quarter. At least, not for actual play call advice. It’s nice to have if you just freeze up in that regard but you’ll find you get into the flow of the game most of the time.
Play call sheets are simple, You can google up football play call sheets and find plenty of templates. I’ve used a few as a foundation, but eventually they evolve into what I really need. The few call sheets I’ve made in recent years start as a very, very basic Excel spreadsheet.
In this episode of the JDFB Quick Clinic, I’ll go into exactly what goes on that spreadsheet at the start. Then we’ll look at how that spreadsheet evolves over time.
By the way, if you’re going to be a football coach for long, you probably need to get pretty good with spreadsheets. They’re a great tool for making everything from call sheets, to practice plans and equipment inventory.