The football season is upon us as the NFL Hall of Fame game kicks off the NFL season tonight. Players have completed OTAs and are now in full swing at training camp, getting reps in as they continue to learn their playbook and refine their execution. As professionals, they have the luxury of committing significant time to their craft but how do high school and youth teams prepare for the upcoming season?
If you pass a local high school during the summer months you'll likely see a football field full of kids running through drill stations as most programs hold a summer camp. High school players and coaches often run these camps for their youth programs which is a great way to build a strong local football family. The future stars look up to these players and get excited when they see them under the Friday night lights as school starts. But this cohesion provides more than just a strong bond amongst the players.
Being aligned with local youth programs helps the high school coaching staff keep an eye on the talent that is being groomed. On-field talent is one thing, but as these players graduate to older teams their playbook gets bigger and more sophisticated. Some of the more skilled players lose ground if they struggle with understanding new schemes and terminology, but the top programs have found a way to address this: adapting the high school playbook to a simplified version at each youth level. (I'm sure this isn't news for most of you, but what's the best way to manage this??)
Programs look for tools and technology to help manage this playbook evolution and create consistency across all levels, and many are looking to implement SMASH Routes this season to accomplish it. SMASH Routes is the best new way for players to learn their playbook from basic positioning to complicated play terminology. It breaks your playbook down into components and turns it into a mobile learning game, taking players through a series of mental trials that teach YOUR playbook terminology.
As players advance through the game, their complete playbook plays are unlocked where they will run reps through each play at EVERY position. They'll be challenged to lineup in the proper position, identify their assignment or keys, and run their route - a simulation of walk-throughs in practice but with a gamer's twist!
And Coach - not only will SMASH Routes help teach your players quicker, you also get insight on your players' performance within the app. This data is used to identify formations and plays that need more work in practice as well as those that are ready to be installed for game day. Scrambling to build out your practice plan will be a thing of the past as you'll have real-time data at your fingertips to rely on.
Keep an eye out as we plan to release more tools focused on Roster Management and Scouting Reports. And don't think only the players should play the game - give yourself a playbook challenge or use it to help new assistant coaches and parents get up to speed on what the team is doing out there!
Check out SMASH Routes by downloading it for free on Apple, Android and Amazon, or find us at www.smashroutes.com. You can also see what we're doing by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
See you on the field!