This past weekend I went to the Nike Coach of the Year Clinic in Atlanta with my good friends Robert and Alan Ingram, along with the rest of Robert’s staff. After sitting in traffic inexplicably near the Georgia state line for almost two and a half hours, I finally made it to metro Atlanta at about 2:00 a.m.
We went to Robert’s school in the morning then made it to the clinic just before it started at 2:00 p.m. on Friday. I looked at the schedule, and while there were some very good coaches speaking, something stuck out to me while glancing at the speaker/topic list–almost none of this applies to me. The first session started at 2:05. By 2:20 I was back in the parking lot laughing it up with a few of the other coaches incredulous to how much of the clinic experience is irrelevant. For the rest of the weekend, I probably listened to maybe 45 minutes of clinic talk. Does this make me a bad coach? Am I wasting an opportunity for growth? Hardly, I spent much of the time in the lobby talking football (mostly option) with the people I went there with.
Now how much does this experience cost? A staff rate at most clinics is between $300-$400 dollars. Since I infrequently attend clinics, I am unaware if prices vary much from that range. Now add in travel costs (gas, food, and hotel). Two nights in a hotel is at least $150. Add in gas and food for the weekend for a few guys, and it’s going to easily surpass $200 more. At a minimum, you are paying $700 for your staff to attend a clinic. The old coaching cliche goes “if I can come to this clinic and get one good idea it’s worth it.” Think about that statement for a minute. Is $700 the going price for one good idea? In the business world it’s called return on investment. Is taking your whole staff to a clinic worth the investment? It doesn’t sound like it. Sure sitting around the lounge shooting the breeze is a good time, but even doing that is less costly on the back porch.
Wouldn’t you rather get in depth about a subject you are interested in? Whether that deals with practice, team building, offense or defense. You get much more return on investment by seeking out sources that give you depth. What’s the last clinic speech you heard that gave you any depth? Speakers usually get 50 minutes, at most 90. Does listening to someone talk to you for 50 minutes on a reverse out of trips really help out your program?
Meanwhile the Flexbone Association Academy is a comprehensive offensive system, that will invariably change how you coach offensive football for the rest of your career. I might be the contrarian but I cannot believe for one second that God put us on this earth to be average. Just today I loaded over two hours of game film and practice clips to the site. All of which will be available in just a few short weeks to the coaches who are looking to give their team an edge next season.