Tips from “The System”

A couple years ago I read “The System” by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian, and while it was a deep dive into the world of college football, we know there is a lot to learn from coaches in other sports.

One area that grabbed my interest was a short section about Mike Leach (former Texas Tech and current Washington State football coach) and his offseason conditioning workouts. Rather than asking players to get up for a 6 a.m. session (these are involuntary workouts), he wants them conducted at 10 p.m.

Tips from “The System”

“Everywhere I’ve ever coached, no one does this,” said Leach’s assistant coach, Jim Mastro, in the book. “People do conditioning at six in the morning. Leach’s philosophy is that no one is ever in the fourth quarter of a game at six in the morning. The fourth quarter happens late at night.”

It gives you something to consider – you never play games at 6 a.m. or even at 3 p.m. (a typical high school practice time). Plus, during the offseason, at what time of day are teenagers potentially more likely to get in trouble? Yes, at night.

Obviously, there are logistical factors that come into play, such as convincing parents to allow their children to practice late at night and even having the gym open at those times, but the offseason is about considering new ideas for your program.