Be the Best Teacher on Campus: Teaching and Learning Aids for Footballby Andy Merfeld
In this article, Coach Merfeld discusses some of the tools he uses to help his players learn. Although there is a defensive focus to the article, it is applicable to all three sides of the ball, as well as other sports.
The first section of the article discusses general procedures Coach Merfeld uses in his position meetings, including the seating chart and practicing communication.
The second section of the article covers the special activities Coach Merfeld uses in his position meetings, including the pre-snap coverage test, players leading the meetings, and counterintelligence meetings.
The third section includes general thoughts and guidelines to help facilitate player learning and comprehension, including communication best practices, long-term cutups, charts, and understanding the "commander's intent."
This article can be a valuable resource for coaches at all levels who want to be better teachers!
Andy Merfeld has experience coaching at the small-college and high school levels and specializes in coverages, defensive back play, situational defense, and special teams return units. His CoachTube courses are designed to focus narrowly on very specific topics. This narrow focus allows coaches to effectively implement the strategies and processes Coach Merfeld discusses.
He currently coaches at Benedictine College (NAIA – KS) and previously coached at Upper Iowa University, the University of Minnesota Duluth, and Edgewood High School (WI). Relevant coaching achievements:
- Benedictine College (CBs). In 2019 the Ravens led all NAIA and NCAA schools with ten blocked punts, and also led the NAIA in punt return yards at the end of the regular season. In 2020 the team again led the country in blocked kicks, and also finished sixth in punt return yards. The defense finished 3rd in the NAIA in sacks, 4th in interceptions, 2nd in rush defense, and led all NAIA and NCAA schools with four shutouts in ten games.
- Upper Iowa (DBs). In 2017 the Peacocks finished second nationally in punt return touchdowns and fifth in punt blocks. They also finished 10th in the country in pass defense.
- Minnesota Duluth (CBs, OLBs). In two years the Bulldogs compiled a 22-4 record, including three postseason wins and a #3 national ranking in the 2014 season.
- Edgewood High School (DC, strength and conditioning). In 2011 the Crusaders set the school record for wins and advanced to the WIAA state semifinals for the first time.