Kick Return Change-Ups and Game Preparationby Andy Merfeld
Whether you primarily coach on offense, defense, or special teams, field position is king. One of the ways you can help your team win the battle of hidden yardage and dominate field position is by building an explosive kick return unit.
Coach Merfeld’s two-part series will allow you to build your kick return team from the ground up. He details a comprehensive plan for the unit which includes everything from practice drills and blocking techniques to return schemes, game-planning, and situational calls.
In the first course of the series, Coach Merfeld goes through a detailed teaching progression for each type of block used on the kick return team.
In this second course on the kick return unit, Coach Merfeld covers a variety of change-ups for the “Power” return detailed in the first course. After a short review of the base Power scheme, he discusses several small variations that keep things simple for your team while showing different looks to the opponent. Then Coach Merfeld goes into detail on other return scheme change-ups that are designed to make the coverage team pay for overplaying the Power return. At the end of the course, Coach Merfeld also details the process of breaking down an opponent, game-planning, situational planning, and much more! You can purchase both courses in the Kick Return Bundle! Also included in this second course are templates for grading players and specific game-planning forms for the kick return unit.
This course includes almost two and a half hours of quality content and will help you take your kick return team to the next level, whether you're a veteran special teams coordinator or a young coach just taking over the unit.
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.