Southern Hospitality for PLP
The Mid-South turned out large, receptive crowds for Practice Like Pros this past weekend at two Nike Coach of the Year Clinics -- Friday at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY, Saturday at the Goldstrike Casino & Hotel in Tunica, MS.
Far from a lecture series of one-way communication, the current winter tour is a chance for Practice Like Pros to hear from coaches across the country. A coach from Ohio told us, "We adopted your philosophy two years ago and it's been tremendous for us. Our injuries are down, our missed-tackle percentage is way down. Our win-loss record is better than it's been in a long time. Our kids are so fresh and ready to play on Friday night."
But not all the news is good. A coach from Mississippi said, "I wanted to practice your way last season, but we didn't have any equipment. The only thing we had to tackle was each other. I lost my best linebacker with a knee injury and a safety with a foot injury, both in live practice drills. I'd love to buy one of those Gilman Tackle Rings. We're going to get our booster club to raise the money this off-season."
Hearing these reports, PLP founder Terry O'Neil commented, "After just two weeks of this winter tour, a few things are clear: High school coaches understand the issues. They get it. They're not nearly using the full-contact minutes allowed by state governing bodies. And coaches agree that a compelling message could be sent to parents by legislating less contact. Why leave these excessive full-contact minutes on the books? Coaches aren't using them."
Presently, the most restrictive standard for full-contact in regular-season practice is 60 minutes per week, mandated by Alaska, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
"We're looking this off-season," said O'Neil, "for a state or two willing to move to 30 minutes per week."