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  • Writer's pictureTerry O'Neil

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."   

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