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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Clinics in the 21st Century

When I was a little kid, a recurring event on the calendar every winter was that my Dad would be gone a few days to THE clinic. I think the first clinics were the Kodak Coach of the Year Clinics that he attended in the early 70s.  Usually, he attended that clinic and one that would be hosted by the University of Kentucky during their spring practice.

When I was a young coach, I was excited to finally attend THE clinic which was held annually at the Galt House in Louisville. 

Coach Gruneisen, a Louisville native, always took us to Bearno's when I was on his staff at Paris HS when we would attend the Galt House clinic. We continued the tradition @ Paris & Mason Co., eating lunch there on Friday when the clinic began.

Many of the big names in college football would speak at that clinic.  And, in my Dad's era, if you were not attending THE clinic, you were not serious about football and coaching.

Coaches still attend those clinics. And, the Galt House Clinic is still a prominent & quality clinic. But, clinics have exploded across the country. You can find one every weekend. There is still value in attending those clinics. 

Another option has evolved because of technology..... the online clinic.  Over the past few years, I have really enjoyed Gridiron StrategiesAmerican Football MonthlyX & O Labs, and now First Down Playbook.  The first two are more like a conventional clinic. X & O Labs offer an extra level of depth over a wide range of topics. First Down Playbook is, the best I can describe, a huge and manageable data bank of college and NFL plays.

The amount of information they offer is overwhelming. The sites are a bargain for the content you receive. And, as my children get older and have a multitude of events, attending a clinic gets tougher every year. Add in Emma's birthday (2/10), Stephanie's birthday (2/15) & Valentine's Day..... February clinic attendance some year's, depending on how the calendar hits, might be what we called at Mason County a "rookie husband mistake."

Bottom line.... if a coach wants to learn and get better, there are a multitude of options. And, I still probably get the most benefit by visiting other programs, their staffs, and watching their practices and workouts.

I will miss attending the Galt House clinic this year. But, I won't miss the snoring that shook the room back in 1987. I never could figure out how a freight train got on the 10th floor of a hotel. 😃

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