COACH’S CORNER: As list of teams left in the postseason shrinks, so does the margin for error

Coach’s Corner is a weekly feature at Outside the Huddle written by Kevin Merz, former Bishop Dwenger quarterback and North Side offensive coordinator.

The margin for error is shrinking.

As we approach semistate weekend I believe that if you were to check in on the programs still alive, you would see a refocus on the basics.

At least I hope!

We as coaches spend so much time coming up with the next great scheme or innovative way to communicate a play without a wristband that sometimes we forget certain things.

We forget we haven’t covered how to properly shoot your gap on a consistent basis like we should (Homestead had two players shoot the same gap on the opening play from scrimmage Friday, resulting in a long TD run from Carmel to open the scoring).

It doesn’t cross our mind that we haven’t had receivers come out and walk through how to properly block a corner in weeks (the difference between a five-yard run to the outside and busting a TD is often that final block from your receiver).

It’s probably been a few weeks since a true, basic, fundamental tackling drill was executed at practice (that one missed tackle can spell disaster as a seven-yard gain can be turned into a back-breaking touchdown after a missed tackle).

We don’t realize that certain backups may not get the reps they were getting while the junior varsity season was going on now that we are in the playoffs (until that JV kid has to fill in on a special team because a starter needs a breather and a crucial punt is blocked).

I encourage the coaches who still remain to refocus themselves on the basics as semi state nears.

It is obvious at this point in the season the scheme works, the routine weekly is dialed in, the film has been studied and the ability to adjust during a game is something you as a staff accomplish quite well consistently.

DON’T let a lack of attention to the basics be what ultimately costs you dearly come Friday! It is clear your staff can do the complex things to perfection (or you wouldn’t be still playing). Take these four days and make sure one final time the guys can make tackles when they need to be made, catch the ball when it’s thrown to them, block the man in front of them and run to the football.

The margin for error at semistate is so thin, don’t let a “basic” mistake be what costs you that glorious trip to Lucas Oil Stadium for Thanksgiving weekend!

Coach’s Corner appears every Monday during the prep football season at Outside the Huddle. These opinions represent those of the writer. No opinions expressed on Outside the Huddle represent those of any of our advertisers. 

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