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Editor note: The following is a first-person account of a Tucson-area youth football coach who attended the Larry Smith Coaching Academy last year at Tucson High School. The academy takes place again Saturday at Tucson High from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Coaches are encouraged to register at the Larry Smith Coaching Academy Web site.
By Isaac Trippe
Special to AllSportsTucson.com
Last year I attended the Larry Smith Coaching Academy and I enjoyed every aspect of it. I enjoyed the guest speakers and interaction with them as well.
My preference is offense. I enjoyed Cienega coach Pat Nugent Speaking on the spread option offense (one that I have implemented for the past couple years) and Sahuarita’s former coach David Rodriguez (now at Oceanside, Calif., High School) sharing bis wisdom about his spread offense. Catalina Foothills coach Jeff Scurran spoke on the psychology of coaching which I also enjoyed.
There was a discussion about biomechanics and its relation to knowing when to start a child on weight lifting, which answered a ton of questions I have had on the subject for years.
The University of Arizona equipment manager spoke on proper fitting and measurements which I found beneficial and informative.
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Some of the benefits to the Larry Smith Coach Academy:
Gain knowledge to help you provide a safe and fun experience for young athletes
Increase your knowledge of the latest offensive/defensive trends from your area’s most successful high school coaches
Hear first hand from concussion specialist who are directly involved in concussion research
Learn proper coaching techniques and fundamentals to insure the safety of your young athletes
Learn how to properly fit equipment to help reduce injury to players
In order to register for the LSCA coaches are encouraged to visit the academy’s Web site.
My favorite part of the day was when we went on the Arizona Stadium field and Coach Nugent shared a running back drill that he uses that he used with Ka’Deem Carey when he was the coach at CDO. Rodriguez shared a circle passing drill that teaches quarterbacks how to throw on the run and develop a rhythm. Both drills I have implemented and I am very happy with.
Former Arizona receiver great Jay Dobyns also taught wide receiver drills and hand-skill drills which I can proudly say I am using.
During the field session they had areas from offensive line, defensive line, linebacker, cornerback, quarterback, running back and wide receiver. It was open to the coaches to pick where they wanted to go and what they wanted to learn. Overall, it was a great experience and I look forward to being there again this year.
ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.