Motivating Players to Learn the Triple Option Offense for the First Time

There are six techniques utilized to motivate players to learn and eventually thrive with the Triple Option Offense.

1.   Fine-tune the challenge. We’re most motivated to learn when the task before us is matched to our level of skill: not so easy as to be boring, and not so hard as to be frustrating. Deliberately fashion the drills in practice so that players are working at the very edge of their abilities, and keep upping the difficulty as they improve.

2.  Start with the question, not the answer. Memorizing assignments is boring. Actively discovering the solution through physical technique is invigorating. Present material to be learned as a live question begging to be explored.

3.   Encourage players to beat their personal best. Some learning tasks, like memorizing the count system or the veer-release situations, are simply not interesting in themselves. Generate motivation by encouraging players to compete against themselves: run through the drill once to establish a baseline, then keep track of how much they improve (in speed, in accuracy) each time.

4.   Connect abstract learning to concrete situations. Adopt the case-study method that has proven so effective for business, medical and law school students: apply abstract theories and concepts to a situational-football scenario, using these formulations to analyze and make sense of situations involving real stakes.

5.   Make it social. Put together a position group, to share their moments of discovery and points of confusion. Divide the learning task into parts, and take turns being coach and player. The simple act of explaining what they’re learning out loud will help them understand and remember it better.

6.   Go deep.  Almost any assignment and technique is interesting once you get inside it. Assign the task of becoming the world’s expert on one small aspect of the technique they require for offensive execution—then extend their new expertise outward by exploring how the piece they know so well connects to all the other pieces they need to know about.

THIS is how players evolve in the Triple Option Offense…