May 11

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Never Too Late to Get Better….Planning Spring, Pre-season, and Prepping for Game 1

Never Too Late to Get Better….Planning Spring, Pre-season, and Prepping for Game 1

The following article was written by veteran football coach David Buchanan and is excerpted from his book, “Black Shoes and White Shoestrings.”


One of the reasons I stay in coaching football is I believe this is my best chance to be good at something. I have been around it my entire life and a head coach for 25 years. Today was one of those days that I think I FINALLY figured out how I want to do something.

I like to plan ahead and have everything ready, as much as possible, so that we can coach on the field and not make decisions that could have already been made. Going forward, I believe this is the best order of preparation as we go through the spring up until our first few games:

1- Do a preliminary scouting report on every opponent for the upcoming season (winter)

2- Prepare a preliminary game plan for each opponent (winter)

3- Plan spring practice and allow the preliminary game plan for opponent #1 to influence what and how you practice.

4- After spring practice, do the game plan and initial offensive script for game # 1. By this time, you are more familiar with your personnel, their strengths and weaknesses, etc.

5- Plan pre-season practice and include the offensive script for game #1 in those practice plans. It has taken me a long time, but I think this is finally the right order.

As I began working on our pre-season practices a few weeks ago, as I got to the end, I realized I needed our offensive game plan for game #1 to make it exactly as it should be. Football is a great game.

I want to enjoy the game, my coaches and players. Sometimes all that goes with being a head coach can take away from the fun. Planning as much as possible ahead of time makes the actual coaching much more enjoyable and significantly more effective.



About the author

Coach Buchanan

David Buchanan is the head football coach at Mercer County HS, in Harrodsburg, KY. He was previously the head coach at Mason County HS & Paris High School (KY).

Buchanan has served as president of the Kentucky Football Coaches Association and as head coach for the Kentucky All-Stars in their annual Kentucky-Tennessee All-Star Classic. He is the son of John Buchanan, a former head coach at Boyle County High School and Mercer County High School.

David is married to Stephanie Trosper, and they have 3 children, John Combs, Emma, and Trosper.

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