The term "quarterback coach" is a vague, non-standardized term. Anyone can call themselves a quarterback coach, regardless of how much they know or don't know about the position and the body. One thing that frustrates me is when someone advertises themselves as a quarterback coach and really only facilitates reps, which isn't really coaching. It happens all the time - a kid goes to a clinic, is put through a series of cone drills and throws a bunch of routes, and leaves. He's told that 's how he improves, how he gets better. All that's really happening, though, is reps. This isn't good coaching.
Good, quality repetitions are extremely important for any skill to be perfected. In order for reps to be quality reps, though, a player must be actively working on something, and that something must be the right thing. We'll call this purposeful practice. Let's take a kid who has an error when he throws off a five step drop. He goes to a clinic, the coach says that they are going to work on five step drops. The kid, knowing he struggles in that phase of his game, is pleased to know he's going to get reps at something he struggles with. The coach sets up the receivers and quarterbacks, gives them various routes to throw off the five step drop, and notes when the ball was too high, too low, when the routes weren't perfect, etc. An hour later, the clinic is over, and the quarterback has gotten plenty of reps on throwing off of a five step drop. Is he better?
Chances are, probably not. All that happened was that the quarterback practiced doing it wrong. Most coaches don't actually break down and fix the skill, they don't take the time (or have the knowledge) to break down the drop into its component pieces, refine the small things that add up to performance, and fix them. So many coaches just throw reps at players instead of actually coaching them. If the kid had too big of a back step, making it hard to transition into the throw, he still has that issue, all he did was do it wrong. This wasn't purposeful practice, it was just practice. And, practice doesn't make perfect, practice make permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect.
Real coaching occurs when instead of just practicing a skill, we identify specific parts of the skill, consciously work on them to create motor program understanding, then look to apply those changes in various settings. At that point, we can create positive, quality repetitions that serve a specific purpose, we can engage in purposeful practice. And, changes are specific to each quarterback. Some need to work on how the feet transition from dropping to create forward movement; others need to fix how their hips initiate the throwing motion; others have issues with arm positions. No two quarterbacks are exactly the same, so there has to be some level of individualization when it comes to creating change and perfecting fundamentals.
This is what all quarterback coaches should be doing. In my experience, most don't. They throw reps at as many kids as possible, and rely on pre-existing talent and flash instead of substance. Sometimes, working on those small changes can be hard, mundane, and require tedious hours. Most quarterback coaches aren't willing to go through that, either because they don't know how to do it or because they are scared they are going to lose the client's interest. The truly good quarterback coaches will force their quarterbacks to go through those tedious hours because they know it's in the best interest of the quarterback's future.
Don't settle for reps, find someone that facilitates purposeful practice.
Quarterback Coach Alex Drayson will put up articles, thoughts, and reviews to help you stimulate your journey towards being the best QB you can be
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