The Coach’s Corner: The Law Of Details

Coach Tony DeMeo Advice for the Coaches

Coach Tony DeMeo

A note from Today we have a unique treat, this article from a highly successful college coach gives an inside perspective football fans don’t get to see, the direct perspective of the coach.

We encourage other coaches that are interested in possibly writing guest columns providing their unique insight to please contact us. For now, here is Coach Tony Demeo!


The single greatest lesson that I have learned in coaching is not how MANY plays you run, but HOW WELL YOU RUN THOSE PLAYS. The secret to execution lies in teaching the DETAILS of a play. Details plus reps = EXECUTION.

The more plays you have in the playbook, the less detailed you can be, the less time you have to teach how to execute them perfectly, so keep your play list lean! Make sure to choose plays that provide the most answers for the offense.

But remember, one good answer executed well is more effective than many answers executed poorly. This why I am so high on the Gun Triple Offense – it’s a running game by itself which allows the team to focus on details and the passing game, which leads to offensive balance. Excellence lies in more details and more reps, not in the size of the playbook.

  • “Greatness lies in the details”
  • The more detailed a play is practiced, the better the execution.
  • The better the execution, the more poise and confidence in clutch situations
  • Coaches that truly know their system don’t have excess plays. Too many answers to problems is no answer
  • Billick  20% Rule. – if you don’t use more than 20% of your game plan, you have too much gameplan. Instead have specific answer plays, practice checks, and answer plays only vs. the defenses that are in the plan to exploit.
  • Practice your plan – use packs and checks to limit your plays.
  • The more plays you have the less detailed you can be, thus execution suffers. Reps are the key to detailed execution.
  • The fewer plays you have the more detailed you can be, then execution will improve. Fewer plays mean more reps per play and execution improves.
  • Limit the number of techniques for each position. The fewer the number of techniques the more individual time for each technique and execution will improve. Use the same techniques in as many plays as possible (cross-over techniques). Never add a new play that adds new techniques that must be drilled during the season.
  • A good system has “Cure-All Plays” – those that are good vs. all defenses – this is the core of the plan. Your system must have complimentary plays to protect your core. Also specific “Answer Play to take advantage of specific defense or for specific situations” (like a QB sneak in short yardage). Have few plays but run them in many ways, disguise them. Limit the techniques, a critical criteria for adding a play to your core. When in doubt throw it out. Game plans are usually too big anyway.
  • Never put in a play or plays that your star player(s) struggle with. Better to have your play-makers comfortable rather than a coach being clever.
  • Prepare in detail – Detailed preparation leads to detailed execution and high performance, poised and confident.


For more coaching insight from Coach Tony DeMeo, be sure to visit

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