Wrist Band Management and Ideas by Robert B. Babcock
Over the years we have developed many different ways of using our wrist bands. Some of these techniques
we have acquired from other coaches and others just developed out of necessity. This is a subject that
many coaches either do not find important or over look but the good use of wrist bands can give you an
advantage over you opponent.
In a day and age where football is getting more and more complex on every level of play it is important
that we create good ways of communicating with our players. We want our players to know exactly what
to do without the other team knowing what we are up to. Over the years we have developed a system that
is hard for the opponent to decipher and easy for our players to understand. One of the greatest aspects of
our system is that I can tell you exactly how we use it and it still would not give you an advantage if you
were to play us.
You can change how you use the bands to suit the kind of team you have. There have been several years
that we changed how we used them to suit not only our personnel but also our particular game plan for
You can use a variety of Word Processing programs to produce these wristbands. The examples we have
provided in this guide are actually older. We started working with cells and that makes it much easier to
view and manipulate. Many coaches that use wristbands as a major part of their coach/player
communication use either MS Word or Excel.
Below is a list of how you can use wrist bands to improve communication with your team.
* You can use the quarterback's wrist band to relay the play from the sideline without the use of a carrier
or extra player.
* You can use wrist bands for all your players to run the no-huddle offense or a two minute drill.
* You can use wrist bands for your defensive players to help limit mistakes that signals can cause.
* You can relay more complex plays and defensive schemes to your captains without as big a margin for
* You can make a substitute player's job much easier to understand with individual wrist bands suited to
* You can add individual information to each players wrist band that will help them perform correctly
with new or complex plays and defensive schemes.
The last one of these is the newest way that we have learned to use wrist bands. I do not know if any other
coaches have used wrist bands in this manor but it is a secret that we have developed that has allowed us
to run much more complex plays on offense than in the past. Using the wrist bands in this manor takes a
decent amount of preparation on the coaches part but what doesn't? This may seem a little confusing but
once explained you will see how it reduces the amount that an individual player must decipher on the
field during a game. As we all know the simpler we can make it the better for the player and the coach.
Here is an example of the quarterbacks wrist
band for a specific game.
As you can see this is just the laminated
insert that we slide into the pocket like almost
any of the new wrist bands.
You may notice that each column of plays
starts with several states. These states are
used to call the play from the sideline either
by voice or dry erase board. If you use the dry
erase board, which we almost never do, you
will need a large marker. The coach can call
out either Oklahoma, Texas, or Arkansas for
any play in the first column. This way
Oklahoma #2 and Texas #2 would be the
same play but the opponent does not know
this. You could call the play back to back
three times if you wanted to. We change the
states for each game but we allow the QB to
work with the new band in practice the week
before the game. If we play a team that really
wants to figure out what we are doing we will
change the bands during the game. This is not
hard to do unless you are using the bands to
tell individual players what to do.
As you can see from the band we call the formation and the play from it. We abbreviate a lot but our QB
knows what to call because he has worked on it in practice and most likely had a wrist band much like it
when he played for us in Jr. High. Our plays are not numbers for back and hole but for series. It would not
be hard to use the same system for back and hole as well as adding the passing tree.
Let's take Oklahoma #9 and explain it. The "+/up" is the formation. The" +" means that the tight end will
split on the right side 5 yards to try and get a crack advantage on the linebacker. The "up" tells the
fullback to line up in the up position on the right side. The number "16" is our series number for the option
to the right. The word "Lead" tells the team that it will be a lead option play.
Here is an example of a wrist band that we made
specifically for a certain game. Here we have
concentrated on the plays from a new formation
that we called "Super." The "Super" set was a
formation that we had only used for a couple of
weeks and we wanted the players to know their
responsibilities despite the fact that it was a new
formation with new plays.
This particular band was the QB's band and we
used two separate bands for him during the
game. In general we only use one wrist band for
the QB at one time but in this particular game
we wanted to run our normal offense with the
"Super" set offense as well.
This wrist band panel coincides with the
panel above. You can see that at the bottom
there is a lft E. This is out left ends panel for
the game we used the "Super" formation in.
Each play is in the same order as the ends
panel only the ends panel tells him what to
do for each play.
If the coach calls a Utah #1 the end knows
when he hears Utah #1 that he will run a Go.
He still listens to the QB because he needs to
know what formation to line up in and the
If California #7 comes from the sideline the
end knows he runs a hitch. The QB calls
"Super Trips" (which is the formation) "T
Motion" (tells the Tailback to go in motion)
"149 spot" (play-action short pass) "G" (tells
the onside gaurd to pull)
This is the most complicated play on the panel but each wrist band tells each player his job on the play.
The individual panels allow the players to check their job before the snap. This cuts down on mistakes
during a game that can occur from running new formations and plays that have not been practiced as
much as you would like. Most of the time the player knows that play you are trying to run but gets it
confused with other plays that are similar. This system tells the player exactly what to do on every play
that is on his band. Usually the player know what to do already but this reinforces it during the week of
practice and the game.
The setback to using a system like this one is that it takes a good deal of time for the coach to type up
wrist bands for each position. We do not do this for every game but we do when we are adding new
formations and plays on short notice. We have found that this system allows us to substitute in case of
As we continued to develop these wristband concepts we eventually got into the use of visual bands. With
visual bands we used a manager on the sideline to organize the inserts by formation. We would use the
normal bands for most plays but when we needed a special play that we had put in specifically for the
opponent of the week we would pull out a visual band.
If you would like more information posted on visual bands email me. As always I like to know that there
is interest on a topic before I put time and resources into it.
Remember you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
1010 10th St.
Snyder Ok. 73566