Wristband Managment
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 that week.

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 mistakes.
* You can make a substitute player's job much easier to understand with individual wrist bands suited to his position.
* 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 count.

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 injury.

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.

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