Football Program Vertical Alignment

By FirstDown PlayBook on Apr 7, 2024
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It might come as a surprise to some coaches, but the 2027 high school football championship in your state is already well on it’s way to being won. In fact, as you sit here in April of 2024, you will have little chance to compete for that 2027 state championship. Why? Well it’s called vertical alignment.

Over the past 13 years I’ve had the chance to work with a lot of high school head football coaches. Before that, most of what I knew about high school football came from the perspective of a college recruiter. It was obvious who ran a good football program from the state championships and the talent that came from that school.

However; what I have learned over the past 13 years is that these programs have been built with vertical alignment. These programs that compete for state championships year in and year out are built from the ground up. They start with kids in their local flag football programs all the way up to the varsity team.

4 Time National Champions. That’s Hard To Do.

These state championship coaches are not just worried about how their current team operates. They also get out in the community to help structure the flag football leagues, the Pop Warner leagues and any other feeder program to their school. They know what their youth football feeder teams are calling on offense and defense.

No Football Program Vertical Alignment… No Chance.

This is about more than participation too. These coaches are active in not only who is playing, they’re involved with what is being taught. Here at FirstDown PlayBook we witness it first hand. Many of our coaches who have a FirstDown PlayBook Full team account have all of their feeder programs on it. If they run a 3-3-5 defense you can bet their feeder programs run something similar.

Why wouldn’t they? A Full Team account offers a coach an unlimited number of users. This means that for the $700 annual subscription, a smart coach can use FirstDown PlayBook as a vertical alignment tool. FirstDown PlayBook allows these head coaches to permit the feeder programs to see only what that coach wants them to.

Three Ways To Coach High School Football Better

Last year we wrote about just this very thing as it pertained to Chad Johnson and Mission Viejo High School. As you can read here, Mission Viejo had just seen their Junior Varsity team go undefeated. It should be a surprise to no one that the Mission Viejo won their state championship this season.

If You Are Working On Just This Season…Good Luck

Even if your feeder programs are just calling your formations or your defensive terminology, this is a huge advantage when those kids who walk in your high school doors. Consider that there are programs out there in April who don’t even have a head coach yet. They will have to play a high school program with vertical alignment. Certainly you understand how lopsided that is going to be.

As happy as we are to help any football coach with a FirstDown PlayBook Single User membership, there’s a difference. The Single User membership is a powerful tool to keep your playbook information organized. However a Full Team membership gives a coach a tool for vertical alignment and a state championship down the road.

Chad Johnson Mission Viejo State Champ