Former Detroit Lions RB Coach David Walker (Photo Below)
Over the last 10 years, I’ve seen rapid progress in the quality of educational opportunities to learn the game football whether that be as a coach or evaluator. Coaching clinics have always been the primary source for development in the off-season; however, technology has allowed us to learn the game remotely year round. Throughout the year, I’ll be highlighting resources for coaches, evaluators, and anyone interested in learning the game of football. Hopefully, this pushes readers to take advantage of some of the opportunities and resources I discuss. Most of these resources will require some sort of monetary investment which is well worth it, especially if you are serious about your development and career advancement. I always set aside money each year that ranges from a few hundred to several thousand dollars on professional learning opportunities.
Former NFL running back coach, Syracuse standout and native New Yorker, David Walker, has developed an online learning platform called “3rd and 3” which is suited for both high school and college coaches.
There are online clinic sessions and “round table” discussions that cover a range of topics including:
Schemes and Coaching Points
Drills and Techniques
Winning Situational Football
Key Aspects of the Clinics and “round table” discussions that in my opinion set “3rd and 3” apart from other online learning platforms:
1. You’ll see both college and high school coaches as participants in the clinics and “round table” discussions. I rarely, if at all, see many college coaches attend Glazier or Nike Coach of the Year Clinics. This setting that allows interaction between college, high school and NFL coaches is so important to rid ourselves of the lines that are often drawn between coaches that work with our youth and coaches who work with adults who play the game for a living. Just because you coach at the high school level does not mean you somehow are beneath a college or NFL coach. There are some outstanding coaches at the high school level that are extraordinary teachers and possess the skill set to coach at the higher levels. What Coach Walker has done by strategically targeting both college and high school coaches is long overdue and his efforts to give back to the game are laudable and something I wish we could bottle and serve to other coaches who work at the professional level.
2. The ability to ask questions and actively engage with coaches in an authentic learning environment is another aspect that I love about the learning platform. Coach Walker does an exceptional job at creating a learning environment where you can truly explore areas you want to focus on to grow. I’ve been to more clinics than I can count where coaches are intimidated and reluctant to ask questions. This is largely due to many coaches not wanting to show that they don’t know something. You can spend a lifetime in the game of football and still feel as if you need to learn more. Everyone began learning the game of football with a blank slate. We all should be helping each other develop and the ability to ask questions and help each other learn the game should be the norm.
3. Running Back School – On January 4, 2021, Walker launched “Running Back School” which is a 13-week course that is focused on “scheme, plays, drills, teaching methods, practice organization, evaluation and grading process, techniques and game planning”. What I love about this course is that it involves weekly 90-minute Zoom sessions with Coach Walker. This is an incredible opportunity for a high school and even a current college coach looking for further development. I’ve yet to see anything like this, especially from someone like Walker who has a wealth of experience and knowledge. What I’d definitely like to see once we move past COVID, is to have an in-person component to this course.
· The clinics and “round table” discussions are recorded so if you are unable to attend during the scheduled time, you have permanent access to the videos.
To learn more about 3rd and 3, see link below: