Welcome to the BAFCA Coaches Blog. For those of you with long enough memories, you may recall the old BAFCA Sidelines newsletter, so in the spirit of modernisation I have revised it as a monthly guest blog from our coaches who would like to share anything of relevance to other members. If you would like to contribute, please drop me a line on:

Coaching Dropout: A Study of volunteer Head Coaches in American Football

Pete Laird, July 2020, Edinburgh Napier University


This was a longitudinal study from a population of UK based American Football Head Coaches (n=49) who had who had left their posts over three off-seasons covering two competitive seasons. Each coach received a questionnaire based upon a previous methodology developed by Lyle, Allison & Taylor (1997). Head Coaches who self-identified themselves to have dropped out of coaching were recruited to complete a questionnaire receiving a 12 month follow up to determine whether or not they had returned to coaching.

The questionnaire measured gender, age, previous experience, and employment status. Length of tenure, reasons for leaving post and considerations for returning to coaching were also recorded.

Finally the study examined reasons why coaches ‘drop out’ of their coaching activities, investigating factors that may induce coaches to return to coaching.

The study results highlighted that Head Coaches are predominantly choosing to step down (87.8%) but are not leaving the sport but instead choosing to coach in a less demanding role with less responsibility (63.3%).

Head Coaches reported high levels of burnout through physical and emotional fatigue prior to stepping away from their post and cited a lack of support, time pressures, and a dissatisfaction with athlete commitment as prime factors for resigning from post.

Please click here to view full study.

We would like to Thank Coach Simon Hatcher for this Great article on Force, Spill and Leverage

FORCE, SPILL and LEVERAGE the 3 keys to stopping the running game

I hope I can help new coaches in understanding the basic concepts in defending the running game.

“If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” Albert Einstein

Terminology I will use is common terminology in coaching:

Force – The outside Force player, it is this players job to make the tackle or force the ball-carrier to the inside.

Spill – The spill players are inside, and they make the tackle or push the ball-carrier to the next Spill player or to the Force player.

Leverage – Leverage is defined as the angle and approach tacklers take to the ball-carrier, considering their role within the defensive play call, location on the field and the blockers or obstructions encountered towards the ball-carrier.

BCR – This tags onto the set, which can be thought of as Force away from the initial direction of the offence (Boot – Counter – Reverse). However, the responsibilities are slightly different so I will cover this separately.

In the photo below the players with Red circle are the Force players, and the players with Blue arrows will likely be the Spill players. Different schemes dictate different responsibilities. I will endeavour to give you a basic overview and give the tactics and techniques for these responsibilities.

Please click image to read Full Article:

Also, a little added extra from Coach Maxwell Petitjean on Coach Hatchers Article.
Really good read & great resource

If it helps I have a folder here of clips where defenders either force or spill:…/0B2a3Z5O7xf-ESFNFTHIwckpxOFk

As part of the BAFCA Coaches Blog series developed by Coach Peter Laird we are delighted to showcase his research into the history of the Association.  This also showcases his long affiliation to Coach Development and BAFCA.

Click the image of the first page to read the full article:

Coaches Blog May ’19 – Sidelines

This months blog comes from Coach Simon Hatcher of Hertfordshire University.  This is a follow up blog from one Simon did a while ago on coaching observation .  This blog follows Coach Hatcher’ s recent trip to Georgia Tech. We hope the article will help coaches and not just sound like a memoir of a holiday! Coach Hatcher’s hope is that it can walk the line between giving some interesting information and being respectful of the organisation which was kind enough to allow him full access.

…Read Coach Hatcher’s blog on Coach Observation


Coaches Blog Mar ’19 – Sidelines

This months blog comes from Martin Harrison of Edinburgh University. A long time uni coach with Brighton Tsunami before joining the Predators, Martin is well accustomed to planning quickly, and gives us a tremendous insight into designing an Offense that fits your teams needs. If you would like to contribute to sidelines please drop me an email on:

…Read Setting up an offense for Uniball

Tony Athersmith

Coaches Blog Feb ’19 – Sidelines

As part of our ongoing Blog series, we have reached out to some of our UK coaches to submit articles on various topics that we hope will be of interest to the wider community.

This month we have a fantastic contribution from GB Coach Tony Athersmith on the topic of Quarterback play, an area that can still seem a little specialised to some coaches. We are delighted to say Tony will be submitting follow up articles in the next couple of months. We hope you enjoy.

…Read Coaching QBs, the GB Lion’s Way

Blog - PL

Coaches Blog Jan ’19 – Sidelines

To kick start our blog series I wanted to write something that may be of use to all members regardless of the level or league they coach in. BAFCA believes in our motto of Engage, Educate and Energise so it seemed appropriate that I tried to write some simple advice on coach development.

Continue reading…