Stop the Clock
Is it offense or defense that wins football games? Is it a star quarterback? Is it a Hail Mary play that pays off big? Not always. Truth is, sometimes what wins football games is a whole lot less exciting than spectacular plays or long-bomb passes.
Any coach will tell you. What wins football games is clock management. It’s the essence of football strategy.
Players can greatly influence the pace and outcome of a game simply by how they play. For example, they can play more slowly to use more time. This means ball carriers staying in bounds, quarterbacks not throwing incomplete passes and players huddling before every play.
Or teams can play faster when they want to save time on the clock. Ball carriers can get out of bounds once they’ve made their yardage, quarterbacks can throw as soon as possible after the snap and the offense can skip huddles altogether.
Clock management involves lots of other tactics as well. In fact, it’s so important that an entire book has been written about it -called Football Clock Management-and coaches everywhere are studying it.
They’re studying it because they know that every minute of the game is vital. Since games are four 15-minute quarters (plus timeouts and overtime), the hour or more of play is the sum total of all the team’s tactics.
Just as teams manage their time, we too have to take advantage of every minute and every hour in order to stay safe on the job. Safety is your responsibility.
Think about it. It’s up to you to decide to follow safety rules to the letter. It’s up to you to learn the right procedures and follow them. It’s up to you never to take chances or improvise. It’s up to you always to keep your work area clean and orderly. It’s up to you to make sure safety is included in your workday. Doing that takes good time management, just like winning takes good time management by the coach.
A lot of coaches wait until the end of the half before they start thinking about time management. But in reality, it should be on their minds from the very first play of the game.
Don’t wait until there’s an accident before you start thinking about safety. Make it your priority. Make it your first play of the day.
EVERY MINUTE, EVERY HOUR YOUR SAFETY IS IN YOUR POWER!
*COPYRIGHT 2009 HARKINS SAFETY B263