Scoring machine

Thank you for all your questions this past week. Here’s the next part of my answer regarding Red Zone scoring in amateur football. The following is a summary of lessons that we have taught our football players for 40 years:

1. Red Zone Scoring is one of out top 26 priorities. It’s a separate learning unit in our offense & defense curriculum. 

2. When the field-length shrinks, the defense has a deep advantage – no deep passes to worry about.

3. No matter how much field-length shrinks, field-width doesn’t.

4. Our objective always has been and always will be 8 points. Not 7 points. Not 3 points. That’s all we teach, all we learn, all we practice – 8 points. 100% of our reps are invested in the 8-point Mentality. The reason is the Psychology of Limited Decisions. When the human mind is given alternatives and choices, excessive energy and effort is expended on the decision-making process instead of execution. We choose to invest 100% of energy and effort into execution, not worrying about 3 points or 7 points. Our sole objective is 8 points. Nothing else.

5. To achieve our 8-point objective, we never have and never will use Red Zone in our SWAT Language. Ever. The phrase Red Zone doesn’t exist in our SWAT Language. We never teach it, never learn it.The reasons are: (i) Red Zone gets confused with a Stop Sign. (ii) Red Zone subconsciously influences caution – to play cautiously, to call plays cautiously. 

6. Cautious play and play-calling is not part of our offensive philosophy. We teach the Power of Rep-Trust. Trust you reps every play, every second of play. The moment you call plays cautiously and play cautiously, the human mind senses new, unexpected threat and danger – marked departure from our System ideology and practice methodology. In other words, players and coaches would become strangers, unfamiliar with their reps. When you separate from your reps, you make the wrong fight-freeze-run choice. You won’t fight. You freeze or run away. When you don’t trust your reps, you don’t trust yourself.

7. We teach Red Zone offense and defense in the Weight Room. Scoring and preventing scoring inside the 20 is a manifestation of strength training. We teach that every play on offense and defense inside the 20 is a test of S&M – strength & muscle. The objective is to muscle them off the line. Applies to both offense & defense. Muscle them off the line, win all the time. Muscle them off the line and you never settle for 3 or worst of all – zero points.

8. Our SWAT offense play-calling does not change inside the 20. We don’t have special Red Zone plays. We play the same regardless of field position – to score a ton of points, attack the deepest point, widest point, lowest point.  

9. Never limit your play & play-calling when field dimensions are limited. Limiting yourself limits execution.

10. If our offense gets stopped on 4th down inside the 20, there are lessons learned: (i) fix it. Don’t get stopped again. (ii) Getting stopped on 4th down inside the 20 is the equivalent of a deep punt. (iii) You just trapped them inside their own 20, a cage that forces 98.6% to play and call plays with extreme caution. (iv) When they play and call plays with caution, they become predictable, breakable, and stoppable.

11. Eat clean, lift mean.

12. The more you eat clean and lift mean, you become a scoring machine on offense, defense, and special teams.

Conclusion: Weight room wins. Building strength & speed fulfills your team’s most pressing need – dual meaning.

X Fitness has been committed to free coaching for student-athletes and coaches for 45 years. New podcast compliments of X Fitness at:

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Blessings and all good things


Gino Arcaro