Gino's Blog

Self-belief versus self-doubt

Whether you love or hate football, the article posted below has a hidden message about the internal fight between self-belief versus self-doubt.

A touchdown awards six points. After every touchdown, the team that scored the touchdown gets the chance to add more bonus points. Here are the two choices – (i) kick the ball through the uprights for one point, or (ii) run or pass the ball into the end zone for two points.
The ball is spotted at the three yard line regardless of what play you call. Three yards is all you need to travel in US college football. That’s it. Not 30 yards, not 300 yards, not 3,000 yards. Three yards. If you run or pass, you can earn double the points – two. But if you kick it, you get one.

Someone long ago decided that trotting out a kicker and kicking the ball softly and gently over the enemy is easier than going through the enemy. Now, everyone goes for one point. No one goes for two, except in dire circumstances at the end of the game when there’s no choice but going for two.

Kicking for one point is the path of least resistance. The sport of football talks tough but when it counts they choose the path of least resistance 99.999% of the time because they are scared. Overwhelmed with fear. Until their backs are against the wall, when they have to go for two and they have to go for two without fear of being second-guessed.

The single-point kick is the automatic call among mainstream coaches because of the fear of being different and brainwashing. The fear of being different is a powerful force of nature that kills your originality. Conformity studies have shown that a minimum of 66% of humans are followers and will follow blindly even if following contradicts personal beliefs. The stats show that kicking for one is easier but they forget that it’s easier because that’s all they do.

I have a 20-year streak of going for 2 points. It has to be a world record. No one goes for two more often and with greater success than my teams. Here’s the article I posted in Coachbook. My goal is to change the world of football, one 2-point conversion at a time:

Psychology and Science of the 2 point conversion

The decision to go for two, especially on the last play with the game on the line, with only a few seconds to make the right call arguably, is the most pressure-packed decision a coach will make. No one has gone for two more than us. Since 1987, we have gone for two after every TD scored. We stopped kicking PATs I 1987, have never kick another PAT and never will again. It’s not a gimmick. It works if you work out. We have the evidence to prove it. We’ve gone for two 100% of the time, at three different levels of football, in two countries, and not once has it cost us a game. The cause of any game we’ve lost has absolutely nothing to do with the decision to go for two after every TD. “Rather than mourn losing, study it.” (from 4th and hell). We have studied every loss in 40 seasons and have identified concrete reasons for losing. The same reasons come up every time and the decision to go for two has never been one of them.

I’ll never understand going for two and expecting to get it if you don’t ever call it, if you don’t rep it out, and if you don’t have a purposeful strategy. Our two-point conversion strategy is based on two principles: (i) multiple-threat (ii) simulated training.

The Multiple-Threat concept governs the design of every two-point play. The defense must perceive at least six areas of threat. The more areas of threat, the higher the chances of getting 2 points. Multiple- threat areas is the solution to the confined space of 53.3 x 13 yards. Minimal threat areas hands success to the defense. Run or pass, the defense must perceive at least six threats or they will tie up traffic causing a traffic jam that leads to a standstill with no hope of 2 points. Multiple threat areas unclogs the traffic jam.

Simulated training means dedicating ‘contextual reps’ – live physically and mentally. Every practice, no exception. We never have and never will rep out even one 2-point play in isolation, referring to the absence of a context. The context means that that every 2-poit rep must be part of a simulated series of plays, before and after the 2-point rep, because the psychological part is just as important as the physical part.

There’s a psychology and science to 2-point conversions that has been a big part of transforming every program I’ve coached at 3 levels. But 2-point conversions don’t just happen. Successful 2-point conversions don’t happen by accident. They don’t happen randomly. They don’t happen overnight. Two-point conversions are made to happen – body, mind and soul. Otherwise, stick to PATs. Do what you do most. Don’t do what you do least. The least brings out your worst. What you do most brings out your very best. #buonnatale #blessings


Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., NCCP Level 3 coach
Head coach – Niagara X-men football
Owner – X Fitness Inc.

Gino Arcaro is an extensively published author. His new books are 4th & hell: seasons 1-5. Season one is available. Season 2-5 will be released soon His website, blog, Youtube channel, and list of books are at:

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