Football Coach Joe Koch
State Championship High School Football Coach Joe Koch Reviews the Colt
Football Blocking Pad Improved Intensity While Developing Fundamentals
Q: How do you use the Colt in your daily practice or progression?
A: We used the Colt in all of our daily progression as far as for receivers, offensive lineman, slot backs. It was part of our fundamental period.
Q: How did you use the Colt with backs or receivers?
A: We chose the Colt because we looked at the last few years in offensive production, and one of the things that limited us was the perimeter. We always said the offensive line will get us 5 yards and the perimeter blocking will get us 50, it would make a 5-yard run into a 50-yard run. We were really poor on our perimeter blocking. Obviously in Wisconsin you can’t cut block, so you have to be very good on your feet. Sustaining a block in open space is very difficult. One of the challenges we looked at was how can we improve that, and we came across the Colt pad. Our slot backs use it every day in their blocking progression, receivers use it in their releases, getting off press coverages, and also their drill progressions. Obviously the blocking pad had a big impact this year because we had a very young team, none of our slots or receivers played the year before, so they overachieved- but a lot of it had to do with the Colt. The difference was I don’t think we had a running back that ran under 5 flat [in the 40-yard dash], so the blocking had to be good on the perimeter to extend any runs. It was a daily part of our progressions.
Q: What is the advantage of using the Colt vs. a regular football blocking pad?
A: Everybody has used some type of football shield in the past, especially nowadays where most teams are short numbers. There are very few schools that have an abundance of players where you can just take guys and bang them against each other. To do something correctly in football, it has to be executed full speed. This is not like cross country where you run it at pace, to train the nervous system correctly it has to be trained at full speed, at a very aggressive almost violent manner. That’s hard to do body on body all the time, it’s human nature to taper back and take it easy. The Colt’s design is more human like and contoured like a body, hand placement is hands inside, thumbs up, inside those armpits. In the past when pads were of rectangular fashion, players would latch on to the outside of it and fall off on it. Here, you can lock up with your thumbs up and hands inside the armpits, control and maneuver. When the pad gets outside that framework like a real body, you know when to release one or both hands to not get called for holding. That’s the unique difference.
Q: Are you able to practice at full speed and use full violence with the Colt?
A: Yeah, we found that to be the biggest advantage. The receivers for sure found the football blocking pad to be a huge advantage when working on releases against press coverage. You can really execute the different stab, punch and rip moves at full speed and do it repetitively with reps. where in the past, you minimized it because of the beating your arms took from hits from your buddies. I hate to use the word violent, it sounds negative, but football is a contact sport with violent action and you have to execute like that to train the nervous system to repeat that action so it’s automatic.
Q: How has the blocking pad affected player development?
A: Statistically, last year we had one of our poorest offensive products, we averaged 28 points a game, which maybe by some standards is good, but it wasn’t for us. We had taken a dip, and our numbers are down like a lot of schools because of concussions and things like that. We needed something. We needed something to up it because we were losing a senior-based team, so we took a team that lost pretty much all of our offensive players on the line and skill positions, and we returned this year just adding one thing to our regimen. We didn’t change what we do offensively, our practice habits, etc. The only addition was the Colt blocking pad and probably the aggressiveness to the way we practice and this year we averaged 41 points a game and broke the school record and conference record of scoring. We’ve always done well, we always felt we’ve had a good system, but within the confines of the team we scientifically had the same controls in the situation. The only variables that changed was the Colt pad.
Q: Do you feel like you can control or push the aggression of the player on the Colt pad?
A: Definitely. It was very easy for our kids to be much more aggressive. Coach Wright who coaches our running backs and slot backs would have a blocking period last year and it was like pulling teeth anytime you had to go to that station of the regimen because you were just beating each other up every time. We don’t have many guys. There aren’t many schools who have an abundance of players, so they start basically forming a union where they don’t hit each other hard. This year though, they were excited to go to their blocking period, it wasn’t too long just 10 minutes, but it was intense. It was very physical and intense but your guys were coming out healthy. It becomes kind of an exciting thing, brings back that machismo in practice, and the kids were excited about it. I think it’s really a must. I would never do it another way, we actually added another Colt pad during the season, and we’ll probably add on another one next year.