Coach Tim Snow wasn't thinking about spread formations when he first started studying the Pistol Power Offense System in 2015. That first version of the system looked a lot more like the traditional One Back Offense that I first learned from Coach Bill Mountjoy years ago.
But the great thing about the System is that it evolves. And as Coach Snow and the Winnisquam High School offense evolved in New Hampshire, so did their offensive playbook. The version of the playbook that won back to back New Hampshire State Championships in 2018 and 2019 uses a lot more wide open spread formations. But it keeps the same core principles and schemes.
Scroll down to listen to this episode of The Football Coaching Podcast and my interview with Coach Snow on the use of spread formations in the Pistol Power Offense System.
Versatility of the System
Coach Snow credits the versatility of the Pistol Power Offense System with helping his offense evolve to fit the players. Each season, the Winnisquam staff takes a look at what his athletes can do. Then they build the playbook around that, while keeping the core teachings.
After using a bruising rushing attack for 3 seasons, the talent the small New England school changed. It was time for a wide open attack. Starting in 2018, Coach Snow incorporated spread formations, the read option, and an expanded passing attack. That took Winnisquam to their first State Championship.
The following season, the offense continued to evolve. RPOs were added to open up the playbook for an athletic Quarterback who's understanding of how to read a defense continued to improve. Winnisquam rode that development all the way to a second State Championship in 2019.
They'll look to defend the Championship and three-peat (do I owe someone money for that?) in 2020.
Play Calling with Spread Formations
It's not just about the playbook. Coaches have to know how to choose what to use from the playbook. It's not just about spread formations. It's knowing what your athletes can handle, and what they can do best.
Season to season, you're selecting the plays and formations that define your identity. You need to adapt to the style that fits your athletes best. You also need to game plan each week for how you're going to attack the opponent.
Then you're looking at how to call the plays during the game. Play selection throughout the game determines the outcome much more than the game planning you do on the weekends. The Winnisquam offense has that down, scoring three times as many points in the second half as they did in the first half during 2019.
Listen to this episode of The Football Coaching Podcast to find out the simple process Coach Snow uses to determine play selection. Tim shares exactly what he looks for to determine how his team will attack their opponents during the game.
This is a great look at how the Pistol Power Offense is a lot more than just running the ball, or even lining up in pistol! Check it out using the player below, or search for The Football Coaching Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts!