Game Planning
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Madden players constantly look for advantages. Making the right call at the right time is all the advantage we need. Planning ahead for game time makes picking the right play easy come crunch-time. Whether it's 3rd and long or the offense is backed up in the shadow of it's own goal posts; Madden players that plan ahead win more games.  This tip, submitted by legacy member "TruthBTold" relates a tournament experience that changed the way he approaches game planning.

Almost every NFL coach and quarterback uses some type of play call sheet for reference in critical high-pressure game time situations. On the sideline, coaches have a sheet. On the field, quarterbacks have a wrist band. During the week of practice, long before the kickoff, the plays that will be called in virtually every situation are grouped, listed, and written down. If it's a good way to manage a real NFL signal caller, why not use the same strategy to make play calling simple in a game of Madden?

TruthBTold says, "I once played an opponent in a tournament that used a wrist band call sheet - HE WON." After the tournament he mentioned how much easier his call sheet made calling plays in tough situations. It made sense. Opponents without a game plan sheet have to sort through dozens of formations with hundreds of choices looking for the right play while the play clock ticks down. Under tournament pressure, it's virtually impossible to maintain focus in that scenario.

Meanwhile, players with call sheets have one less thing to think about. In the days leading up to the game they simulate the work of real NFL coaches and players. They create a game plan on a call sheet when there's no pressure. The decisions are logical, methodical, and far less random. Come game time, the hardest part of play calling has already been done. Instead of rushing through an entire playbook of hundreds of plays to find one, the field of plays has already been narrowed to the three to five plays we might actually use effectively. Players with their game plan fleshed out need only focus on execution.

TruthBTold relates, "I immediately ordered a wrist band call sheet. I needed to invest a little time to physically write which plays I'd run in several situations like:

  • 3rd and Long
  • Redzone
  • 4th and inches
  • Two Minute Drill
  • Between the 20's
  • Inside the 5

I made the decisions of what plays to call before my palms were sweaty, without the distraction of the swarm of things that go through your mind during a game. I could focus on the plays I wanted to run and when I wanted to run them. Even more important, I was able to plan for offense and defense."

To get the best results, plan ahead. Use a call sheet like the pros do to manage your play calling better in pressure situations. In tournament settings where the stakes can be highest, prepare a game plan for each playbook you are using. As tournament participants mingle and browse the competitors, they are also scouting potential opponents. It will be difficult for them to pinpoint tendencies to exploit when players are ready for one playbook, but get another.

****    UPDATE    ****

For printable call sheets you can use to plan your next Madden game on offense, go to the next page!  Defensive call sheet coming soon!

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