Building a Program by Design: The Four-Quarter Plan Part 2

By Robert Pomazak | Posted 6/11/2019

In part 2 of our 4 Quarter Plan we look into the second half of our fiscal year. To reiterate how St. Charles North develops its 4th quarter program here is a short review. In the business world a quarter is a three-month period on a company’s financial calendar that acts as a basis for periodic financial reports and the paying of dividends. In other words, the quarters act as an opportunity for investors to receive a return on their investment while the executive team can take stock in the business’s growth and financial direction. In terms of program building there are many similarities to the business model. At St. Charles North our quarters consist of 3 month periods that utilize 4 specific and targeted areas of personal growth for each player. At the end of each quarter a state of the program evaluation is taken and communicated to all of the key stakeholders within the program. Benchmarks are reviewed, growth is evaluated on both a macro and micro level. Our philosophy is that personal growth in each individual will lead to a compound growth of the overall program culture. A brief description of the St. Charles North Quarterly Program is below.

RELATED CONTENT: Building a Program by Design: The Four-Quarter Plan Part 1

We left off on the end of quarter 2 and the beginning of quarter 3. The school year has wrapped up and depending on your part of the country the season is about to get rolling. Summertime in Illinois is the unofficial start to the football season. Teams will have full calendars looking to build their team into a champion. At St. Charles North we are no different but our calendar is built around the same principles as Q1 and Q2. In the following paragraphs I will highlight some of the methodologies we utilize to create our holistic 4 quarter program.

Quarter 3

Quarter 3

Quarter 3 begins in June and runs through the summer and ends process and ends after the first week of the season in August. To say that Q3 is important would be an understatement. In Illinois we are allowed 25 days of football contact with our athletes. During this time, we cover scheme, individual/team skill development, 7- on- 7, character development and team building. At St. Charles North the summer is the essential building block that prepares us for the final quarter of the season.

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Quarter 3,  4 Quadrant Development Model

  • Physical: Q3 is focused on building the athlete for the grind of the season. We focus our  efforts on the following.:
    • Bbuilding body armature in LBM
    • Ssoft tissue prehab
    • Iincreased recovery practices
    • SStability and mobility in joint and connective tissues.
    • Energy system development


  • Mental: Cognitive development in Q3 takes a major shift to scheme recognition. At St. Charles North we are firm believers in flipping the classroom, utilizing technology and assessment to prepare our athletes. In later articles I will highlight how we do this in a very specific and articulated way.
  • Tactical: Tactical training in Q3 hits high gear as we begin to utilize our decision  action cycle progression to equip our athletes with the skills needed to handle stress and respond when adversity hits.
  • Emotional: In Q3 our emotional training turns the tables and puts our players in charge. We start every summer with our culture playbook presentation. During this three3 -hour evening event our players learn about the Iron Star culture and what behaviors we will accept. They learn about the vision and mission of the program and how they impact it daily. Throughout the course of the summer our players are in charge of creating presentations that explain each of our core values. We allocate practice time to our culture development plan and place a premium on these presentations.

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Quarter 3

Quarter 4

Quarter 4

RELATED CONTENT: Strategic Planning Aligning Your Program Through a Systematic Approach

Quarter 4 you are in the figurative frying pan and it is very easy to go into reptilian mode. What is that you ask? Reptilian mode is when all we try to do is survive and all the great things, we established during Q1,2 and 3 go by the wayside. At St. Charles North we cannot let that happen. The intensity and focus of what we are doing may change but the message must always remain crystal clear. Q4 is the time to put what you teach to use and apply it daily to live out the mission.  Has what you planned, implemented and practiced has made a difference? Look for those moments and evaluate them like you would a game film. The ability to show your team moments of success and failure through the eyes of the process are priceless.

Quarter 4, 4 Quadrant Development Model

Physical: At St. Charles North we are firm believers in remaining consistent with our strength training paradigm. We will continue to run a low-volume periodized program biweekly with a full recovery day on Saturday. The focus is to keep our players on the field. Pre-hab, rehab and regeneration opportunities are at a premium. I will go into deeper detail on our strength training methodologies in a later article.

Mental: Dealing with in-season mental processes can be like walking to hall of horrors. So many individual emotions and mental complexities can make it difficult to navigate a program and keep your eyes on the horizon. We categorize the in-season mental development into four areas:

  • Retention: How well are players exhibiting knowledge gained?
  • Execution: How well are we executing our plan?
  • Evaluation: What is quantifiable data telling us?
  • Expansion: Are there access points that we are missing to expand?


Tactical: During Q4, the tactical aspect is now all about application. How well are we applying what we learned in stress management? The new layer of tactical training is game planning execution. We teach our players how to game plan, practice, watch film and evaluate opponents.

Emotional: Our emotional development curriculum shifts in Q4 to our process pyramid. Within this pyramid are the steps we will take to prepare our mind for competition.


Belief: It all starts with the belief and positive self-talk. In our program we will never talk about losing. The winning starts long before the game has started.

Trust: As stated earlier, trust is one of our foundational elements and we spend time talking about what it takes to earn trust.

Adversity vs. Opportunity: We address different adversities that may arise in the game/ season and talk about how we will overcome. This past season we lost our starting QB in week one, starting RB week six and Mike backer week 11. Had our boys not prepared for these moments, we would have never been able to overcome them and make it to the state finals.

Focus: We talk about soft focus and hard focus and when to use both. We will go into great detail about the environment of the game from the fans, opponent and conditions. We spend time on identifying our status quo and what needs to happen to remain in control of the game. Our goal every week is dominate the environment.

Elite: As Brian Kight says, “Everyone wants to be elite but few will get there.” Why? Because it is dog-gone hard! For St. Charles North, we focus on having an elite response to every event. We say that we are at best when the event is at its worst!

During quarter 4 it is easy to get lost in the results and I agree. However, we should focus on the results of our efforts to create the ultimate experience for our players. I am not saying that winning doesn’t matter. Anyone who knows me understands that is not the case. I do believe that wins are a product of the work we do from quarter 1 to quarter 4. We can always strive to improve and sometimes the answer is not in the X’s and O’s