Firstly, football players, no matter the position they play, have to be trained in the fundamentals. So do writers. Concrete nouns, active verbs and descriptive adjectives are requirements for any writing project. Secondly, successful plays in football begin in the trenches. The line of scrimmage is the key to success. Offensive and defensive linemen, those doing the "grunt work", control the flow of the game. All of the sexy stuff - touchdowns, interceptions, quarterback sacks - occur as the result of the line play. Writing requires strength. Research, preparation, interviews, etc. go a long way in determining if your piece will have any merit. Once those notes are gathered, everything else should fall into place, and you'll be set to impress.
Of course, a game plan is absolutely necessary. I am a plotter, so that would be my outline. Once into the piece, the characters can then determine the direction the story takes, much like the adjustments made to an opposing team's strengths and weaknesses during a football game.
Now, when we watch a game, what we are seeing is the culmination of weeks of work. Players have regimens they follow: eat properly, weight room sessions, film study and repetitions on the practice field. When a play runs smoothly, it is the result of constant practice. Same with writing. A first draft is exactly that - a first effort. It is not ready for publication. Just like reps on the practice field, writers need to go over their piece as many times as it takes to mold it into something as close to perfect as they can get. The reader needs to be impressed. He or she does not need to know what took place behind the scenes in order to place that masterpiece in their hands.
Obviously, a head coach is necessary. That's you, the writer. It's your job to have all of your players on the same page - literally. The singular purpose is winning. Strive to inspire, enlighten and entertain. When everything clicks, you'll have success.
Okay, there are two more games today, one of which features my favorite team. Seven more hours of football! If anyone complains, I'm going to reply, "This is research. It's helping me to become a better writer." I think I'll stretch out on the couch and work all afternoon.