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  1. 1 point
    Hi, I wish the forum was still more active too. I'm starting my first year coaching 3/4 graders and was going to start posting to try to reactivate the page. As for your question, I haven't coached those ages but my son played in the 6 year old division recently. From what I saw they kept things simple. Running was definitely what the offense were built around. Dives, fake dive with an end around, end around with a reverse. You can probably do some center drags from Oranges playbook as it's not a far throw. Then run a center drag with a delayed handoff to a end around. On defense, kids had to be able to pull flags. Most scores are from big plays. So I would run a zone, focusing on the kids staying in their area until the ball crosses the line then everyone swarm to the ball. I'd start 4 kids 4-5 yards off the line of scrimmage 5 yards apart, so they can see the play. Then a safety a couple yards behind them as a safety valve. Then practice staying home as you show them reverses and sweeps, then swarm to the ball. Hope that helps.
  2. 1 point
    I have coached 9 seasons with i9 Sports flag football. I have been in your shoes. A few years ago I had a rag-tag team of 7 players, only one real "stand-out" player. We lost our first two games because of our lack of effective defense and flag pulling. My assistant coach and I drilled it into the kid's heads that defense was going to make the difference and we only need one touchdown to win if our defense is strong. We went on to win the rest of our games and the championship that season. The last game went into triple overtime and we won with a goal line stand where we did not allow the other team to score in the end. So my advice to you is work on your defense, make the focus of your practice DEFENSE. Drills for flag-pulling and how to swarm the ball. The first guy to the ball carrier is the one who should slow them down, and make it possible for the team to get the flag. Eyes on the belt buckle/hips. You have shown that you can put points on the board, now get your defense in shape. My kids this season are 4-0, we have only allowed 3 TD's and have 9 interceptions. There are only 3 teams in our division, one of those teams has yet to score a single TD on us. I tell my kids every Sunday "Defense is going to win this game for us today." We have 4 defensive TD's this season. I praise my kids more for their defensive efforts than their offensive efforts. The first thing I look at on our stat sheet is "pulls". If a kid doesn't have one yet at halftime we talk about why that is and sometimes it is just the fact that they did not have a good chance, or that their teammate got it first, even though they were there too... lot's of discussion about this so they know that is what we as coaches want them to excel at more than anything else in games. Every kid should have at least one flag pull per game. The good ones will get 4 or more. So, good luck and have fun at all costs. I have had more losing seasons than winning seasons, so I know what you are going through. With youth sports we have to remember that we are shaping these kids for the future, more than anything else, teach them respect, humility, and sportsmanship. Those attributes will help them a whole lot more than a winning record or a trophy. Coach Andy
  3. 1 point
    Have to check the rules under "Passing" to see what is considered a legal pass. Like horstada mentioned, I'm guessing a legal pass must be beyond the los.
  4. 1 point
    i coach in upward, 6v6 3rd and 4th graders. i only have challenges with the rush when we pass. for runs, we use misdirection and you have to have quick developing plays. we mostly see zone. when passing, we do 2 things to beat the blitz. first, we roll the qb out 50-75% of the width of the field. you have to teach the qb to stop and plant his foot before he throws. second, we spread out all the receivers on one side between the center and the sideline. I send the center and sideline guy deep. i have the other other 3 go medium with 1 on the sideline, 1 straight in front of where the center started, and one between them. we mostly see zone. what usually happens is a defender will pick up 1 of the 3 kids who do a medium depth route, and 1 or both of the deep routes go uncovered. sounds stupid but the defenses usually don't shift over, and the coach on the other side thinks you area going to run some sort of trick play to the empty half so they usually tell at least 1 man to stay over there. the dbacks are usually content to cover someone, and they don't realize that they have the medium routes double covered and have left the deep routes uncovered. you can run this to either side of the field. after the other team has seen this play/formation a few times, i like to change it up. i'll roll the qb out still but have the sideline wr run and endaround and take a rolling handoff from the qb. or i'll have the receivers go a little deeper and have the sideline wr run a drag underneath - by the time he gets to midfield he usually has clear sailing. the other thing i'll do is fake the end around and throw to the rb after he's past the QB.
  5. 1 point
    Below is a paste from a post in another forum where I explained what we do. Hopefully this will help some. My philosophy to defense at this age---throw all the x's and o's out the door, and just make sure your team covers the field by maintaining proper position. It's all about taking away the big play. Let the offense beat themselves. ------------------------ 1. We run a 3-2-1. I put a NT right in the middle on the LOS. Typically, this my least skilled athlete. I put two Ends/CBs out very wide. These are typically my most disciplined players. I put two LBs back about 5-7 yards--midway between the NT and End. The LBs are typically my best athletes. Finally, I put a Safety back about 15 yards from LOS. 2. The #1 rule is that the players do not move until the ball has crossed the LOS. This cannot be stressed enough. This is more than just "staying home", but instead I coach them to literally stand ready in the spot they are until the ball crosses. Just let the play unfold. Once the ball crosses the line then swarm. Cover the field, not the offense. It sounds simple, but watch how many defenses do not do this. 3. Our #2 rule is "keep them in the box." By that, a ball-carrier is NEVER allowed to get around the Ends to the sideline. I split the Ends out very wide to assist with this. Most times I will put them out a few feet from the sideline. If you think about it, most ball-carriers head toward the sideline when they have the ball, and the majority of TDs are scored by ball-carriers streaking down the sideline. We already have someone there waiting for him. Worst case scenario is that he turns upfield you will always have a LB there go get him. This can be very difficult for kids to learn. It also looks very unorthodox because you have two wide gaps at the LOS, but I'll give up 2-4 yards up the middle all game long. 4. Our #3 rule is no one, NO ONE is allowed past the Safety. I have found this to be the hardest thing to coach. Kids obviously want to run up to the ball when it crosses the LOS, or run forward to cover a player in the seam, etc. I keep the rule simple. I only ask one thing from the Safety, and that is no one gets behind him---ever. At the beginning of this season, my Safety (who has played with me five seasons now) did not like this. He told me, "I just want to be able to get flags." I asked him if he would rather have flags or INTs, and of course he said INTs. He led our team with six INTs this season, AND made several TD-saving flags. PRACTICE: We don't do a lot of flag-pulling drills--but this is not to dismiss it. I simply have had the same players for many seasons now, so I already know they know how to pull flags well. We will spend our first few practices doing it just to get the feel for it, but usually after the fourth practice we stop. What I do coach in practice, is playing in position. I'll line the defense up, get five guys for offense, and I'm the QB. Most times I'll send three receivers out (one deep, one in the seam, and one underneath), keeping two players back for dump off passes or hand-offs. It's very fast pace, but it allows me to see which players are moving out of position. Better yet, when they all stay in position, it's a beautiful thing to watch as I cannot find an open player to get the ball tto. ;-)
  6. 1 point
    I know where you're coming from dizzy. We finished our season 1-5. We play in a 3rd-4th grade division right now, and only 2 of my 9 players were 4th graders (and one of them had never played football before). Looking back on our season now I can see a several things that need improvement: 1. Our team speed wasn't where it should be. 2. None of our kids could catch the ball in games, so our passing threat was nill. 3. We needed more practice with less plays to get all of the plays doen perfect. I think we had over 25 plays this season, and although the kids ran them all "OK", I think it's the little details and nuances of plays that can make all the difference (the fakes, and little uke moves and pump fakes, etc.). With all those plays we didn't have time to nail down the specifics this season, and I think that really hurt us in execution of the plays. This fall I will have 5 of the same kids back, and I am reducing our playbook down to 12 plays to start the season. With that said here are the 3 things I think I learned this season that will help us the most this fall: 1. Have a small 8-12 play playbook to start the season and get those plays down perfect including all pump fakes, jukes, routes, etc. for EVERY player before moving on to any more plays. 2. Make sure every play has at least 2 options, whether it be a run and a pass option or 2 run options, etc., this will keep the defense guessing every play. 3. Emphasize swarming to the ball every practice and every game so it becomes second nature.
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