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  1. 5 points
    Here is my finalized playbook for the Spring 2010 season. If you have any questions please let me know and I'll be glad to help you. Suggestions always welcome.
  2. 4 points
    I came here 7 seasons ago and through my lurking I have learned a ton. There are better threads about the Xs and Os but this one is about the bigger picture lessons I have learned coaching K-2nd 5v5 Flag. 1. If You Want to Coach, Be the Coach. If you know what kind of coach you want to be and your priorities are straight, don't let another Dad step on your toes. My son was five and I volunteered to coach his first flag football team. We started with a horribly run league, but I didn't know that then. We arrive at a pizza place, a lady stands up and in all of five minutes says "Let all the kids play. Don't curse or shout. Here's where you pick up your flags.". If this sounds like your league...get out next season (I'll explain why later). At the bottom of the folder I see that another Dad is listed as the assistant coach. I think this is great, because I am new and could use some help. The guy ends up being a running back coach for the local high school and by the end of the first practice steam rolls his way to being the head coach. I could have pitched a fit, but at the time, he had a routine, he seemed to know how to get things moving and he talked like my High School coach so it felt like coaching to me. As the season went on however, he would reveal himself to be everything I do not like about coaching younger kids. He was a cool guy off the field and was likely a good high school coach, but 5-6 year olds were NOT his forte. He played 5 out of our 10 kids 90% of the time. One of our grass pickers literally never got a down in 3 games. He had a curse filled altercation with the kid's Dad after one of the games when confronted by him. He tried to convince me and 3 other parents to lie about our best kids ages for the next season so they wouldn't go to the next division. His own kid, who was one of our best kids was in tears during half the practices. Our last game of the year he freaked out over a bad call a referee made stomping off to the league tent in the middle of the 2nd qrtr. I finally confronted him telling him to sit it out. He redzoned on me for a half a second where I thought I was about to have to fight a grown man in front of my kid. Then I explained to him he was hurting the team and he noticed the huddle of wide eyed kids behind me. He apologized to the team and admitted he just wasn't cut out for that age group at the end of the game. However, in the interest of not making waves, I let down my kid and all of the others who weren't playing or really even being coached that season. I felt horrible for not standing up sooner. I thought that his solid game plan and well run practices trumped what I brought to the table. What I learned is, if there is something you want to coach your kids, then be the coach. Half of your parents will want to win at all costs, I have had some tell me to NOT play their kids. The other half want their kids to have fun. If you let them "help" you, you will not know until week 2 or 3 what kind of parent they are and by then, they are a coach too. Even if you suck your first season. Suck using YOUR philosophy. YOUR plays and YOUR practices. If you have to coach with someone else, go out for a beer before week one and hash out your coaching styles. - 2. Don't Be "That Coach" Don't be "That Coach" who has one superstar that you ride all year. The only thing you are proving is that you are good at figuring out which 5-8year old is faster than the rest. Because that is pretty much all it takes. If you want to prove how good of a coach you are, score a touchdown with your grass picker. Get him in the endzone. I can remember every time I got my slower "all heart and less skill" players in to the end zone because of the smiles on their face and their parents. My third season we played for the championship against a team with a freakish athlete. They beat us 38 to 20 and he scored all their touchdowns and their extra points. He intercepted us twice and played every down of the game. Every down. One of my Dads tracking stats had them down for 22 offensive plays and this kid ran the ball 13 times and they threw to him 5 other times. What really got to me was a parent from his team after the game. He came over and shook my hand and said "I liked how you spread the ball around even when you were losing. My son hasn't touched it all year. Do you have any openings next season?". After that Dad talked to me, I realized just how crappy that coach is for his team. More than half his kids might not play football again because of how boring he made it. Just because they aren't Barry Sanders at age 6, they got snubbed by their own coach. The other kids may have grown to be- great linebackers or linemen or maybe they could have been good that year if coached up. Even if they were never going to be good at football, its exercise, team building and should be fun. "That Coach" won and his kid got to feel awesome for a couple seasons but he did at the expense of other children on his own team. Please don't be "That Coach". 3. Find a Good League The first league we tried was run out of some ladies house and she was using the league to pay her mortgage and boy did it show. One season we did not have flags for our first game and had to cancel and reschedule. The cost went up the following season,but the flags got cheap, medals and trophies went away and replaced with certificates. Some days we had 2 refs, other times 1 and never the same ones. One week we had a guy hard counting the 25 second clock (in a Kindergarten league mind you) the next we had guys letting a minute tick down. Applying for a coaching spot was clicking a check mark and getting a quick speech at the beginning of the year. When the field got rained out, you were notified with a sign at the field. None of these are horrible, but they add up, they irritate the parents, you as a coach and they will impact your ability to coach. Our final season someone broke in to the shed she kept all the gear in and she asked everyone to pay an additional 50 bucks for more jerseys which mysteriously showed up two days later, even though 3 seasons prior they were always a week or two behind shipping them. In short, it was shady, run poorly and parent irritation at the league spills on to you. Contrast that with i9 and it is night and day. The refs and opposing coaches have your play time rotation so that every kid gets in every game. Their website alone will save you a ton of work as a coach. I have always had two refs, usually one of four whom I know how they call the game and can adjust accordingly. They robo call you and your team first thing in the morning when weather cancels a game too. They give you medals to had out each week to a kid for a sportsmanship award, which is a great way to motivate the kids who don't score or get the game winning flag pull. A good league eliminates most of the stuff you can't control as a coach, leaving you to worry about your team and your team alone. 4. Set Your Practice Days and Location on Day One When you first contact parents have a brief statement about what kind of coach you intend to be, let them know your practice times and location and then ask them if this will work for them. If you say to a group "Where should we practice?" like I did once, you will have a parent who instantly chooses a time and place convenient for them. Another parent will resent that and put forward one that works for them. None of them are committing as much time as you, so don't feel bad for laying claim to a time and location convenient for you. If some parent has a hard conflict they will let you know and if enough do, then reschedule the time or location at that point. Look around and pick a central location to the team prior to talking to them. Try to pick a field that has access to lights and a bathroom. During the fall, the spots just outside the outfield of softball or baseball leagues are lit up and great finds. If you find one with a nearby play structure for the siblings, jackpot. 5. Get Parents Involved Right Away. If you wait to get parents involved they will assume you don't want them or don't need them. If you ask for volunteers without specific roles, they may be afraid you are asking for more than you are and decline, or worse, assume you don't know what you are doing and insert themselves. On the first practice, pass your roster around and tell them you've assigned snack for each week in the order on the roster and let them swap dates amongst themselves. Ask for one or two Dads to track stats so that you can make sure the playing time and touches are as fair as possible (Do not attempt to track stats yourself). Ask if a parent wants to volunteer to organize getting names on jerseys silk screened or to plan an end of season party. Some parents will leap at the chance, others will run away, but it puts some of the success of the season on their shoulders not just yours. If you asked for someone to step up, they can't blame you when it doesn't get done. If you bring parents on to the field, have a specific job for them. Put them in a box until you know them. Place them by your corners and have them coach up containment during runs and how to play the pass. Have another work on your blitzers. Have another focus on "alligator arms" for proper hand offs. If you just say "Help me on defense", congrats you have a new defensive coordinator who could end up being "That Guy". 6. Have a Parent Track Stats I love stats as they help you on several levels. Stats help motivate kids, inform the parents and keep honest as a coach. Many parents watch only their kids and not the whole team during the games and have tunnel vision because of it. The parents who have the super star athletes love seeing how well their kid is doing. Seeing one kid with 7 touches week three and another with 0 will wake up your coaching as well. Seeing that one kid scores 75% of the time he gets it, will make the parent of a kid with 4 touches and 0 scores understand why his kid isn't leading getting more. On the stat sheets I always include a few stats like Hustle, Hurries, Sportsmanship, Swarming which I use to quickly pad a few of the under performing kids stats. I still let the stars stand out, but you should always have something to praise at this age. One season stats revealed that one kid was our best receiver during the games but I didn't see it until I saw the paper. Seeing your kids with 0 flag pulls lets you know who needs work. The best part is, if other parents are tracking the stats, parents can't blame you for unequal praise. Each season I grab some images from Google to match our team name then print out a half sheet of paper with the logo and their name and laminate it. Then at the end of the game I give out stickers for the tally marks on the stat sheets. The idea being like the college and high school teams that put the stickers on their helmet. Its a pain but the kids eat it up and I have yet to have even my worst grass picker be bummed out because he doesn't have the number of stickers our stars do. These kids know the star player earned them, but I stress the team aspect and that make sure even the worst player has a few to be proud of. 7. Define Your Standards and Punishments On Day One The sooner you define your standards, the sooner they will meet them. No talking in the huddle. How to address you or other coaches. Taking a knee when addressing them. No horsing around during water breaks. No flag pulling while in lines or huddles. Figure out what will happen when they break these rules and be consistent. Consistent. Consistent. My punishment is running around a backstop about 100 feet away. Some coaches do pushups or sprints. Keep in mind these are boys who spent all day not moving at school, so don't be a drill sergeant, but if practice is being interrupted, have a quick punishment that gives the kid a few seconds to feel a little embarrassed but not shamed. Also try to say why they are in trouble loud enough for the parents to hear. Only the worst parents will have a problem with you equitably and humanely disciplining their kid. Some parents sign their kids up specifically to get some discipline. None of them signed up to hear a grown man humiliate, scream at or berate their child. 8: Keep Your First Practices Basic When coaching young kids you will always have kids who are new to the sport. Some who have played, will forget half of what they learned or your terminology may be different than their last coach. Define Offense and Defense. Make sure they can all snap the ball properly. Tell them what the Endzone and line of scrimmage is. Show them alligator arms for hand offs. Walkthrough a proper throwing motion. Make sure they can all snap the ball properly. I said that last one twice because it will break your soul when some kid gets over the ball and says hike himself and long snaps it in to the end zone on week three. Also make sure you update your terminology. I spent an entire season saying "Carry the football like a loaf of bread". Week 7 I saw a blank look and asked who knew what a "loaf" was. None of them could. Facepalm Coach. 9: Practice Plays Not Drills From age 5-9 I would stress that almost 100% of your practice time needs to be spent running plays or drills that simulate pieces of plays you need to work on. If you can have a full defense against a full offense, do it. If not, short the defense one week, offense the next. The reason is that if concepts like containment, or pressure on the QB or the value of a good fake can not be explained to most kids this age ESPECIALLY if they are new to football. They need to be burnt around the corner, see their good QB put up a rainbow pick with a blitzer coming in or get caught standing still with a good fake before they get it. The most I would do with drills are sprints, not for conditioning (you will never have enough time at this age for conditioning) but to teach technique and I use a ball and a hard count to teach reaction at snap. I have a snap, then hand off and run between a gauntlet of defenders to focus snaps, hand offs and flag pulling. Then mix it up with a pass and run through defenders. 10: Run First. Pass Second Until you hit 3rd and 4th grade a consistent passing game is a vaguely close promise land that all coaches and virtually every parent, believe is just over the horizon. Don't get me wrong, you need to pass or those No Run zones will murder your team. I am simply saying that you need to get your running game going first. In 7 seasons I had a freakish QB in two seasons, but only one kid could catch his balls. One season I had four who could catch but the only kid who could throw would only throw to the person I said to watch for, regardless of how covered he was. Even smart QBs just huck the ball in the air when blitzed effectively. Work on your running game, get a few easily completed short passes to the flats and over the middle (depending on where their defense's holes are) and save the bombs. Now if you have a QB and 2-3 who can catch and run smart routes, you're going to be first or second in your league because everyone else is running and opposing defenses will not be sucking up every play. Around age 9 and 10 the kids get disciplined on Defense and running starts to get hard, but this is because they are starting to grasp big picture concepts. This is when they are able to really grasp route running versus just doing what is on the wipe board regardless of where the defender is. 11. Coach Football Maybe this should have been number one, but you are a football coach, so coach football. Just because you devised a wacky rule bending play that works, doesn't mean you're coaching good football. By 3rd - 4th grade, your muddle huddle or not having a WR report to the huddle will get crushed hard. All the time your team spent practicing it, is keeping them from learning real football plays and skills. Statue of Liberty, Hook and Ladder or a Flea Flicker are not the type of plays I am talking about here. If you're designing a play to trick 5-8 year olds, remember that tricking them is not difficult. The target of your trickery are people who believe that fairies pay them for old teeth. Be a good coach and practice good football they can learn from.
  3. 4 points
    Here is my playbook, enjoy! Please let me know if you have any questions. Coach Juan
  4. 3 points
    One of my favorite plays, I call it an automatic play for short yardage, is the center drag. One of the things that I love to do is proceed it with a fake end around, even in the no-run zone. It's such a good misdirection play that it even works in the no-run zone. It's kind of funny, the other teams coach will be yelling, they have to pass! My receiver comes around and they all bite on the run anyway. Sometimes the other coach will even yell, run! when he sees the end around forming (the same guy who just a second ago said they have to pass). Make sure the receiver comes quickly either in motion or from the slot. Then have the center get just on the goal line and the qb sprint down the los with him (5-7 yards minimum). Alternatively the center can do a quick slant opposite the fake end around, just clear of the end zone but have him delay a little. Another good play, is a flood or wash-type play. This version is from Coach Rob: Line up 3 receivers to the right of the center. On the snap those 3 receivers all run slants across the middle. The center delays and runs underneath them the other direction. Have your qb fake pump it at the crossing group and the center should be wide open. I'm going to post my updated playbook and you can see a version of it there. Also, check out the Orlando I-9 playbook I posted. There is a delay slant that does something similar.
  5. 2 points
    My philosophy is similar, I want all the kids to have fun and be able to try the different positions. I spoke at length with my assistant coach and it turns out his ideas are not that different from mine. We have 11 kids on the team and there are only 2 of them that have limited skills (both are a whole year younger too). His idea was more geared towards them, having them specialize in something simpler that they can do well. It will give them more satisfaction due to more success and let them concentrate on a small number of tasks (the other kids being older and more proficient can handle many more assignments). We'll incorporate them in all the other aspects of practice of course, but we'll give them some easy plays designed just for them (we'll call it our secret plays or something, they'll love it). We've also found that only 3-4 kids really want to play qb, so that problem solved itself. One of the big problems we encountered during the game is that on every play, everyone is open and wants the ball. My assistant calls the plays in the huddle on offense and he said it was really bothering him as he was bombarded by chatter while he's trying to call the play. It was the same last season and I witnessed it in the huddle too. At tonights practice I'm going to institute my "no asking for the ball plan." Any player who asks for the ball, tells us he was open, why don't you pass it to me, etc., will be taken out of the game for a minimum of two plays. I'm going to impliment it our scrimmage and hopefully it will eliminate the problem. It got so bad that one of our players was moping and crying on the sideline because he wanted the ball. Of course he caught several passes during the game but he wanted more. We have a lot of kids that can catch and run well, plus we move the ball quickly downfield so we have fewer possessions to spread around. Some players only get one touch (I make sure everyone gets at least one), while if someone gets 3-4 that's a lot on our team. It's a good problem to have so many capable players but some of my kids need to be broken of this whining habit.
  6. 1 point
    As an I9 ref for several seasons, I see this is once you are out of the no run zone, you are free to do what you want. We have had younger teams take a penalty just to get out of the no run zone as they can't pass well. You are either in the no run zone, or not, should not be a gray area.
  7. 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.
  8. 1 point
    Two 6 and 7 year old boys running Air Raid this fall:
  9. 1 point
    We ended our season last Wednesday. We lost out elimination game 44-35, but had a nice finish to the season. The opposing team had just gone ahead 43-26, with under a minute to play. I was out of timeouts and asked the other coach if he would mind using one so I could get some kids, who play almost exclusively defense, on the field for the final offensive series. He asked the refs to not run the clock on his XP and then used all three of his time outs, so I could have a full series of downs. I wound up getting each of the two kids I brought in a carry. The first broke off a run to midfield and the other followed that with a run to about the one. The second one then caught a TD pass on the final play from scrimmage for the year. It was the first catch or run for him. I had used him a game or two on offense when we were short handed and he acted almost afraid of the ball. He's a good kid, just has some focus issues, so I switched him to solely defense to keep his responsibilities simple. I thought it was an awesome thing for the other coach to do. He also happens to be our director of the league. The kids wanted to do something cool on the last play, so we ran the XP with a halfback option. My son, who is my normal QB, got to make a diving catch for the conversion, so that made it even better. He told me later on that he planned on targeting the boy who caught the TD pass the whole time, since he knew he hadn't scored. That brought a smile to my face. We wound up 0-9 and that was our only game where the deficit was less than 10 points. We weren't a bad team, just ungodly slow. That last game, we probably played as well we could possibly play, all things considered, and still came up short against a team whose only wins were against us. Walking back to the bench, you would have thought they had won the Super Bowl, parents included. It was nice to end the season playing the best they could and that last drive was a good topping to that. Our championship rounds were yesterday and I went out to watch some games. We instituted a coach of the year and player of the year/mental attitude type of player awards for each age group this season. I wound getting being selected for the 11/12 group, based on a coach and ref vote, and was given a gift basket with some locally made candy and stuff in it. There's another coach in that age group who've I've come to know fairly well over the last couple of years. We talk strategy and scout other teams for each other, etc and he asked me to draft his daughters in softball this past season and was one of my assistants. I know he pushed for me to get the award, so it was doubly sweet when he wound up winning for the 9/10 group, which he also coaches in. We were standing around talking and watching games and a couple of the regular refs and a guy who I have no clue who he was, came up and told us they were glad we had both won. I never coach to get the appreciation, but it is really nice to know, even when you are losing, people think you are doing things the right way and want you to coach their kids. My son will be in 7th grade next year. If we can work it schedule wise, he may play his last eligible year of flag, along with school tackle. If the school football schedule stays as it was this year, he can probably do it. Regardless, I will probably still coach. I may drop down to the 9/10 level. I like having 6 on 6 versus 5 on 5. I think it's easier to hide problem areas that way. Either way, I think I would be lost without it.
  10. 1 point
    Michael - Sounds like your league is doing it the right way, it's cool to hear that the refs talk to the kids and coaches before the game. I'd add that the good refs should also be talking to the kids during the game and helping teach them. Couldn't agree more on the stealing and fouls rules you have, that is great. I guess it depends upon the mission and philosophy of the league, but most rec leagues I've experienced promote fun, equal playtime and they want repeat customers. My take five years ago was to keep my son playing with a group of good kids and parents. Not just basketball, but other sports like soccer and flag football. Our kids understood how to play hard and be competitive, but always with the backdrop of displaying good sportsmanship, fundamentals, and having fun. I had no clue what was out there with regards to the real competitive world in sports and often wonder if that would have tainted my coaching philosophy back in the day. I can tell you making the high school team wasn't even on the radar. Our transition into dealing with presses and learning how to play stronger was a pretty brutal awakening. There really is no easy way to make that transition, but is sure helps a lot if the kids have some strong fundamentals. We decided to play a tourney outside of our rec league at the end of our 5th grade season. We got hammered by three teams and barely hung in with another. The games were physical, fast paced, and the scores were lopsided. We were in shock, to put it mildly. At some point in a basketball player's journey, the reality of presses, steals, and sitting on the bench comes into play. The officials seem to allow more physical play as the kids get older, so the need to play strong is now a necessary skill. For us, the 5th grade tourney gave us a taste of the competitive world, we never looked back. From 6th grade to now (9th grade), we've been playing up at the higher levels. Hard to say if we started too early or too late with the competitive thing. I feel fortunate that most of the kids on my rec team stuck with it and now will end up making their high school team in a few weeks. Here's a recent vid of our team playing in a fall league. I just threw some clips together from a mom who'd taped our last 3 games. We're black in the first game and white in the other games. My son is #14. We've come a looong ways since our 1st/2nd grade teams.
  11. 1 point
    A few comments, since I know something about biomechanics and speed/agility programming. If you’re coaching it in a group setting, you’re wasting your time. If you’re coaching it in a group setting to 9 and 10 year olds, you’re really wasting your time. I’m not saying such training has no value, but the bottom line is improving the rate of force development in young kids is an “in for a dime, in for a dollar” type proposition. It takes a LOT of time, effort, repetition, and individual instruction to yield meaningful results. And chances are, since you’ve got limited time to practice during the week, you’re not doing it near enough and/or with near the individual supervision required for it to yield meaningful value across the entire team. If anyone tells you different, be skeptical about their aptitude as a true strength and conditioning coach when it comes to young children. Bottom line is speed is the product of physical factors AND execution. And execution is far easier to coach in a group setting when you have limited time, and it yields faster, more meaningful results. You’ll never take a bunch of 9 year olds who run a 6.0 forty-yard dash and turn them into a bunch of 5.3 kids through casual speed training. But you can probably achieve that same relative difference on the football field with good play execution, proper stemming and starts, etc. Remember there is an opportunity cost to everything you do. If you spend your time doing X, the price is that you are NOT doing Y. Your response might be to therefore do some X and some Y, but, like cazador said: to each his own. Personally, I love watching opposing coaches spend time doing things other than working on their plays and play mechanics. Candidly, I think that’s a big reason we’re going to the NFL flag national championship this year and they aren’t. Good luck in whatever you decide.
  12. 1 point
    Those are some great ideas. I like the delayed toss, especially if you send some receivers deep.
  13. 1 point
    Great points, very practical. I'm in agreement with the "fun" part not being equal to horsing around. Definite need for a few rules that must be followed like you stated in the beginning (e.g. mouthpiece out when speaking, etc.). I couldn't agree more on getting a few decent QBs and centers, or else you end up with tons of bad exchanges and wasted ball touch opportunities. We usually tried to get everyone in at QB sometime during the season though. Especially in practices. Some of the challenges can be: -the league and what they emphasize (e.g., everyone must play all positions) -parents who drop off kids and really aren't interested in the sport, they just use it as a babysitter of sorts -kids whose parents forced them to play -kids with issues. everything from a single parent home to problems at home A few years back I filled in for a 5-7 y/o team b/c they didn't have a coach. I had a kid that was just strange. He'd step on my foot really hard when in the huddle, lie on the ground, not want to participate in drills, etc. My immediate reaction was to sit him out. Dad would show up with his younger brother, drop him off and leave. He'd refuse to run with the ball and made it hard in general. Come to find out, mom was in the hospital with terminal cancer. This kid had no clue how to deal with it, so he acted out. That didn't give him a pass to do whatever he wanted, but it changed the way I dealt with him. I think there needs to be a balance between having fun and maintaining some type of structure/discipline. I'm going to err on the side of fun though, as I've watched lots of kids come up through the rec levels, only to quit playing because it wasn't fun anymore. One key ingredient that I forgot to mention in my initial post was ENCOURAGEMENT. You can't give too much of that out. I don't think you need to be fake and constantly shout out accolades, but honest encouragement can go a long way with these kids. It will keep them coming back for more. Good points Alpha.
  14. 1 point
    Good on you for taking on the head coach position. Not an easy one, that's for sure. With some planning and a few more tools in your tool belt, this won't seem as frustrating. I've included a link towards the bottom that will point you to a thread on this site discussing exactly what you're talking about. Definitely worth a look. Off the top of my head here are a few things: #1) Your title says it all, they're 5-7 yr olds. If you keep that in mind and expect them to ask questions, fall on the ground, get bored, say goofy things, etc., it won't be as frustrating. #2) Plan out your practice on paper. Have a list of spare drills to pull from in case the current drill isn't working. Keep your practice moving with short, fun, fundamental drills. Spending 10 minutes on the proper way to take a hand off will end in chaos. #3) They want to have FUN. Standing in lines, doing boring drills and being cold isn't fun. If they're talking at the dinner table about how much FUN they had at flag practice today, you're rocking. #4) Get help. Find an assistant and ask for help during practice from parents and older siblings. #5) Use rewards. "If you guys give me 3 more good flag pulls in this drill, we'll do that one drill you guys think is so cool." #6) Don't be too hard on yourself. It's flag football, these are 5-7 yr olds, and you're a volunteer. #6) Just because you're making the drills fun, coming up with a goofy team name, having a crazy team cheer, doesn't mean you can't expect them to follow instructions. You can have your set of simple rules, I'd keep it short and sweet. Maybe 3 total. Check out the link to those other discussions. Feel free to ask questions as you go along. http://www.y-coach.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=2013&p=8806
  15. 1 point
    As the title says 5v5, K-1 (6-8), i9 rules. This is my 3rd season coaching. First practice and game this Sunday. After I go over expectations for the year, fun, work hard, be a good sport , I will start with some drills. Handoffs will be big. Last year I realized that a good fake hand off would leave the defense chasing the first one through or completely confused. So my plan this year is to work a lot of misdirections. Attached is the first weeks playbook. One formation, with 4 runs and 3 passes. If I flip them to opposite sides I can double the plays but I want to start simple this year. I had too many formations and plays last year for kids this age. Well here is the playbook. Mind you I have not even met the team yet. I ran a few of the plays with son and a couple of neighborhood kids and they worked well. Let me know what you think. Thanks Coach Will 1stweek.ppt
  16. 1 point
    If you follow any youth coaching forum (as you are right now), ALL good coaches will tell you the same thing that the previous respondants said. Fifty plays is WAY TOO MANY! Here is my anaysis for 8 to 11 year olds (elementary school kids): 1. Find a series that is FIRST a run-oriented series with SIMPLE blocking rules (like G.O.D.) and has some pulling by an atheletic guard. Pulling is something that you can teach and that makes it fun for the kids while getting more blockers at the point of attack! 2. The series you pick should focus on the "off-tackle" area as this is the point of attack that is the hardest to defend for the defense because they will have the LEAST defenders here while you will have the MOST blockers (pulling linemen & lead RB blockers). Off-tackle is also an area where you can install simple "adjustments" to what the defense does to you while still being able to run the off-tackle play. 3. Your series should include only 5-6 plays out of your "base" blocking rules (e.g. G.O.D.). If you have 2 or 3 blocking rules you are going to confuse your offensive linemen! Now you work off of your "base" blocking rules when you run a pass, trap, or reverse play - but the basic blocking for most linemen stays the same. 4. The 5 base running plays I would recommend (run these to PERFECTION & you need nothing else): Power off-tackle Counter/Reverse (sometimes called Power Reverse) Inside Trap (w/ pulling guard) Sweep (if you have the speed to get outside) Wedge (looks funny, but a great play if you get the blocking down right!) 5. Now add a pass play (or maybe 2) into the mix - just to keep the defense honest 6. Run these 5 running plays and your pass out of your "base" formation (e.g. unbalanced Single Wing), THEN when you PERFECT them, add a 2nd formation/motion set (e.g. Full-Spin Single Wing - which is just the same base 5 plays but now with backfield meshing & motion). You can do MORE HARM to a defense by adding formation/motion sets than by adding more plays. The defense "thinks" you are adding more with the "formationing" & they start to "fly around" pre-snap trying to adjust to your new formations. While on offense YOU know really nothing new is really being done from an execution standpoint -SIMPLE! The Progression Now with all of this in mind, you have to teach in a step-by-step progression for these kids! Follow me: 1. Show the kids in a "Chalk-Talk" session - WHO & WHY (take off the helmets and sit down and explain it first.) 2. Walk through it - use coaches and dads to "show" the kids what you want them to do (HOW we do it!) - also, ask the kids "now Johnny you are our right tackle, who do you block with this 5-3 defensive front & why are you blocking him?" Teach the specific blocking technique(s) you want the boys to use & have them demonstrate it for you so you see that they understand all the steps. 3. Run through all the blocking techniques and rules at "half speed" against a "mock" defensive front (check for correct execution) 4. Run through again at "half speed" now including blocking shields & dummies at the various points of attack 5. If you feel confident of their knowledge at this point, you can now run your blocking schemes ("tags/calls") at full speed. 6. Eventually you bring the linemen & backs TOGETHER to run plays that you have worked on in "indy" sessions. For example, say your backs have been working on the installation of their Off-tackle Power play (steps, backfield blocks, etc.) and the line has also worked on the Off-tackle blocking (tags/calls) for that point of attack and BOTH units have essentially mastered their assignments. Now you can bring BOTH units together to see how they work TOGETHER to execute the Off-tackle play aganst a scout defense! Summary The problem is that coaches try often to be too "fancy" and show off what they know and this becomes a large playbook that the kids CANNOT execute with any success. Instead, coaches need to realize that these are very young kids with very short attention spans & limited memory capacity. So focus on the fundamentals of your base blocking scheme, blocking techniques, tackling techniques. the basic play steps using the progression model I outlined.
  17. 1 point
    Hello all, I just joined this side for some help, and boy did i hit the motherload of all motherloads of information!! thanks all for sharing and the least i can do is share my playbook!! Besides sharing, I ofcourde hope you guys can help me tune it a little bit more. First of all some rules: We play 5vs5, 7 Y blitz and no QB running. I have a young team (playing together for 1 year now) and are all the youngest in there division (12 in a 12/15 div.). We have a strong QB that can throw to any spot on the field, he is tall for his age and a true athlete. WR's are tall but not lightning fast, the 2 centres are like night and day. 1 big guy, massive even. pritty fast but raw. The second one, slow... show.. but there is a reason why we call him 'the proffesor". he is damn smart!! And 2 RB's, small but agile enough to make you miss. I am trying to go no huddle this season, just to get an edge. they are the youngest and probably not the tallest so... Also i choose shotgun to give my QB more time and less to think about exept where to go with the ball. He is a smart kid so on the runs, i give him the freedom to either give it to the HB or pitch it to the WR... but i do give advice when needed . please let me know what you guys think, cause i am green as grass (with just 1 full season under my belt). thanks and keep winning!!! (sorry for the double upload, its just one playbook) Gun playbook 2012.pdf Gun playbook 2012.pdf
  18. 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.
  19. 1 point
    Thanks and thank you for not being the 81st person to view my post and not comment. This could be a very nice forum if there were more comments. There are very few helpful resources out there that are not market and money making driven in nature. Yes, our misdirection fakes were bad and I think that was a problem. The Defense just sat back and waited for the ball carrier to show his cards. I am coaching 7-10 year olds. We are working on that this weekend. thanks so much and I'd love to hear others comments also since I'm looking at posted playbooks and it would appear many defenses operate with all players off the line 5-7 yards. I'm also a 1st year coach with a only High School and PS2 NCAA Football experience!
  20. 1 point
    OK guys, thanks again for all the input and advice on how to structure the team, I am trying to incorporate that with the rules of our local YMCA. I have attached my initial playbook, we have had two practices and our first game is this Saturday. Many of the plays have been adapted from much of the material posted on here. Anyway, please take a look and let me know your thoughts, I trid to put in as much misdirection as I could as I really see this being a key factor for the 5-8 year olds division that we are in. Thanks in advance for your comments. Wolverines 2011 palybook.ppt
  21. 1 point
    Great feedback, I appreciate the note on the defense, that makes a lot of since. By blocking, it is more like a 'screen' in basketball trying to get between the defense and the guy with the ball. (we just call it 'blocking' to get them used to the concept) They can't use their hands and can't run into the defense, but they can get 'in the way'. We do not blitz in our league, we can go over the LOS only on a hand off, pitch, or fake hand off. The QB has 7 seconds to either pass or hand off or the play is dead, so we do pass a little more since the QB is not pressured by the defense. Thanks again, this is my first year coaching so I appreciate any tips and hints.
  22. 1 point
    Very good article on youth sports. My son is playing lacrosse now but this article applies to all sports. http://www.1to1advantedge.com/uslacrosse/parent_eNews/September_11/enews_Sept11_m_main.html
  23. 1 point
    Very cool. I've tried very hard ever since my son entered youth sports about 7 years ago to keep it fun. It's challenging as both my wife and I are competitive people. We like to win! But I keep coming back to a couple of things, some of which was emphasized in this article. 1. Make sure its fun. Balancing competitiveness and fun is sometimes difficult and I have to keep checking myself and getting back in line. 2. I have a mantra which I've probably told my kids a million times, and I'm sure I've posted it here a bunch in various forms. It was nice to see the article say the same thing. Focus on effort and not the results. Don't make it about winning or losing, but giving your all. My mantra goes something like this (I even said it to him yesterday... again!!!) : "Win or lose doesn't matter. What matters is how hard you try or how hard you play. Go 100% all the time, practice and games. That way, at the end of the day you can look at yourself and say I gave it all I had, and be proud of yourself."
  24. 1 point
    That is a very good article. I too have been guilty of "overcoaching" my son during past seasons. It reached a point 2 seasons ago where playing sports started to be more of a "job" for him than fun as it was supposed to be. I did a couple of things to change my perspective. I joined an adult flag football league, and allowed my son to critique me after each practice and each game. It was fun for my son to be able to get some "revenge" for all the harsh criticism I had given over the past few seasons.I quit coaching his teams for a couple seasons. I decided to sit back and let others do the coaching for a while. This was very hard as I have always been very involved in his sports, but it really helped give him some breathing room to go out and work on things from other coaches persepctives.I decided we were way too serious about sports. I decided that sports should be fun, and something he wants to do because it's fun for him. Not something I need to push him too hard to do.I am back assistant coaching this season for the first time in 2 seasons, and it has been a much better experience for both of us.
  25. 1 point
    Scrimmaging is a 1 of the most important things you have to do.it helps implement plays but also simulates game action as close as you can get with out a game...
  26. 1 point
    I dont coach out there.I use to ref out there for them.I coach tackle now...I always coached older kids.This is what we did 2 Practices a week for 1 hour & 30 mins each practice.Players needed to be at the game 1 hour early. 1st Practice-Offense-We did what is commonly known EDD's or everyday drills.We had a set of common drills we did every offensive practice. 1st drill - Catching-Every person had a partner & 1 football.They stood 5 yards apart.Made the diamonds with there hands and focused on catching with there hands.We also included tucking the ball away in the drill.We would go between 5 & 10 yards constantly.The whole coaching point is catching with there hands.We would have the best catching kid with the worst and we used him to help coach that kid.We always had success with that.This drill takes up a max of 10 mins. 2nd drill - Route running-Our offense only ever had 3 routes.Drag-Post-Fly.That all the kids needed to know.We always had 2 QB's.They would throw the routes to all the kids at least 4 times each.This took about 20 mins. 3rd drill - Hand offs/play action-We would work on strictly just how to take a handoff then progress it to faking the handoffs.Our offense use to rely very good play action because it worked so good.Teams didnt know who had the ball.1 coach is working with the RB.The other is working with the QB.20 Mins Scrimmage - We would always have at least 30 mins of scrimmage time.If i didnt have enough kids to go full 5 on 5 coaches would step in.Worst case ask some dads to come join in. Conditioning & Break down - 10 mins - Sometimes longer or shorter depending on how practice went.Obviously we had older kids so our goal is getting the kids ready for either high school or junior high tackle.Conditioning is part of both. I ran the offense and I use to preach to the kids we get into it what we put into it.I made sure I was always prepared & we didnt have any wasted time.We did water during drills. 2nd Practice-Defense-We started out with EDD's-We only ran a 2-1-2 & a 2-3. 1st drill - Linebacker drill-Our LB's were our front guys 2.Our middle guy in the 2-1-2 was ALWAYS are smartest kid.We would make half a mock field up.Then we would make circles with cones for zones.Eventually we would take away the circles and rely on the kids just to get a feel for the zones.It takes a lot of time but once they get it they really get it. 2nd drill - Safety drill-Our Safety's were our back guys in the zone.2 or 3 depending on what we were in.We did normal DB drills for them.Also would work on reading the QB eyes while back peddling. 3rd drill - Flag pulling-We did a 1 on 1 drill.Then we did a team drill. Scrimmage - same as offense-30 mins-Obviously throw as many things they are likely to see. Conditioning/break down - same as offense-10 mins Good luck Coach.Let me know if you need anything else.
  27. 1 point
    I'll be honest.I hate it.Its not like your asking them to commit that much.Its not 5 days a week or anyting like.I always stressed with the little amount of practice time kids need to be there otherwise they will be lost in the game.It definitely showed with some kids.I always talk to the parent.I want them to know that I care so if there is anything I can do I will.
  28. 1 point
    The 7 second rule goes first.It wouldnt & shouldnt have been a safety.After the 7 seconds have passed the ball is spotted at the original LOS.
  29. 1 point
    Rickref, Thanks for the insite. It's good to hear from an experienced official. In thinking about this, I'm wondering if it really is the right call---playing devil's advocate here. ;-) As TeeDub23 stated, his team rushed the QB and took his flag in the end zone. It appears the official "called it off" after the fact. Consequently, in your mind did time really expire? The official never indicated time expired until after the sack.... so it was a non-call. If he threw his flag and/or blew his whistle and called the play dead before the sack--then I understand. However, it appears he called it after the sack, then the sack happened first. (I hope this makes sense.) An analogy is in tackle. Let's say you officiated a game and the play clock ran out before the Center snapped the ball, but no one called it. If an official came to you after the play and noted the play clock expired but because no one blew a whistle or threw a flag, does the play stand? I don't think officials should have the ability to make a call after the fact. It's like saying, "I meant to throw a flag, but I didn't." We all agree that is a slippery slope there. Interesting to think about either way. Thanks!
  30. 1 point
    Slants & other quick passes will beat the blitz every time.
  31. 1 point
    I had some spare time between games on Saturday and I stop and watched last year’s 12-14 age group champ team, I know from one of the players on this team (played for me last year) that they use option pass routes, for one play they have two ore even three variations on the same play according to D reading (zone or man) and defenders depth standing, now these variations are set in action in the pre snap reading not on the next play. So I saw this in action and wow this blew me away, really advanced football, of course they killed their opponent, half time score was 32-0, good thing I’m not facing them, I´m light years away from that type of football. So question is: How do you build a killer offense like this? Anybody on this forum is doing something like it? If so how do I get started, what are de D reading queues and receiver routs based on pre reading? Probably not much stuff in this forum since the main focus is on younger age groups, but if anybody got something it would be great.
  32. 1 point
    I've had the same group of players for multiple seasons, but it was not intended--similar to Rob's situation. Much like his player's parents, my team's parents appreciate the fact we are not only about winning. Most of my players would see very little playing time on other teams. In fact, I imagine if I took my chances on getting random players, I would probably field a better group of athletes than I have. As noted, it is a great advantage sticking together simply because you can do more complex things. Through the years I've learned there are basically four types of teams: 1. Average athletes who have played with same team for multiple seasons. Very rare, in fact ours is the only team in our league with this type of team that I know of. 2. Skilled athletes who have played with same team for multiple seasons. I call these "stacked teams" and we have quite a few of them who openly admit to doing it. Essentially, the coach only keeps his best players and takes his chances on new players. In our league, we can specifically request NOT to bring back a player. The intent is to use this for kids with poor practice attendance, discipline problems, etc...but stacked teams use it to weed out lesser skill athletes. A few seasons of this and you have a group of talented players top to bottom. 3. Average athletes who have not played together for multiple seasons. Probably the most common in rec leagues. 4. Skilled athletes who have not played together for multiple seasons. This is when a coach lucks into getting six or seven really talented players at random.
  33. 1 point
    How old are your players? I would recommend designing a few plays for each position. Assign each player to a primary position, and you won't have to worry about rotating them--they will always know where to go. Also, because your playbook has plays for each position, you just call those plays--which ensures you spread the ball around. As an example, the Center has the same number of running plays as the RB. As long as you go through your play sheet, the position itself is a moot point--and you have to express this to the players. Regarding QB, I imagine it's pretty difficult to get all players embedded into that position. It sounds as if most of them will only play it once or twice during the season--is this correct? Not sure how much responsibility you give that position, but I've always had two QBs. For one, it's his primary position, and the other it's is secondary position. However, if you've promised the kids/players that each one will get a crack at QB, then I like the way you are doing it. Some coaches on here track "touches" during the game (or have their assistant or a parent do it). This helps to ensure you get all kids the ball. Hope this helps.
  34. 1 point
    Asian--I played football and ironically I would say I put little--if any--experience of that into my coaching. If anything, I might use some motivation techniques that I learned from various coaches I played for, but when it comes to strategy, I don't feel it has given me any advantage whatsoever. You have to understand that most coaches (at least the ones I've been around) typically will lose their first season. It has very little to do with lack of football knowledge, but instead lack of coaching knowledge. I've also noticed that about 1/2 coaches will stop coaching after their first season. I've talked with many who have stopped coaching, and it in all candor, they told me they stopped because they "can't take the losing." I've seen it dozens of times. New coaches who know a lot about football show up for their first game with quite a few skilled players, the coach and parents are all decked out in their team color/logo, they have a cool pre-game chant and a game plan that just can't lose. Then the whistle blows and they are thoroughly man-handled, and frankly they get embarrassed. In my VERY FIRST play as a coach--we scored a long TD (and we won the game). I thought I had it all figured out, but then the beat-downs started coming from more experienced teams/coaches. I befriended quite a few of them, and tapped into their knowledge. I'd ask them to grade my team after we played. What we did well, and where they saw holes in us, etc. The best advice I ever received was actually on this forum. And that was to tweak my playbook to my personnel (and not vice-versa). It sounds simple, but my first season I was focused on executing MY PLAYS instead of constantly finding ways to tailor the offense to my players' strengths. Of course now that I have had the same players for so long, I walk into each season knowing their strengths, but even now I'm excited to see who got faster, who can catch better, etc. It's really just a matter of figuring out what works, and what doesn't work. This in itself takes a season or two. So to answer your question---yes. The only way to get better as a coach, is to be a coach. At least that is my belief.
  35. 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. ;-)
  36. 1 point
    As mentioned you will find quite a bit of information concerning "where to start" with 5/6 year olds. The short answer is keep it fun (i.e. do not get caught up in winning/losing), spread the ball around, and put in some quality time practicing your plays. Also implement rules from day one---with one of the most important being "no talking in the huddle".
  37. 1 point
    Hi, this article has lots of tips for anyone coaching youngsters and it might be helpful to focus on what you're looking for when recruiting coaching assistants - at least as far as the kids are concerned anyway! It's taken from http://www.footy4kids.co.uk what children want from their soccer coach Everyone involved in soccer coaching needs to understand what children want from their 'ideal' soccer coach. Most importantly, it is important to treat children with respect and not as if they were objects. They like you to listen and take notice of their feelings and opinions. A recent series of interviews with 140 young athletes in different sports gives an idea of those aspects of coaching which young athletes think are important. The opinions, which were given, may change according to sex, age, and sport; these are just the general comments. Knowledge. Coaches should know their sport well and most children prefer coaches who have participated in the sport. It provides them with credibility. Personality. Children like coaches who are friendly, happy, patient, understanding and have a sense of humour. Authority. Children like coaches to be firm but fair, and while boys, particularly, like to be worked hard they don't like to be shouted at. Taking personal interest. As they get older and more able, many young athletes like coaches to take an interest in the things they do besides sport. Reaction to performance. When they do well, children like the coach to say "Well done" but they don't like them to "go over the top." (OTT) When they do poorly, they like to be given some encouragement and told what went wrong. They want to be told how to correct mistakes and not to be shouted at or ignored. Encouragement. Most children, particularly in team sports, like to have the coach shout encouragement to them when they are competing. Decision making. Few young children express a wish to have a say in the decisions which affect them; they expect coaches to coach and trust them to make the right decisions. As they get older and more experienced, they are more likely to want to be consulted. This may be the case with13+ children Organisation. Children like coaches to be organised and present structured coaching sessions. They also like them to take responsibility for seeing that they are in the right place at the right time Instruction and feedback. Children do like to be shown what to do, how to do it and to have mistakes corrected. In short: teach them! DO: Be aware of the effect you have upon growing children. Find out what the kids expect to get out of sport with you. Be firm, fair and organised. Give credit where it is due and give help where it is needed. Be consistent. Provide learning experiences: teach. Make practice and competition fun; it needn't be silly. Set challenging goals tailored to the individual. Recognise the value of friendships between children. Show your approval whenever you can. Listen to the children Relax and enjoy yourself with the kids. Emphasise learning skill, not competing. Reward children for effort. Help children over the realisation that they might not have the ability of others. Build confidence by being positive. Reduce competitive expectations. Help those who do not want to compete. Tell children about how outcomes are affected by things other than their own ability. Remember that mistakes are part of learning. DON'T: Put kids down for not doing as well as you wanted. Shout and humiliate them. Ignore them when they need some support. Blind them with science they don't need. Overdo the praise; they won't believe you.
  38. 1 point
    Great job! My favorite thing is to see the lesser-skilled athletes come through and make a big play (something they will remember the rest of their lives) regardless of if it is my team or our opponent. What age group do you coach again? Finally, could you explain the Center End-Around? I assume the QB drops back and the Center gets it, but there seems to more to it than that. Thanks!
  39. 1 point
    Hello everyone! This is my first season coaching 7-9 year-olds in i9 Sports 5v5 flag football. I grew up in the Midwest and have been down in a suburb of Atlanta for the past 15 years. I played many years of football through college and had the most fun playing in 7v7 summer leagues in high school. I am really impressed with the wealth of information on this forum and, more importantly, the philosophy most coaches here have toward recreational sports leagues. I fully believe it should be fun first. Growing up in a small town, I played baseball in the summers because that was all that we had. I wasn't particularly good at it, but it was fun to get to see friends during the summer. When I was 9, we didn't have enough 8-9 year olds sign up for a team, so they put me on a 10-11 year old team. Needless to say I road the bench only playing a couple of innings every other game in right field. Our team went undefeated and blew the doors off every other team we played even through the summer end tournement. Without a doubt, it was the worst experience I have ever had playing an organized sport. I can honestly say that if your team wins and you don't have any part in it, it really isn't fun. Furthermore, the summer before when I was 8, we had a single mom who knew nothing about baseball coach our team. We were awful and I can't even remember how many games we won - BUT we had more fun that summer than any other. What our coach lacked in baseball knowledge she made up for in enthusiasm and energy. Attitude, energy and enthusiasm really do make a difference!
  40. 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.
  41. 1 point
    Honestly, I don't think any of us here have a malicious bent to our replies. Sometimes it's tough to read between the lines when people ask questions, also there are many unknown idiosyncrasies specific to the situation that we have no way of knowing when responding, so we give it our best shot. The cool thing about these forums is we've all tried our best to be straight up with each other. My first thought with this kid was burnout also, but that was just an educated guess. Sounds like you worked out the situation and have a happy player again.
  42. 1 point
    Sounds like he's burned out. Practice every night of the season? It's becoming like work for him, the kid needs some downtime to just chill and be a kid. Instead of talking sense into him, talk sense into his parents. One sport per season is my rule. I had kids who were playing basketball and football at the same time. One kid was even playing soccer, basketball and football at the same time. If I caught them, especially the last one at the wrong time (when games or practices of various sports were stacked together) they were shadows of themselves attension-wise and energy-wise. It wasn't fair to the kids and it wasn't fair to the team. It's just a classic case of overprogramming with Tony. Give him two or three days off per week and he'll be good as new. How old is he, 8? 9?
  43. 1 point
    i forgot you have 12-14 y/o's. i think my kids could handle an audible, not sure. i really haven't run across teams that give you different defensive looks, no stack lefts or rights. usually they run a 2.1.2 or 2.3 or 1.1.3 and rarely switch from those looks. if i could think of a practical reason to run an audible, i'd consider it. well i coach 11-13 this season...even when i did 9-10 this worked awesome... well say we are stacked trips right...and we are running an end round left.the front zone guy in a 2-3 or 2-1-2 is going to be right there...so if the QB doesnt catch it i will yell a color out and the QB's name...instantly they always know what to do. basically if we were to do the end around it would probably get shut down quick.so instead of taking the 1-5 yards we just audible out of it and go with a pass.
  44. 1 point
    I modeled my teams practice after my high school I went too... My QB's do color/number color/number set.....hut....... the set & hut are nice and hard We typically can get the other team to make the blitzer leave before he is suppose to so if he keeps blitzing its a penalty and if he stops hes usually lost lol...
  45. 1 point
    Here are the diagrams I've made to teach the kids their "home" zone and responsibility area at practice this week. I'm hoping I won't confuse them but I think visually showing them their area will help them to understand the coverage better. Critiques are welcome. Zone_Defense_Diagrams.ppt
  46. 1 point
    "CJ", congrats on your opening game! it sounds like your league is a bit like mine. We play 8 on 8 (8-9 year olds), and blocking is allowed. So in your league, up to four players can blitz at anytime as long as they are three yards off the line? Is that correct? That is very interesting. I guess that is why the QB can run, eh? I'd certainly tout blocking with your players, and perhaps even design some plays that work against the blitz. Shuffle passes worked well for us last season---where players could rush (only two) after five seconds. I'd have my QB move around the pocket some "looking" for someone to throw to, and have one of my lineman (who was BLAZING fast) just stand there and look lost (kind of like he was the "slow" one on the team), then we'd simply wait for the rush. Once it came, my QB would flip it to the lineman and off he would go. I noticed this started deterring the rush some, so if they did not come after him he would simply stand there and wait until a receiver became open and then sling it, OR if they rushed but covered the lineman there was pretty much always a receiver standing there all by himself he could throw it to. I'd think if you were playing against a team that rushed three on virtually every play, short slant passes would work as well. Do you give your QB hot reads? That would be a good idea as well. That is what I have been working with my son on (he is our QB). This season, I've learned that teams can rush, but only once every four downs. Consequently, I will probably send a receiver somewhere underneath on virtually every passing play. If the rush comes, that will be his blanket. I'm trying not to overload him with too much right now, so we'll see how that works. Cool video clip, by the way. Hopefully I can get a parent to roll tape on our games this season. Obviously I can't, and well---have given up trying to teach the wife how to operate her cam-corder. :-)
  47. 1 point
    Got them, really appreciate it. Sent you back an e-mail. Your email must have been placed in my spam folder. Can you resend it? I coached the offense this past game and my tweaks to the plays REALLY helped. We could not be stopped on any possession. Also, I tried a new defense that seemed to work very well. I'll highlight what really worked on offense: In the huddle I knelt down facing the line of scrimmage. I had all the kids stand behind me such that they were also facing the line of scrimmage. I'd hold up the play towards the line of scrimmage such that they could all see it over my shoulder. Then I pointed to each position and named the kid who'd run it. I tended to keep kids in the same position from play to play and that helped them. I'd usually highlight certain things. The other thing that really worked well was when my quarterback dragged (or rolled) along the line of scrimmage. The reason it works is because the defense usually places 1-2 kids over the center and dragging leaves them trailing behind the play. If the qb just takes the snap and stands there then he has to contend with those kids in his face and has to throw around them. Also, when the qb drags with the receiver it shortens the distance of the throw. Most of our passes are under 5 yards. The final thing that really helped our offense this week was an emphasis on proper patterns. We had gotten to a point of assuming everyone knew how far and how to run each pattern. In reality we were getting 11 different versions of the same pattern from 11 kids. So we drilled them and instructed them in patterns over and over. ALSO, and most importantly, for our drag plays and shuffle passes, we instructed them to only run 1-2 steps beyond the line of scrimmage. Throughout the season our kids were running them further and further until it was finally like a 10 yard pass, not at all what we intended. That little 2 step drag play was magical, and we ran it with the center and slot guys. My final thought is that we ran a brand new formation. We overloaded the left side with all 4 receivers. From this we ran 4 different plays that all worked. The man defense was thoroughly confused with this one probably more so because of the novelty of it. On defense: We had been runnning a standard cover 2 zone. We'd place 2 corners close to the line of scrimmage over the wideouts, two lbs on the line of scrimmage about 5 yards left and right of center, and 2 safeties deep over the middle. This week I switched. I noticed that the corners were too wide to be effective. I'd keep telling them to move towards the middle. So I tried a cover 3 zone. This time I placed 3 safeties back deep. At the line of scrimmage I put one over the center and 2 kids on the line over the slot receivers. It provided us with good coverage and we still stopped the run well. I don't think anyone throws outside to the wideouts, they usually just run them deep on posts anyway or ins over the middle.
  48. 1 point
    Well, I could go on and on. Let me know if you want the plays and how to send them to you. I believe stongly that misdirection and isolation is the way to go for offense. I want to put the ball into my players hands and have them running downfield. Good things happen when your kid is carrying the ball full speed. Incomplete passes and especially interceptions are very bad things so we design plays to minimize that. Taking a step back and looking at some things other teams did against us: One team did a double reverse. The first time they did it the kids ran into each other and the one who got the second handoff busted his lip and began cying. They lost yards. They ran it again later and it gained a few yards but my guys stayed home. I feel like the double reverse is a very risky play because if it works well it could gain big but with 7-8 year olds, you're asking a lot (several handoffs while running). Another team had two halfbacks behind the qb in a pro formation. They faked a handoff to the first rb and gave to the second one the other way. This one worked against us because my lbs both bit on the fake. But once my kids saw it, it didn't work again. Other teams run end arounds like we do and it only works (against us) when you have an exceptional runner who is very fast and can make people miss. Last game they gave the handoff on an end around and the kid took it and immediately went back the other way. This worked because we overpursued it. A few games ago with little time left I placed my defense in a prevent zone and the other team ran the end around. They gave it to their best kid and because he had time to turn the corner (we were too far back) and get to full speed it was almost a td if we didn't save it with a timely flag pull. Lesson learned was to keep defenders at the line of scrimmage. I've only seen one team pass well. I think the key for the qb is to take his time and wait for someone to get open. But even that team threw 2-3 interceptions against us. Long passes become ducks and its so much easier to intercept when you're facing the qb like we do in the zone. As for passing, don't expect that the kids will run patterns with any sort of consistency. Your well drawn up play will look like shambles in about 5 seconds. That's why we try to isolate a receiver so even if he alters his pattern he should be by himself with only one defender. Also thats why we stick to very short passes mostly. I say mostly because we have 2 kids who can throw it very far and maybe 3-4 kids who can possibly catch a long pass. We'll sometimes see a favorable matchup with one of our deep threat receivers and send him long but the catch ratio is still low even when the ball nails him in the numbers. Of course it's always fun to hook up on a bomb. Haha, one more piece of advice I just thought of: I have drawn up all the plays on paper, two to a page, front and back. During the huddle I kneel with the play in hand facing away from the line of scrimmage. All the kids in the huddle are facing the line of scrimmage. I point to each position and call out a kids name so that they can visualize which position and direction they'll be running while looking at the play. I think this makes it easier for them to understand where they are and which way to run.
  49. 1 point
    I can give you LOTS of good advice. Probably more than you'd care to hear! DEFENSE: There are 6 teams in our league and we've played 4 of them already. We're the only one that runs a zone defense, all the others run man-to-man. We've given up no more than one touchdown in each game (actually we've given up exactly one td each game). Against our opponents we've scored 5, 3, 4 and 2 tds. I feel that the zone is easy to understand for them although man defense is a little easier. You can go with either but I really prefer zone. Either way you have to focus on two things in practice: Pulling flags and swarming to the ball. Missed flags are the biggest reason teams give up tds. The second reason is that once a flag is missed the other kids are standing around watching (because they expected the other player to pull his flag). We spend no less than 15 minutes each practice on defense (far more than anyone else). I run the same drills for defense. They consist of: Movement drills> I form two lines and have them bend their knees and keep their arms up and move side to side, backpedal some, etc. Same as in bball. During this drill I'll sometimes hold a ball in my hand and after a while yell swarm! Then all the kids have to run to the ball. I'll watch for stragglers and call them out. I used to do this far more last year but with all the same players they dont need to do the swarm drill too much. Flag pulling> I form a line of kids, each with a flag on and a ball. One kid (the defender) stands inside a rectangle and waits. The line goes one by one versus the defender. They have to stay in the rectangle. After the line completes then I switch defenders, each kid gets a turn. There are several things to look for during this drill. Make sure the offensive guy is not flag guarding or anything. For the defender the hardest thing to do is get positioning. Let me explain. The defender should be trying to do two things 1) pull the flag (obvious) but 2) slow down the runner. Sometimes you get what I call the "matador" pull, kind of like when a matador whips his cape past the bull. If you pull flags like a matador then if you miss he's still going full speed. So I'll vary the flag pulling drill without flags. The defender simply has to move in front of the runner and slow him down. That way the defender can focus on blocking him instead of the flags. Strategy> I usually spend a few minutes talking about angles of pursuit and what the various positions are responsible for. I'll walk them through scenarios we've seen in game and discuss with them how to handle it. As I'm writing this I realize I don't even have any drill for coverage. I ran some coverage drills last year but with a zone and the kids experience we really don't need it. At the end of practice we scrimmage and I look for flag pulling technique, swarming and staying in position. I'm constantly offering advice, critiquing, helping them improve.
  50. 1 point
    For all of you out there for whom this topic fits, I thought you might get something out of this article I ran across on the Net. All credits are given, if you'd like to check this out any further for yourselves. Yours in Sport & Spirit, Coach Ronn From VARSITYCOACHES.com comes this article by a coaching Dad with some very relevant advice for others who may find themselves "volunteering" to coach a youth sports team. Coaching Youth Sports Coaching youth sports is a challenge. Most of our kids are really happy to have us step up to the plate and coach and, despite the time we give up, most parents find the experience equally rewarding. However, there are some major things that every coach needs to do and understand before they start the season: 1) coach with the proper attitude; 2) coach with the proper fundamentals; and, 3) learn and teach the difference between the "Dad Hat" and the "Coach Hat". Coaching the Right Attitude We all love our kids and, let's face it; we also love playing sports with our kids. For me, it's the way that I spend most of my free time and it is right up there as one of my favorite things to do. That being said, I also need to realize that statistically, none of the kids that I coach will ever play professional sports, nearly all of them will not play sports in college, and many of them will not even play varsity sports in high school. So, what does this mean for us as a coach? We need to emphasize all the other aspects of sports and the life lessons that make us love playing the game. Mostly, we need to make the experience fun! In 1988, Robert Fulghum wrote the book "All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten". I've often told people that you can learn everything you need to know by playing sports - especially youth sports. Many of the same lessons apply, but on an even bigger scale where kids learn success and failure, wining and losing, sportsmanship and teamwork, and how to respond in many pressure situations. None of these are easy lessons. Winning with grace is just as hard to teach as losing with dignity. How can you do this and make sure that everybody has a great season? That's the trick. Every team you ever coach, especially teams with younger kids, will be split between kids that are talented and kids that are not. The goal that you have as a coach is to make sure that every one of those kids has a great experience and wants to play again next year. I take the most pride in the job I did as a coach when the worst kid on the team loves the sport and keeps playing year after year. The way that I do this is to emphasize things other than on field performance. Coaching the Right Fundamentals Kids of any age can learn to do things properly. They may not have the motor skills developed yet, but they can at least try to do it right. One of my favorite misconceptions is that "practice makes perfect". That's totally wrong; practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes PERMANENT. What I try to teach is: "Perfect Practice Makes Permanently Perfect". That's a pretty big difference! Of course, this really changes things for a youth coach because we need to teach the correct fundamentals or we'll simply be reinforcing the bad habits kids develop. The hardest thing to do as a coach is to try and correct a flaw that a kid has developed over years of "practice". This is even harder when the kid is good, because correcting the fundamental flaw generally means that getting worse before getting better. That means the kid is going to be reluctant to try this "new" way and may not stick it out. In the long run, the difference could be huge. The solution is simple: we need to learn the right fundamentals before we start coaching. It's a responsibility that we accept when we volunteer to coach. Now, up front, I want to make sure to state that most of us think we know much more about sports than we really do. That's simply not true. Much of what we learned was wrong. We may also not know the right way to communicate what we know to kids. Or, we may not know anything about the sport if we're stepping in and coaching soccer or another sport that wasn't "big" when we were young. Fortunately, there is help. Many leagues do a good job teaching their coaches the fundamentals of the game. Some leagues even offer mandatory coaching clinics for their coaches. These are really good starts, but generally not enough - especially as the kids you coach get older and better. Before every season that I coach, I'll watch several instructional tapes to review the fundamentals and also learn new material. I re-watch tapes, often with my kids that we've seen before and buy a couple of new ones to add some wrinkles. Of course, at SportsKids.com, we do offer 1,000's of instructional books and videos, but the point of this section is to simply say to use whatever method you choose to make sure that you teach correct fundamentals. Every kid, even young kids, can learn with good coaching and remember: "Practice makes Permanent". The "Dad Hat" and the "Coach Hat" There is a huge difference between being a "Dad" and being a "Coach". Each has different responsibilities and relationships with the kids. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of overlap between the two roles. I literally have two hats: one says Dad" and the other says "Coach". Over the years, my kids and I have learned to separate the two so I don't wear the hats too often, but it does make the distinction more literal. Coaching your own children is one of the real challenges of youth sports because sometimes, you child wants or expects to have a dad when you're the team's coach. If you can separate these roles, and both of your expectations, you and your child will have a much better youth sports experience. SportsKids.com 2788, Monte Mar Terrace, Los Angeles, CA, United States. 90064 info@sportskids.com http://www.sportskids.com About the author: Ken Kaiserman is the president of SportsKids.com the premier sports site for kids and their families!! Online Sports Shopping for kids stuff, Sports goods and Sports gear. Also offers Sports Coaching Tips for Kids, Sports Camps and Leagues, Online Games for Kids, News, kids chat, free e-mail and much more. Ken coaches youth football, basketball and baseball. He also serves on the local little league board of directors as well as the Park Advisory Board. Posted by Administrator : Friday, June 23, 2006 To learn more about, "Basketball On A Triangle: A Higher Level of Coaching &Playing"--the DVD and the book, please visit www.BasketballOnATriangle.com

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