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Coaching Youth Fooball - Football Plays

Coach Roger

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About Coach Roger

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  1. Youth Development And The Competition Factor

    I have been coaching (or helping coach) my daughter since the third grade and one thing I have noticed is it is not the kids who want to be competitive (i.e., WIN) it is the parents. Too often it isn't about if the kids are learning anything about playing sports, sportsmanship or any of the many other things kids get out of sports but it is about how many minutes Jack or Jill play, or by how many baskets they score and of course whether or not the team wins. The kids really don't care if they win or lose, if they score or not, they just want to get out there, play, learn and most of all have fun. I know one team where the parents got on the coach because we hung with his team and gave them a great game. My team had put together a set of plays that beat their half court trap defense and we were able to shut down their best player and held her to about 1/4 her scoring average by putting my best defenders on her and taking away her favorite move with a baseline trap we put in just for her. The girls after the game all were excited and congratulating each other. Their team was proud that they were able to hang on against one of the few real tests they had faced in a long time (they had been playing together for several years already and honestly didn't belong in a rec league but were there because of a lot of reasons that they were playing at the Y) and my girls were thrilled to have taken the perennial powerhouse to the limit and that they were actually able to play at their level. Their coach and I, who have become friends, both were incredibly proud of the way all the girls played and we both felt it was one of the best games either team played. All of these good things collapsed after the game as his parents started screaming at him because they didn't win by enough. They were yelling that he shouldn't have taken out his best player at all (our league rules REQUIRED equal playing time for all players) and that he should have had his girls 'be more physical' against my girls (believe me, the game was physical, but it was also clean). I really felt sorry for the coach, but even sorrier for the girls on his team. They had played their hearts out but it wasn't enough for the parents involved. The parents seemed to be telling them that they weren't supposed to just win but they were supposed to humiliate the other team. What would happen to these girls when they moved up to move competitive leagues where they were not dominating? At the same time all this was happening my team's parents were all telling their daughters what great games they played and they were all congratulating me for helping their girls really learn to play the game. After everything was over my wife told me that it was such a sad way to see what was right and what was wrong in youth sports. It wasn't the kids, it wasn't the coaches (although I have some stories about problems there also) but it was the parents who ruined what should have been a great day for everyone and turned it into something that had people looking away and shaking their heads. Coach Roger I have been incredibly lucky because I have consistently had parents who care more about what the girls (and boys, I have also coached my son in soccer) are learning than if they win or lose. Now that my daughter is in 6th grade and has started playing in more competitive leagues I am still stressing to my parents that they will lose games, in fact probably a lot of games, but they will learn a) how to play the game of basketball, how to be good sports, c) how to be good teammates and most of all d) how to take pride in themselves that they are doing their best. My team knows they will never get called out for making a mistake if they are trying hard and hustling, but I will get on their case if they are not giving me their best effort, haven't done their homework or are not showing good sportsmanship.
  2. Defense Survey

    Agree 100% about what you say above. Our league required you to play m-2-m up to 5th grade. So when we hit 5th grade I took my girls to a 2-1-2 zone that helped us dominate all but one team in our league. Problem was, only my good players were playing defense and my other players were hiding. I spoke with some local high school coaches and also with some college coaches online in another forum I am involved in and they almost all told me that what I was doing was not the best for my girls. So we threw what was working out the window and lost a lot of games for one season but ALL my girls got better and our last season together we lost only two games and each of these games by only 1 point. We held several teams to their season lows and my girls all got better on both sides of the ball (funny how much better your guards get having to practice against m-2-m defenses who know all their plays every practice). One thing, I have great parents who know my philosopy is to help their daughters get to the next level if they want to and I don't care about our w/l record but I do care about how well they learn the game. It might be harder if I didn't have such great parents. Coach Roger
  3. Free Coaching Software

    I really like this software. http://www.jes-soft.com/playbook/index.html Simple to use, easy to understand, prints out nicely to make your playbook. Coach Roger
  4. Motivation And Team Players

    Have had a similar problem with a rec league team so it is even a little harder but this is what I have done with some success. Talk to the girls. Tell them how much better you know they can play and how that by not trying their best they are not letting just their teammates down, but themselves. Don't coddle them, call them out in practice and in games. I have had only one parent come up to me feeling I was being too tough on his daughter, but the next week his daughter had her best practice and best game ever and he came back and thanked me for it. Turns out that she got mad at me and was going to me that she could play. I always talk to my girls that I get on after the practice and game and explain that I know they can do better and I explain what they need to do to get better. I explain that I expect the best out of them because THEY should expect the best out of themselves. Since we don't care about wins and losses (very true, I have called my team out after wins where I thought they didn't play well and praised them after losses where I thought they learned something or played up to or beyond their capabilities) the girls know that I am not disappointed by the score, but by the effort involved. Other parents have come up to thank me for getting on their girls from time to time. They feel that it is helping them understand that if they want to play they have to work hard. Try a different position. Turns out I have a girl who is a natural post who always wanted to play point guard. I let her try it in practice and in a game or two and her attitude changed completely. Oh, and she also understood she will never be a point guard but sure had fun trying. Use teammates to help drive the girl. My daughter is very quiet and gentle off the basketball court but on the court she has no problem getting into her teammates face. She has been the smallest girl on the team several seasons but is the team leader and enforcer. 99% of the time she leads quietly but when she does go off on a teammate it usually has the desired results. All the girls look up to her (figuratively) and she uses it remarkably well for a 6th grader. Hope some of these help, but sometimes realize it is the girl who has to find her motivation. You can help her along but if she doesn't want to be there or just wants to do enough to get by there might not be anything you can do to change things. Coach Roger
  5. Equal Playing Time

    We had the same rule when I coached at our local Y and what I would do is make a chart before each game and lay out who was going in and out when. We also had 11 girls and I would just keep the chart as close as possible to equal but I also told parents that I kept all charts and if a girl didn't get equal time one week she got a little extra the next week. In the end it all came out in the wash. Add to that the number of times I had a full team show (2 in an 8 game season) it didn't turn out to be a major issue and all girls got their fare share. One last thing, most teams did not come even close to following this rule and some teams didn't even try. It bothered a lot of my parents and girls but I just told them they were there to learn, not win or lose and one thing they needed to learn is that not everyone will always play by the rules, on or off the court. Coach Roger
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