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Coaching Youth Fooball - Football Plays

Johnp2

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Johnp2 last won the day on September 25 2013

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  1. New Inexperienced Team

    I'd suggest the following at a high-level: 1. Base your playbook around your personnel. You noted you learned a lot in the first game, so build on that. 2. Hand the ball off to multiple positions. If you hand off to the RB every running play, defenses will shut it down quickly. 3. Teach the kids a zone defense. It's really not that hard. Just have them "stay in their positions" and keep their eyes on the football until the ball crosses the LOS, then swarm. Finally, look at this season as a learning season. This is not to say you should not expect much, but it is really difficult for a team to compete their first season (unless you are playing teams in your situation or you have one or two terrific athletes you give it to every play, which you probably don't want to do). We got kicked in the teeth over and over in our first season, but we tried to build on something after each loss---and actually won our first round playoff game that season. ;-) I hope this helps some---if you need more specifics let us know. Thanks
  2. In Need Of Some Good Passing Plays

    We have one that we are able to hit 95%. Twins left: Have the slot receiver run an outside slant, and the wide-out run an inside slant (so they cross). QB does three step drop and hits the wide-out about 5-7 yards deep. Quick, easy play...
  3. I'm pretty close to a lot of the coaches in our league (i.e. we'll socialize outside of football). This season we have a lot of new coaches, so I'm only friends with about six of the 12 coaches in our league. Forever, we've had a support system among us in that we will provide scouting reports to one another after we play a team. For example, I received a call from the coach who is facing the team we played last Saturday in his next game. I detailed for him what to expect and my suggestions on how to attack their team (i.e. who their best players were, the type of defense they run, play selections, etc.). Essentially anything to give him an advantage. I notorious for this, and have no problem telling any coach about any team I have faced---so I get asked a lot. Ha! Do we do this among our own teams? Absolutely! I know my team is typically one of the most highly scouted teams, and coaches know what to expect from us---the unexpected. ;-) Just curious if any of you guys to the same with other coaches in your league, and/or you think this is unethical.
  4. My Team's Season Thus Far

    Good luck! Sounds like you've had a great season thus far. Did you play your next opponent during the regular season? Those are the only ones I worry about---the ones I know nothing about. Or do you know much about this team? You were spot on about practice (especially early in the season). Because I know 100% of my roster about a month before other coaches even get their rosters, we get to work very early and will typically triple the number of practices of other teams before the first game...and it makes all the difference in the world. Practice, practice, and more practice is the way to go. I also agree with you about the QB position and how a coach's son has a tremendous advantage (assuming you want the QB to implement comlex assignments). My son has learned 100% of his QB'ing at home. Allows me to focus purely on all the other players at practice and not worry about spending half the practices coaching the subtlities for that position. I'm also fortunate that our second QB (who plays half the game at QB) has played that position for me now five seasons---so he has it down too. Let is know how you do!
  5. Scaling It Down....

    Thanks for everyone's responses. To elaborate, we did not get another pick so luckily did not have to take a knee. I informed a few parents during the game that is what we would do (and word spread). Everyone agreed save for the one parent--which again I understand. She stated in her email, "(Joey) should never feel like he needs to shrink him self so that others feel better." Again...she was extremely polite in her dialogue and I took no offense whatsoever. I like them a lot and we simply need to agree to disagree on that one. Offensively, I can pretty much control everything, right? Extremely simple plays, milk the play clock, etc. Defensively is where I was worried about it getting out of hand. I thought about approaching the coach but I was a little timid in doing this because he was a new coach, very confident, and frankly was in shock. I had a nice chat with him after the game and he was very understanding. Taking a knee can be offensive to some coaches, although I'd rather be accused of rubbing it in like that then on the score board. Regarding playing "lesser-skilled" players---that is where I am stuck. There is very little difference with respect to athleticism with my players, so I don't really have any "good ones" to sit and non-athletic to play in that situation. Ironically, the player whose mom emailed me already scored two TDs in that game, including a pick-six (in about 10 minutes of playing time). With all that...I too have been on that sort of losing end before way back when we first started playing. I recall one game in particular a coach took a knee on fourth down near our goal line in the third quarter. I informed him I wanted them to go full throttle as that is the only way we'll learn (and he did after that). ;-) Additionally, when we play teams that I know our superior to us (we spent the past two seasons playing 'up' a division) I tell the coaches just because we are friends don't hold back. I expect their best because we're bringing ours.
  6. Johnp2 Season

    Game 2 We played our second game and tied 32-32. My team played their worst game in two years, and I had my worst coaching performance during that time-span. We were down two TDs then scored three unanswered TDs and then gave up a TD late--so it was an exciting game. This team we faced was pretty much a one man team. They had a kid that was half a foot taller than anyone on my team and all they did was throw it to him high (he scored all their touchdowns). In fact, it got to the point where we were triple-teaming this player. Everything went against us in this game, gave up at TD on last play of the half, dropped two easy extra point passes, had an interception that was popped loose and caught by the opponent who scored, etc., etc. I told the players the good news is we played our worst game against a good team and still managed a tie.
  7. Scaling It Down....

    We won very easily in our last game. At the half we were up like 40-0. We opened the third quarter with a pick-six. It was the THIRD pick-six in the game at that point. At this point I started getting a little concerned. I actually reflected on the 100-0 high school basketball game that occured here a few seasons ago and how the coach was destroyed once it got out (he actually lost his job). When we got back on defense, I told the team, "Hey, since we are up so big here, if you make an interception it would be a class move if you took a knee instead of running it back for a TD." A few days later, a player's mom sent me an email. She was very tactful and essentially said she would rather her son not be "limited" and instead sit out in a situation like that. I fully respect (and understand) her mindset. However, I do disagree with this approach. A few important notes on my decision: 1. First, for most coaches that have been in this situation you know it is a no-win situation. Your darned if you do, darned it you don't. 2. My philosophy, above everything, is that we play with class (win or lose). Part of that is ensuring that my players understand how to discipline themselves on the field when we need to scale it back some. This does not mean to go half-speed, but to tweak our approach to slow the game down and prevent the score from getting out of hand. Just as we go vanilla and milk the clock in games such as this...it's merely a tactic. 3. The player 'Joey' had not played much in the game. Sitting him out would run the risk of hearing from a parent "Why should my son have to sit on the bench because our team was so dominant?" 4. If I took the approach to "sit" players because we are up so much, then I would not have players on the field. By that, we really don't have 'stars'--so who do I sit? I informed the player's mother I respect her feedback, and I would do the same thing again if I am facing an 80 point win, but will ensure I sit her son on the bench. I know this is a controversial subject and don't want to open up a can of worms here, but I would appreciate your thoughts on the way I handled this. If you do decide to tear into me, please be sure that you've read the post through completion. ;-) Thanks
  8. Johnp2 Season

    Game 1 We had our first game of the fall season and it was extremely lop-sided (54-0). We were up 40 points at the half, and I actually considered asking the opposing coach if he wanted to play the second half, but did not want to offend him. I actually hate games like this and did everything to keep it managable. I was proud of my players as they won with extreme class. They have been around a long, long, time, and they are fully aware that they can be on the other end of 54-0 come our next game...so they were fairly business-like in their approach. I assure you the rest of our games won't be like this as we have two 'select' teams that joined our league from a select conference a few miles away---although one of them lost this weekend to a team that's been around for a few years in our league (heh-heh)
  9. Suggestions For Rule Changes

    In our league, as team can rush up to two declared rushers every four downs (or a full on rush after 7 seconds). I personally like this. Our comish really tries to encourage passing so our rules are slanted a little toward the passing game. We rarely blitz. In fact we run more "fake blitzes" (i.e. where we declare we are going to blitz but don't--those actually work well). QBs cannot run in our league unless they are rushed. 99% of the plays when a team rushes, the QB takes off---and 80% of the time it's for a good gain. I have a few home run plays I designed specifically for when we are going to get blitzed, so it's really an advantage when the team declares they are going to blitz. If we were to change, I'd suggest where a team can blitz two once ever four downs...but they don't have to declare it. Of course being so offensive-minded, my preference is for them to announce it so we can hopefully make them pay. ;-)
  10. Help Develop Qb With Slow Release/tunnel Vision

    Our league has a 7-second rush (which is very nice) and I see QBs (including ours) check down all the time. It's one of the benefits of not having to be out there running for your life....you get the chance to actually read the coverage and react. As TeeDub alluded to, it's all about having the time to do it...we are fortunate for this rule, so a lot coaches take advantage of that. We've had a two-deep progression for many seasons now. Once we tried to go three-deep, but I found that to be a little too much. If your check down is not open, find ANYONE who is open after that. ;-) Regarding the original post---it's not uncommon for QBs at that age to get tunnel vision. Sounds like implementing short passes with a (consistent) check-down is the best approach. The check-down does not need to be complex....simply always have a receiver 3-5 yards in the right flat and allow that to be the QBs safety net. Once he gets used to that, you can increase the level of complexity with regards to looking for the secondary receiver....then you "make something happen". If your QB bird-dogs his receivers you just simply have to keep drilling the QB to scan the field and react. Another idea is to implement fakes and then have him throw. This will take his eyes off primary receiver running the route. Good luck!
  11. Will, Thanks for your post. I can assure you that you are not alone in your competitiveness---most 'coaches' are sports fans and we have an inherent way of defining success with our win/loss record. One thing that might help is to think in terms of the parents and players at this age. While parents enjoy their kids' team to win, their first concern is (or should be) their child's individual contribution to the overall outcome. Players at this age? Hey---I can assure you when little Joey is riding on the car after the game, he's not thinking about whether his team won or lost, he's thinking about what HE did in that game. ;-) Said differently, continue to NOT let wins/losses dictate how successful of a coach you are. My first few seasons we got SKUNKED. However, we got skunked as a team. ALL the parents completely bought into my "team first" mindset, and I still have 99% of the same players 12+ seasons later....and we did end up winning some championships in the mean time. It was much sweeter doing with a team that battled through thick and thin...as you can imagine. As for substiutions...kudos to your wife for pointing it out. Is she saw it and mentioned something, then know it was definitely noticed by some parents who are monitoring how often their kid plays. Here is what we do: I sub at each quarter. I make a line up of who is to play in each quarter at each positions...and I stick to it. I let the parents know that while each player might not play an equal amount in each game...they WILL play an equal amount for the season as a whole. If you would like an example of the way I track substitutions let me know. As you've learned...game day is fast an furious. The only way I can ensure fair playing time is to chart it and stick to it. It also lets you devise your game plan as you know who is playing where...and when. I script my first 10 plays for each game, and we walk through them in practice...and I assure you when we open up the game we are a well-oiled machine and go in like a buzz saw and frankly destroy the will of our opponents if we can in the first quarter. If not, we've still shown we can dog-fight with anyone....as a team. Good luck!
  12. Nose Tackle Blowing Up Running Plays

    We play 6v6 and last season we faced a team who put their BEAST at NT. The kid was 13 years old, 5'11" and could run like the wind. I actually know him and his parents, and the next week I saw him on the field I jawed at him for destroying us...he said "Sorry about that. One of my coaches said he counted 19 flags." :-) Essentially he was doing just what you described, as soon as we would hand off, pitch, whatever, he would be all over it. We could not throw against this team as the rest of their defense was as talented as he was. In fact he batted down three passes at the LOS. For the first time, I actually started drawing plays up in the huddle. One play we did run on him a few times that worked was single wing left formation, I had my QB turn left and fake a pitch to the wing back and then quickly turn right and shuffle it to the Center who ran about three yards to the QBs right. Because the NT was so aggressive, he was either called for a penalty for jumping the LOS on the pitch, or if we got it to the Center in time he was still going after the wing back.
  13. 4 Year Old Son Won't Wear Mouthpiece

    I see nothing wrong with 4-5 year olds playing football, in fact I encourage it. Our league has 4-5, and quite often when my son and I get to the fields early we'll stop and watch them play (as it can be pretty funny at times). Aside from some of the overzealous parents (wow!) I think it's incredibly healthy for kids that age to play organized sports. It gets them excercise, teaches them discipline, the concept of teamwork, etc., etc. Glad to see you got the mouthpiece drama worked out. Good luck this season!
  14. New Coach, 8V8

    I can't speak to rotating positions, as all my seasons I've only used the primary/secondary position assignments, and it has worked well. Regarding ball touches--if you do assign primary positions-- simply tailor your playbook so that each position (not player...but position) has a running play geared toward it. This also has additional benefits as the offense never knows which position is getting the ball. This instead of rotating kids in at RB so they can get hand-offs (and the defense just tees off on the RB). Additionally, Rob is spot-on regarding fakes. Fake reverses can be deadly. Run a reverse a few times, then fake it (having the ball-carrier extend the ball out for everyone to see) and the defense will most always (especially at that age) start chasing the player who was 'supposed' to get the reverse. Focusing on little things like that can pay major dividends.
  15. End Of And Era

    Apologies for not being more clear (but I believe the following is explicit above in earlier posts): his parents asked me to speak with him, and I did not try to 'convince' him to play--but instead wanted to know why--and simply wanted him to appreciate his opportunity to play (as most kids don't get that opportunity). I also noted that I did not give him the 'hard sell' but instead completely respected his decision. As for it 'strange' that his parents asked me to speak to him, I can see how you might think that, but I have to respectfully disagree. These people are family friends. Meaning our families socialize outside of football. In fact--because I've coached him for so long--there have been other times his parents have asked me to talk with him "as his coach". I don't view speaking with a family friend's son at their request, one who is great friends with my own son, and one whom I've coached as long as my own son as "not my role". Quite the opposite, actually. We put relationship building and team dynamics (meaning parents and players) above anything else--and we support each other anyway we can.
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