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Johnp2

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Everything posted by Johnp2

  1. I'll also add, that if I were to implement this, I would discuss it with the referee first so he ensures what we are doing is legal (and the one I have in mind is legal, but he might miss it).
  2. I'd like you get you gentleman's opinion on "trick plays." I am not talking about reverses, and flea-flickers, etc., but the completely unorthodox trick plays. As an example, "Wrong Ball", "Lost Man", etc. If you are unfamliar with these-type plays, below is a quick scenario: 1. Team lines up to LOS. 2. QB "taps" Center on rear. 3. QB turns to coach (me) and says (loudly), "What is the play?" 4. During this time, the Center slowly snaps the ball and stands up, with the rest of the players standing up looking confused. 5. The QB (with ball in hand) continues walking toward me, "Coach, what play is this again?" 6. At the last moment (when he is outside the line), he hands off to a player, who sprints (hopefully) for a TD. I had not considered this, until . . . it turns out (from hearing parents on my team) that there is a team in our league that is very good. The coach has had the same players for many years now and has like four "assistants". Two of my players defected from his team as they did not like his approach. So far this is fine. However, it turns out this coach likes to really run up the score on teams, and apperantely is at it again this season. I am not one to run up the score, but at the same time believe that if you don't like it, then do something about it. So . . . with that, if I find myself playing this team (three games from now) and they are that good to where they are putting a whipping on us and the head coach keeps his foot on our throats (perhaps extra due to the players that left his team), I really might consider doing a "trick" play like this just to put him in his place a little. My question: Do you consider these plays unethical? Personally, if a team did it to me, I am the type that would laugh and think, "Ok, you got us." As mentioned, I would only consider doing this if the situation calls for it. I've asked a lot of people I know for their thoughts, and have answers ranging from "Nah, that's just wrong" to, "Wow. That would be incredible to see. I bet the kids and parents would all get a kick out of that--you should do it!" Thanks
  3. This seems to by my team's largest challenge right now. I stress first and foremost being in the proper position with your body (depending on the route). Because kids at this age seem to struggle catching on the run. Thus right now we are working on positioning your body toward the football and extending your arms slightly with elbow bent, and to position their hands similar to a diamond, THEN after catching it to bring it into your body. Our struggles have been jammed fingers. I've seen after that some players begin "defending themselves" against the ball by slapping it down. Teaching all of this in practice can be rough (due to all the other things), so I ask the parents to practice with their kids (I figure any dad who wants his son in football should assist with basics such as catching). Some kids pick it up faster than others, of course. My own son, as an example, is a "so-so" receiver, and we play catch every single night. I have seen tremendous strides in his receiving, however---so feel we are on the right path. The #1 rule at this age, in my opinion----is watch the football the entire way. As you both alluded to, that can make a vast difference, and it's easy to do.
  4. Would you guys like to see blocking allowed? I'm glad we can do it. The main reason is that it allows ALL the kids (whether they have the ball or not) to still be part of the play. As mentioned, I temper them by explaining not to "push" the defensive players, but to instead simply position themselves to get in the opponents way. The first team we played did no form of blocking whatsoever, and the result was not pretty. I'm also a little concerned about the other coaches/refs knowing the rules after our first play. As an example, our rulebook states that players can rush after certain caveats--one being a fake hand off. I taught our kids this and after our opponent's first fake hand-off our d-line swarmed into the back field. One of the coaches on the other team literally ran on to the field hollering that it was illegal (which was unprofessional, in my opinion). Believe it or not the "ref" was unsure. I never had, nor ever will argue with the referees, so agreed if there was uncertainty (although I knew the rule) that we would hold off on doing that for the game. I've asked the sports program director to send a reminder to all coaches/refs that it is legal.
  5. I agree this is an awesome (fun) drill--we call it Sharks and Minnows. Have you tried allowing the 'last player standing' man up and go against everyone to see if he can make it to the other side? That's a little twist I like to add. ;-)
  6. I'm happy to share what I do, and I'm certain each situation is different. I have 6-8 year olds. First, we have three practices per week (1 to 1.5 hours each). I script what I want to cover the night before. We have 12 players on the team, with eight on the field during the game. I don't have any assistant coaches (although I encourage parents to help if they want---but they rarely do). This is fine, however. I try to stress "team dynamics" so we usually start in circle, where we lightly toss the ball around, and just talk about whatever is on our mind. As an example, in tomorrow's "circle" I want to talk to my team about congratulating each other when we make a great play (I want to see high-fives everywhere) and helping players (on both teams) get up in a game when one falls down. We did not do a good job at either in our first game. I incorporate a "Player of the Week" award, which goes to the player who worked the hardest in practice, listened the best, and left everything he had on the field both in practice that week and in the game. Not necessarily who played the best, but who played the hardest. This player gets to wear a special jersey that I had designed during practice that week. He also gets to "autograph" the jersey, and will be our team captain for the week. Thus in the first practice of the week, we congratulate our POW. Next I'll run some quick drills (Jingle Jangle, Mini-End Zones, etc). Something to get their juices flowing. Next I'll line up all the kids and we go over the passing tree. The kids know all the routes now, so it only take 3-5 minutes. Then we will begin going though our plays. Here is where it gets tricky. As mentioned we have 12 players and eight on the field. So I take eight of them, and we run plays, (with the remainder on defense) then I sub in and out. We do this for about 30 minutes. We will then do another drill or two, and then go over plays again. We end practice playing "sharks and minnows". This is where we start with one person on the field (the shark) with the other kids (the minnows) having to run past the shark without having their flag pulled. Whichever minnow(s) get their flagged pulled become sharks and we keep going. If you have not tried it you ought to, it is a lot of fun. I then end practice with a quick pep-talk and we do our team cheer. I guess it sounds boring, but the kids (and I) really have fun at practice. As you know, it's merely a balancing act of teaching while keeping it fun. I've tried to reach out to the different coaches in the league to scrimmage with us, but have not had any takers. One coach said he would, but then when I told him I had 6-8 year olds he changed his mind (he has 11-13 year olds). I told him we could "hang" with the big-boys, but he still declined. I hope this helps some. If you want specifics on the drills I do, I am happy to send them to you. I have about seven or eight (but we don't do them each practice). I'm curious as to how you other coaches handle your practices. Thanks
  7. Orange, To answer some of your questions: 1. Blocking is allowed. I am teaching the kids "chop-blocking" right now (just kidding). Actually it is "hands-closed, shoulder width apart." My focus now is more on their blocking assignments (influence blocking, angles, reading the defense on pulls, etc.). The technique is pretty much "get in the opponents' way" as opposed with allowing pancake-type blocks. I started teaching second-level blocking in our last practice, and it was a thing of beauty to see three kids running down the field with my RB looking for someone to block. Actually I was surprised at how much contact was "allowed" with respect to blocking, and that is fine with me. 2. It is 8 on 8. The field is 60x40. 3. Regarding being overly confident, that will never be a problem with any of my teams. The very first thing that came out of my mouth at our team kick-off meeting was, "I would rather us lose playing sound, fundamental football, than win playing with instincts." By that, I am not coaching to win football games, but rather to teach football. I firmly believe at this age mental prepratation outweighs physical prowress (especially in football). You are absolutely correct we will face a team with twice as many "athletes" than we have, and our road to success will be via hard work and preparation. This is something we can control---physical attributes we cannot. My "record" as a coach (soccer and now one football game) is 25-4. I go into every game thinking we are going to lose. Of course I never tell the kids that, but it prevents me from becoming complacent---right or wrong, it seems to work. The only game we lost last season, we were *three* players down. I told the other team to play at full strength (no point benching the other team's kids if they showed up ready to play). We lost the game by one goal and played our absolute best game of the season. Instead of the players/parents being upset I allowed the other team to play at full strength, everyone was in awe of what a gut-check the players put forth. In fact, after the game we were all celebrating so much you would have thought we won. Well, the we did win, just not on the scoreboard. ;-)
  8. Another question: do you guys script your plays? I scripted my first five plays for our first game yesterday, and it seemed to work well. I'm going to do this again but with a different approach by creating "classes" of plays. For example, I'll have 2/3 plays that I will run in subsequent order depending on the situation. e.g. End-around, End-around, Bootleg (with fake hand-off to Receiver running End-around). In our first game we ran our very basic plays (only got to run eight plays). We did execute very sharply--all the kids held their assignements to perfection--and even the referee was telling me impressed he was and said it looked like a "pro-style offense". Of course the kids get ALL the credit--we had five practices prior to the first game and they all worked very hard. Seeing as they did so well with our "basic" plays, I'm going to incorporate some of the more complex plays this week as well. We'll try our reverse, start pulling guards on misdirections, and maybe try the flea-flicker. I have stressed to the kids from day one that regardless if they have the ball or not, they ALL play a key role on *every* play, and I make a big deal on everything from a RB taking a fake-hand off, to influence blocking on counter-plays. As an example, in the huddle I'll say to one of my receivers who might run a fake-hand off on the called play, "I can't believe how good you are at faking out the defense like that, let me see you do that again", etc. and I can tell it helps them really buy into it. If I've learned one thing thus far it is that--in the huddle, I go around to each player and "remind" him of his responsibility and say things like "I need you to make sure no one get's Scott's flag on this play so make sure you block your man to the left." This as opposed with "Just block somebody." After our game yesterday I gave the game ball to 'Everyone that blocked--because without that beautiful blocking we would not have won' and made a big deal about doing the "dirty work". I could see in their eyes how proud they were of themselves even though some of them did not get to touch the ball. On Defense yesterday we dominated (which surprised me) at I was whooping and hollering at them during the game how tencious their defense was. One of my players (my son, actually) started chanting "Defense! Defense! Defense!", then my whole defense started chanting it. They started doing it before every play. You should have seen the other team, I think it really creeped them out---but we were having fun, and that is what it's all about. Dang, I love coaching. ;-)
  9. Do you guys ever "scout" your opponents? I have quite a few games this year where the team I am playing the following week plays right before or after us. I'm thinking about sticking around and checking them out (see who their better athletes are, which plays they prefer, the type of defense they run, etc.). Then we will practice for that during the week. Also, I'm wondering how many practices do you guys conduct each week? We have three. My son and I practice each night (same place/time), and the parents know this and will sometimes bring their kids to these extra practices.
  10. Well, my plan worked. :-) First play from scrimmage (I-Formation: Left Run), 60 yard Touchdown. Second play from scrimmage (I-Formation: Left Run), 60 yard Touchdown. Third play from scrimmage (I-Formation: Left Run), 60 yard Touchdown. First three plays---three Touchdowns! By this point, it was clear the opposition simply could not stop my running back, so with our three TD lead we went to our fourth play (which was not to my RB) and gained about 20 yards. Long story short, we had only eight plays in this game, and scored TDs on five of them. Defensively (which is what I was concerned about) we pitched a shutout. The reason we had only eight plays is because the other team had the ball 90% of the game. Moving it a few yards at a time--then we'd clamp down at the goal line. They did not throw the ball once (very weird) but my kids were VERY aggressive and we made quite a few stops behind the LOS. I feel bad because I wanted to get all the kids touches in this game, but what can you do when you are scoring on virtually every play. I'm certain we'll face a better team, but so far after the first game I am proud of my kids and all the hard work they have put is beginning to pay off. Thanks!
  11. Thanks for your replay. I'm definitely going to try it, but of course not rely on it. If what I've seen in practice/scrimmages is any indication, I think the oppossing team will be fairly intimidated by him. If their best players wants to man up and go after his flag, I have no doubt my RB will be ready for challenge. In fact, I'm already prepared for complaints from parents to the league thinking he is an older kid (something that happened to me last year when I had another "big" kid in soccer). This guy however, is 8 but could easily pass for 13. What that, my playbook is designed as such so that each player has a running play designed specifically for him (save for the C who cannot take a hand-off) . Instead of switching players in/out of different positions, my philosophy is to allow them to "master" their primary position and execute plays against that. Thus my z receiver might not have the best hands on the team and might not catch a pass, but I will at least call an end-around so he can run with the ball. I would rather the kids play (and hopefully win) by being smart and running very disciplined, crisp, plays--instead of just running around and playing "street" ball. And by allowing them (at this age at least) to focus on a single position without sacrificing their potential, it seems like a win-win. Any physical prowress we have will be a bonus. I do have some swing passes, shovel (shuffle) passes, screens, etc for him, but feel his momentum is at his best running through the 1 hole out of the I-formation (and as we know speed + mass=power). As mentioned, I think defense is going to be our weak link, at least for the first game. My hope is that their instincts take over as I don't think they are disciplined enough yet to run a zone (although we will try). Players can rush after five seconds, and I will let the flow of the game dictate how often we rush. I'm fairly agile and feel I know football well (I played through the collegiate level) so I have no doubt we will learn a lot after our first game and adjust thinks accordingly. I'll chime in after our game to let you all know how we fared. I'm very excited about tomorrow's game and my #1 focus is to ensure all the kids have a blast (win or lose). I'll do some unorthodox things during the game to keep it fun--not sure what yet. Last year in soccer I would rush on to the field with a giant "machine gun" water gun and soak any of my players after he scored a goal. The kids (on both teams) got a huge kick out of it. I had parents from the opposing team come up to me after the games asking for my contact info because they wanted me their kids to be on my team in subsequent seasons. Having fun and learning is what it's all about--and that includes me. ;-) Thanks again
  12. We have our first game on Saturday (my first game as a flag football coach). Coaching 7-8 year olds. We've had four practices. My RB and QB have the plays we will execute down fairly well, the rest of the team are making great strides, so think we will be fine on offense (for our first game). The last practice we worked on flag-pulling. I was a little surprised at how difficult it is for kids to pull flags. I hope it doesn't bite us, as I concentrated on offense the first three practices (so the kids at least knew how to get in a huddle, line up on the LOS, snap the ball and run a play). If anything we will have a shoot-out. My RB in a BRUTE. He's 8 years old, about 5'0 and maybe 110 pounds (little body fat). Very fast with decent "moves" and likes to run through people. I suspect after I run it up the gut a few times, the other team will quickly become indimidated and no one will want to get near him. I've never thought much about "smash-mouth" (clean) flag-football, but I might send a message early in the game by running downhill plays to get in our opponent's heads.
  13. Thanks for your reply. Our QB is not allowed to run, but we have quite a few plays where he rolls out.
  14. Help me find a cool drill for the kids (6-8 year old). I coached soccer the past three seasons, and each time before a water break we played "Hit the coach." I would not let anyone take a break until someone hit me with the ball (by kicking it). The kids absolutely loved it. If they were doing poorly, I would stand still and stick out my tongue at them, only to move at the last second, walk around with my eyes closed, etc. Again, it was great fun. Anyone have ideas similar to this for flag football? Some sort of "pre-break" activity? Some of my guys can zip the ball, so think I'll stay away from "hit the coach. ;-) Any and all ideas are appreciated. BTW, the posted in a separate thread introducing myself (http://www.y-coach.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=1301), but it appears this is the only thread that gets much action. ? Thanks again!
  15. I've also uploaded a few of my passing plays in the Playbook forum to give you an idea of what we will throw out there. Thanks http://www.y-coach.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=1302
  16. Below are a few of my passing plays (6-8 year olds). Enjoy! Example_Plays.doc
  17. I've been reading this forum for about a month and finally decided to post. I think it is a great forum. This is my first year coaching flag football. I've coached soccer the past three seasons, but decided I want my son (age 7) to get into football (as it is America's game). ;-) NOTE: This is a little long, so I apologize in advance, but I wanted to give you and idea of what I have going on. A few things about where I'm at and some questions I have. I coach 6-8 year olds. I have 12 players, and we've had two practices (first game is next week). We play 8-on-8---yes I know that seems like a lot on the field. I have no "assistant" coaches, but that is okay with me--I told the parents if they want to jump in and help to feel free and do so, but no one has yet. A lot of them know me from previous years coaching soccer (with no assistants) so I figure they think, "He can handle it." The reason I chose flag football over tackle football for my son is that I want him to learn the fundamentals (route running, properly catching a pass, avoiding defenders, etc.). This as opposed with just running around and hitting people (which will come in due time). I devised a pretty nice playbook, and put them in nice hard-binders for the kids. I've got 10 running plays and 10 passing plays. I created it so that every player has ample opportunity to "touch" the ball. For example, I have three end-arounds (each with a different receiver). I've kept playbook simple, yet I want to tap into their mental tenacity for the game and challenge them on learning the game. Each play has a legend for each position, explaining his responsibility. e.g. "Run a Post route", or "Run left and take hand-off from QB" ). Here is my approach to player positions. I assigned each position an abbreviation: RR (right receiver), LG (left guard), etc. I then assigned each player to a primary and secondary position. The primary position is what I'd like him to understand, and the secondary position is for substitutions, which I'll figure I'll have to tell him in the huddle ("Run a slant route"). Coaches are allowed on the field. I think by allowing a player to focus on 1 or 2 positions, it gives them repetition, which will ultimately lead to individual achievement. Before the first practice, I started getting hit with emails from parents: "My son has a great throwing arm", or "My son is really fast and would be a good running back". I let it be known that I would assign positions after the first practice so as to get eveyone in a rhythm after that. I think once they started looking at the playbook, they realized that a LG, for example, has plays directed to him (shovel pass, hand-offs, etc.). I informed them that if their child is a stud, it will be exposed regardless of position. I also tried to make it so that linemen have a secondary position of skill positions. So far everyone (parents and kids) seem fine with their positions. I put my son at QB. The reason is that he knows all the plays extremely well. He has been practicing playing QB for about 1 year, and knows all about draw plays, play-action passes, pitchouts, shovel passes, bootlegs, etc. A few of the kids have stronger arm than my son, but my son is very, very accurate, and again is somewhat a student of the game. In fact, he's really my assistant coach as he directs players where to be in various formations, talks to them about their routes, etc. I will allow all the kids to play a little QB and RB (as the season goes on), but again I want them to fully embrace their assigned position. My challenge thus far has been getting all the kids at practice. In the first practice we had 8 of the 12 show up, and the second we had 10 of the 12. I know this is a pretty good ratio, but I've explained to the parents that football is not like soccer. You can't just put them on the field and tell them to run around. They need to know where to line up and what to do. My goal for our first game is to know five passing plays and five running plays. On three of the running plays everyone does the same thing with the exception of whomever is taking the hand-off, so don't think it is too taxing. Please provide me with your experiences for introducing kids who have never played to learning their plays. I created cheat sheets for each player (but not on a wrist-band). We are a tad behind where I want us to be, but I think it is because in the first practice all we did were drills, and the second practice was 1/2 drills, and then introducing them to "what a play is". I'll talk about defense later (I plan on using a zone defense or some hybrid of it, depending on the skill level). I'd rather the kids face the QB as opposed with chasing around their opponent. Defenders must be two yards off the LOS and can rush the passer after five seconds. Thanks!
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