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About broadcastboy

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  1. It seems like the "snack thing" has generated some discussion. Remember, these are 11-13 yr. olds. Based on my own kids they all have such different tastes it was frustrating to watch other parents over the years bring things and be left with more than half the supply they brought. Waste of time and money for the parents that were assigned the week for snacks and drinks. Little guys will eat anything; older ones just don't. Plus, at that age kids begin to "work" hard enough in games to simply not be hungry for a thing. As for drinks, the parents I had really appreciated being responsible for their player only. I brought a big cooler with ice to keep their drinks good and cold. It's funny, when most of us were kids we would drink whatever drink someone brought; today things are a bit different. One kid hates "red" Gatorade; another hates "purple". This season taught me that with the older kids this plan works. Once you pay the fee for the league, the end of the year awards, and picture day; then factor in the gas to and from practices and games it adds up pretty quick. Bottom line: I would rather err on the side of consideration of everyone's budget. Oh, one thing on the awards I did a little different. Instead of trophies, I did a picture plaque with a twist. First, anyone with kids knows about all the trophies that add up; pictures seem to be meaningful forever. I have a good friend who is a part-time photographer with the local newspaper and he specializes in shooting football. He came one one day when we had a doubleheader and shot more than 1,000 photos of the kids. We culled those down and put them on a disc for the parents with a roster of the team printed on the cover insert. I picked the best action shot of each kid and put it on the plaque with a custom logo of our team name. They were less than $20 each and looked incredible. I actually had parents crying. The guy is an amazing photographer and the pictures matched...remarkable. The best part, this guy would not let me pay him. He printed off 5"x7" photos of the plaque shot we used. You never know, you may find someone locally who's willing to come out for the fun of it. I then used other photos for our special end of the year awards. We gave out a most improved; hustle; and sportsmanship awards. I had special names for each award and developed a custom award that matched. The kids voted by secret ballot; not the coaches.
  2. I have two suggestions. One: teach your corners to use the sideline as a defender (like basketball). Put a foot on the line to force the runner back inside at all times. We had trouble with the sidelines early; then drilled them on using the line. If there foot was not on the line we had them do it again until it was second nature. Two: when we do our flag pulling drill we teach the defense to run to the back (before the back can get to them) and we use pylons to mark a halfway point; once there the idea is to "break them down". (I use another basketball analogy here) It's like a defensive slide technique. We tried to teach them to run hard; then get low and wide, focusing their eyes on the mid-section and flags. It was effective once they got past their fear of being trucked. Once a runner trips over a kids legs getting wide, they slow down and the battle is won. Hope it helps.
  3. When I first wrote in to this forum I was seeking some direction and I got plenty. More helpful than I could ever express. Quick overview: Co-ed league with kids 11-13; 7-on-7; unlimited rush, formations, etc. I had the youngest team in the league and finished 3-and-5. Three of our five losses were by six points or less. I have 11 of 14 kids coming back. I ran an offense that put everyone in a position to catch a pass on every pass play. I ran 90% shotgun with motion of some kind. We ran an option very successfully. That set up the long passes and I was fortunate to have a kid, 11 yrs., with a cannon so we had a ton of big plays with the passing game. I learned throughout the season to run more to the middle of the field and pass in the flats. Simply put, I got better as I went and put the kids in better positions to be successful. Clearly, the kids endured a bit of my learning curve. We had fun with some outstanding gadget plays and a "bunch play" for kick-off returns that simply worked. I tried to adjust a term here or there. For example my "O"-line were called "left-line receiver" and "right-line receiver". It made them feel like they were more part of the offense (and it helped even more when I got them some touches). One thing I did with great success was use wristbands with our offense on them. The offense was actually eight plays and each one was on the wrist band (they were tiny, but kids can see that stuff). It worked great! When we wanted to run a hurry up, I just called out a number and away they went. What was neat was that each play had a two run options and six pass options. So, in reality within those eight plays we had a ton of different things we could do. The kids could remind themselves real easy by looking at their wristband. I highly recommend it. On defense we ran two formations...a 3-3-1 and a 2-3-2. It all depended on our opponent. We had a couple of different blitzes and over-all our defense was real good. I was lucky because I had three assistant coaches that knew what they were doing. I had one focus on defense and his assistant did our special teams; I had an offensive assistant and he kept an eye on our opponents "D". He made awesome suggestions. Before the season started I had a very candid talk with parents telling them what I would not tolerate and what I expected of them and their kids. I also made sure to be considerate of the fact that money is tight and I reduced expenses. I did not have parents sign up to bring drinks and snacks for the entire team (at that age kids are a little picky and it's easier to have each one take care of their own) and I got big-time "thank you's". I did the same by not having a post season party that would have added even more money to the season for the parents. It's a city league and the kids wanted to compete to win games, but they wanted to have fun and we did a lot of that. Practices frequently turned into something like a "Skittles Bowl" where after some drills we played ball and competed while having some fun and rewarding good effort. All in all, I had more fun that I thought possible. Not one issue with one parent; one moment with one player (but parent supported me 100%). We finished with a 34-to-0 win and a nice post-season awards gathering right after the game. My thanks to all who offered advice and support at the outset of the season.
  4. Thanks coaches for taking the time to reply...I am making my way through some of the many threads that are on the site already, but the comments are real helpful. BTW: The 7v7 game is pretty much wide open. No blocking, everyone is eligible, and rushers can come at the snap. Runners cannot spin or jump to avoid flag pulls. Certainly not an exhaustive explanation of all the rules, but a basic one for perspective.
  5. I have taken on coaching an 11-13, 7v7 team and, while I have coached plenty of middle school and high school basketball, this is a little new to me. So, I'd appreciate some thoughts and ideas on organizing first few practices. I have never seen a practice that makes much sense to me. In hoops, all of my drills were designed to incorporate some part of the offense or defense. The league does not appear to have too many restrictions; they just want to make sure all play and have a good time. I also know that most kids like the playing the best they can and I am inclined to put kids in spots where they can experience success; then stretch them a bit. I am open to thoughts on basic offensive schemes (looks to me that most posts advocate a playbook that is limited) and the best way to handle play calling (sub each play, wristband, index cards, etc); also the places on the defense to put the best athletes on the field. After watching for a few years, I can't get my arms around that one. Sideline contain seems crucial, but having a guy play centerfield seems to matter, too. Then, again I have watched one great athlete (seems like most teams have one) can really disrupt the opposing offense from the line of scrimmage. I know it's a lot, but I want to have some time to get some thoughts together before our first practice (Sept. 1) and want to give the kids my very best. Thanks for any help you grizzled vets can offer.
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