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whiskey.alpha last won the day on November 17 2013

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  1. 7 on 7 defense are just tackle football defenses run against quick game. Rushing is probably pointless unless your league doesn't have a pass-clock (most 7/7 leagues use a 3.5 to 4 sec pass clock). Teams will just throw hot behind it. At 12-14 execution is most important (or should be) so I'd keep your schemes digestible. I suspect all teams that age have a simple base cover 2 and cover 3 concept, some will also have a quarters concept, but most will just run cover 2 man under or man free with a spy (because they're easy to install). If you're into pattern-reading, 2-Read/Blue and some of the 4-2-5 secondary concepts seem to be getting more popular, at least here in Texas. Good luck!
  2. I've been updating this thread every year since 2011 when some of my players were 4 years old. And every year they get better and better and better. Fun to watch this group and even more fun to coach. They are mix of 3rd and 4th grade.
  3. Another year almost gone. Still a work in progress, but the boys keep getting better and better. Roster is mostly 2nd / 3rd grade and two 4th grade. Since last year we've exclusively played 3/4 NFL Flag in central Texas. Enjoy.
  4. What we do: If coaches can't be on the field, we huddle near the sideline. If coaches can't be in the huddle, what we do depends on how well our team knows the playbook. If they know it cold, we usually send our QB in with a multi-play script or some simple play progressions based on what the QB is seeing. Is he reading man defense? What is the safety doing? Etc. If they're not quite there, we'd sometimes give the QB a numbered wristband and signal the plays to him from the sideline and let him call it in the huddle. But mostly we just send a player in with the play. I hate using wristbands for all players (I think it's a crutch), but I've seen other coaches combine them effectively with a passing tree. Coach might yell "Buffalo 2" from the sideline which means Buffalo formation, second play on the wristband. And the wristband would have four numbers 0-9 to indicate the routes. At the NFL Flag national championship were weren't allowed to communicate whatsoever with our players (except during a timeout). The kids had to call their own plays and even run substitutions. As a coach, it was hard not to feel intensely helpless/powerless, but it was also eye-opening to watch what a bunch of focused, well-prepared 10 year old kids could do when they had the reins. I don't mind letting my QB call the plays if I have confidence he understands why he wants to call it.
  5. Appreciate the info SMichael, but I noticed every one of your posts surreptitiously shills for the same website/company. Also, a few months ago you said you never tried the wrist bands, yet yesterday you said you've been using them for several years. I think I speak for all here when I say we don't mind hearing about great products, but we also appreciate transparency. Nothing ruins your credibility more than feigning interest in a community just to phish its members.
  6. I've coached both of my sons' 5on5 flag teams in the Austin area since 2008 (my oldest is now 11). If you are truly seeking a competitive environment for your boys, find the nearest NFL Flag league and enroll your team in their inter-league "elite" division. It's basically where all the best flag teams from Austin, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Lake Travis, and Hyde Park enroll and play each other. We've also started enrolling our same kids in the 7on7 spring leagues at Lake Travis High School and we've beaten every team out there without mercy the last two years. It's not because they're bad teams. It's just that you can tell which teams play "neighborhood" flag leagues on a regular basis and which teams play the NFL Flag inter-leagues on a regular basis. There is a TREMENDOUS difference in speed, talent and coaching. I found out the hard way. My oldest son's last season of i9 Sports was late 2009/early 2010. We scored 320 points in 6 games that season. Well, we moved to NFL Flag the very next season and our first game was against the Ravens. I'll never forget it. They scored 28 points against us in 15 minutes and we lost by mercy-rule before the first half was over. It was very humbling. However, it was also the best thing that ever happened to us. NFL Flag has a league close to you in Steiner Ranch, although the closest of the inter-league fields is in south Austin, I believe. Contact Neighborhood Sports for more information.
  7. I know this is just a veiled-marketing post to shill for online courses, but I think the subject is an important one, even if I disagree with the premise that the 60% dropout rate is due to coaches not being trained. Like most everything, I think there are some good coaches, some bad coaches, and a whole lot of average coaches. And while it's certainly true that every coach can improve himself/herself in some respect, I think this post conveniently overlooks an enormous cultural shift that appears to have happened in the last 20-30 years. Among parents, there's a level of narcissism and "child-worship" that didn't broadly exist 30 years ago. And among kids -nearly 1/3 of whom are overweight or obese- there's a level of entitlement, self-indulgence and instant gratification that also didn't broadly exist 30 years ago. I don't know a more perfect storm for undermining the best things about coaching and youth sports than the above combination. In today's world, even Mr. Miyagi looks out his window and sees nothing but unwaxed cars. That's because Daniel-san went home to play Xbox and post selfies on Facebook. Oh no, wait. That was Mom. And it wasn't selfies she posted- it was 307 instagram photos and 47 videos of Daniel scoring touchdowns in pee wee football.
  8. Very impressed with my little guys after this last season. It was their third season doing some form of quick game. Roster is two 1st graders, three 2nd graders, and two 3rd graders. They exclusively pass the ball unless the QB recognizes man coverage.
  9. I agree to a point. Personally, I don't think 8-10 year old boys are the best candidates to make decisions about what's in their best interest or what they (truly) want. Sure, it might be true in a kid's mind that doing Thing "A" gives him pleasure and doing Thing "B" doesn't. But that information is of limited value. Most boys can't see beyond how they feel right now. They're also prone to associating displeasure with structure and frustration. At some level, all boys are Huck Finn, and unless they're naturally competitive, they'll never see the value in "wax on, wax off". I remember my oldest son telling me how much he hated lacrosse (during the summer) but then telling me how it was his favorite sport (during the season). And if you asked him in Fall, his favorite sport was tackle football. Point is- if I left the decisions up to him, he would have made them emotionally and skipped out on a sport he truly loves. I cant tell you how many naturally athletic kids I see turn away from football around 3rd and 4th grade grade -not because their coaches are jerks- but because they grew up dominating their peers and being self-indulgent and they never developed a work ethic. No one forced them to do the stuff that wasn't fun and taught them how to experience success on a small level. Then, one day, they started getting caught from behind and not scoring touchdowns every possession and they became frustrated. Moreover, their confidence and enthusiasm were now way, way down because -for years- they associated pleasure with something that no longer existed. All this doesn't mean coaches need to be more like Marv Marinovich. I just think it's easy to get lost trying to make "fun" the center of the universe. If a kid quits playing basketball because his coach makes him play it with his left hand, sports will never be anything more than a casual indulgence for him. And that's okay. But let's be clear - that kid doesn't need a coach, he needs a chaperon. And it's probably the wrong decision to force him to do it. I see my role as helping kids see beyond what's fun about sports. Because fun is short-lived and momentary. Fun is easily obtained. A kid doesn't need a coach to have fun. A kid will find fun just fine on his own. I want my kids to value the contest, challenge, and camaraderie of sports. I want them to know what it means to set goals and achieve them... to have success... to want to work hard when the payoff isn't instant or obvious. Those are things from which kids can draw deep satisfaction - an altogether different kind of pleasure, but one that is longer-lasting and harder to achieve than "fun". Whether you keep your "wax on, wax off" drills fun or not, keep your player motivated by not letting long periods pass between his frustration and the payoff. Keep goals small and make sure success is clearly defined. If you've done it right, one day his dad will be awakened by a thud-thud-thud in the driveway and he'll look outside and see his son dribbling with his let hand without being asked.
  10. In my experience, a young kid with a good arm stands out and makes parents "ooh" and "aah" until about 6th grade. After 6th grade, a good arm takes a backseat to good footwork and good decision-making, both of which are helped by good work ethic. So much about the QB position is tied to the feet. That said, footwork is arguably dead last on the list of things a 10-year old kid wants to do, and that's where a good coach can make a difference. Good luck.
  11. Two 6 and 7 year old boys running Air Raid this fall:
  12. 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.
  13. Don't waste your time. Speed and agility are the product of mechanics, biochemistry and effort. You might can get a kid to give more effort, but it takes a lot of time and repetition to retrain neuromotor patterns. Instead, spend your time improving your players 'game' speed with execution, execution, execution. Mike Leach says it best: Crisp execution makes slow kids faster in the same way hesitation makes fast kids slow. You'll probably never get a slow kid to outrun a fast DB on go-routes, but you can work on play familiarity, stemming, blowing off the line, eliminating false stepping, etc.
  14. Your boys are old enough to know basic man coverage and zone coverage principles. You dont have to run M2M in a game, but you should occasionally run your offense against it in practice if you're seeing it. My experience coaching young boys was opposite yours. I loved running pure zone, but no matter how hard we coached them, we found that young minds still had a tendency to peek at shiny objects in that backfield... and get beat deep. Or miss a wide open receiver. I cured it with a simple pattern-read defense in which (i) each defender focused on only 1 key, (ii) each defender made 1 call. It worked beautifully because it directed their eyes around the field and forced them to communicate. It wasnt M2M, but it meant our boys had to learn to cover a receiver because sometimes they would have to solo him. You will start to see a lot of M2M against older, more athletic teams. Most young QBs don't see man-covered receivers as open unless the separation is huge, and the coaches know that. But they also have the speed and athleticism to recover if something goes bad. Once your QB gets over that hurdle, though, M2M defense is a gift if your receivers run crisp, hard routes. And if they don't, playing against man coverage will make them do it... since that's the only way to beat it. If you don't have the numbers, you can run your offense on only the left or right side of the field and lock up defenders and receivers. We also take that as an opportunity to work with our QB on pre-snap recognition and reading the corner or LB (squat, drop). Good luck!
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