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  1. ACoach

    Need Help With Basic Plays

    Coach, I feel your pain and frustration. We have been the door mat of our league this season and are now 0-6. We are playing against teams that have been together for at least 1-3 years. Our team was a grab bag of whoever wanted to practice on Mon. nights, with many not having any experience in flag football, and me agreeing to coach after the original coach bailed right before the season started. We have a wide range of talents from good to mediocre to challenged. I believe we are finally gelling together, and am actually looking forward to the next two games. In our last game this past Sat., we finally made a D-stop to get the ball back after failing to make one in the past two games, and on O we scored three TDs and all the PATs. This after two games in which we only scored 1 TD. As my Asst. Coach says, our talent is about the same as everyone else, but our execution has been horrible, plus many of our miscues on O come on ill-advised high slow arcing passes ripe for the picking back to the house. And we cant seem to make a tackle if our life depends on it. It got so comical in some cases, as the Ref blew the whistle believing that the tackle had been made, but in fact there was no tackle. The flags were just slipping out of our kids hands. So basically our team has been hapless on D and O, neither side of the ball helping the other get going. On O this past week, we made adjustments by only throwing on wheel routes to our RB, or on quick hit passes to WRs. We had good success in telling the QB to keep looking one way, and then reverse back to throw to either the RB or the WR. We scored one of our best TDs, as well as any that I had seen this season, when we did that and flooded one area with QB looking that way the whole time, then pump-fake, and then reverse pivoting to the opposite side to throw to our wide open WR, who was advised on seeing the pump-fake to cut back the opposite way, and with a laser throw and just a slight stumble with no real loss of momentum the WR scored a TD. A very nice play. So, in your situation, I like what yurirdgz adivses, and will also take that advice for this weeks game for myself, and would recommend training your QB to keep eyes focused one way to develop the pass play, employ pump fakes, and then zip it to opposite side of the field. As I have heard in other cases, but havent developed myself, is that if the D does one thing--in this case stay home, then there's got to be another avenue of attack--in this case got to hit the gaps as yurirdgz suggests. Also, work on screen/pick blocking assignments. If the D wont move, then try to set the blocks that open the gaps up for the RB to run. Good luck. ACoach
  2. ACoach

    Reviewing Game Video

    Coaches, I have been amazed at what you can pick-up when watching game video in slow-motion. I particularly like seeing what's going on position by position. I then write it down and then pick out the salient coaching points that need to be addressed during practice/games. Besides keying in on individual assignments, I was also able to pick out how I had apparently stacked one side of my defense with disciplined players vs. the other side with completely undisciplined players. This next game I intend to try and balance out this disparity. My game footage is just what my wife takes while my son is in, but even this sideline film reveals a lot. The gist of my post is what software do any of use to view the game in slow-motion. I use a free software called Kinovea available at http://www.kinovea.org/en/. I also use it to analyze my sons' baseball swings and see how it has changed for the better these couple of years. And it has uses in other sports as well. Thanks. ACoach
  3. ACoach

    Running Until You Hear The Whistle

    Coach, Nope havent had that experience yet. The fields are pretty far apart considering and I never seem to notice any action going on the other field. Regarding training till the Whistle Blows--I had the kids keep running the length of the field until they heard my whistle blow during practice. Even had one kid prepared to run into the woods until he heard the whistle. If I saw a kid turn his head wondering when the whistle would blow he sat out a round to think about it. But they all ran full speed ahead. Seemed to do some good. ACoach
  4. ACoach

    Installing An Offense

    Coach, I am coaching an 8-9 yr old team. We play 6v6. I also help coach a 6-7 yr old team as well. We play 5v5 (sometimes 6v6) with this age group. ACoach
  5. Coaches, I wanted to learn what steps or tips that you do when you install your offensive plays. For example, do you run the whole play on Air for a bit and/or break assignments into components and go over them? Or do you immediately go to live play and tweak as you go? Thanks for any insights, etc. ACoach
  6. ACoach

    Whack A Mole

    Coaches, Thanks for your information on the Flag pulling techniques. In some cases during this past game, some kids were in good position but just came up empty. Or were in bad positions, doing what I call Drive-by Flaggings--coming in at bad angles and missing the flag and then they just keep on moving past the runner and take themselves out of the play. I also get kids stopping and dropping to their knees to make a tackle (my son particularly) and oftentimes not making the tackle. Regarding Johnp2's points of flag-pulling: 1) Yes, they do need to focus on the waist area where the flags are, and I will try to emphasize that more. 2) I stress positioning oneself in front of the runner to make the flag-pull, or to at least slow the runner as an obstruction. 3) I am not sure about this one. During a tackle on the move, a lot of times the kids stop and try to get the flag and miss and then they are dead in the water. I do see what you mean--Stop after you get a grip on the flag! But what happens when they think they got a grip and stop and they still come up empty? I havent really seen a problem with them keeping momentum and still yanking the flag off, but have seen problems when they stop moving and dont have a flag. 4) Two hands--I do stress trying to get both hands on the flag (aiming for the area where the flags are attached to the belts). I advocate the two hand approach when they have a good angle on the player, say side by side, or the ball carrier veers to one side or the other of the Defender. In other cases, yes, the one-hand grab is better suited for more dynamic situations. Yesterday at practice, my kids were doing pretty good with their flag-pulls, especially trying to position themselves in front of the runner, of course there were a couple or so matador-style flag pulling--with a reminder to try to stay in front of the runner. I guess it was a single-player version of the Gauntlet drill. We also worked with a blocker/RB combo against a Defender, as shedding blocks is also an issue. Sometimes the kids want to dance with the blocker instead of tackle. Coach Rob, regarding playing clean, I try to make sure they dont get too physical while tackling, but they have been known to "make sure" the ball carrier doesnt escape. Regarding counting Flag-pull totals, my only concern would be that the Defenders abandon their assignments in order to try to increase their flag-pull counts. This could be unfounded on my part, but I did have my Safety at times trying to make tackles in the backfield this past game. So I am leery of trying to reward flag-pulls at the expense of assignments, at least at this point in the season. Perhaps when they get more disciplined that might be a good incentive to increase productivity. ACoach
  7. ACoach

    Whack A Mole

    Coach, That is essentially my Defensive scheme, except I get to add one more player (6v6), which I put as a S. That was the ironic part, with what I would consider my B team D they held the other team to 14 pts in the 1st half. My first D team played the 2nd half and let in several TDs, including the 2nd O play to start the 2nd half. My DEs did a pretty good job of containing, but then we just couldnt get the flags off the runner. So a bunch of tackling drills tomorrow. Thanks for your Defensive scheme. ACoach
  8. ACoach

    Whack A Mole

    Coaches, We just finished our game and lost handily: 0-3 now. However, that was due to a couple of interceptions back for TDs that really hurt. But playing straight D we did alright. Our DEs for the most part stayed home, except in one case resulting in a TD, and forced the play inside, or at least slowed the RB down. But, then in heavy traffic and multiple chances the rest of the D just could not get the flags of the runner. Killer, especially on 4th and then let in a TD. Just like whackin a mole--pop one and another pops up, in this case good Contain then horrible tackling. Now back to Flag Pulling 101. ACoach
  9. ACoach


    Coach, In re-reading our rules, I do not see any mention that allows for the D to cross the LOS if faking is going on, or for that matter, any mention when it is legal to cross the LOS. Except in reference to Rushing the QB which can only occur 5 secs. after the snap. But I guess the unwritten rule is that when the ball is handed-off from the QB to a RB, then the D may cross the LOS. ACoach
  10. ACoach


    Coach, Yes, pretty much every play centered on him getting the hand-off. I dont really recall them handing off to anybody else. No, the QB is not allowed to scramble unless rushed. Which we did a few times not by design, but by the kids tired of scrambling around with the receivers waiting for him to throw. Thus, giving him an excuse to score another TD. I know our Team Defense & Discipline fell apart, but I dont know that it will be a fortress by the time we play him again. So that was why I was thinking at least to get one guy to Spy. Or just pretty much gang attack him and box him in if possible when it looks like they are going to go to him. ACoach
  11. ACoach


    Coach, Well that essentially was the issue as the game wore on--the other coach was going full throttle the whole game with the kid. Either he was running it for a TD, intercepting a pass back for a TD, or as QB passing and with a few miscues on ill-advised D rushes went to scramble for a TD. He was never out of the game. My AC knew someone on the other team who came up to him during the game and said his son was only playing D, while he saw our team everyone played O/D (in platoons--first half O or D, and then 2nd half vice versa) and got several touches of the ball. The opponents dad said he'd talk to the coach about getting the other kids more involved. We'll see how that turns out when we play them again. ACoach
  12. ACoach


    Coach, Yes, proper tackling form was violated a number of times. However, his running actions created a washing machine effect on the kids. Resulting in alot of different tackling angles trying to get the kid--from behind, to the sides, and only rarely a good frontal opportunity. We are working on open field tackling tonight. I guess fundamentally from a team viewpoint--the Defense was not doing its job of containing the guy. So need to keep working on that. Hopefully by our next meeting in several weeks we will become more disciplined. ACoach
  13. ACoach

    Game Vision

    Coaches, When I am running the O, I have good intentions on trying not to focus on the ball, but rather on the O/D interplay and then plan the next play accordingly. But, as the play unfolds, I seem to just latch onto the ball, and follow it on to its glorious end (infrequently) or to its bitter end (often). How or what do you all do to try and slow the game down? Does it only come from experience, and if so, any tips on how one can develop it faster? ACoach
  14. ACoach

    Defensive End's

    Coach, Yeah, that is an area I need work on: relaxing in the game and seeing more in the game. I focus too much on the ball handlers rather than seeing what the Defense is doing etc. Hopefully it will come. ACoach
  15. ACoach


    Coaches, At our last game, we ran into the "Fastest Kid in Third Grade" as my son and another kid from the same school exclaimed. And not only is he the fastest, but also the "jukiest", etc. as well most likely. I looked on the forum before posting about how others handled this situation. I ran into a post by runningeagle "Suggestions For Stopping A Great Running Back" that was started in Mar. 2010. They mentioned team contain & defensive discipline which sounds great, but my kids had plenty of chances at him and just plain missed him multiple times. Probably where we fell down was on discipline. We just werent prepared for dealing with this kid. But we have to play this team once more and so I need to come up with a better game plan. After the game I got to thinking that perhaps I should've designated one of my speedier defensive players to Spy him the whole game. Also of course, he was their Safety that nabbed a few interceptions off of us, as well as downfield tackles. So I think that I need to designate one of my offensive players to just immediately run out towards him and get on the playside of him and screen block/obstruct his movement on the field. If we can neutralize him, the rest of their team are ordinary kids. Any advice for dealing with this situation and is Spying the answer?