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Coach Rob

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Everything posted by Coach Rob

  1. Hey, sounds like you made some improvements, that huge. It's not all about the wins and losses. Our flag team also played basketball and we ended up in some pretty competitive leagues. We were getting crushed because other teams were using full court presses. For one entire league season, I used it just to learn how to break a press and by the end of that season, we're were experts at breaking presses (which paid off in future leagues). Our record didn't reflect it, but the kids sure knew how to break a press.
  2. Not sure what age group we're talking here, but I'd offer out incentive for the next 3 games. Nothing too crazy, but if you can give out something to the two top flag pullers each game? I'd also come up with a number of flag pulls for all 3 games. Let's say you think they can get 15 per game, I'd say if they could get 60 cumulative flags pulls at the end of the 3rd game, the whole team gets a prize of some sort. Could go to a local pizza place and see if they'd be willing to give you a a few pizza's at a discount or something. Food for thought. Pun intended.
  3. Andy has some great points. What's that saying? "Offense wins games, but defense wins championships." As a side note, I used to coach against Andy and saw his team during the first few seasons. Very cool to see how far they've come. Not sure if this is allowed, but do you have any flexibility in subbing? As long as the kids are getting good playing time, I'd tend to shore up the weaknesses during certain crucial points of a series of downs.
  4. First Time Coach Here

    John - I'd also suggest checking out some of the "pinned" threads at the top of the forum. Some good discussions and suggestions for first-time coaches.
  5. What Will You Do New This Year?

    Forums tend to do that (slow down) for some reason over time. I ended up more in the basketball realm, but I still keep a hand in flag football, although I'm not actively coaching a team. One thing I introduced in the later years was using an audible on both offense and defense. Most of the time, the audibles didn't mean anything. In fact, we only had a few that were live and actually meant something. We'd played a lot of seasons together as a team and I could tell the kids needed something fresh to keep it interesting. Our kids got a kick out of being mini Peyton Mannings; it was equally fun to watch the other teams try and figure out what our audibles meant. Best of luck to you guys this season.
  6. Awesome Qb But A Bad Coach

    You already know this, but the QB role has a lot more facets than just being able to throw an accurate pass. Even though he's not a big fan of football (he's only 11, so that could easily change in the next few years), I'd let him know he has the potential to be a good QB and see if he's willing to work on a few things like footwork and agility drills. Do you have other potential QB's in the making? My best QB's were the ones that knew what to do on the field at any given moment. They were quick on their feet and could make decisions if things weren't going as planned. I honestly wasn't as concerned with the accuracy of their throws as much as their field smarts during a game. It has to be painful to watch this kid's accuracy and know that if you tweaked a few things, he could be really good. In the end, all you can do is offer to work with him on the side and keep encouraging. You could talk with his folks and tell them you see huge upside, you're just looking for some motivation from him. Keep in mind we're talking 11 yr olds and flag football. I know some folks take this stuff pretty seriously, but most of the kids just enjoy getting outside and playing with their friends.
  7. Passing Strategy For 7-9 Year Olds

    A lot will depend upon the skill sets of your players. I'm sure you'll find some that can catch a pass on the run and others who are still developing that skill. My advice is to make sure you breakdown teaching how to catch a pass to your players in a few progression drills. Passing in pairs about 8- 10 ft apart making sure they look the ball in their hands. Have a contest to see how many passes a team can make before someone messes up. Line up the kids and have the coaches throw passes to them. High, low, off to one side. Emphasize using the hands to catch and keeping their eyes on the ball. From there you can run basic short routes and progressively add a few longer ones. I've found that at the younger ages (again, depending upon your player's abilities) it's better to keep the routes short and basic. If your QB's can look one way, come back and throw the other, even if it's just looking a little bit the opposite way first, that usually works too. Catching on the run won't be as crucial in the beginning as I doubt you'll run across teams that have super tight M2M coverage. If you have a QB/wide receiver that seem to connect on longer passes, I'd definitely go for those once in a while, but the shorter passes will probably result in less dropped balls and more success all around.
  8. I think the reason most coaches go with a zone defense is to cover the potential weaknesses of individual players. I'm more in the camp of a 2-3 zone, using one of the 3 as a rusher. It gives you some flexibility as you can keep a stronger player in the middle to rush or roam. If you run into weaker teams, you could switch to a M2M. I recommend M2M when the opposing team is in the red zone.
  9. Amount Of Practice

    Most rec leagues promote the 1 hour practice per week as a selling point to parents. Tough on coaches, easier on the parents. I used to handle this by sneaking in practices earlier than the season start date. I made them non mandatory, but most everyone would show up. This helped us hit the ground running. 1) You could try throwing out the option of an additional "non mandatory" practice just to work on some fundamentals. I used to try and sneak in a few extra practices early in the season for the reason you're describing. 2) Pick your poison on defense. In other words, emphasize a few things and do them really well. Obviously flag pulling is huge. 3) Same with offense. You'll have to emphasize a few things and do them really well. We were big on executing good fakes. 4) Customize your strengths and weaknesses. I'm not saying hand the ball off to your hot shot every time, but design plays to take advantage of your players who can go long, throw long, or execute quick runs. Set up the more developing players by executing good fakes first to give them a chance to shine. On defense, make sure you have some more savvy players as your, LB's, DB's and safeties. If you have a kid who is pretty athletic, maybe they can be a roaming LB. It's tough to cover all the fundamental aspects if you're only practicing one day a week. Especially since you probably have different skill levels on your team. Developing a list of things you want them to do every time and then getting stoked when you see it happening. A possible list: 1) No bull fighting flag pulls where the defender looks like a matador with a cape. You want aggressive flag pullers squaring up and using both hands. 2) Run north and south. No sideways running. 3) Don't stop until you hear the whistle. 4) Good fakes. The person executing the fake shouldn't look back, they should act like they still have the ball and run down field. A few thoughts, hopefully these help. Remember you're hanging in a church rec league, so keep it fun. Maybe throw out some small rewards if your team can execute X amount of flag pulls in a game or X amount of good fakes.
  10. A Few More Rule Questions

    The way I understand it is of the fouls offset, the down is replayed from the original los. The second exception refers to a dead ball foul. If there's a dead ball foul and using your case above, the flag guarding would be penalized first, then the hold.
  11. Coaching Philosophy

    I had one kid that played for me from 1st - 4th grade that turned out to be a great LAX player. Basketball seemed to be the sport of choice, but that's probably because we specialized a few years ago and most of the kids I coached came along for that ride.
  12. Coaching Philosophy

    Same, mine are in 10th, with 2 in 9th. Basketball x 3 Tennis x 2 (+ 1 basketball) Soccer x 1 (+ basketball) Football x 1 Lost track of two who ended up at different schools. Crazy as most of the kids are 6'+. My son sprouted to 6'2". Big lesson not to judge kids too early in life based on their physicality or capabilities at that time.
  13. No Run Zone Play

    I think the IFAF rule is pretty clear then: ARTICLE 3. Forward Pass Play: A legal forward pass play is the interval between the snap and when a legal forward pass beyond the scrimmage line is completed or intercepted
  14. No Run Zone Play

    Have to check the rules under "Passing" to see what is considered a legal pass. Like horstada mentioned, I'm guessing a legal pass must be beyond the los.
  15. Weekly Team Captain

    Cool looking jerseys. I agree with Pat, wouldn't do it during the game, but I suspect the league wouldn't let you do it anyway. Pat brings up a good point about who gets to wear the jersey as the season goes on. If the criteria for wearing the shirt is "best effort" , you might only end up with a handful of qualified candidates each week. You will run into kids who just aren't going to qualify based on best effort or kids who've worn the shirt and should get it each week. It can get awkward. At the 5-6 yr old rec level, I'm not sure that's the time to teach the "life's not fair and not everyone gets to wear the shirt lesson", but some may disagree. If you go with a reward/award type system, I'd tend to go with a variety of weekly awards. Maybe getting two shirts and come up with different ways to win the honor of wearing them at practice. Some ideas: most improved, best sportsmanship, best flag puller, best hustler, best teammate with most high fives for other teammates, coolest socks, etc.. Each week you could pick two ways to win and go with that.
  16. Hello New Guy With Awards Question

    Depends upon the type of league you're running and your philosophy. I'm guessing this is a rec league with an emphasis on fun and getting plenty of touches for all the kids. The problem with standings and awards in a rec league is you can run into coaches trying to stack their team with the best players. You can also run into kids getting cheated of playing time or ball touches for the sake of a win. It depends on how you allow teams to be formed. Most kids want to play with their friends, so you'll have two teams that are strong and two that have newer players/coaches. I'm not in favor of everyone gets an award even in a rec setting like that. It's not real life. You can however, add some parity to the league by filtering how teams are formed and spreading out the talent or making sure teams get every player a solid ball touch each game. Something to reduce the change of a team rolling over everyone else because they run their two best kids all the time. I'd still give out 1st and 2nd place, but throw in a few other awards. Best sportsmanship, most improved player, best teammate, etc. Maybe those are certificates with a coupon from a local pizza place. If you have a few other chances for everyone to get an award, that helps. Everyone can exhibit good sportsmanship, improve, encourage their teammates. You could have the coaches turn in names before end of season. Good luck!
  17. 5 Simple Plays To Base An Offense Around?

    I'm more in the camp of coming up with 2-3 formations and building plays off of those, to keep it simple for your players. I've found that it's more about the execution of a play than the play itself. Teaching the players to execute good fakes or making sure your QB looks one direction before switching and throwing another direction type thing. FLOOD is a good pass play that usually works a few times per game. All the players line up right next to each other on one side of the ball. Everyone but the center runs slant routes across the field. The center takes a step back and runs the opposite way across the los. QB looks to the slants as if to pass to them, then dumps a short pass to the center coming across the opposite way. Worked well. Some of this depends on the skill level of your players and how much time you have to practice each week. I know this doesn't give you actual plays, but I think you could probably scan through the plays section, pick a few formations and build on those.
  18. Coaching Philosophy

    I'm actually planning a flag football reunion this summer at a local park. I'm in the same boat, all the kids I coached are in high school now too. Most of them stayed with me for the competitive basketball scene up through this past fall, so it should be easy to get a reunion going. Maybe I'll get the GoPro out and do a little POV from an old man's perspective. Stay tuned.
  19. Coaching Philosophy

    Snoop - Congrats on a great season! i'll tell Orange some of his advice went to good use the next time I talk with him. My take on rec vs. competitive has always been that if there are tryouts and kids are getting cut, all bets are off. The competitive world is a different animal than rec when we're talking tryouts. However, if you're taking the same kids and simply making a decision to move up to a competitive league, Schann has some wise advice on communication. I've found over the years that communicating clearly up front to the parents (and kids) helped reduce the stress levels down the road. Notice I said reduce, because you'll still have the potential for a few folks to question your coaching decisions once you're in the heat of competitive battle. Most competitive coaches I know quickly figure out that getting a nice lead and keeping it makes things a lot easier. How that plays out is where things can get a bit dicey. Some kids might not play as much as others. Some kids may get way more ball touches than others. Some parents are cool with things, some parents might not be as cool. Communication is a big factor in this one. I can tell you from experience that you can be competitive but still have fun and display good sportsmanship at all times**. It takes a little more effort, but it's well worth it in the end. Best of luck! **One example: Before the game starts, have your kids go shake the opposing coach's hand and wish him good luck.
  20. Developing Youth Qb

    Good points by both coaches above. I think it's extremely important in situations like these to find out what the kid wants to do. I've watched several scenarios go down with parents/coaches who see potential in a kid and push them in a certain direction they really didn't want to go. They invest money and time, then get disappointed when the kid isn't meeting their expectations. I think a kid has to really buy into whatever it is they are being told, especially when it comes to something that isn't mandatory (e.g. sports, hobbies). If the kid buys in and has a desire on their own to move forward, I've found those situations work out a lot better. Having said all that, if you know a local high school or college QB coach willing to hang out for a few sessions with this kid, it might spark something.
  21. Thoughts On Screening Not Blocking

    I think this ^ is the ticket, especially in an i9 rec type league. I ran into a few "rules" that we were following but sized up the situation and decided not to go forward with it. One example is going with a no huddle or hurry up offense when we played against weaker teams. I could tell the other team didn't have their act together, so we'd actually wait until the defense was in position. It didn't make sense to take advantage of situations like that even if it was within the "rules" to do so. Since It sounds like you were up by a pretty large margin throughout this game, I would've chilled when the other coaches started complaining. Even though it probably wouldn't have made a difference, I always wanted to keep my side of the street clean in those situations.
  22. Fake Handoffs

    Good feedback macvolcan. I'd add that the RB receiving the fake needs to sell the fake by almost doubling over and rolling their shoulder a bit away from the los to hide. What kills a fake is when the RB is slow like macvolcan talked about and they look back to watch the play. The RB needs to run like they have the ball. One thing that worked when we got a bit older was to have our QB (she was pretty darn savvy though) turn her head and watch the RB for a 1 count as her back was to the los. Sounds goofy, but it worked.
  23. 5V5 Unique Offensive Formations

    Couple of different options. IF I was going to hand off the first time, I cleared a way for my runner. If I was going to fake the hand off, I sent my receivers opposite of the player next to the center. The reason this usually worked is we played against 2-3 zones quite a bit. Most of the time they sent the middle of their 3 as a rusher leaving the other two DB's to defend against pass plays. The run, then the fake a few plays later usually would get the DB shifting just enough to allow my receiver to get behind them. See the attach. Hope it makes sense. The FLOOD play was already on that sheet so I left it.
  24. 5V5 Unique Offensive Formations

    I used a formation with someone next to the center. In your example on the right, my halfback would be on the same side as the receiver who is next to the C. I actually moved them a bit over in more of a slot position further out. Send the receiver next to the C on a route that goes behind the DB on that side. Run an end around with your slot the first time and watch to see if the DB even pays attention to your receiver. If he doesn't, run another play, then go back to this one again. However, this time fake the end around to the slot and look for your receiver who should be wide open behind the DB. It works well as the QB is already on the same side as the receiver.
  25. 4V4 Indoor, On 25 Yard Field

    It's sounds like you'll definitely be dealing with M2M plays to me. I'm assuming there's a rush allowed after so many seconds? Here's a site that might get you started: http://www.4on4flagfootballplays.com/
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