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WillLennon

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About WillLennon

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  • Location
    Snohomish WA
  • Interests
    Coaching Flag Football
  1. Thoughts On Screening Not Blocking

    Well, we just finished up the fourth game and the boys have not been blocking or screening much if at all. Maybe it was just a coincidence on that particular game. I never did talk to the league director, so I do not have any feedback from him to offer. The season continues to roll along for us. We are 4-0 and the games are not close. We have outscored the opponents by about 170 – 35. I am very fortunate to have 4 really good athletes on the team and only 1 that has very little athletic ability or drive. Everyone else is somewhere inbetween and has flashes of brilliance. Our defense is scoring almost as much as the offense, averaging over 2 pick sixes a game. We play a very discipline zone. I typically play a more conservative second half but it has not changed the outcome of the games. We have a lot of fun and my boys are really good sports. Just thought I would update, as I started the thread. Thanks Coach Will
  2. Thoughts On Screening Not Blocking

    Hollad, Thanks for the input. I understand what you are saying. It has never been called against me, but I think at this age (8 & 9) they are just starting to get it. So it has not been something my boys have really done before. It was done against us a few time last year, which is where my boys got the idea. When it happened to me I reviewed the rule book to make sure it was OK. To be honest it is/was not part of what I coached. They boys picked it up in previous games and as it did not violate the rules and they were not malicious about it, I allowed them to continue with it. Although we are not violating the rules, as written, I do not want to violate the spirit or intent of the rules. I will discuss with the league director about it. Thanks again for the input. Will
  3. Thoughts On Screening Not Blocking

    Patandsu, I know i9 is a national league, but our local i9 rules do not state "the offense players who are moving can't impede the defense in any way from pulling the flags". the only mention of blocking is in the penalty section. There it only mentions blocking as a penalty, no definition. I do not feel like I violated the rules, as there is a not rule in regards to this in our book. I agree with you MAC, in that "to mention the benefits of team work and wanting to help your team mate succeed". Plus the benefit of preparing them for tackle. In this particular game, we won easily. 51-6. I was not trying to pile on. Once we were ahead, I was way more conservative on both O and D. That only slowed us down a little bit. I have coached for 9 seasons and 5 of my 8 boys have been with me for several seasons. As this was our first game of the season, we as an experienced team, were way more prepared than the other team (new coaches and new team). On the two or three long runs for TDs, I had boys running with the ball carrier, they do it automatically now. The other coaches were complaining to the ref that they were blocking. The boys were not, they were just running beside them. I believe in part, because they were excited and secondly they wanted to help their teammate score. The ref did not see it as a penalty. I feel fine with what my boys did. They were not actively blocking, they were supporting their teammates, and not breaking our rules. I am just trying to start a discussion about it, to see what the members of the forum thought. Thanks Coach Will
  4. The boys (8-9 yr olds) on my team have played together for a few years now and are all good friends. They play football together at recess, with me during the seaons and any other chance they get. They are always together playing ball. They love to screen for one another during games. So typically if one of them breaks through the defense, he will have one or two other players running with him the whole way to the end zone. I like it when I see it. It shows me that they understand what I have taught them and that they want to help their teammate score even after they have completed their initial assignment. In i9 rules, blocking is not allowed. As my kids never put their hands or arms out to push, I do not consider what they are doing as blocking. The ref this weekend agreed. However, the coaches on the other team had a real problem with it. What are you thoughts on this? Thanks Coach Will
  5. Flag Pulling

    I had 6-8 year olds. I offered a Starburst for every flag pulled. At the end of the game the kids did not even care about the score. They just wanted their Starburst. Pulls went way up. Will
  6. Kyle, I print the plays off and I am allowed in the huddle. I show the plays, confirm everyones responsibilities and we are off. Our league is OK with coach on the field. I am sure that will change as I move up with my son. I intially used small colored rubber bands. I rotated players through colors throughout the games. Some kids really got it, others were lost, but they got it eventually. I usually had the kids that really got it play QB, but everyone got carries. I had my son explain our system to the other kids. I figured if he could do that, we could run it. He did great. Will
  7. The boys are getting the concept of the fake and importance of selling it. I get all fired up when they run a good fake and get their flag pulled when they do not have the ball. I make a point of recognizing those type of things. I like the idea of motion, but would confuse some of the boys. The i9 format is a little frustrating. Practice one hour, game one hour all on the same day. For 6-7 y/os, two hours of physical activity and staying focused it tough. We are 0-2, our offense is moving the ball well, but my defense is non existent. My fault as I have worked much more on offense. Unfortunately I do not have an assistant coach, so to do simultaneous offense and defense drills are difficult. I have 10 boys on the team, most of the parents llike to watch, but not so much help with coaching. Again , I could probably work harder to get them out there. With all of that being said, both the boys and I are having a lot of fun, and they leave the field with a smile on their face and wanting more. Thanks for the input. Coach Will
  8. As the title says 5v5, K-1 (6-8), i9 rules. This is my 3rd season coaching. First practice and game this Sunday. After I go over expectations for the year, fun, work hard, be a good sport , I will start with some drills. Handoffs will be big. Last year I realized that a good fake hand off would leave the defense chasing the first one through or completely confused. So my plan this year is to work a lot of misdirections. Attached is the first weeks playbook. One formation, with 4 runs and 3 passes. If I flip them to opposite sides I can double the plays but I want to start simple this year. I had too many formations and plays last year for kids this age. Well here is the playbook. Mind you I have not even met the team yet. I ran a few of the plays with son and a couple of neighborhood kids and they worked well. Let me know what you think. Thanks Coach Will 1stweek.ppt
  9. Had our coaches meeting today and were told that there was a new rule instituted. Each player is limited to 4 carries (runs) per game. This does not include passes. It is my responsibility to track the other teams carries and the opposing coach to track mine. The intent is to prevent the coach from relying on one player (his "horse") too much. I am coaching K-1, 5v5. Does anyone have any experience with this? Thoughts? Thanks Coach Will
  10. I coach 6-8yo 5v5 i9 rules. I have 9 boys on the team. I have six that "get it", two that are a little immature and one that I have to pick up and put in place and remind him of everthing. They are all good kids, just different levels of maturity and competiveness. I am struggling a bit with two issues. 1. A good sub plan. My wife was at the game yesterday and told me she thought I did not sub enough. I would let the 5 on the field complete the offensive series before subbing the next group for defense. Then alternate so that all kids played both ways. I did not have a solid plan for this, just did it as I went along. Does anyone have a good rotation plan or recommended numbers of plays to sub. It seems that to sub every play would kill any momentum you might establish. 2. We had the ball for the last drive and were down by 6. I had just rotated new players on the field. As it turns out this rotation sent some of my better players to the sidleines. I struggled after the first play on whether to bring in my better players and go for the win. As a former Marine Infantry Officer, I am extremely competitive, winning and losing have a higher meaning in combat. But I am extremely concious of this and have set the tone with my players with three priorities - 1. Have Fun, 2. Try your best 3. Be a good teammate. I have seen other coaches in our league that are pretty strict and seem to have a win first mentality. As these are 6-8 y/o I believe fun and a positive experience is more important. I did not bring the better players back in. We drove down the field and came up short of the end zone and lost. Although we lost, the kids had fun and did not dwell on the loss for nearly as long as I did. Any input, advice or comments are welcomed. Thanks Coach Will
  11. First Game 5 V5 6-8 Y/o

    Like the title says, 5 v 5 6-8 y/o, i9 rules. We had our 1st game yesterday and things went extremely well, mostly because of all of the tips and info I found here on this forum. So to start with thank you. Last weeks scrimmage was a mess, so I found this site and got to reading. A few things I found were extremely helpful. I put my playbook in PowerPoint and color coded the positions - 5 colors red, blue, black, red, and yellow (I think I might change yellow as it was tough to see in the sun against white paper). Then I gave each kid a wrist band with one of those colors. I had plays for each color. I had 9 players, so I had just about two squads. To start with, I had my son, the youngest on the team (6 years old), explain how we were going to run the plays. He and I had gone over it a few times over the weekend. He did a great job and most of the kids got it right away. In the huddle I showed the players the play, pointed out each position and then the color on their wrist. For those that were a little slow I had them tell me what they were going to do. Again they picked up on it pretty quick. For rotations, squad "A" started on Offense, then squad "B" played D. Next series squad "B" played O and "A" played D, and I continued this rotation throughout the game. At half time, all of the players switched wrist bands with one of different color, so they could experience other positions. The other team played a man D, which was a mistake, as I ran a couple of misdirection plays with great success. For D, we went with a 3-2 zone, with three on the line and two LBs/Safties. We blitzed on the first couple of series, but soon stopped because we got ahead pretty quick and did not want to run up the score. We talked alot about responsibility and that they were responsible for a space not another player. The one touchdown the other team scored, one of my outside lineman bit in on fake, and they ran around outside of him. He came right up to me and said "I should of stayed in my space". I patted him on the back and told him good job for recognizing and I know he will do better next time. Nothing else got around him. We scored 2 defensive TDs on interceptions (again they stayed home) and 4 or 5 TDs on offense (it happened fast and I forgot to have a parent keep stats). I was really proud of them, they got in the habit of giving high-fives for players that made the play, and the did a really good job of keeping quiet in the huddle. The drills I ran prior really reinforced a few areas that we had issues with last week. We did a leap frog with snapping the ball. During the game we only dropped one snap. We ran the swarm drill as well, and I had multiple players in on each pull. One thing I failed to practice were pass routes. I only have two right now, an 5 yard out pattern (center drag) and a 5 yard button hook. Most of my players took off 10 or more yard with no real route on pass plays. We dialed it in a little better second half but, we need work on pass routes. Any advice or input is welcomed. If you have a question fire away. Thanks again to all of the contributors on the site. Coach Will GO BULLDOGS!
  12. New Coach Intro

    I coach 6-8 yo 5 v 5 in an i9 League. This is my first year as a head coach, last year (4 & 5 yo) I was an assistant. Last year there was little structure to the practice or games, although the kids had fun. This year I wanted more structure and to develop skills in my players. We had our first practice and game last week. The practice went well, we did a few drills and I installed three basic plays out of the same formation. Defensive game plan was non existent. Kids did great in practice, but seemed to forget everything in the game. We lost 0-7 and only generated one sustained long drive (5-6 plays). One of the challenges I find with the I9 format is you only have a one hour practice a week and that is right before a game. After practice a lot of the younger kids are tired and have a tough time staying focued. It works well for my scheudule, but I am not sure it is best for kids this age. I cannot change it, so I started looking around the webn for advice and found this site yesterday and have found more info than I could ever retain. I found a lot of great info on drills, keeping kids engaged, playbooks, etc. Thanks to all of the contributors, I have refocused my efforts for the upcoming week. Go Bulldogs! Will Lennon
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