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About macvolcan

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  1. Looking for what you have your players communicate while on defense between each other when running a zone defense. Obviously there is: "pass pass pass" on pass plays "run run run" on running plays "ball ball ball" when its a pass play and the ball is in there air. (I personally prefer saying it 3 times quick vs an elongated "pppaaaaaaaaaass") Perhaps they even yell out "reverse" when there is a reverse (although this is probably coming from the coaches). Do you have kids yell out anything when offensive players have traveled through their zone and they aren't following them? (seems valuable from re-enforcing what you want that player to do more so than the other player hearing that someone is passing into their zone). Anything else you use to help your defenses communicate?
  2. I personally use a wrist-coach for every player (I personally use the X100 colored wristbands, and each position is taught as a color instead of the position name ie: QB=Purple) that has a look up sheet from A-Z and 2 or 4 columns of colors. (so either 52 or 104 combinations depending on which I am going with, which really is way more than I need) that compartmentalizes each assignment. Last page of the 3 page wristband I have a compartmentalized diagram of what their assignment is (route number and run plays they have for their position). I just yell in the combination, on the 2 column sheets (for younger teams) I have an alphabet of superhero characters and 2 colors, I just yell out the name and color IE: "Batman Blue". For the 4 column sheet I have just the letters and kids know just to go off of first letter, IE: Apple Blue and Alligator Blue are the same play. I mainly do this for a couple reasons: 1. I have very limited actual practice time with kids before games start. 2. I like to be able to move them around for the experience. 3. in practices I have them run no huddle to maximize the number of reps they get, and I really prefer to not have the defense know what the play is coming. 4. I am always trying to tinker and I can do this without having the kids relearn the playbook, I can just adjust a couple assignments or where I want a couple kids to line up. It works great for my purposes, but I also find its a lot of upkeep, given a couple practices my defense starts to memorize some of the call sheet or they start trying to guess my plays and I end up needing to change it up or I see them start cheating on their assignments. Disadvantages though are like Whiskey mentioned it is a bit of a crutch as kids become very dependent on it, it is a lot of upkeep, and if you mess something up on the playsheet before a game you are kind of stuck with it, not to mention if you don't laminate the sheets prior to putting them in the wristband you get some of the ink rub off on the plastic and is a pain to clean. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- f you don't want to go that route, a Singular wristband is a nice option and put it on the QB, have them quickly huddle and you yell in the number of play, QB finds play and rattles off assignments, label your run plays something fun or have kids name them and they will remember them better. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- If you don't like the wristband route I think you go with a more traditional route of rotating players in with the play while simplifying the verbiage, cutting significantly down the fat on the playbook and increase the memorization. Hope that helps and good luck.
  3. I'm not sure that telling you "build your offense around these 5 plays" is going to help you, its really going to come down to your own personal style and the kids that you have on your team. Some of the material I have read recommends boiling what you do down to its simplest form, or 1 play, or one thing that you intend to do really well, then putting the building blocks around that to compliment it. In Tackle football this is often broken down to: The Power, Zone run, Read Option, jet sweep, or something similar, or it could be just a fundamental belief of Speed, spreading teams out/getting ball to fast guys in space, or we are just going to out power you. I personally start my offense with: How will I get everyone the ball? For me, my smartest kid (and hopefully one of my better athletes) is typically my QB (he touches the ball every play, and in my league he is allowed to run so really don't want him devoid of athleticism), often my best Athlete (if its not the QB) lines up at essentially a TE slot as almost any route he runs will start closer to the QB (so the QB can get it to him easier), and on handoff plays it hits very fast and gets one of my faster athletes to the edge, My play that goes off this is a counter that after the QB fakes a handoff to TE he then hands off to running back going in the opposite direction (even on handoffs to the TE the QB then does a fake to the RB so the defense gets used to seeing the QB doing that). So to get your first play consider the following: You say you plan to build primarily on the run game, have you given thoughts to where you will put your best athlete? Think about how your opponents are likely to line up against you, what is a play that you feel pretty confident going against most defenses that is built on solid fundamentals of the game, particularly a play that works well with the type of kid you plan to put in this position. For your Second play, consider how if you were on the defensive side of the ball, what would you do to stop play number 1. Lets say you have a TE around or a Jet Sweep as your first play, because of how quick of a hitting that play is, defensive players may vastly over compensate on the handoff motion, that a counter to the other side would be very difficult to stop. For the entire team both of these plays look identical, only difference is who gets the ball. I would keep adding the other plays in this manner of thinking who you want to get the ball to and the areas of the field you want to attack. If defense spreads out and leave middle open you want to be able to take advantage of that, if defense condenses you want to be able to attack on the perimeter, etc. As far as your passing plays go, sounds like you know you don't want to pass that frequently, have you given thoughts to the actual frequency? 10%, 20%? If you are going to only pass 20% of the time, i would structure your practices in the same manner (that you aren't practicing passing more than 20%) and that for every pass play, you have 4 running plays. _________________________________ For me personally when planning out the offense i tend to try to compartmentalize the plays as much as possible. If I point to "billy" and say block, then point at "johnny" and say Spiderman, all billy is worried about is blocking the closest guy, while Johnny knows he executes the one play that he gets the ball. On next play perhaps I tell Billy "Flash", and Johnny "block", In this manner my plays are bottlenecked by the QB, which tends to be the smartest player on the team (or atleast the one that will practice the plays at home). ----------------------------------------------------- I hope this makes sense and helps. Sorry not more specific but I feel what you need isn't "here is 5 plays run them", but rather a methodology of how to narrow your already existing system/playbook down to 5 starter plays. As a side note, I completely disagree that "handoffs are simple" at this age and strongly agree with cazador suerte around exchanges, getting kids to remove false steps and taking the handoff w/o hesitation and at full speed is something I spend a LOT of my practice time on all year long and even by the end of the year I still don't feel it's as crisp as I want ideally (granted I work with pretty limited practice time). Also a "simple handoff" right up the middle can often get some huge yardage against the right defense w/ the right runner, forces the defense to adjust which helps open up passes and runs to the outside, and it can also be a good play to help spread the ball to some of the kids not quite as quick, while still lulling the defense to sleep for the next big play.
  4. Beginning preparations for this years upcoming season. Kids will be 5th grade this year (bound to have some new kids as some have moved up to tackle). My biggest goal for this year is to try to really simplify passing game down for the QB to make it easier for progressions. There are 6 eligible receivers in 7 on 7. so I have elected to break the reads into 1/2 field reads. The receivers consumption of the play will not change, they will still get the number of route that they are to run, the QB will instead digest the information as 'concepts'. I have broken it into 5 passing concepts that I plan to install this season (1x at a time until I feel they have it, may not get to all of them but gives me a good foundation), in addition I can call 1 read passing plays (QB reads 1 guy and if not open takes off running). I will deliver the play to the QB simply as "Pass-Concept for left side/Concept for Right side" or IE: Pass- Slants/Smash, to keep it as simple as I can there will be a reference on his wristband that covers what each concept is, he will choose at the line of scrimmage which side he will go with (for now I am not including any additional logic other than to visualize the routes against the defense and go with what they have more confidence in. 3 step drop they look at first read, if not open, move to read 2, if not open read 3, if thats not open take off running. Feet should tell when they are going to next read (or atleast that is the goal). Concepts I decided on (and their names): Smash - Outside receiver runs a "0" (smoke), TE/Slot receiver runs a "6" (corner route), receiver in middle (RB/Center) runs a "9" (go). Slants- Outside and inside receiver run a "3" (slant route) RB or center runs to the flat. Follow- Outside receiver runs a "5" (IN/Dig route) slot/te runs a "1" (drag), RB/center runs to the flat Scissors- Outside receiver runs a "7"(post), slot/TE runs a "6" (flag route), RB/center runs to flat. Verticals- outside receiver runs a "9" (go), slot/TE runs a "9" (go), RB/Center runs to flat. The goal of all of these is to create a Horizontal/Vertical stretch to stress any zone that we might be playing, while still having the flexibility that if they are playing man coverage we have a good opportunity to beat our man and complete the pass. In theory at least these reads are similar enough that I should be able to get it programmed into young 10/11 year old minds, while still staying relevant enough that it translates if they decide to take it to the next level (tackle). Attachedfootball plays.pdf is a copy of what QB would have reference material wise on their wristband (stripped down to the passing plays). Any feedback/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  5. For the teams that I coach, the QB is by far the toughest position as they have the largest amount they have to remember, and I limit that spot to only a couple of kids (1 plays one half, one plays the other half, and another one as an alternate that steps in if one of the first two aren't there), aside from that I tend to base it off of the kid. Most of the kids I felt fine limiting them to two positions on offense and two positions on defense, there are some kids that really get out of their comfort zone and I limit them to just one position, and there are other kids that will take a copy of the playbook home and work on it w/ mom and dad, and for those kids I tend to move them around a bit more to keep them challenged. That being said I have an approach similar to 'cazador suerte' in that I set up the plays to spread the ball around and therefor don't need to move the kids around to get them the ball. As far as whether or not you should be in the huddle, I think if your league allows it and its the norm for other coaches to be in there, I would go ahead and continue calling your plays from the huddle, it allows for more coaching opportunities and for you to constantly give feedback in real time (encouragement, on the spot corrections, and re-enforcement on what their assignment is). I also think if call plays from the sideline and do not go a wristband route, you will find yourself shrinking your playbook in half atleast, with those concerns aside 4th grade is the age group I would consider doing it and not any earlier.
  6. I think a lot of it is going to come down to how much time you have with the boy. If you only have a few minutes with him, giving him a bit of advice/direction probably will have little to no affect. If one were to have a lot more time to work with him, emphasizing why it is important for him to learn how to take a snap, perform a dropback and utilize his feet to tell him when to go to the next read. He has to understand the benefit of learning the mechanics or else he won't spend the countless hours to build it into his muscle memory. He will have to begin to learn timing of throws to different routes in the tree, as well as begin to introduce a few passing 'concepts' (such as: smash, sail, levels, slant/arrow, curl/flat, etc). I think the most important thing though for him at this age whatever you do is try to keep the game fun, he will need to put work in to get to progress properly, but you don't want to put much pressure or overwhelm him too much with critiquing of his throwing motion or game all together. If the game isn't fun he very well may burnout and quit before he ever even begins to touch on his potential. One resource I keep finding myself going with developing QB's is: video of Jim Harbaugh's coaching clinic from when he was younger, he touches on a ton of things about mechanics, on what really hammer on (making sure the arm doesn't fall below the shoulder) while still understanding that not every successful QB is going to throw the same way (and thus be careful to not over-coach the throwing motion).If he is primarily working out with himself and has little mentorship in his solo practices, you will have to just emphasize on the 'why' he must work on the things he is weak at, and what it will do for him (throwing with his body will allow him to throw farther and more accurate than just using his arm, utilizing his feet will help him know when he is supposed to move from 1st read to 2nd read, etc), then hope he actually spends time working on it.
  7. If the referees are all agreeing that you aren't violating the rules I don't see an issue, if you are concerned about the rules I recommend you reach out to whoever is the commissioner of the league for a rules confirmation. But one of the biggest reasons for coaching flag football is to give kids the skill set and confidence if they decide to move on to tackle football. While you cannot teach "blocking", what you are teaching them translates very well when they move up to tackle (finding someone to block, don't stop until the whistle blows), not to mention the benefits of team work and wanting to help your team mate succeed.
  8. The one thing I would be a bit worried about and might casually mention to the refs is him disrupting the snap count. Most leagues have rules against that sort of thing (or perhaps I mis-interpreted what you said). As Charlie above mentions, your best bet is to tell your players to tune him out like he isn't there and just focus on what they are supposed to do.
  9. Biggest things for me are: 1. Make the handoffs/fake handoff exchange, as fast as possible, always need to work on making the action quicker, try to remove any false steps in the QB's action on the handoff. You don't want to give defenses any extra time to react, and the faster the action the more the mind inserts what they want to see (that the ball is in the runners hands). If the runner takes the handoff at half speed, or doesn't look like he is trying to protect the ball, no one will believe he has it. The mesh point needs to be legit, if on handoffs the runner is getting lazy and stopping at the meshpoint on real handoffs to try to keep space to run laterally (bad habit that I see some of my faster kids start doing) it will kill your fake handoffs. 2. You want the fake and the real handoff to look as similar as possible to the fake action, In my league the QB is allowed to run, so every handoff I have him perform some sort of bootleg or other running action (atleast 4-5 steps) pretending that he still has the ball (that corresponds to another play where everyone does exactly the same action except QB keeps the ball). I want defenses to be used to seeing the QB run down their backside after a handoff, so that when I do a fake handoff my guy is past them before they realized they pulled the wrong guy's flag. If your QB can't run, think about what you would have him do on a fake, and make have him do that on the real handoff as well, whether that's pretending to do another handoff, getting set to throw.
  10. 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. Curious if you have any problem with the QB scrambling to his left and making that throw or is this kind of a shovel pass? (mute point if QB is left handed)
  11. I think Coach Rob covered this pretty good, but couple things to add: "How Many Plays do I plan on running?" As Coach Rob mentioned, keep it simple on players, I would go as far as only have 1 formation at this age group (personal preference, easier to focus on little things if they only have to remember 1 place to line up) and very few plays for them individually. Compartmentalize the assignments so they only have to worry about doing their piece, and I wouldn't give each kid more than 3-4 different assignments to memorize. If you are allowed to be in huddle make sure you have a visual reinforcement of what you want them to do (preferably color coded). "What should I spend the most amount of time on in Practice?" Fundamentals/execution (as mentioned above). Keep each drill short, with as little of standing in line and verbal instruction as possible. The more they are moving the more they are learning at that age. Have multiple drills ready, if it isn't working be flexible and move to next drill. "Organized Chaos". If it all possible get help so you can keep groups small and wait time between reps at a minimum. If they are standing in line you will lose them. "Favorite Drill for this age group?" Sharks and Minnows, Tag, scrimmage, pretty much any drill that they can learn something while having fun as you will keep them doing something positive and not thinking about something more exciting than your practice. "Biggest Issue to Plan for?" Attention span of less than 3 seconds and spreading the ball around.
  12. I do use a coaching call sheet of sorts, more of my own creation at the moment. At the moment my thoughts are that I really don't need a different play for 1st and 10, 2nd and 6, 3rd and 2. Realistically any play in playbook has potential to get atleast 5 yards. I do have some plays set aside that I feel have higher potential to pull me out of a 3rd and forever. For me the situational gameplan given the length of the games we play and my goals of the game, are going to make things more complex for myself than they really need to be. That being said I try to think about the various plays I have in my playbook, what do I want to attack with each one? What are the strengths and limitations of each one? As a coach I find myself constantly at odds with how complex my playbook should be, as I don't want to sacrifice tools that I might need, and I also don't want to sacrifice execution of a play and try to do too much. So when installing the playbook that I intend to use, I try to put the plays in that I feel will best match the talent level I have (modify them as needed), but ensuring I have the main tools I feel that I will need given the defenses I expect to play and the likely adjustments/overadjustments/ and mistakes I anticipate the defense to make. To kind of walk though what I do, I have a list of 10-15 plays for each half that are planned around the kids I plan to have on the field. Out of those first 10 plays I have written in 7 plays (1x for each player) and 3 other plays that I want to run, put in an order that I will hopefully attacking defense, as well as seeing how they are responding to some of my different looks. So Play 1. I go in and already know what I am going to run. If it is successful and we have a good positive play, (or even if we don't) I tend to go to the second play, unless I see something unbalanced or unsound about the defense, in which case I jump over to my packaged group for what I want to attack. If things just flat out don't work on first or second play and its 3rd and forever, then unfortunately have to try to jump to one of my plays that I have a high confidence in both the player and play to potentially get big yards and get offense moving again. If things are working and I have no compelling reason to jump around, I have on some games just ran through my script in order, when things are working playcalling is easy, its when the team is asleep at the wheel that playcalling becomes much more challenging. My reasoning behind doing this is a variety of reasons: 1. I put a lot of thought between games on how I want to attack the defense and how to try to get each player the ball, I trust my judgement of the time that I spent working on it in which I am not rushed and can plan it better than I do for my judgement of just grabbing first play that comes to my head. 2. I really want to put all the kids in the best chance to succeed as well as give them as many opportunities as I can. I feel by trying to get the play in faster, we can get lined up faster and at the end of the game that might amount to more offensive plays that we get to execute as the game goes on, also delay of game penalties are real drive killers and 99% on the coaching to prevent. 3. It is much more relaxing to call a game when you already know what you have a play ready, often times things come up on the sidelines to distract you, or you want to re-enforce a behavior or correct a behavior that you saw moments ago in the game to a player. Your mileage may vary, ultimately do what makes sense to you, if it isn't working don't be afraid to change things up.
  13. Also to add: I experimented some, with some good success, of having a few different groupings of 5-6 plays to exploit certain looks I was getting from the defense, sometimes can't anticipate everything but I had a list pregame of: 1. What I wanted to do if they were playing man to man, 2. What I wanted to do if they crowded the middle. 3. What I wanted to do if they didn't adjust to a trips formation (we play 7 on 7). 4. What I wanted to do if they spread out to match up with our alignment. + some other things I could think of. The point is that I could get the next play in quickly as I already had the next play ready to go.
  14. What I like to do is similar to Coach Rob in that I like to plan to try to get all my players atleast a touch. I have a tendency to call my initial plays in a way that probe the defense and are giving some of my players that are not world beaters a chance to make a play. I gameplan ahead of time the order in which I HOPE to have the game go. I also have a list of plays that I feel very comfortable about that I look to choose from in situations in which I need a play to keep the offense going. At 9-10 years old I am perfectly fine showing them the real play then showing the defense the fake version on the next play, although I usually only like to do that when I either A. See defense is overcommitting one way, B. Defense is fundamentally playing unsound and/or not adjusting to my different formation looks, or C. We have had some good success on the "regular" version of the play, if defense sees you are having success at a given play they want to "shut it down" and usually opens the alternative options (fakes) up a lot more. When things are working, playcalling is simple, I just run through my script (in our league a whole game ends up being around 25 total offensive plays or less) or focus on who hasn't gotten the ball yet. If things are not working for whatever reason I start trying to get the offense going with some plays I feel we can execute well to start getting some kind of rythm to the offense.
  15. For QB mechanics, I have been a big fan of this one: Jim Harbaugh doing a coach clinic when he was younger, covers a lot on what to coach and not over coach on throwing motion. This one isn't probably one you can expect the kids to watch and absorb like the ones you put up there, but really good for coaches to watch.
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