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Alex's Coach

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About Alex's Coach

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  1. I have coached 5-8 league the past two years and we ran 99 % of the time because kids that age are very poor passers and even if you did have someone who could throw, they can't catch. The key to kids that age (and to youth flag in general) is misdirection. Most of the time they can not see the reverses and misdirections develop like we can. So they just run, run, run after the ball and when it goes the other way, oops there it goes. So what I feel you need to work on is handoffs at full speed. That way everykid knows how to hand it off and to recieve it. So you can run the reverses. We have two lines and they just run back and forth, in a sort of relay race, handing the ball off. On defense, you shoud try your best to show the kids what those reverses are going to look like. Like I said, we (and I mean the whole league) rarely passed the ball, so we did not worry about pass defense. Never even mentioned zone, man to man, etc. If they did have a guy who could pass and one who could catch, I just told one of the corners to watch him. That guy was also their best runner, so if he lined up as a wide reciever, well it was kind of obvious what was coming. Since there was very little passing we essentially lined up in a 4 or 5 man front with one or two safeties/linebackers. The only thing I stressed was that the two outside defensive players had to keep containment. They were slow to react and that also helped them recognize a pass. Does your league allow the offense to screen block on the runs? If so, you need to let the kids get a taste of that before game time. Let them learn how to run around the blocks to get to the flags. Other than that, learn pull flags. One more thing. With 4, 5, and 6 year olds, you will spend most your time trying to keep their attention. The goal is for them to enjoy the game and want to keep playing. I would put in about 3 run plays each way (total of 6 plays) and then just spend most of the practice letting them scrimmage using those plays. That way it is fun for them and you wont go crazy. Trust me it is like herding cats at that age.
  2. Great, I look forward to seeing the types of plays you run. Thanks
  3. Hi guys, I have enjoyed reading all of your posts. I have coached my sons 5-8 year old flag league the past 2 years (this is my third) and have had various degrees of success. Mostly it depended on the athletes on my team. But this year, my core group of kids are all 8 and I have one or two who can throw and a couple who can catch on the run, so I am excited about putting in a good offense based upon the pass. Orange and Coach Rob, I would love to get a copy of your playbook. I will email both of you and just send what you will. Thanks. The other comment I had was on the positive focus on sportsmanship from this board. The leagues (both football and baseball) in which I have coached the past few years have been far too concentrated on winning rather than having fun. I will admit that I sank to their level. The first year I coached flag, I would go home at night and have to walk around the neighborhood just to calm down from the game. Eventhough we won every game, I could not help but dwell on "what can I do better?" Needless to say very few kids touched the ball. However, this spring my attitude changed. I could talk the talk ("this is just little league, so we are just out here to have fun") but could not walk the walk ("COME ON ALEX, GET IN FRONT OF THAT GROUND BALL"). Then out of the blue, my secretary gave me Cal Ripken Jr's book, "Parenting Young Athletes the Ripken Way". What an eye opener. I would suggest that it be required reading for all parents of athletes. After the first 45 pages I was able to walk the walk. We had a great baseball season, where everyone played every position and the kids loved me for it. I got the greatest joy out of making baseball fun for those kids who lacked the ability to be the superstar and most likely always played outfield. Now, I did have a few arguments with my asst. coaches when we were up or down by a run and I pulled all the good kids to the outfield and moved all the poor athletes to the infield. But it never hurt us, we always held on to win. I am glad to see that same attitude here. I look forward to carrying over that attitude to flag this year and I appreciate the suggestions on keeping track of the touches. I will let you know how it goes. Once again, I am glad I found this board and appreciate all of your comments so far.
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