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Coaching Youth Fooball - Football Plays

jephil0

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jephil0 last won the day on August 20 2015

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About jephil0

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    Male
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    Frankfort, KY
  • Interests
    soccer, basketball, baseball, flag football
  1. Hacked Off!?!?

    Great insights, Rob! Thanks for all the work you've put into this forum! Jonathan
  2. It was a ton of fun! After our last game this Saturday, we met up at a local pizza place and I handed out little prize bags, trophies (provided by the YMCA), and framed awards that I had made up for the kids. Examples of the awards were, The Sticky Hands Award, Airmail Award, (these two went to my two players that completed a pass this season), Gentle Giant Award for the kid with the best overall attitude, Ninja Award "Silent But Deadly" for my girl player who never spoke the entire season, etc. I made a speech about each kid. The "Problem Player" was actually really difficult to find an award for, but the "Lazy Player" had turned himself around, so I gave him the Most Improved Effort Award, which I prefaced by saying that I thought was my favorite and maybe the most important award of all. Their faces were great. As far as our last game--we did lose to the Colts. However, we scored on them four times. I lost track of the final score, but I think it was in the neigbhorhood of 40 to 30. Of note, the Falcons, who the Colts ended up playing in the championship game, could not score against them at all. In short, I am very proud of my team and what they accomplished this season, especially given that they had a complete novice (in terms of football) for a coach, and 6 of my 9 players had never played football before. We ended ranked second in our league, which I think is pretty fantastic! Finally, I want to thank you guys, Macvolcan and Rob, for all your advice and words of encouragement this season. You really helped me out a ton, and I definitely appreciate it! Jonathan
  3. We had our last practice yesterday. We worked almost exclusively on defense, although we did do some passing practice where I had my "problem player" just throw it how he throws it, and had the other players run out to where his range was and try to catch it. I don't know that we will do that for sure in the game, but we need some kind of surprise passing option if we're going to beat the Colts (our first game in the tournament). For this last practice, we just decided to be laid back and have as much fun as we could. As a surprise for the kids, my assistant coach and I both brought a cooler filled with water balloons. At the end of the practice, we moved off the field, told them "this last drill is the most important one we've ever done...," and then picked teams. Their faces when we opened the coolers and they saw the balloons was about the greatest thing I have ever seen! Long story short, we had fun! Jonathan
  4. Thanks. I basically handle it just like you do--he starts up, he gets to run to the tree and back. I generally don't like doing that kind of thing as a punishment, but the truth is, he gets about two tries, and then I just can't spend any more time on him. Sending him to the tree gets him out of the way as far as being disruptive for the other kids. As far as my other posts seeming more optimistic--OTHER than the problem player, the others (including the "lazy" player) have really been doing well. And the problem player missed a game and a practice, so he was kind of out of sight out of mind. We lost our game last night (as expected), but held them to two touchdowns, so I'm okay with it, although my team put in a VERY lackluster performance. Hopefully they show up to play on Saturday (tournament game, where we have to play the same team again). It's frustrating, because we *could* win. The kids are plenty good enough. We'll see what happens on Saturday! J. p.s. If I can give you guys some advice, and I'm sure you already know this--don't over-commit yourselves. I have really enjoyed coaching this team, in many ways much more than this season's soccer team (better effort/heart out of the kids), but I am burnt out and ready to be DONE! At the beginning of the season, i was coaching three teams at once (two soccer teams and the football team), which meant I was at the park four days per week with two games on Saturdays. That's too much. The kids suffer because you can't prepare as much, and YOU suffer because you just can't enjoy it the way you otherwise might. So that's my two cents--no matter what sob story the Y gives you, or even if they just stick you with the team (as they did me, with this football team), sometimes you need to know when to say no. That said, thanks for all your help this season. Most likely, I'm going to coach flag football again, and drop the soccer (my son is moving up to U8, which I don't feel I have the skills to coach, and my daughter is, at this moment, saying she doesn't want to play again). I have really appreciated your advice and insights!
  5. Yep. I had the "lazy" player (whose mom has turned back up and is still pretty mean to him), who has basically reformed, and then my "problem" player, who we have never been able to reach really. Which is unfortunate it, because he can throw a perfect spiral at least 15 yards, if not farther. He is also very fast. That said, if his dad isn't present, he pretty much walks all over his mom. We've had two "mom only" practices, and he pretty much refused to participate. So, in the games, when we're on offense, he botches our plays and generally doesn't know what to do. According to mom (who is very good at making excuses for him), he was a soccer star that decided to play football at the last second, and he just can't figure out that he has to work with his team to get something accomplished. I don't know what's up with him. He can throw the ball very far, and throw well, but he won't throw it teammates in terms of practicing. Always throws it over their heads, or to the left or right where they have to run to get it. Knocks it out of their hands, pulls flags all the time during practice, etc. Basically, most of the other kids don't want to play with him because of this behavior. I can't figure it out. His dad is the nicest guy in the world. He seems strict, in that he makes him behave, but not overly strict. He clearly loves his kids and is kind to them. So, I dunno--maybe football just isn't the thing for this one. In other news, we play our last regular season game tonight--against the Colts. Wish us luck! Jonathan
  6. It's interesting--he wants to be quarterback NOW, because of how happy I was at that completed pass! But, prior to that, none of them want to be quarterback. They all want to be the running back. But the favorites issue *is* problematic--our smallest player is my assistant coach's son, and he probably gets a bit more time than he otherwise would. That said, he has more heart and puts more effort in than anyone else on the team (with possibly one exception). So, it has worked out. The funny thing is, he's got pretty good moves if we let him run it, and he's *really* good against the teams with the bigger kids. By virtue of being so small, they have to bend over to try and grab his flags, which makes it quite a bit harder for them to use their size/speed against him. I find that, favorites-wise, the players that give me the most trouble are the ones I want to play the least. I do my best to be mindful of that and give them a fair shot anyway, but...they make it hard sometimes! J.
  7. I replied to this once, but suspect I hit "report" instead of reply, which is especially embarrassing considering that I am a moderator on a forum and we all get exasperated when our users do the exact same thing! So, very sorry if that's the case! Anyway--I wanted to mention two things. In regard to our great defense--I told the kids I would take them out for pizza if they could get 30 flags during the game. They got 20, so we're going to have a pizza party at the end of the season, and they still have a chance at an early one in our upcoming game. They were *highly* motivated! Two--I don't normally let my son play quarterback. I try not to play favorites. We were in the "have to pass zone" and had missed a couple already when we put him in there out of desperation. That said, you won't find a prouder dad! Jonathan
  8. Thanks, I will. We play the undefeated team again (the Colts) this coming Tuesday. That said--in the game after ours (yesterday), the Falcons tied them. This past Saturday, we beat the Falcons. Conclusion: We can beat the Colts. Thanks to both of you for all your advice (and hand-holding) so far! Jonathan
  9. The other team WAS in the same boat. Up until about 5 minutes before our delayed game time, they only had four players. A few of our kids did show up early, but due to weather, we basically couldn't warm up! Our game ended up pushed back 30 minutes due to thunderstorms, but we had a GREAT GAME. The best we've done yet. It was like by virtue of having to wait around an hour, the "problem" kids had enough time to get it out of their system! Both of the players who have been difficult before were GREAT on defense! And my son threw the first completed pass we've had all season. By league rules, you MUST pass within 5 yards of the mid-field line or the endzone. We were INCHES over the orange (passing zone) line, so we had to pass. Our receiver caught it, was so surprised that he initially started to run the wrong way, then hooked back and ran it in for a touchdown! We won 26 to 6. Funny anecdote--Apparently, the "lazy" player from before is nicknamed "Booty." He was doing GREAT pulling flags in the game, and his mom started to cheer for him (which I was really glad of--given her previous comments). My daughter is four years old. So, every time my player did anything good, his mom would cheer, "Go Booty!" At which time my daughter would giggle and say (*every* time), "She said booty..." J.
  10. That makes sense. You have any advice on getting the parents to show up early so the team can warm up? Our practice got rained out last week, and I was at the field about 45 minutes early this past Saturday. Most of the team got there so close to starting time that I was wondering if we were going to have enough players to be able to play! Due to scheduling weirdness, we have another game today (so still no practice until Thursday) at 5:30 pm, which is a HORRIBLE time for people being able to get there. I have pretty much begged and pleaded the team to get there early today if at all possible, but we'll see how it goes. Any other advice you can think of before today's game? (It's also picture day, which in soccer is traditionally one of THE WORST game days...) Jonathan
  11. Here is a question regarding counting ball touches--if you have a player as center or quarterback, are you counting that as a touch as well, or only attempts to catch/carry for yardage? J.
  12. That's funny that you used that example of the offensive player running alongside the ball carrier! That happened in our last game (the other team scored a touchdown because of it), and again in the game we played this past Saturday. However, I took your advice and got it resolved. We had an issue of flag guarding by the other team as well--also resolved. So, thanks for that advice especially! Oh! And we won our game! The problem player was absent, which was kind of good, in that our practice got rained out, so I wasn't able to work with him the way that I wanted to. Our game was pretty sloppy, honestly. But, it did the trick. Any advice on dealing with parents of players who are divorced? I have had this on every team I have ever coached--one parent signs the kid up, the other parent won't bring him/her on "their" weekend. If you go back to post #5 of this thread--the problem is with the same player/his dad. Obviously, I don't penalize the player because his dad won't bring him, but I wonder if I should ask for contact info for the dad and just tell him that his son is a part of our team and that we need him to be there. Or, do you think that would just cause more trouble for my player? How would you guys handle it? Tell him to be there when he can, or potentially contact the father? Jonathan
  13. I would like to get my kids into camping. We have gone tent camping once, in a campground (with an enormous water slide and other amenities), but not really done anything that I would consider "woodsy," etc. That said, that is also the only time that *I* have ever been camping. I was wondering if any of you outdoorsmen could point me at some good resources so we can safely do some more "wilderness" type camping. Thanks! Jonathan
  14. Player safety--ultimately, it was fine. The problem with the refs were that they were just very casual. Although, in our league, it's volunteer coaches, the refs get paid! But, one was clearly a high schooler, and the other wasn't much older. The usual referee is probably in his early fifties, and the other one is at least in his twenties. So when I saw how young they were, I wasn't too surprised by the lack of hustle on the part of last week's refs. It usually goes that way with the soccer referees too. That said, even the parents on the other team were telling the refs their own players were out of bounds. Lazy player--Something has happened with him... He was at practice 30 minutes early (brought by his great uncle), and he was a whole different kid. And since he was there so early, I got to do a lot of one on one time with him. He's still not the best player, but he's actually trying really hard now. I suspect that his uncle is trying to take more of an interest (he seems much more positive--doesn't tear him down the way the mom does), and that has helped a lot. Problem player--The problem player...I can't quite figure him out. He has apparently played soccer since he was two, and is really great at it (per the parents). However, he wanted to switch to football at the last second, so they did. His dad is really easy going (played football in high school apparently), I'm not sure what's up with Mom. When Dad is there, he's basically fine, but the last two practices, mom brought him, and he starts out refusing to practice, and she makes a big scene with him, and then he sulks through everything (making it difficult for me), so when it comes game time, he doesn't really understand how the plays work, he botches the hand-offs, tries to take the ball when it isn't his turn, etc. My best guess is that he has probably always been the best player on his soccer team, and is used to just taking the ball and doing everything, and can't figure out why he can't do that here. But I don't know. Generally, I don't like to reward bad behavior, but I played him a lot more than usual in this last game in hopes of integrating him into the team a little better. I will find out in practice this afternoon if it actually worked. Next game--You're absolutely right. Getting cocky is a bad idea! I guess I should put it this way--I feel confident that we will have a better game this time, as the first time we played them, 6 of the 9 players had never played football and had little to no idea what to do in a game. As always, any and all advice is appreciated! Jonathan
  15. Well, we got stomped to pieces. However, I did the "Starburst for pulled flags" thing, and the kids still had a great time and never gave up through the whole game. There were some issues with the game, but I don't know if they're worth bringing up. Short version--it had rained, and the field was a swamp. We ended up with a super puddle being the unofficial blocker for both teams. We had new referees (not the usual guys), and they weren't very good. The other team scored two touchdowns because their players went out of bounds and the referee didn't call it. "You didn't see that?" "I can't see everything from where I am." Along those same lines, in our league, only the kid with the ball can run for the offensive team. The other team's players ran with the ball carrier, basically flanking him so our players couldn't get to him to pull flags. Referees did nothing about this. Other team did flag guarding (also not allowed), and for lack of a better term, "shoulder slams." When they would go for flags, their kids would make sure to bump our players hard with their shoulders, usually physically knocking them out of bounds. That said, we still would have lost, as we weren't able to score against them. I have had a problem player who has been very difficult in practices--his lack of knowing what to do (due to being disruptive/not participating in practice) cost us several touchdowns. I would love to just not play him, but our league rules are that everyone gets (approximately) equal time. Anyway, thanks for the advice. Hopefully I can turn things around in practice tomorrow. We should be able to beat the team we play on Saturday (who we played for our first game) pretty soundly, assuming we can work out the bugs exposed by this last week's game. Jonathan
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