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About mlbryant

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  1. Box Drill Six Cones and 2 -3 footballs Place two cones in a line about 12-15 yards apart. In between these cones and 3-5 yards to either the left or the right of the line between the first two cones, make a 3 x 3 yard box. Split the players in the drill into two lines behind the two first cones. One line is the ball carrier and one line is the tackler. On the whistle, the first player in the ball carrier line and the first player in the tackler line race to get inside the box. The ball carrier can make any football move inside the box and the tackler must bring the running back down beofre the running back can exit the box from the opposite side he./she entered. X is cone - used for spacing X - - - - -----X----X - - -----X----X - - - - X Rotate sides of the box each day you run the drill to work tackling from differnt sides
  2. Unless your league has a specific rule stating you can't unbalance the offensive line, it is legal in football. Yes, you can split out an end in an unbalanced line and he is an eligible receiver. Actually, the last man and only the last man on either side of the offensive line is the eligible receiver. If you need two or more receivers on one side of the line, the remaining receivers must be in the backfield. Upto 4 players can be in the backfield. Hope this helps
  3. We have had a similar problem; backs not completing down field blocks. Our blast plays were blocked fine by our backs inside the tackles; however, our plays outside the tackles needed serious work. The plays I wanted to focus on were blocking for our sweeps and crash sweeps. The main defensive positions in these plays are the near side corner and defensive end, linebacker, and safety. I brought over the starting kids in those positions. Without an offensive line, we ran each of our sweeps and discussed what went wrong/right with how each back executed his block. By eliminating the offensive line and minimizing the defense to just the players involved in the downfield scheme, we were better able to isolate and fix our shortcomings. Here are some of my findings: The backs knew who to hit, just didn't execute well most times If the blocking back went after his block with a "full head of steam", he typically missed terribly The closer the ball carrier was to the lead blocker on a sweep, the better the block (actually this is true for blast plays on linebackers as well) Downfield blocking is the most difficult in football. It is imperative that the ball carrier helps the down field blocker; particularly with the corner. If the ball carrier is close to the lead blocker responsible for blocking the corner, the block is much more effective. This took a little work to demonstrate, but once we implemented this our blocking improved dramatically. The rationale: the defensive player needs to get near the ball carrier to tackle him and will try and avoid the blocker by movement. The closer the distance between the blocker and the ball carrier the smaller amount of area the defender can use to "dance" around the block without taking himself out of the play. Also, If the ball carrier makes a cut that forces or tempts the corner to commit himself closer to the blocker, the block is much more effective. if the blocking back is shown the importance of just getting a body on the defensive player rather than trying to drive block, the block is much more effective. Hope this helps
  4. mlbryant

    Rules Help

    As far as I know, once the punt cleared the LOS, and your team touched the ball, it became a live ball and whomever recovers, gets 1st and ten. That's the way I understand it as well. Think of the muffed punt as a turnover
  5. Be careful with the "team" type consequences. If the team runs a lap because of the problem child and the team is already in a moral low, you may find that the team will start to lash out against him causing even more problems. I use team consequences for ordinary penalties like a hold or an offsides, but not for a discipline or respect lapse; it may breed hostility.
  6. For future occurences, hopefully you and other coaches will be fortunate not to have any, you may want to approach the board about its policies and procedures. They should probably have something in their by-laws regarding this topic. Ours covers the problem you are having but also fighting, game ejections, and spectator issues.
  7. First of all, I believe this can be a severe moral problem for the team and thus needs correction. This is also a difficult area because we are the coaches, not the parents of every player. Avoid physical punishments; no hitting, etc., but do punish negative actions. My first course of action would be to set up a dialog between you, the parents of the child with the child present, and any team officials (for instance, our team is part of a collection of teams with different age groups and thus we have a board with members). My next course of action would be to have a team meeting with parents and players to inform them of your thoughts/rules for discipline and proper behavior. I would explain the consequences associated with bad behavior and the rewards associated with proper behavior. After setting the expectations and consequences/rewards, it is vital that these be followed through with, justly. Do not single out just the problem player, but any player who is acting in a like manner. I think suitable disciplinary actions are runs (we call them "trips to the pole" because the player is running from one end of the field to the goal post at the other end), up-downs, leg-lifts, or the "dead cockroach" (player lays on back with legs and arms straight up in the air). The "dead cockroach" actually works pretty well because it is offers a fairly decent dose of humility. Fortunately in our league, our by-laws address this issue very well. After the matter has been discussed with the board and parents, the player is probationary. If the matter persists, first, playing time penalties are assessed, but if the matter behavior will not improve, the player is disqualified from the team (this is never on a whim or a 2nd or 3rd offense, but rather in more extreme cases). Hope this helps
  8. If you are limited to a 6 man front, I would suggest something I call a 6-3 wide. Lemme try and diagram this in ASCII Offense (Power I Right) then defense (6-3 wide) -------------------------B------------------------- ------------------------FB--B--------------------- ------------------------QB------------------------ ----------LE--LT--LG--C--RG--RT--RE---------- ----DE--DT-------NT------NT-------DT--DE---- -----------------LB-----------LB------------------ CB-------------------MLB----------------------CB NT have A Gap responsibility and play heads up on the guard. DT have C Gap responsibility and play heads up on the ends. They are coached to hit the offensive ends before taking up residence in the C gap. LB have B gap responsibility and can be blitzed (have the heads up NT hit the offensive tackle; most likely at this age, the guards will still try and block the NT (blocking rules) and the LB can blitz the A gap. DE shouldn't be blocked, have containment and D gap repsonsibility. MLB is a monster, place him where you think you'll need help
  9. I have to fully concur with Jack. It is too easy to quit when the going gets tough. Sticking it out could give your son more pride and self confidence that will help him in all of life; not just sports
  10. Let's see... lot's to talk about now. It is pretty obvious you are on the side of the fence with a child that doesn't play as much as you'd like. And while I can sympathize with your plight, I feel a number of your arguments lack validity, at least from a football perspective. For example, as brought out earlier, football is a team contact sport. This isn't baseball or basketball, where the lack of inability simply decreases the chances the tem will win. In football, an inexperienced child can cause injury to his teamates. Take out an experienced lineman and place a child that refuses to block and see what happens. Maybe not the first play or the second, but it will happen that the defensive coach will see that and place his stud linebacker on a blitz through that hole. Now you have a QB who is unprotected, and turned around to hand the ball or looking down field to pass; he's blind-sided. If he's injured and I have seen it happen several times (thus I don't need a study to show me any statistics) who is at fault, the injured child, the child that was inexperienced, or the coach that "makes it fun". Did your coaching degree give you insight to explain your decision to the parents of the hurt child? How fun is it to miss the rest of the season because you were injured? You mention this is done in ice hockey. I have played and coached ice hockey for 12 years. Ice hockey isn't football. If I miss or refuse to check my man on the ice, he gets by me with the puck and maybe scores. If I miss my block or refuse to make my block, I can injure a team mate. How often did the ice hockey coach mix up the lines (i.e. subbing one kid in for another in the middle of a game). You can't do that either with much success in ice hockey; players need to be able to know and depend on the man beside them on their line. My job first and foremost is to ensure my kids are safe. End of story. I walk the field before practice looking for rocks and debris that could injure my kids. I check each kids shoulder pads, helmets and ensure they are wearing the appropriate pads in their pants. I performed the fit of every player's equipment on handout day. On hot days, we break every 15 minutes for fluids and I watch my kids for symptoms of a heat related illness. I will also play weaker kids in positions where they cannot injure themselves or their team mates. Secondly, I never sell football to my parents as just a way to have fun. I explain that football takes hard work and lot's of it. It takes talent and heart to win a football game; the fun comes from knowing that you left nothing on thefield; a sense of pride. This isn't a sport where the talents of the indivdual can shine without the support of his team mates. It is a complete team effort; when one man let's down, the team is weakened for that play. I am open and communcative to my parents. When they have a question about playing time or what their child can do to improve, I tell them as honestly as I can. I work harder with my poorer players than I do my stars. It is always my goal to improve each player on the team. Lastly, what kind of message do I send to the kids? Hard work, dedication, and skill have their rewards. If you don't measure up, work harder; improve yourself become better if that's what you truly want. I am not out to destroy a child's confidence, but I won't inflate it either. What message would you send out? Don't beat yourself to death working; it's irrelevant. You will play just as much as any other child on the team because you are entitled to, not by your actions, but by simply showing up.
  11. Yeah, this is a tough topic. I coach my youngest son's team and I have for 3 years. One thing I can comment on that is a bit unique to the other replies is I notice that I am much harder and demand more from my son than other players. My assistants have sons on the team too and they are equally harder on their own sons than on the other players. One other thought. Sometimes you get parents that believe the coachs' sons get the best treatment. I wonder if they realize that I have to consult a game film to see a majority of my sons playing time.
  12. Boys are generally ultra competitive. If there is a reward/punishment (i.e. a discernible winner and loser), I have found that the participation spikes amazingly upwards. If I am scrimmaging offense against defense (usually first team O against a 12 man defense), I make a game out of it. If the offense fails to get 10 yards in 3 or 4 plays, the defense has the option of making the offense do 10 up-downs, 10 leg lifts, or a run to the far fence and back. If the defense let's up a touchdown (read as a longer than 15 yard play), the offense gets the same choice for the defense. Scrimmages become much more energetic and game-like.
  13. In a competitive league, the coach is in a catch 22. In our league, there is a championship game played in the stadium of a Division I NCAA school; in other words a really big deal for the kids. There are 15 teams competing for 2 spots for this game. So here is the catch: Team Goal [a] - Winning isn't Everything - Tell the kids winning isn't important and all kids play equally. We are here to have fun and learn. Parents of kids with little ability want this and will confront you if you choose team goal . This goal is more than fair to kids that have little or no ability, but is it fair for the kids that have the most ability in the league? Team Goal - We play for Championships - We are going to play the kids we need to play in order to win. All kids will get a minimum number of plays, but the kids that put out the most and show the most ability get to play more. Parents of kids with loads of ability want this and will confront you if you choose team goal [a]. This goal is most fair to the kids that have ability because it gives them the best chance to play in the reward game. I, personally, adopt the team goal for a couple of reasons, but I have been on both sides of the argument. My oldest son is much better at hockey than football and was usually a minimum play player. I wish he would have had better abilities, but the fact of the matter is that he didn't. He did get to play in the championship game twice in 5 years. My youngest son, though a little small and just above average speed has an uncanny ability to avoid tackles and gain yards (maybe one time in ten does he fail to get atleast 4 yards on a carry). So I can feel for both types of parents. I have a team this year that has probably the most individual talent of any team in the league. I cannot tell these boys that their talent, their work, and their heart are meaningless (e.g. everyone plays equal regardless of ability, work, or dedication). Kids are very perceptive. The good kids with strong abilities will become very frustrated and quit trying on a [a] team. Kids with little ability could adopt a similar quitting attitude on a team, but if coached and encouraged properly, they could find reward in their efforts. If the question is one more of team moral, can a team that loses regularly really have high moral just because everyone plays the same? I'll bet the kids with above average ability will snap at the weaker kids (whether or not on the football field) and may even hit extra hard in drills. Just my two cents, I'll get off the soap box now.
  14. We have a similar rule in our league, but the number of minimum plays is dependent on the number of kids on the roster. In evaluting my team, I have a few kids who play two ways, several kids that play primarily one way, a small number of kids that can sub on either side of the ball, and 2 or 3 minimum play players. I need to be able to coach in the game and not focus on getting kids in and out. To help, here is what I have found to be effective. A second complete offense equal skill substituions on the line substitution plan someone not on the coaching staff recording players and plays 1. I have a complete second team offense that can run a simplified version of my playbook (basically 6-8 plays). Sometime in the middle of the 2nd quarter, I will run the second team offense for 1 series. Barring a trunover, this achieves the minimum plays for most of my non-starters and if they are successful in getting the first down, their play time increases. If the game is out of hand in the 4th, the second team offense gets additional series. 2. I have a pair of tackles that are fairly equal in ability on the first team offense. These kids split playing time 3. You have to develop a substitution plan. Mine is when to put the second offense in, what plays/situations can I make a minor substitution on offense or defense, and when do I take time from coaching to examine my responsibilites in meeting the leagues minimum plays (halftime, and between the 3rd and 4th quarter) 4. I have a team mom that has a modified roster (I remove all the two players and players that will see a bulk of playing time). Each play, she puts a tick in the row for each player in on the play. I look over this list at halftime and between the 3rd and 4th quarters. One final suggestion. You really need to explain your subsitution / minimum playing time policy with the parents. Although this won't alleviate all complaints, it will satisfy most. I am not a big fan of changing wholesale on the defense. Look at it this way. If you use a second team offense and the kids can't block or run, you are three and out; however, if your second team defense can't play their position and/or tackle, you will most likely give up a score.
  15. While it may not be helpful in your case, my O-line seems to be a tad more sluggish than I`d like. This sluggishness is allowing the d line to brutalize my backs. Needless to say, my backs aren`t happy, so tonight I am letting the backs ventue down to the linemen`s individual blocking practice to face off against the linemen. My backs are a bit more experienced in some cases and are wanting to beat on the line to show them how to fire off the ball. Tennis ball drill has helped some, but I still want more progress.
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