Jump to content
Y-coach.com - Forum
Orange

Youth Flag Football

Recommended Posts

ADC coach    0
Playbook -

Wondering how you organized your playbook? I laminated all my plays and had them bound with a spiral ring, they're divided into RUN, PASS and SPECIAL. My SPECIAL section has a few trick plays used with the more skilled players.

The problem I run into out on the field is we have 30 seconds to call a play. Flipping around in a notebook or shuffling plays gets a bit hectic. It helped to have the notebook yesterday as I could do a quick read on their defense and flip to a play that stayed away from their strong LB or DB.

CoachRob

Usually don't have playbook for 4-6 y/o, all plays depend on how they get up in the morning, sometimes they feel like playing, sometimes they don't. Still have 3 yr returner that's going to be 7 during the season and still acts like 3-4y/o, then have 3 y/o that acts like 5y/o, just doesn't have speed, but listens very well. Since we can have two coaches on field, one usually works with OL & other gives plays. We usually run 5 OL & 3 backs. We call our the name of the person running the ball & which way he is to go, then let the others block. Sounds little on the go, but we practice all plays before game. We even did some motion plays last yr. Hard enough for 9-10 y/o tackle kids to do motion, but we scored about everytime we ran motion play correctly(sometimes OL offsides). On our JV team we do have playbooks though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Orange    26
Playbook -

Wondering how you organized your playbook? I laminated all my plays and had them bound with a spiral ring, they're divided into RUN, PASS and SPECIAL. My SPECIAL section has a few trick plays used with the more skilled players.

The problem I run into out on the field is we have 30 seconds to call a play. Flipping around in a notebook or shuffling plays gets a bit hectic. It helped to have the notebook yesterday as I could do a quick read on their defense and flip to a play that stayed away from their strong LB or DB.

CoachRob

One of my assistants had my plays laminated which seemed like overkill at the time but during one rainy game I'm glad he did it. My loose peices of paper with notes I like to keep fell apart and was worthless within minutes. But the laminated plays were as good as new.

I had all my plays on 4 sheets of paper, I used both sides, two plays each side. On each side I simply had the left and right version of the play, they were essentailly the same. One of my goals was to keep the number of plays to a minimum to avoid the very thing you're referring to. I felt that I could get it done with what plays I had. Also, I numbered the plays and wrote them on the page in large numerals. I didn't have them all memorized but I knew that if I wanted one of my basic plays I knew what the number was.

I kept the pages in no particular order on a clipboard with my notes. On my notes I would prescript the plays, maybe 8 or so in a logical order, setting up the subsequent plays and balancing going left and right and to the various positions. During the game I'd typically begin from the first play in the series and when we'd end our possession I'd start the next one where we left off. In certain circumstances I'd break the sequence if I felt something else needed to be run. And sometimes I'd just start from the beginning of the prescripted plays all over.

On of the challenges is getting the play called in the limited amount of time. For me, I had to know what I was going to call before the previous play ended. If I had no idea I'd waste too much time deciding. So even when I break from my scripted plays I'd be thinking ahead to the next play even before the ball was snapped.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Coach Rob    25

Regarding the playbook, I put two plays on each page both sides and laminated the pages. Marked the top right corner with red = pass, green = run, and blue = special. Only have 5 sheets with a total of 20 plays which is plenty.

Question on zone drills/teaching the concept. Any ideas on how to teach the zone concept to 8 year olds? Our team does a pretty good job with the zone, however, I can see our players getting confused when someone enters their zone and heads towards another. They tend to follow that person leaving their zone wide open. Teaching the concept of watching the QB's eyes as well as the person entering the zone is a tough one to grasp at this age. Also trying to teach them not to allow the receiver to get behind them. One way to stop that is always sending a rusher to pressure the QB.

We usually have 2 up front, 1 rusher and 2 DBs. Messed around with having 2 rushers and leaving 3 DBs in the back which forced some bad passes. Only problem with that defense is that you risk giving up the short pass/run.

I can see the point in this article by John Reed, it's exactly what I've been dealing with against teams that can pass. http://www.johntreed.com/man.html Seems like running man to man has its setbacks too, I can invision mismatches happening real easy or kids getting confused on who to cover when the offense shows an off balance line up.

CoachRob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Orange    26
Regarding the playbook, I put two plays on each page both sides and laminated the pages. Marked the top right corner with red = pass, green = run, and blue = special. Only have 5 sheets with a total of 20 plays which is plenty.

Question on zone drills/teaching the concept. Any ideas on how to teach the zone concept to 8 year olds? Our team does a pretty good job with the zone, however, I can see our players getting confused when someone enters their zone and heads towards another. They tend to follow that person leaving their zone wide open. Teaching the concept of watching the QB's eyes as well as the person entering the zone is a tough one to grasp at this age. Also trying to teach them not to allow the receiver to get behind them. One way to stop that is always sending a rusher to pressure the QB.

We usually have 2 up front, 1 rusher and 2 DBs. Messed around with having 2 rushers and leaving 3 DBs in the back which forced some bad passes. Only problem with that defense is that you risk giving up the short pass/run.

I can see the point in this article by John Reed, it's exactly what I've been dealing with against teams that can pass. http://www.johntreed.com/man.html Seems like running man to man has its setbacks too, I can invision mismatches happening real easy or kids getting confused on who to cover when the offense shows an off balance line up.

CoachRob

I respectfully disagree with the author John Reed. His article on defenses probably applies to upper levels of flag or even tackle youth football BUT from my experience zone has no equal at lower age groups. I read his bio and it said he has a lot of experience coaching youth tackle football but only one year coaching flag. Also, it didn't mention what age group he coached. I don't know what it was, maybe that nobody else ran one, or maybe my kids were good or whatever, but we shut down everyone with the zone.

My theory is that at 7-8 year old, the qbs lack strength to throw far and with accuracy. Your long passes are floaters so most teams end up being successful with run plays. And run plays are best stopped with a zone. Against man coverage when runs start working, fake runs stop the defenders and then the receivers are wide open. Also, with zone, young qbs can't always tell where the defender is at so he ends up throwing into coverage against a defender who is looking right at him.

Rob, as for teaching zone, of course some kids will get it and some will not. As you mentioned, placing pressure on the qb will contribute much to your success. If you let the qb sit back and take his time, your coverage will break down somewhere. I tried to make sure my two deepest guys were reliable about not letting someone get behind them. My son for instance is one of the fastest and best defenders (he pulls flags and moves sideline to sideline like no other). BUT he is so aggressive playing him at safety was a poor choice. His instinct is to move forward, especially towards the ball so he'd easily let someone behind him. He's an awesome linebacker but a poor safety. For me safety on defense is always a key personnel choice, as much as qb on offense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Orange    26

I was thinking about this a little more and you know what? My defense would break down on any given play. But you know, it really didn't matter. Here's why:

Against runs, I had my corners on the line and a rusher and a linebacker all close to the line ready to stop it. Only a couple of missed flags would get them into the backfield.

Against passes that took time to develop you could see kids all over the place. I was not worried as long as a couple of things occurred. One is that my safeties stayed home and deep. I'd line them up deep and shout instructions as the play went on. My linebacker was always instructed to follow the qb sideline to sideline with a medium drop. The corners would start out on the line and then if they detected a pass they'd fall back a little. Sometimes they'd just go man or some would stay on the line of scrimmage or whatever. Receivers would be running here and there and some of my defenders would be in position and some would not. The end result of the chaos would be that I'd have defenders who were watching the qb and moving laterally in relation to the qb (if he rolled). Bottom line is that when the ball was thrown I'd have 1-3 kids breaking to the ball. The same play in man coverage would mean you'd have 1 defender going for the ball at best. At worst nobody would notice as they'd be concentrating on staying with their man.

Here and there you'd find a kid wide open in our zone. If it was someone long the qb would huck it up there and my safety would close quickly. Long passes are hard to catch for 7-8 year olds. My money was always on a drop or interception versus a catch. Short passes at our age group would be over the middle where my linebacker would roam. If they could throw an out to the flat they might have something, but I've never seen a kids throw one of those in our league.

CoachRob, your league is 5 on 5. I personally think that the smaller the numbers on the field, the less effective zone would be. You'd have to judge that for yourself. You'll remember that I told you my defense was almost always zone HOWEVER, we'd switch to man coverage in certain situations including short yardage and when a team focused on one really good receiver (man on their best receiver).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Coach Rob    25
CoachRob, your league is 5 on 5. I personally think that the smaller the numbers on the field, the less effective zone would be. You'd have to judge that for yourself. You'll remember that I told you my defense was almost always zone HOWEVER, we'd switch to man coverage in certain situations including short yardage and when a team focused on one really good receiver (man on their best receiver).

With only 5 out on the field it does present a challenge, especially if you want to rush which I think is imperative. The tricky part with sending a rusher is that you leave the middle open for a quick shovel to the center or a dink over the middle. If I could send a rusher every time and still have a middle LB to roam the field, that would be ideal.

I'm not going to switch from the zone, it's worked fine the entire season. When I think about it, the times we've been beaten on a pass play is when we haven't rushed the QB. I'm almost considering buying different colored crate paper or some other cheap material to make four squares on the field to emphasize the zone responsibilities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
T.J. Loopie    0

Update:

We had a rain-out so it's beena while.

We had some storms threaten again last night, so only 5 of my 8 kids showed up. The other team only had 6 show. So we went 5-on-5 instead of our normal 7-on-7.

At that age level... a 5 players team is A LOT BETTER!

Less to worry about on the O-line, the kids understand their role on the field better, and the huddles are much more effective.

We did end up winning, and I felt like I did a much better job of making sure everyone got to make an impact on the game.

And not to re-hash too much, but I second just about everything being said about the zone. It's the only way to go. If they have an "all-star" sometimes I have modified my zone and shadowed with my best player.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Coach Rob    25

Ended up with a 7-2 record this season, lost our final game in the playoffs in double OT. It was nice to have a 7-2 record, but not at the expense of my personal coaching philosophy. The league I played in posted scores and stats on a regular basis, yet promoted having "fun". Personally, I think keeping stats and standings for 6 - 10 y/o's is a huge mistake. It was too easy to play the better players and get caught up in the standings/stats.

If I had to do it over again, I would split our team of 10 players into two teams and let one team play defense the first half, then switch for the second half allowing them to play offense. We played a lot of teams who only had 7 players, which allowed them to leave their best players in most of the game. To compensate, I found myself doing the same thing. We were able to get everyone ball touches by having a parent track that on the sidelines and making changes on the fly, but again, too easy to get caught up in the standings/stats and allow the better players to receive way more ball touches.

Orange - thanks again for all the help!

CoachRob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Vegas Coach    0

This has been by far the most informative discussion and tips regarding Kids Flag Football that i have run across after doing many google searches on the net of the such!! I also am going to be coaching my sons Flag Football team this fall which gets started up early next month with practices and all. It will be my first go around coaching, my son played last year. It is also 8-9 year olds, 5-5 with QB rushes from 7 yards out! Orange or Rob if its okay I would love to pick your brains a little about coaching this age and also if its okay take a look at your plays you guys designed. Hopefully you guys are still around to read this... maybe I'll PM you guys. Thanks in advance!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Orange    26
This has been by far the most informative discussion and tips regarding Kids Flag Football that i have run across after doing many google searches on the net of the such!! I also am going to be coaching my sons Flag Football team this fall which gets started up early next month with practices and all. It will be my first go around coaching, my son played last year. It is also 8-9 year olds, 5-5 with QB rushes from 7 yards out! Orange or Rob if its okay I would love to pick your brains a little about coaching this age and also if its okay take a look at your plays you guys designed. Hopefully you guys are still around to read this... maybe I'll PM you guys. Thanks in advance!!

I will help you as best as I can. I saw your email and responded. I'm sure if Coach Rob is around he'll help too and it sounds like your league is set up exactly like his so he may be better qualified for some specifics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Vegas Coach    0

Got your e-mail! Thanks again....... yes I will PM Coach Rob and try and pick his brain a bit as well. We can start practice the first week of August, so in the next few weeks I will have few questions. Thanks again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Coach Rob    25
Got your e-mail! Thanks again....... yes I will PM Coach Rob and try and pick his brain a bit as well. We can start practice the first week of August, so in the next few weeks I will have few questions. Thanks again!
I'm still around, you can post the questions here on the board or shoot me a PM, either way works for me.

CRob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Husker Fan    2

Any thoughts on how a 5 man zone defense should be set up? Thinking of having the defensive ends just oustide the recievers and a yard or so off the line of scrimmage to help contain reverses and passes to the flats, two defensive backs inside of the defensive end about 5 yards back for inside rushes and passes in the middle, and a rusher that can line up anyware as long as 7 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. The rusher would typically be lined up in the middle. Suggestions?

Husker Fan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Orange    26

I assume that you're talking about the same age level 7-9. I coached 6-on-6, no rusher. You might get a better perspective from Coach Rob (his league was 5-on-5 with a rusher)

I originally began lining up 2 corners who would play over the wide outs. During the season I realized that they really didn't need to be that wide so I pinched them in over the slot receiver or actually on the outside of the slot receiver. From there they were very effective at stopping runs that didn't go directly up the middle. And the opposing quarterbacks couldn't throw to the outside flats to take advantage of them either. They were instructed to hold their position but drop a little if the other team looked to pass.

With the zone you need to have someone deep. I played 2 deep, splitting the middle of the field left and right. To me you had to have the most reliable kids here who could ball hawk and keep everything in front of them. I'd line them up not quite as far as a 8 year old could throw but close to it.

I'd then have a middle linebacker who would shadow the ball carrier sideline to sideline. He had a short to medium drop and be responsible for everything over the middle. Since I had a 6th man I'd sometimes place him right over center or sometimes line up 2 linebackers side by side in the middle.

With one less defender I'd keep the 2 corners, ALWAYS send one rusher (notice the emphasis) and one deep safety. Where you put the final defender depends on a couple of things, he's either going to be the 2nd safety or a linebacker. There are pluses and minuses of both. With two safeties you get much better deep coverage but could give up short middle passes. With one linebacker and one safety you could have a problem from sideline to sideline, trying to cover too much ground. I'd make changes as the game progresses but most likely I'd go with 2 safeties. If they are fast enough they can close quickly on the short middle stuff. I'd rather give up short completions over the middle than long stuff. If you keep getting beat over the middle make an adjustment. Your rusher should protect against runs up the middle so you're ok there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Coach Rob    25

I played in a 5 on 5 league with a rusher, set up my zone as a 2-1-2, the 1 being our rusher. I agree with Orange, the key is sending a rusher and keeping pressure on their QB. The times we didn't rush and they opted to pass, we'd get beat because their QB had all day to run around and find an open person (our league didn't enforce the must pass or handoff within 7 seconds rule). It's a big deal to use your rusher to put pressure on the QB. Every once in a while we'd hold our rusher just to mix it up, but that was rare.

The one problem you'll run into is when the other team decides to dink it over the middle to their center or a receiver running a small slant over the middle. Tough to defend when you're sending a rusher from the middle, so we always taught our rusher to have his/her hands up in the air to make it more difficult for the QB. If I started to sense that the other team was going to try the dink over the middle, I'd tell one my better DBs to watch the center and usually they'd get there in time to pull a flag. One other thing we tried that worked was sending two rushers. We'd pull back two rushers 7 yds out and keep three deep. Had a code name for that so the kids knew what to do. The two rusher deal forced a few intercepts, however, you can get burned, which we did. I was tempted to send all 5 sometimes just for the heck of it, we tried that in a parents vs kids game, kids got a kick out of it.

Any thoughts on how a 5 man zone defense should be set up? Thinking of having the defensive ends just oustide the recievers and a yard or so off the line of scrimmage to help contain reverses and passes to the flats, two defensive backs inside of the defensive end about 5 yards back for inside rushes and passes in the middle, and a rusher that can line up anyware as long as 7 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. The rusher would typically be lined up in the middle. Suggestions?

Husker Fan

All the above looks reasonable to me as far as your set up, we set our DBs back about 7 yards and our DEs were about 2 yds off the line. The challenge for your DBs will be not allowing someone to get behind them, it can get kind of tricky using a zone with 6-9 y/o's.

CRob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Vegas Coach    0

Coach Rob...

Question.... When you ran your 2-1-2 Defense, I'm curious at to how far exactly did you have your saftey's lined up from the Line? Obviously if you were rushing your "1" in the middle he had to be atleast 7 yards back. Did you have your saftey's a yard or two further making them like 8-9 yards from the line? If so, did you find that it made you very vulnerable in the middle say from 5 yards and in? Was there a possible threat of a long pass that maybe it was a good idea to keep 2 saftey's back a certain distance? Did you ever switch it up and rush one of your saftey's? If so, how did it work? Just trying to get a feel here.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Orange    26

This may sound kind of crazy and simplistic but this is how I determined how far back to place my safeties. I had 2 quarterbacks and I'd have them throw the ball as far as they could. I'd line up my safeties maybe 5-7 yards or so in from that point. After a while you get a feel for where they should be. It's much easier to run forward towards the line of scrimmage and break up a pass then to run backwards. Therefore I tended to play them a little deep. But you just get a sense of it after a while. It's a kind of feel you develop, me, I'm constantly moving them a yard or two up or back during the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Coach Rob    25
Coach Rob...

Question.... When you ran your 2-1-2 Defense, I'm curious at to how far exactly did you have your saftey's lined up from the Line? Obviously if you were rushing your "1" in the middle he had to be atleast 7 yards back. Did you have your saftey's a yard or two further making them like 8-9 yards from the line? If so, did you find that it made you very vulnerable in the middle say from 5 yards and in? Was there a possible threat of a long pass that maybe it was a good idea to keep 2 saftey's back a certain distance? Did you ever switch it up and rush one of your saftey's? If so, how did it work? Just trying to get a feel here.....

The more I think about it, we lined our DBs back about 8 yards, they were a bit further back than our rusher, but not much. Orange makes a good point, it's a lot easier to come forward than play catch-up, so we allowed some room there. I'd adjust things depending upon the other team's syle and QB. We played a few teams that liked to throw it deep a lot, so we'd play those guys a little deeper. If we were playing against a QB that would get rattled easy or didn't have an arm, we might scoot in a bit or rush 2 players. With 5 on 5, you'll have to give up something and usually that's the short passes over the middle.

We did rush more than one person on occasion. Again, that would depend upon the team we were playing. We'd keep the DBs at 8 yards out, our reg rusher at 7 yards out, then pull the two DEs back 7 yards out. The DEs would become the 2 rushers for that play. Had a code name for that defense, almost like an audible. Didn't rush 2 players a lot, as we found it either worked really well or you got burned. We'd also make sure most of our stronger players were in on a 2 person rush situ.

Also experimented with pulling our DEs back about 3 yards off the line and having the reg rusher and DBs all line up 7 yards out. Had a code name for this play also. Upon snap, the DEs would move back and the two DBs became the rushers.

It's definitely fun to mix it up and try new things, but in the end, it will boil down to pulling flags. If your team can "swarm" (as Orange calls it) and are good flag pullers, you will have a good defense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Vegas Coach    0

Thanks for the responses!

Orange:

Our first practice will be the first week of August and I am trying to formulate an organized plan of a practice schedule. I saw you mentioned in a post a page or two back that in order for trying to get your kids to understand the different plays and where to line up on the plays, you would run some drills without the defense. Just practicing calling the plays and running them only. How did you organize 10 kids for this? Did you have seperate groups? Or did you line kids up and just take turns?

Also, one thing I really noticed last year about this league was most coaches would only "go to" a certain kid or two just about the entire game. Thats not my philosphy at all on things as every kid will get the ball, but I was thinking when I do see this happening that maybe I should stick one of my best defenders on that player and just have him shadowed the entire game. That might minimize the damage otherwise the kid could be doing, especially if hes involved iin 90% of the play calls. I'm sure you guys have seen this, what was your approach?

One last thing.... as I said above, I have my very first practice coming in August. My question is, in my first say 2-3 practices what in your opinions should be the main thing to really drill and pay attention to in those first 2-3? I dont know what type of kids I'll have, their experience and such yet. I know my son will be there and he has played, so right now I am just assuming most of the kids will be new to the game and will really really need to learn the basics. It would seem that just teaching kids basic fundamentals like flag pulling, catching, running, poistioning and even lining up at the line of scrimmage will take alot of time! Obviously once we get rolling after a few practices I think we'll have more of a routine down. What would really be the best things to concentrate on those first few practices though. Not sure if I really want to hit them with different plays right away..... might be alot and overwhelming at first. Know what I mean?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Coach Rob    25
Thanks for the responses!

Orange:

Our first practice will be the first week of August and I am trying to formulate an organized plan of a practice schedule. I saw you mentioned in a post a page or two back that in order for trying to get your kids to understand the different plays and where to line up on the plays, you would run some drills without the defense. Just practicing calling the plays and running them only. How did you organize 10 kids for this? Did you have seperate groups? Or did you line kids up and just take turns?

I know you addressed this to Orange, but I'll take a stab at it. Toughest challenge will be getting everything crammed in a one hour practice. In the early season practices, I would split my kids up into 3 groups and have my assistant plus another dad help. One group would be running pass routes, another group doing a flag pulling drill and another group working on handoffs/pitches. Working on the fundamentals in each group. I'd switch the groups every 10 minutes.

Swarm drill for about 5 minutes. I'd put on several flag belts and act as QB facing the kids. When I pointed the football left, they moved left, right - they moved right, act like pass - they yelled "PASS" and moved back, if I tucked the ball and started to run - I'd yell SWARM and look to make sure all the kids were swarming me and grabbing flags. This was an idea from Orange that really worked great. The more you emphasize this concept, the better.

15 minutes of two separate groups, one on offense, one on defense. Half throttle. Switched them 1/2 way through. Just running through plays on offense and having my assistant working on defensive formation, rushing, throwing the ball to certain zones or running to see how they stopped the run.

10 min scrimmage.

After a few practices, I got a feel for what we needed to work on. Spending a good chunk of time on flag pulling is a key. That Rebok site has some ideas for fun drills, I found it got boring working on the same drills every practice, so I'd try to throw in some fun deal for the kids.

We always have a kids vs parents game in whatever sport we're doing, usually later in the season, the kids get a huge kick out of this. Parents should know this is geared down to 1/4 throttle on their part.

Also, one thing I really noticed last year about this league was most coaches would only "go to" a certain kid or two just about the entire game. Thats not my philosphy at all on things as every kid will get the ball, but I was thinking when I do see this happening that maybe I should stick one of my best defenders on that player and just have him shadowed the entire game. That might minimize the damage otherwise the kid could be doing, especially if hes involved iin 90% of the play calls. I'm sure you guys have seen this, what was your approach?
Boy, I hope you can keep your philosophy of every kid getting the ball. That is a tough challenge, because you will run into other teams who have 1 or 2 star players that seem to get the ball a lot. The temptation to do the same thing will be there, especially when the score isn't in your favor. Best suggestion is tell everyone up front what your philosophy is and do your best to adhere to it. My biggest challenge was keeping it fun for the kids. When you boil it down, the opportunities for ball touches are minimal in flag football and it's tougher when you have 10 kids on a team. Orange had a good idea of splitting up the team into two teams, one team plays offense one half, one plays defense the other half. Switch at half-time. Again, the challenge will be resisting the temptation to put certain stronger players in if things aren't going your way. You'll probably hear, "When I'm a going to get the ball?" a lot. I'll let Orange address that one.
One last thing.... as I said above, I have my very first practice coming in August. My question is, in my first say 2-3 practices what in your opinions should be the main thing to really drill and pay attention to in those first 2-3? I dont know what type of kids I'll have, their experience and such yet. I know my son will be there and he has played, so right now I am just assuming most of the kids will be new to the game and will really really need to learn the basics. It would seem that just teaching kids basic fundamentals like flag pulling, catching, running, poistioning and even lining up at the line of scrimmage will take alot of time! Obviously once we get rolling after a few practices I think we'll have more of a routine down. What would really be the best things to concentrate on those first few practices though. Not sure if I really want to hit them with different plays right away..... might be alot and overwhelming at first. Know what I mean?
You're on the right track with teaching the basic fundamentals during the first few practices. You'll figure out which kids get it and which don't in a short period of time. I think splitting them up in smaller groups and having some dads kick in to help will take away some of the pressure. Don't be afraid to run some basic plays during the first few practices, the kids will catch on quicker than you think and they'll want to do it. When you boil it down, flag football at this age is running plays and pulling flags.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Husker Fan    2

I'll throw a few thoughts in.

I had my first practice on Thursday night. Many years of coaching baseball but first flag football practice that I coached. I started with a short team jog to some point and back carrying the football correctly and had them switch arms coming back. Main point of the run though is to "run" as a team -- stay together and watch out for each other. Typically, the kids will start together and then they end up racing and come in seperately. This results in a teaching point about team work and I send them to do it again. I than ran a four corner agility drill with backpedaling and karoeke. The kids I had in baseball had no probelm doing this. The other players hadn't done this type of footwork drill and it went slower with them. Next practice I'll do a different running drill. After that we worked on techniques for QB's handing off the ball, RB accepting a handoff, and center-QB exchange, both indiviually and with the combination (i.e., Center-QB, RB). Then went to running pass routes, and finished up with running some plays against parents and brothers that were there. (It wasn't an aggressive defense that would disrupt the plays). With respect to calling plays, I used the technique Coach Rob suggested to me when he sent me his plays (much appreciated!). That being a team huddle facing the defense, color coordinated plays, coach calling/showing the plays. This worked very well. Ended the practice with relay races (split the players into two teams) with the players running with the football. I match the teams as evenly as possible and will switch players to keep the races as even as possible. Kids love to do this and many variations can be added. Next practice I will focus more on passing and some defensive. Later practices will be more balanced. Note that my practices our 1.5 hours long versus the 1 hour practices you are planning so I can get a little more in.

Coach Rob had a good take on practices organization with stations, etc. I do both stations and team drills in baseball and plan on doing it for football, depending on what I want to teach. Regardless, good help from assistant coaches and parents is essential. So, if you don't have any help yet, i'd recruit other parents. I have found that sometimes they need a "nudge" and I do this by snagging them off the sideline to do a task versus "asking" for a volunteer. I am fortunate in that I have tremondous parent support. Also having a plan on what you want to do and running an organized practice keeps it moving and fun for the kids. It has to be fun.

This may or may not be of help, but it is a technique I use to gain the players attention if it starts wandering. I teach them that when a coach yells "Ballgame" that they are all to respond by yelling "focus." Since all kids do this at once, it will pull their attention back.

Coach Rob and Orange. I appreciate the time and effort you have put forth helping us new football coaches. It benefits us and the players!

Husker Fan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Coach Rob    25
With respect to calling plays, I used the technique Coach Rob suggested to me when he sent me his plays (much appreciated!). That being a team huddle facing the defense, color coordinated plays, coach calling/showing the plays. This worked very well.
I have to give props to Orange for the "look over the shoulder" technique when calling plays, that was his idea and worked great for me all season. I threw in the color coding to make it easier for the kids to remember which route to run.
This may or may not be of help, but it is a technique I use to gain the players attention if it starts wandering. I teach them that when a coach yells "Ballgame" that they are all to respond by yelling "focus." Since all kids do this at once, it will pull their attention back.
I like this a lot, I'm going to use it with some varation on the theme.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Vegas Coach    0

Thanks again for the replys! I am getting a much better feeling of this practice plan I am developing. Seems the 1 hour practice just is to little, but we'll make do. One more question for anyone..... did your leagues allow Shotgun and if so did you use it? How effective was it? Our league allows for it, I am trying to figure if its worth incorporating in on the plays or if its just to risky with this age group. Also I noticed in our rules we can run motions, however I think that may be to much for this age group as well. Did anyone run motions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×