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Johnp2

We Are Now 1-2

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We have three "powerhouse" teams in our league, and we've played two of them back-to-back. We lost this game 26-0, but, some positives . . .

The game was actually MUCH closer than score indicated.

1. We fumbled the ball on fourth and goal from the one yard line (my RB fumbled as he was crossing the goal), and we threw a pick on our next posession at the three yard line. (Ouch)

2. I found two of our opponents TDs a little concerning. They were only up 13-0 at the half, and I could tell they were worried. They ran a play as the second half began when we were substituing players, and ALL of my defensive players were still in our huddle. I found that to be a little bush-league, as we just watched as they called their play and scored. Another TD the QB ran the ball (for about 30 yards), and QBs are not allowed to run in our league---however, I never argue with the refs, so if he let it occur, so be it.

3. Our opponent gave it to their best player on virtually every play. I have 12 players, and ensure all players get the ball. My best player is one of the best RBs in the league (more on that below), and have no doubt we would have been in there if not won had I went with that type of game plan.

4. My players played their guts out. I was concerned after our last game that they "gave up", but they really came through in this game and played hard, physical football. I was extremely proud of them.

As mentioned, my RB is an absolute STUD. In fact, I've had other coaches tell me he was virtually unstoppable last season. After the game, one of the coaches on the other team told me, "You should have just given it to him every play". Wow. With the number of kids on our team, and substitutions, etc., this player gets 3-5 carries a game.

What I find very interesting, is that he is a "defect" from one of the "powerhouse" teams. As it turns out, his parents were a little concerned that his team only cared about winning, and while he got the ball on that team 90% of the time, they felt the atmosphere on that team, which pretty much excluded the lesser-skilled players to be what they DID NOT want out of youth sports for their child. I can't put into words how happy that makes me feel, and when a parent of stud player tells you (on a team that is losing) how much they appreciate the attention to a "team concept" first---well, that is all I ask for.

On another positive note, the team that we man-handled in our first game has won three straight games (but has yet to play any of these power-house teams), so I have a feeling the wins will start coming soon, but as always, team, fundementals, and above all FUN comes first!

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Sounds like the kids played hard...Awesome to hear about the parents.I try to get all the kids involved.Next season if I get 6-8 kids i'm going to keep track of carries and catches so everyone can get involved.Definitely something I stress is that we are a team and there are no individuals on our team.Always works well with us.

You guys will be fine...I wouldn't worry about the losses.Just make sure they keep playing hard and the dont beat themselves and that will take care of things.

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This is a learning experience for me as well. In my three years of soccer, we absolutely dominated, so losing back to back games is allowing me to "coach" in a different manner than I have before (keeping the kids positive), and my post-game speech yesterday hit home with all them, I believe.

With 12 players, it can be tough keeping track of who has the ball. Yesterday, one of my kids did not get the ball, and I felt awful. I apologized to his parents and let them know I would make it up (they were more than okay with it, of course). I have plays designed for each position, so I usually ensure I go through each of those, but with substituions, it can be difficult.

I will say I am a little disappointed in my league and the "win at any and all costs" mentality by many of the coaches. To each is own, but it is about the kids and giving each of them a chance to shine in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, I fully support a competitive environment and urge our opponents to go full throttle on us, and we do want to win--but I feel I'm safe in saying that every child on my team would rather get to "play" instead of win.

On a side note, my neighbor has a child my son's age. He plays tackle football in a league that is pretty hard-core. He spent over $1,000 in league fees, uniforms, etc (they wear uniforms that emulate pro teams). His son's team won "The Super Bowl", which the league made a DVD of with announcers, replays, graphics, etc. All season long he bragged and bragged at how great it was. The only problem---his son played in TWO plays all season long. When I showed him my playbook and asked to see his son's, he told me that only a "few" of the kids on his son's team got a playbook. When my son and his son are outside playing football it is like night and day (how much more fundamentally sound my son is). But---his son has a fancy uniform, a 3-foot trophy, and a DVD with him on the sidelines the whole game. ;-)

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Sounds like a tough couple games to start! Like you said, the wins will start rolling in, you just have to keep teaching these kids and making sure they have fun! Great thing to hear that about one of your parenst too, I wish more parents would take that approach wether its a star player or not!

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I will say I am a little disappointed in my league and the "win at any and all costs" mentality by many of the coaches. To each is own, but it is about the kids and giving each of them a chance to shine in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, I fully support a competitive environment and urge our opponents to go full throttle on us, and we do want to win--but I feel I'm safe in saying that every child on my team would rather get to "play" instead of win.
Unfortunately, when you start keeping score and posting the standings, it's real difficult to do what you're doing. Personally, I think you're on the right track. I run into this all the time in the sports I coach where another team will keep their best players in for most of the game. One or two kids end up dominating the game which really isn't fair in a league that promotes every kid plays coupled with having fun. I guess "every kid plays" is left up to the interpretation of the individual coach. Running dummy routes over and over again isn't my idea of "every kid playing". At this age, kids want to touch the ball, so I'm all about every kid touches the ball as much as possible.

During our games my wife tracks who's played QB, ball touches, attempted rushes and attempted receptions. I'll check with her throughout the game to see who hasn't had a ball touch and make adjustments accordingly. We have a few steady QBs, but if we're up in a game I try and rotate kids in who normally don't play QB. Happy to say all but one of our 9 kids has scored and we're trying our best to get that one kid a score.

Having said all that, football is a different animal and it takes a lot of discipline not to let yourself get too wrapped up in the score or standings. Betcha things would even out if a team was required to have every kid receive at least one ball touch per game. If I didn't have someone tracking the touches, it'd be real easy for me to run with my better players for the most part. I need other people holding me accountable on the sidelines during a game.

CRob

EDIT: On a side note, this is one of the reasons I've tried to limit my teams to 10 kids or under. The more kids on a team, the harder it is to get those ball touches.

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I will say I am a little disappointed in my league and the "win at any and all costs" mentality by many of the coaches. To each is own, but it is about the kids and giving each of them a chance to shine in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, I fully support a competitive environment and urge our opponents to go full throttle on us, and we do want to win--but I feel I'm safe in saying that every child on my team would rather get to "play" instead of win.
Unfortunately, when you start keeping score and posting the standings, it's real difficult to do what you're doing. Personally, I think you're on the right track. I run into this all the time in the sports I coach where another team will keep their best players in for most of the game. One or two kids end up dominating the game which really isn't fair in a league that promotes every kid plays coupled with having fun. I guess "every kid plays" is left up to the interpretation of the individual coach. Running dummy routes over and over again isn't my idea of "every kid playing". At this age, kids want to touch the ball, so I'm all about every kid touches the ball as much as possible.

During our games my wife tracks who's played QB, ball touches, attempted rushes and attempted receptions. I'll check with her throughout the game to see who hasn't had a ball touch and make adjustments accordingly. We have a few steady QBs, but if we're up in a game I try and rotate kids in who normally don't play QB. Happy to say all but one of our 9 kids has scored and we're trying our best to get that one kid a score.

Having said all that, football is a different animal and it takes a lot of discipline not to let yourself get too wrapped up in the score or standings. Betcha things would even out if a team was required to have every kid receive at least one ball touch per game. If I didn't have someone tracking the touches, it'd be real easy for me to run with my better players for the most part. I need other people holding me accountable on the sidelines during a game.

CRob

EDIT: On a side note, this is one of the reasons I've tried to limit my teams to 10 kids or under. The more kids on a team, the harder it is to get those ball touches.

Very well said!!!!

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Agreed, and you make a good point about the "dummy" routes. I will indeed to continue to stick with it, as I know soon enough (my son at least) will be playing "competively"--i.e. at school, and and want him (and all my players) to have an opportunity to get some playing time. I'm sure there are lots of kids out there whom you would not think is a good athlete, yet gains quite a bit of confidence in himself with some playing time, and then develops into an athlete. I really think most of it at this age is mental. Once they get the mental aspect down, their physical abilities will eventually catch up.

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Agreed, and you make a good point about the "dummy" routes. I will indeed to continue to stick with it, as I know soon enough (my son at least) will be playing "competively"--i.e. at school, and and want him (and all my players) to have an opportunity to get some playing time. I'm sure there are lots of kids out there whom you would not think is a good athlete, yet gains quite a bit of confidence in himself with some playing time, and then develops into an athlete. I really think most of it at this age is mental. Once they get the mental aspect down, their physical abilities will eventually catch up.

Yes, in this age range 8-9 year olds, their bodies are going through frequent changes left and right through growth spurts and the such. Some kids are very competitive already at this age too, while some are there simply to have fun. Others will develop the love to really compete later as well. As long as we as coaches are teaching good habits and fundamentals and making sure every kids experience is Fun, what more can be asked. Theres no coaches hall of fame for us if we hand pick the best kids and put together a winning team that wins it all! We as coaches need to have fun while we're at it as well!!! Sounds like your very involved and doing a good job........

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