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My 8 year old son is playing on a team with approximately 30 players, only 5 have ever played tackle football before. The coach has coached the same age group for 7 plus year. We are just starting our third week of practice. To put it frankly the kids have been taught very little about fundmentals. In the two weeks of practice they have had 15 minutes at most of slow motion form/fitting tackles . Everything else has been at full speed. No blocking technques have been done at half-speed(always full speed). Am I wrong in thinking that the coach's need to teach first at slow motion, then pick up the speed a little? If so should I approach the coach concerning it or am I stepping over the line?

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My 8 year old son is playing on a team with approximately 30 players, only 5 have ever played tackle football before. The coach has coached the same age group for 7 plus year. We are just starting our third week of practice. To put it frankly the kids have been taught very little about fundmentals. In the two weeks of practice they have had 15 minutes at most of slow motion form/fitting tackles . Everything else has been at full speed. No blocking technques have been done at half-speed(always full speed). Am I wrong in thinking that the coach's need to teach first at slow motion, then pick up the speed a little? If so should I approach the coach concerning it or am I stepping over the line?

As a parent who has a kid just starting a leage and never has played football, you should ask the coach about any concerns that arise about the team you may seem to have a problem with or just need a better understanding of why something is being done that way. Every coach has a certain why they teach there team and sometimes hard and fast is best, but there should always be time for fundamentals and techniques. Even while teaching these techniques and fundamentals everything should be done fast and hard. Football is a physical sport and sometimes a kid can get hurt if they are not at full speed every time the ball is snapped. Also, as a parent it is good to spend a little time with your kid at home and teach them more about the game, the football games for video like (MADDEN 2007) or any of the MADDEN football games for playstation,xbox or some of the other home video games. Sometimes even turn to TV onto a football game and watch the players,. this is a great way to learn some techniques at home.

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THanks for you reply Tmack. When I was writing about going slow motion it was in reference to form tackling and blocking drills, not actually hitting-which obviously would be a full speed. If a kid can not properly use his shoulder pads and wrap a tackler in slow motion properly, he sure can't be expected to do it properly at full speed (where kids can get hurt when they instinctively drop their heads).

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I think Tmack was giving the coach the benefit of the doubt. I think we would all agree that the players need to be able to tackle and block properly in order to avoid injury. As Tmack said bring it up to the coach. If it's my child and I know something is not being done correctly I am going to bring it up. Not in front of everyone or even my child as that is not the place, but I would not hesitate to bring it up. In addition, if it comes down to safety and I feel that strongly about it, I would not hesitate to pull my child off the team if it was not addressed.

We run a thing called fit and freeze throughout our practices. This is something that we picked up from Coach Dave Cisar's - Winning Youth Football Book. It's basically what your refering to and it is a great way to develop good fundamental tackling and blocking form. We have found that it gives the kids more confidence in that they are doing what the coaches expect. Maybe you should be a copy and start coaching yourself.

Good luck with your son. Let us know how it goes.

Charlie

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Charlie,

Fit & Freeze - I couldn't remember the name of the concept, thanks. I would love to coach but one of the things I hate about youth sports is nepotism. My son is one of the better players and the last thing I want is any appearance of special treatment. The very first practice I asked the coach what kind of expereince he had coming back and he said he had 4 players that played tackle last year ( two of the four being coach's son's), out of a team that had close to 30 players on it. I was surprised, obviously there must have been a lot of 8 year old that decided not to come back this year. Watching practice now I think I have a better understanding of why. I have never seen so many kids crying during a practice and basically having a terrible time. I know football is very different than other sports but what is the average drop rate for kids not returning for a second year of tackle football?

Thanks

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You should coach! I can't tell you how happy I am that my dad was a coach on some of my teams. He was truly able to share the wins/loses. progression/growth, and up/downs with me and I wouldn't give that up for anything. Out team has 9 coaches, 7 have kids on the team, not including myself. I can't tell you how jealous it makes me not have a son on the field with me. If you truly think this coach is going about teaching/coaching this team incorrectly, takeover next year's team or at least become an assistant!

I don't think the droprate is terribly high, but I'm sure it's near the top of the list among youth sports. From last year's team, off the top of my head, out of a 22 team roster, 5 didn't return. Either the player(s) wanted to play a different sport, didn't want to move up, or just didn't want to participate in any sport, or they moved. I have always felt if kids are on the border about playing football, their careers won't last long and at this early age, they are still experimenting with which sports they enjoy. First year players always seem to be on the border, so with some of them not returning to his team, wouldn't surprise me much. How did the team do last year?

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They were 3-5. They are in an 8 team division. 4 teams make the playoffs, the team my son is on has made the playoff's once in 7 years. Since I am new to this I want to get my facts straight. To me the combination of kids not wanting to play and a team that should have a 50/50 shot of making the playoffs each year and only making it once in 7 years is a sign that something is wrong. But maybe I am missing something? Obviously we are in the middle of the season so I am trying to figure out long term what should be done, if anything?

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They were 3-5. They are in an 8 team division. 4 teams make the playoffs, the team my son is on has made the playoff's once in 7 years. Since I am new to this I want to get my facts straight. To me the combination of kids not wanting to play and a team that should have a 50/50 shot of making the playoffs each year and only making it once in 7 years is a sign that something is wrong. But maybe I am missing something? Obviously we are in the middle of the season so I am trying to figure out long term what should be done, if anything?

I'm not sure how it works in your city, but many times, players are regulated to teams in their area or districts. Luckily for us, we can pulls kids from anywhere if they are willing to drive a bit. If you are able to switch teams next year and aren't regulated to a particular team depending on you address, I'd consider the change. If football is important to your son and you are willing to travel a bit, keep track of winning teams/past records, visit one of their practices this year (or a few), look at the talent, and make the decision. Now, part of the problem, if he moves to a highly talented team, his chances of playing may be limited, so that is another factor to consider. However, good coaching goes a long way once he reaches the higher levels and playing against/with a talented team, should make him a better player overall.

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My 8 year old son is playing on a team with approximately 30 players, only 5 have ever played tackle football before. The coach has coached the same age group for 7 plus year. We are just starting our third week of practice. To put it frankly the kids have been taught very little about fundmentals. In the two weeks of practice they have had 15 minutes at most of slow motion form/fitting tackles . Everything else has been at full speed. No blocking technques have been done at half-speed(always full speed). Am I wrong in thinking that the coach's need to teach first at slow motion, then pick up the speed a little? If so should I approach the coach concerning it or am I stepping over the line?

I had the same issues last year with my son's 8,9,10 yr old team. Not once did the coaches use any blocking or tackling dummies. It was my son's first year, he was nine. It was a very frustrating year. I could not help as a coach due to my job. We had one of the most talented teams out of the 10 team league. We ended up 4-4. This year we went back into the draft and changed teams due to the coaches lack of football knowledge. My work hours also changed so I could coach this year. At every practice we work on fundamentals. Now it is sometimes difficult to coach my own son, but it is worth it. I ended up knowing our new coach. There are three of us coaching, each one of us has a son on the team. Our team is doing very well. We have 19 kids and have had no one quit and we are going on our fifth game. We only practice 2 times a week while all the other teams do 3. We have an open communication policy with our parents. We ask them to give opinions and they usually do. You should approach the coach and offer your opinion.

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Concerned parent if you do not mind me asking what state and county does your kid play? I know my team is currently having the same problem, but we try teaching techniques all the time and for some reason are kids are just not picking up on it. We even have a league commissioner coming over during our practices and showing the kids how to block how to tackle. Perhaps the coach has a different philosophy in teaching his team, do you think your coach is open minded? Also have you addressed your concerns to the team mom, asst. coaches, commissioner? Im pretty sure your league commissioner does not want to see your kid quit the team or any other kids for that matter. Most of these coaches coach because they love to compete, the last thing they want to do is scare a kid away from this sport.I can tell you with my experince of coaching there is things I would do differently when it comes to showing my team on how to block, tackle, run throug a hole. I was fortunate enough to have coaches that used to play in the NFL that taught me in High School for 3 years. I was able to met Joe Robinson, Marshall Faulk in my High School days due to having coaches at this calibur. As an asst. coach I can tell I have spent endless hours with other coaches and my league commissioner with trying to come up with a game plan that can improve my team. I hope this helps you.

PS like somebody else suggested try watching football as much as you can and go over his/her playbook with them for 5-10 minutes a day. This will help you understand what the coach is trying to accomplish. And it will help you understand the game of football.

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Concerned parent if you do not mind me asking what state and county does your kid play? I know my team is currently having the same problem, but we try teaching techniques all the time and for some reason are kids are just not picking up on it. We even have a league commissioner coming over during our practices and showing the kids how to block how to tackle. Perhaps the coach has a different philosophy in teaching his team, do you think your coach is open minded? Also have you addressed your concerns to the team mom, asst. coaches, commissioner? Im pretty sure your league commissioner does not want to see your kid quit the team or any other kids for that matter. Most of these coaches coach because they love to compete, the last thing they want to do is scare a kid away from this sport.I can tell you with my experince of coaching there is things I would do differently when it comes to showing my team on how to block, tackle, run throug a hole. I was fortunate enough to have coaches that used to play in the NFL that taught me in High School for 3 years. I was able to met Joe Robinson, Marshall Faulk in my High School days due to having coaches at this calibur. As an asst. coach I can tell I have spent endless hours with other coaches and my league commissioner with trying to come up with a game plan that can improve my team. I hope this helps you.

PS like somebody else suggested try watching football as much as you can and go over his/her playbook with them for 5-10 minutes a day. This will help you understand what the coach is trying to accomplish. And it will help you understand the game of football.

Thanks for all the replies. I am in VA. The kids had their first game Sat. and didn't score a point. I am a little more upbeat since the kids at least got to play a game and that I think at least helps them confidence wise(I spoke with a couple of the kids and they seem to remember at least some of the good things they did). I am very interested to see what types of adjustments the coaches are going to make. There were a couple of things that stood out to me as needing work.1. The flanker/wingback and TE had a terrible time blocking the outside linebacker( or even touching him) on sweeps, and our QB was just floating the ball on pitches and not hitting the tailback in stride. I think I understand the game fairly well as I played it for 9 years. The suggestion of watching football is fine, but I will disagree with thinking that Madden games will help. I don't think there are a lot of plays a 8/9 year old team would run that are on Madden.

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I would agree with you the Madden 09 just does not cut it for the age group. Maybe you might want to suggest to your coaches go with something basic like superheroes for there play calling. Like Hulk 34 or Batman Pass 51. vs. Shotgun Trips Right 9115 HB swing out left. This is to much info for them at there age. You played for nine years is there playbook complicated like that with the Trips, Double Slot, etc... But the good thing that happened is it sounds like the kids had fun, which in most cases thats what its all about. I hope this helps

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I would agree with you the Madden 09 just does not cut it for the age group. Maybe you might want to suggest to your coaches go with something basic like superheroes for there play calling. Like Hulk 34 or Batman Pass 51. vs. Shotgun Trips Right 9115 HB swing out left. This is to much info for them at there age. You played for nine years is there playbook complicated like that with the Trips, Double Slot, etc... But the good thing that happened is it sounds like the kids had fun, which in most cases thats what its all about. I hope this helps

I have to disagree. Playing Madden or any EA College Football will help kids understand football. It also gets them to watch football. The kids in our league are leaps and bounds better than kids 30 years ago. Their knowledge of the game amazes me. My son has played baseball, basketball, and football video games since he was a small child. He rarely plays any other types of games. He also watches ESPN. He knows more about football than most adults. Then again he also has played poker since he was 5 years and he has great math skills. The EA games stimulate their little minds. Our football team still has kids that have no idea what offense or defense is. I'm sure they do not play Madden. Another example is he plays Nascar 09 with a steering wheel and pedals, and I bet he could drive my truck almost as well as my wife.

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I would agree with you the Madden 09 just does not cut it for the age group. Maybe you might want to suggest to your coaches go with something basic like superheroes for there play calling. Like Hulk 34 or Batman Pass 51. vs. Shotgun Trips Right 9115 HB swing out left. This is to much info for them at there age. You played for nine years is there playbook complicated like that with the Trips, Double Slot, etc... But the good thing that happened is it sounds like the kids had fun, which in most cases thats what its all about. I hope this helps

I have to disagree. Playing Madden or any EA College Football will help kids understand football. It also gets them to watch football. The kids in our league are leaps and bounds better than kids 30 years ago. Their knowledge of the game amazes me. My son has played baseball, basketball, and football video games since he was a small child. He rarely plays any other types of games. He also watches ESPN. He knows more about football than most adults. Then again he also has played poker since he was 5 years and he has great math skills. The EA games stimulate their little minds. Our football team still has kids that have no idea what offense or defense is. I'm sure they do not play Madden. Another example is he plays Nascar 09 with a steering wheel and pedals, and I bet he could drive my truck almost as well as my wife.

Yet another classic post.

Watching espn or playing a video game has absolutely NOTHING to do with playing the game on grass. You are funny, you need to take your act on the road.

Saying you have kids that do not know the difference between offense and defense because they don't play video games is absolutly absurd. Who coaches these kids?

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I would agree with you the Madden 09 just does not cut it for the age group. Maybe you might want to suggest to your coaches go with something basic like superheroes for there play calling. Like Hulk 34 or Batman Pass 51. vs. Shotgun Trips Right 9115 HB swing out left. This is to much info for them at there age. You played for nine years is there playbook complicated like that with the Trips, Double Slot, etc... But the good thing that happened is it sounds like the kids had fun, which in most cases thats what its all about. I hope this helps

I have to disagree. Playing Madden or any EA College Football will help kids understand football. It also gets them to watch football. The kids in our league are leaps and bounds better than kids 30 years ago. Their knowledge of the game amazes me. My son has played baseball, basketball, and football video games since he was a small child. He rarely plays any other types of games. He also watches ESPN. He knows more about football than most adults. Then again he also has played poker since he was 5 years and he has great math skills. The EA games stimulate their little minds. Our football team still has kids that have no idea what offense or defense is. I'm sure they do not play Madden. Another example is he plays Nascar 09 with a steering wheel and pedals, and I bet he could drive my truck almost as well as my wife.

Yet another classic post.

Watching espn or playing a video game has absolutely NOTHING to do with playing the game on grass. You are funny, you need to take your act on the road.

Saying you have kids that do not know the difference between offense and defense because they don't play video games is absolutly absurd. Who coaches these kids?

coachbreck, playing video games does help a child learn the game of football. Yes you have to practice it "on the grass" to become a better football player. There is no doubt about that. You take a kid out in the yard to work on football and you won't be there for long. You put a game controller in his hand to play football and combine it with teaching the game on grass and you will have a kid with more football knowledge. Do you ever play video games? Why do you think kids are so much more talented at a younger age? I am a firm believer also as a baseball coach that baseball video games help. You stick to your "coaching methods" and I'll stick with mine. Me and two other dad's coach my son's team. We actually have a good team that runs a Spread offense and the option. We teach the fundementals every practice.

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