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Coach Fun

Should I Delegate To Assistant?

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I am wondering if I should delegate the defense to one of the assistant coaches. I'm the head coach, and several dads have said they are interested in helping on the field during the games. We can have 1 HC + 2 Asst on the sideline during the game. Our set up is:

6-7 YO

My team has 7 boys

5 v 5

7 yard rush

no QB run

no blocking

We've had two practices and our first game is this weekend. The dads seem very exuberant. One dad has been the most helpful, and I have been asking him to 'hold the defensive clipboard' during practice. He's inquired about helping on Sunday.

Should I ask him to run the D? Is it giving up too much control? I don't need much help with the sidelines (team is small), and my O and D are simple. I wonder if his help would allow me to relax a little during the game, and just watch for improvement areas and focus on the O.

Any advice or sharing your experience would be greatly appreciated.

Fun

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I would definitely suggest having an assistant coach run the defense for you...The good thing about that is that you already know what should be done so you can help make adjustments if needed.

I coached multiple seasons with an assistant running our defense and my 1st season alone I was a little lost.There was so much happening at 1 time and it went quickly.

I had to calm things down and I always used my timeouts to keep things slowed down a little.I do coach older kids though so they might be a reason why but its always good to relax and let an assistant run things.

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I understand your concern about giving up control but you need to consider the assistant and what his perception will be. After my first season where I did most everything by myself, I realized that an assistant is crucial, more so in practice than in games. But I've been an assistant and I know that you don't like to simply stand there on the sideline doing nothing. So, in order to make sure I had a solid buy-in from my assistant I gave him more power and control which included being on the field for defense. Now I have an assistant who is just as committed to practice and the games as I am. And if I have to miss a game, I have someone who can stand in because he knows the team and the playbook. Of course I make sure everything is done my way. I'm in total control of the team and I call in plays when I see something. My assistant understands that I'm in charge and as such we have a good relationship.

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Having an assistant is so very crucial and so very much important. I have an assistant who runs the defense and is very committed, like Orange said in practices is where having help of an assistant is very valuable! My assistant has total control pretty much of the defense and that makes him more committed and relieves me of worrying much about it. IMO the offense is a tough enough task in coaching, so by having another person coaching the defense just makes us better. Of course when I see things that I feel need to be changed, I call it in or talk to my assistant about it.

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Have to agree with what's been said so far. Highly recommend an assistant and see no problem allowing this person to be in charge of the defense (as long as they share your coaching philosophy). My assistant runs the defense and is very committed at this point. We've coached close to 20 seasons together including basketball, football and soccer. I'm the one who takes the ultimate responsibility, but quite frankly, it's kind of a co-coaching type thing at this point. We've come to rely on each other's input.

Another suggestion, involve other dads or moms. I have two dads that have been with me for close to 15 seasons at this point. They both help in practice when needed and keep stats on the sidelines. The kids know them, so we have two more "coaches" on the sidelines encouraging the kids. I get pretty caught up in the game, calling plays, etc., so I ask them for their input inbetween possessions. Several times now they've given me good advice on what they're seeing out on the field. One of the dads helps video tape/photograph for our season end DVD, also have another mom who takes team pics for us.

My wife takes over all recruiting and admin stuff (e.g. paper work needing to be signed, snack/drink list, practice times & locations). She's great at communicating with the parents before, during and after the season. It definitely allows me to focus on coaching.

CRob

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Thanks for the generous replies. And thanks for the back-bone injection. I will go with ahead and delegate the D. I like the idea of involving the parents (my "assistant" is another parent, BTW. I did ask for a volunteer for the snack list, and a nice mom took over -- that was great.

Coach Fun

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I went without an assistant for almost four years. It was not a matter of "wanting to be in control", but instead never had anyone step up. I always told the parents early on, "if anyone wants to help out, jump on in", but no one ever did.

This season I became aggressive in my search for an assistant. Specifically a defensive coach. I have 13 kids, and last season in football it completely drained me. My wife would tell she'd hear the parents quite often watch us on the field and be amazed at what a "one man show" I was (I have a lot of energy on the field). ;-)

However, for the better of the team, I did focus on finding an assistant for this season. It allows me to focus more on the offense (which I love) and I don't feel like I've been through a marathon after each practice.

I gave the assistant coach COMPLETE CONTROL over the defense if he wants it. If he wants me to support him and "delegate", I am happy to, but would rather give him the option. I figure it would be easier for him to ask "What do you think we should do here?" instead of ask me "Can you stay out of my business here?" ;-)

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Wow I have not been here much lately but this topic hit a nerve. I just finished up our season and we ended it 0-9 { OUCH }, the problem for me was that I got asked to coach because lack of coaches, I have never coached so I asked one of the other dads that i go to church with to be co-coach. This was a terrible idea and learned big time that there only needs to be one person calling the shots, now I see no problem with getting assistants and taking ideas to help but ONE person needs to be in total control. My co-coach took it upon his self to run the offense and use his son as QB, I tried through out the year to get some control but it never really happened. We never ran the same plays game to game, every week he had drawn up new plays while he was at work and thats what we ran on that Saturday. Believe me i tried to step in but I didn't want to ruin our friendship or our wifes friendship.

Having someone help is fine if not great but let every one know up front that you are the one calling the shots good or bad. With all that being said I am now excited about coaching next year to see if I can get it done when I'm calling all the shots. My plans are to run the offense totally my self but delegate the defense to some one but still be in total control, but I will probably end up taking the defense on my self also.

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I think the key is to set clear expectations up front. I've heard horror stories regarding egos colliding, and do agree that there should be a single person who is completely in charge of the team and who makes the final decisions.

I have a friend who signed his kid up to play football. When he registered, he asked if he could be an "assistant" coach. Of course the 19 year girl who was registering said, "Sure". A week later he got a call from his son's head coach, introducing himself. During the conversation, my friend said, "And as your assistant . . .". The phone became silent and the coach said, "Oh---I didn't know I had an assistant."

I informed my friend that the response pretty much indicates that the coach probably wants to run the show himself (which is fine), so he should flat out ask the coach if he wants an assistant, and if the coach says he's okay without one then to respect that decision. And . . . I told my friend if he wants to coach----then he should sign up to coach.

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Update to my own story: I did fully delegate the D to the Asst. I contacted him last Thursday, explained my 'philosophy.' All was well. On Sunday, our first two games day, he texted me and said he wouldn't make it to the games -- he had to work. OK, now what? Turns out made it to the game with his son. He later told me that his wife made him feel guilty so he snuck out of work. I could have managed O and D, but I had to chuckle.

Fun

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Wow I have not been here much lately but this topic hit a nerve. My co-coach took it upon his self to run the offense and use his son as QB, I tried through out the year to get some control but it never really happened. Having someone help is fine if not great but let every one know up front that you are the one calling the shots good or bad. With all that being said I am now excited about coaching next year to see if I can get it done when I'm calling all the shots. My plans are to run the offense totally my self but delegate the defense to some one but still be in total control, but I will probably end up taking the defense on my self also.
You bring up some good points. I've been through that same scenario early in my coaching career with a variation on the theme. Got frustrated and ventured out on my own, controlling everything with my philosophy.

Quite honestly, finding my assistant seemed to happen naturally. He was a dad on the team with two well behaved and athletic kids who seemed eager to help. Started out helping run a few drills, picking up cones, etc. and after a few seasons together, I knew this guy shared my same mindset for youth sports and I asked him to be the "official assistant". The word spread about our team and other families joined, I found two other dads who shared our same vision and both started helping where they could in practice or on the sidelines.

The key for me was finding a group of parents that shared our same mindset about youth sports. It took time and I really didn't force it to happen, it just happened by attraction rather than promotion. Not everyone agreed with our philosophies, so some moved on and some stuck. Most of us have been together now for about 15-20 seasons, but it didn't happen overnight. It sure is a HUGE blessing to be surrounded by like-minded folks when it comes to youth sports. It makes coaching a lot easier and more enjoyable.

CRob

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Well put, Coach Rob!

15-20 seasons? Wow! How many seasons are in a year in your league? That's quite impressive, and you are surely doing the right thing to have such as loyal following.

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15-20 seasons? Wow! How many seasons are in a year in your league? That's quite impressive, and you are surely doing the right thing to have such as loyal following.
20+ seasons coaching, somewhere between 15-20 most of the current families have stuck together. It's not all football, I coach soccer, football and basketball, so I usually bang out 4-5 seasons per year. Some years I end up coaching 2 sports at once. You can see why I thrive on having all the extra help. Usually try and take the summer off.

It's definitely been a cool thing to have all those families stick together. Orange suggested having summer get togethers where the kids/parents hang out a local park, have some grub and play a pick up game of whatever. Those have been a blast because we invite kids who might've only played 1 or 2 seasons with us, it really keeps everyone together over the summer months.

Good stuff.

CRob

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This past season was my first time to coach flag football, i was called a week after we found out most all the teams had already started practicing. I got the call that my sons team had no coach so I new that I had to do it or who knows what would of happened. Well any way there just happened to be some friends from church on our team and he said he would co-coach with me and at the time it seemed like a good idea but I did not feel good about his philosophy, since I was new I thought what the heck it would be nice to share the responsibility. I was so wrong, I did all the calling, communications with the league director, parents and ect..... He just showed up at game time and did what he wanted. Through out the year I did manage to get the plays I wanted to run in for maybe two games and we really showed alot of improvement but it went quickly back to him scribbling plays on a napkin every saturday or in the huddle, the kids never really knew what or where they would be from one day to the next. The plays I wanted to run and managed to get in a little where from here {Coach Orange} and they really started working great mis direction for that age.

So thanks Orange Ill let you know how your plays work for us next year, i guess i have the coaching bug now. I just had the same thing happen to me with my 9 yr. old girl in basketball ( one coach short:) ) so now I have to get to work and find some info.

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