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jephil0

5-7 Year Old 5 V 5 Flag Brand New (Football) Coach!

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Coach Rob    25

Sounds like things worked out. Congrats on the win and more importantly, the first completed pass. Keep enjoying the ride.

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jephil0    1

Thanks, I will. We play the undefeated team again (the Colts) this coming Tuesday. That said--in the game after ours (yesterday), the Falcons tied them. This past Saturday, we beat the Falcons. Conclusion: We can beat the Colts. :D

Thanks to both of you for all your advice (and hand-holding) so far!

Jonathan

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macvolcan    0

Thanks, I will. We play the undefeated team again (the Colts) this coming Tuesday. That said--in the game after ours (yesterday), the Falcons tied them. This past Saturday, we beat the Falcons. Conclusion: We can beat the Colts. :D

Thanks to both of you for all your advice (and hand-holding) so far!

Jonathan

NP, glad to help. Also very happy to hear your enjoying the ride so far.

I would offer more advice but Coach Rob seems to have nailed all your questions so far :).

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jephil0    1

I replied to this once, but suspect I hit "report" instead of reply, which is especially embarrassing considering that I am a moderator on a forum and we all get exasperated when our users do the exact same thing! So, very sorry if that's the case!

Anyway--I wanted to mention two things. In regard to our great defense--I told the kids I would take them out for pizza if they could get 30 flags during the game. They got 20, so we're going to have a pizza party at the end of the season, and they still have a chance at an early one in our upcoming game. They were *highly* motivated!

Two--I don't normally let my son play quarterback. I try not to play favorites. We were in the "have to pass zone" and had missed a couple already when we put him in there out of desperation. That said, you won't find a prouder dad! :D

Jonathan

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macvolcan    0
Two--I don't normally let my son play quarterback. I try not to play favorites. We were in the "have to pass zone" and had missed a couple already when we put him in there out of desperation. That said, you won't find a prouder dad! :D

I struggle with this one a bit personally. On one hand you don't want to show favorites, but on the other its easy to go extreme in that direction too.

If you have 2-3 quarterbacks that you rotate through, and your son happens to be one of them, I think that is perfectly acceptable assuming there isn't a better athelete that you overlooked to put him there. If your son is clearly the better athlete, your unlikely to catch any flack from the parents. I would go as far as to say if it was equal between your son and another kid, its okay to put him in that rotation, which perhaps is showing him a small amount of favoritism. Consider it compensation for all of the extra hours that you are putting in to make the game fun for everyone :).

That being said you can't just give it to your son, that will end up doing him more harm than good, he has to know that he must 'earn' the right to be QB if thats what he wants to do.

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jephil0    1

It's interesting--he wants to be quarterback NOW, because of how happy I was at that completed pass! But, prior to that, none of them want to be quarterback. They all want to be the running back.

But the favorites issue *is* problematic--our smallest player is my assistant coach's son, and he probably gets a bit more time than he otherwise would. That said, he has more heart and puts more effort in than anyone else on the team (with possibly one exception). So, it has worked out. The funny thing is, he's got pretty good moves if we let him run it, and he's *really* good against the teams with the bigger kids. By virtue of being so small, they have to bend over to try and grab his flags, which makes it quite a bit harder for them to use their size/speed against him.

I find that, favorites-wise, the players that give me the most trouble are the ones I want to play the least. I do my best to be mindful of that and give them a fair shot anyway, but...they make it hard sometimes!

J.

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macvolcan    0
I find that, favorites-wise, the players that give me the most trouble are the ones I want to play the least. I do my best to be mindful of that and give them a fair shot anyway, but...they make it hard sometimes!

J.

I can understand that, with some players all you can do is your best and try to give them a fair shot and atleast one chance to carry per game. That being said I thought you only had the one player that was giving you problems? Are there other 'problem players' that you have to work past?

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jephil0    1

Yep. I had the "lazy" player (whose mom has turned back up and is still pretty mean to him), who has basically reformed, and then my "problem" player, who we have never been able to reach really. Which is unfortunate it, because he can throw a perfect spiral at least 15 yards, if not farther. He is also very fast. That said, if his dad isn't present, he pretty much walks all over his mom. We've had two "mom only" practices, and he pretty much refused to participate. So, in the games, when we're on offense, he botches our plays and generally doesn't know what to do.

According to mom (who is very good at making excuses for him), he was a soccer star that decided to play football at the last second, and he just can't figure out that he has to work with his team to get something accomplished. I don't know what's up with him. He can throw the ball very far, and throw well, but he won't throw it teammates in terms of practicing. Always throws it over their heads, or to the left or right where they have to run to get it. Knocks it out of their hands, pulls flags all the time during practice, etc. Basically, most of the other kids don't want to play with him because of this behavior.

I can't figure it out. His dad is the nicest guy in the world. He seems strict, in that he makes him behave, but not overly strict. He clearly loves his kids and is kind to them. So, I dunno--maybe football just isn't the thing for this one.

In other news, we play our last regular season game tonight--against the Colts. Wish us luck!

Jonathan

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macvolcan    0

Gotcha, some of your other recent posts made it sound like you had started getting them alligned with your plan, sorry to hear that isn't stilli the case.

That is some pretty disruptive activity he is doing during practice, how did you handle it? I haven't had kids quite that disruptive in practice, but I certainliy have had days where one or more kids isn't with you at all, and want to horseplay or chat with their neighbor. If they aren't paying attention or are goofing off I send them for a quick run, we have a soccor goal post set up on the other end of the practice field and I tell them to 'run to the goal and back'. I haven't had anyone refuse to do that up to this stage, if they did I would probably ask their parents to hold them out of practice until they were ready to participate. It helps some, if for no other reason than to get them away from the other kids while I was wrapping up the drill.

My other obssession, and one I have been wracking my brain on this whole offseason as I get ready for my next season to start, is how to organize practices in such a way to have little to no time of them standing around. Coach Rob makes an excellent arguement for starting the year off with a coaches meeting and getting a couple parent assistance right off the bat so you can get the kids in smaller groups and thus more 1-1 time and less idle time. The more standing around you have in practice the more likely you are to lose them.

He also makes excellent points toward putting your top 2 most 'fun' drills, 1x at the middle of practice, and 1x at the end of practice so you have a power point of 'if we get through these drills we get to do x', as well as getting the kids out of there on a positive fun note and wanting more. Finally keeping your drills to 10-15 minutes maximum before you move on to something else really seemed to help keep practice flowing, if I started a drill and was obvious it wasn't going anywhere I would change gears and move on to something else rapidly (short attention spans and all).

Its probably too little too late as you are approaching your last game, but another option if you couldn't reach the kid potentially would have been to explain to the parents that you are going to minimize his play time in games if he can't stop being disruptive in practice. Don't know what the rules of your league about giving kids play time are to the letter, but generally the spirit of the rule is you want all of the kids out there having a good time and having a positive experience, if he is out there in the game causing disruptions and keeping other kids from getting the ball and having fun, it may be best just keeping him on the sidelines alot more, or as far away from doing anything disruptive as possible.

All that being said, wish you the best of luck tonight!

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jephil0    1

Thanks. I basically handle it just like you do--he starts up, he gets to run to the tree and back. I generally don't like doing that kind of thing as a punishment, but the truth is, he gets about two tries, and then I just can't spend any more time on him. Sending him to the tree gets him out of the way as far as being disruptive for the other kids.

As far as my other posts seeming more optimistic--OTHER than the problem player, the others (including the "lazy" player) have really been doing well. And the problem player missed a game and a practice, so he was kind of out of sight out of mind.

We lost our game last night (as expected), but held them to two touchdowns, so I'm okay with it, although my team put in a VERY lackluster performance. Hopefully they show up to play on Saturday (tournament game, where we have to play the same team again). It's frustrating, because we *could* win. The kids are plenty good enough. We'll see what happens on Saturday!

J.

p.s. If I can give you guys some advice, and I'm sure you already know this--don't over-commit yourselves. I have really enjoyed coaching this team, in many ways much more than this season's soccer team (better effort/heart out of the kids), but I am burnt out and ready to be DONE! At the beginning of the season, i was coaching three teams at once (two soccer teams and the football team), which meant I was at the park four days per week with two games on Saturdays. That's too much. The kids suffer because you can't prepare as much, and YOU suffer because you just can't enjoy it the way you otherwise might. So that's my two cents--no matter what sob story the Y gives you, or even if they just stick you with the team (as they did me, with this football team), sometimes you need to know when to say no.

That said, thanks for all your help this season. Most likely, I'm going to coach flag football again, and drop the soccer (my son is moving up to U8, which I don't feel I have the skills to coach, and my daughter is, at this moment, saying she doesn't want to play again). I have really appreciated your advice and insights!

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jephil0    1

We had our last practice yesterday. We worked almost exclusively on defense, although we did do some passing practice where I had my "problem player" just throw it how he throws it, and had the other players run out to where his range was and try to catch it. I don't know that we will do that for sure in the game, but we need some kind of surprise passing option if we're going to beat the Colts (our first game in the tournament).

For this last practice, we just decided to be laid back and have as much fun as we could. As a surprise for the kids, my assistant coach and I both brought a cooler filled with water balloons. At the end of the practice, we moved off the field, told them "this last drill is the most important one we've ever done...," and then picked teams. Their faces when we opened the coolers and they saw the balloons was about the greatest thing I have ever seen!

Long story short, we had fun!

Jonathan

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macvolcan    0
For this last practice, we just decided to be laid back and have as much fun as we could. As a surprise for the kids, my assistant coach and I both brought a cooler filled with water balloons. At the end of the practice, we moved off the field, told them "this last drill is the most important one we've ever done...," and then picked teams. Their faces when we opened the coolers and they saw the balloons was about the greatest thing I have ever seen!

ha! that sounds like it was a lot of fun. Great idea.

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jephil0    1

It was a ton of fun! After our last game this Saturday, we met up at a local pizza place and I handed out little prize bags, trophies (provided by the YMCA), and framed awards that I had made up for the kids. Examples of the awards were, The Sticky Hands Award, Airmail Award, (these two went to my two players that completed a pass this season), Gentle Giant Award for the kid with the best overall attitude, Ninja Award "Silent But Deadly" for my girl player who never spoke the entire season, etc. I made a speech about each kid. The "Problem Player" was actually really difficult to find an award for, but the "Lazy Player" had turned himself around, so I gave him the Most Improved Effort Award, which I prefaced by saying that I thought was my favorite and maybe the most important award of all. Their faces were great.

As far as our last game--we did lose to the Colts. However, we scored on them four times. I lost track of the final score, but I think it was in the neigbhorhood of 40 to 30. Of note, the Falcons, who the Colts ended up playing in the championship game, could not score against them at all.

In short, I am very proud of my team and what they accomplished this season, especially given that they had a complete novice (in terms of football) for a coach, and 6 of my 9 players had never played football before. We ended ranked second in our league, which I think is pretty fantastic! Finally, I want to thank you guys, Macvolcan and Rob, for all your advice and words of encouragement this season. You really helped me out a ton, and I definitely appreciate it!

Jonathan

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Coach Rob    25

Jonathan -

Great idea on the water balloons! We brought squirt guns one year. The other thing the kids loved was a game of ultimate football against the parents.

Also, great job on the awards/pizza deal. We'd do something similar and make them "dance" for their trophy's. They'd come up with some pretty cool moves. We added the parents in the mix and things really got interesting to see mom doing the jitterbug with junior.

You bring up a great point about volunteer coaching and getting burned out. To do all the things we mentioned in this thread alone takes a tremendous amount of effort on the coach's part. The average person doesn't realize all the work that goes into being a volunteer coach and doing it the right way.

Congrats on working through your issues and ending up #2 in the league. Don't be surprised when you find yourself tweaking those plays sometime in August.

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