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snooptym

Coaching Philosophy

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snooptym    0

I am going into my 2nd season as a coach and the league is starting a competitive league to go along with the recreational league we played in last season. I will be moving up to 3rd/4th grade. My team did great last season and I had a blast coaching them. I attribute most of what I did to the fantastic advice on this board. Coach Rob and Orange you don't know this but you were instrumental on how I ran my team. We went 7-1 and by the end of the season we beat the team we lost to 36-0. I had some really great talent I highly doubt it was me as the coach. It's a 5v5 league with a 7 yard rush and QB can't run. We had a very disciplined zone defense with some fast agile players.

Anyway being as we will be moving up an age division and entering into a competitive league and this being only my 2nd season I had some questions on coaching philosophy. Specifically pertaining to playing time, positions, development of players.

At this age each kid has a ton of development to still do, however, for the sake of scoring points and having a fun and trying to win, is it best to settle on 2-3 kids per position and that's what they will play, or should I continue the rotation of positions so each player gets a chance at every position to learn and develop. Again I'm not real sure what my philosophy should be here what is the right/wrong answer?

In addition should I switch to calling plays from the sidelines and have the kids run the show in the field or should I continue to show them the play in the huddle on the field?

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hollad6636    0

Snooptym,

I think that every coach has been faced with this dilema at some point. I think it really comes down to your kids. It can be said that moving players all over the place doesn't allow anyone to get better as they don't spend enough time learning their position. For example, how many of your players are actually great quarterbacks and not just decent athletes that got away with alot against lessor talent? If you put those players at quarterback and they struggle and throw interceptions I can guarantee they won't be enjoying it as much as being place in a position for success.

This can be a tough transition for your players and families if you don't communicate your philosophy up front to all of them, so whatever you decide your philosphy is going to be communicate it up from in a team meeting and then go from there.

Good luck!

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Charlie    2

Snooptym,

I think this all depends on the group of kids and parents that you have. I personally think that it would be best to start developing your players at certain positions and not rotating them all over the place. You may get some push back from a few parents but if you communicate up front what your plans are and design plays that get everyone touches this should help make it a smother transition to a more competitive league.

Charlie

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snooptym    0

Thanks guys for the advice. I am leaning more towards developing players at certain positions. I just wasn't sure if this is the right age to start that process. I have some really good athlete's who might be better served as RB's or WR's. I don't have a QB who is great at seeing the field and making a good decision. The one that is better at making decision's doesn't have the greatest arm strength or accuracy. That will definitely need to be something I address if we start doing more passing down the road.

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We just finished 4th grade level and moving up to 5/6.

Generally the same group of kids now for 2 seasons....

I have the boys play certain positions...and it works for us...they all get to know their position on defense and the responsiblities....because of the substitution rotation, some kids play more than one spot...and if a kid says he wants to rush, or whatever, I try to accomodate. On offense, with all of the positions able to catch the ball, we have plays to get the ball to every kid on the team, so playing the same positions does not prevent spreading the ball around.

I got off the field two seasons ago (coaches can be on the field through 3/4 division in our league) and let the boys run the show....we use wristbands with the plays on them, and the qb comes and gets the play from the sideline, takes it to the huddle and calls the play. I think it probably cost us a few points over the games, but the boys got to experience the control of their game, and the responsiblity of being lined up right, etc. Accountablity. By the end of last season, most of the boys had the plays memorized and didnt need the wrist bands....we have about 18 plays or so.....Personally, I think the pros outweight the cons for getting off the field and letting the boys run the show themselves.

Coach has to get off the field for 5/6 anyways, so we will now have a leg up on that issue.

Most important thing is to keep having fun....and keep the games and practices fun for the kids.....its their game..

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macvolcan    0

For the teams that I coach, the QB is by far the toughest position as they have the largest amount they have to remember, and I limit that spot to only a couple of kids (1 plays one half, one plays the other half, and another one as an alternate that steps in if one of the first two aren't there), aside from that I tend to base it off of the kid. Most of the kids I felt fine limiting them to two positions on offense and two positions on defense, there are some kids that really get out of their comfort zone and I limit them to just one position, and there are other kids that will take a copy of the playbook home and work on it w/ mom and dad, and for those kids I tend to move them around a bit more to keep them challenged. That being said I have an approach similar to 'cazador suerte'
in that I set up the plays to spread the ball around and therefor don't need to move the kids around to get them the ball.

As far as whether or not you should be in the huddle, I think if your league allows it and its the norm for other coaches to be in there, I would go ahead and continue calling your plays from the huddle, it allows for more coaching opportunities and for you to constantly give feedback in real time (encouragement, on the spot corrections, and re-enforcement on what their assignment is). I also think if call plays from the sideline and do not go a wristband route, you will find yourself shrinking your playbook in half atleast, with those concerns aside 4th grade is the age group I would consider doing it and not any earlier.

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Coach Rob    25

Snoop -

Congrats on a great season! i'll tell Orange some of his advice went to good use the next time I talk with him.

My take on rec vs. competitive has always been that if there are tryouts and kids are getting cut, all bets are off. The competitive world is a different animal than rec when we're talking tryouts. However, if you're taking the same kids and simply making a decision to move up to a competitive league, Schann has some wise advice on communication. I've found over the years that communicating clearly up front to the parents (and kids) helped reduce the stress levels down the road. Notice I said reduce, because you'll still have the potential for a few folks to question your coaching decisions once you're in the heat of competitive battle.

Most competitive coaches I know quickly figure out that getting a nice lead and keeping it makes things a lot easier. How that plays out is where things can get a bit dicey. Some kids might not play as much as others. Some kids may get way more ball touches than others. Some parents are cool with things, some parents might not be as cool. Communication is a big factor in this one.

I can tell you from experience that you can be competitive but still have fun and display good sportsmanship at all times**. It takes a little more effort, but it's well worth it in the end.

Best of luck!

**One example: Before the game starts, have your kids go shake the opposing coach's hand and wish him good luck.

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Orange    26

The good old days! Glad to see some of our advice is still working. I often wish I still was coaching my old flag team but they're all in high school now.

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Coach Rob    25

The good old days! Glad to see some of our advice is still working. I often wish I still was coaching my old flag team but they're all in high school now.

I'm actually planning a flag football reunion this summer at a local park. I'm in the same boat, all the kids I coached are in high school now too. Most of them stayed with me for the competitive basketball scene up through this past fall, so it should be easy to get a reunion going. Maybe I'll get the GoPro out and do a little POV from an old man's perspective. Stay tuned.

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Orange    26

I was trying to figure out where all my kids are now, what sports if any they are playing. 10th graders now, here is what their main sports are now (although some are multi-sport, these are their main pursuits). Only one football guy:

Lacrosse x 4

Soccer 1

Baseball x 2

Basketball 1

Football 1

Golf 1

Cross Country/ Track 1

I had a pretty diverse group of kids.

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Coach Rob    25

Same, mine are in 10th, with 2 in 9th.



Basketball x 3


Tennis x 2 (+ 1 basketball)


Soccer x 1 (+ basketball)


Football x 1


Lost track of two who ended up at different schools.



Crazy as most of the kids are 6'+. My son sprouted to 6'2". Big lesson not to judge kids too early in life based on their physicality or capabilities at that time.


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Orange    26

Rob,

No lacrosse guys? That's one of the most popular sports now in Central Florida.

Most of my kids are under 6'. My son is 5'10" and most are his height or shorter. Only have one kid who is 6'+. I would say at least 4-5 of my kids are excelling at their chosen sports which is really nice to see.

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Depends on the age group I'm with. Probably 12+ I'll keep most of the kids at the same position the whole time, and most of them don't have a problem with it. Younger than that and I usually find two kids who can play QB, and then have the rest of the kids rotate around at WR and RB. I usually assign those positions randomly in the huddle.

I always let them know though that if they want to play a certain position than just let me know and I'll get them some time there. I'd always give a kid a chance to play QB if he asked me.

In my experience with 6 and under kids I couldn't do anything but run the ball. With my league it's only once a week, 45 minute practice before the games, so it's hard to teach those kids much about throwing. It's basically rotating handoffs the entire game, with some occasional reverse plays. I think I could start introducing passing plays to 7 year olds, but I haven't had them alone so I never tried it. 8 and up though and I think most of my plays are fair game. 13+ if I get a good group of kids then I pretty much let them handle everything. I have wristcoaches with audibles that I give them, and they just run with it. Really depends on the group of kids.

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Coach Rob    25

Rob,

No lacrosse guys? That's one of the most popular sports now in Central Florida.

Most of my kids are under 6'. My son is 5'10" and most are his height or shorter. Only have one kid who is 6'+. I would say at least 4-5 of my kids are excelling at their chosen sports which is really nice to see.

I had one kid that played for me from 1st - 4th grade that turned out to be a great LAX player. Basketball seemed to be the sport of choice, but that's probably because we specialized a few years ago and most of the kids I coached came along for that ride.

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