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Need some reassurance

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I am in my fifth year coaching in an NFL 5v5 Flag League. I coach two teams each year for both of my sons that are in two different age groups. I preach sportsmanship first and I make sure that every player gets an equal amount of snaps. I typically experience a fair amount of turnover each year but retain a small core of 3-5 players per team. We get killed every year and I have lost faith in my ability. There are teams we compete against that have been consistent over each season with the same players that play on their respective flag team, baseball team, basketball team, etc. I know their playbooks are small with option routes, qb reads, and I always come out guns blazing with volumes of plays I'm sure are going to work this year??!!!! They don't. I am having a hard time motivating my players that know we are going to get killed. I keep things as fun as I can but their is only so much excitement I can get out of a team that knows each Saturday will lead to their football death yet again.

I just do not know what to do to get these guys interested, install an offense that can make up for our shortcomings, and at least be competitive. Our first practices are this Saturday and I already feel defeated.


Any advice from some long time coached out there?

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I realize this is late in coming, but I just saw this post, and in fact posted something similar not too long ago. I'm not a "long time" coach, as I've only done this for 2 years now, but I've learned a lot in that time and am always trying to get better. I've had two winning seasons and two losing seasons so far. One thing I've definitely learned is to simplify, and it sounds like that's something you struggle with, too. I did the same thing: came up with all these "great" plays sure to work, and it was just too much. I found myself changing plays every week looking for that "perfect formula." 

But really, the simpler the better, as in most younger leagues, it's the fundamentals that make the difference, not the play designs. I still have a few more intricate plays I run here and there, but I'd suggest concentrating far more on the fundamentals than the plays themselves. The coach that consistently wins I've noticed is the one who doesn't have the most well-designed plays, but whose kids have the best fundamentals. Teach flag pulling over and over. Teach defenders how to guard the sidelines, as most big plays happen there. Get every kid in a "football stance" before every play, not just standing around. Teach them to attack and dictate the play, not let things come to them and be dictated to. Teach snaps and handoff fundamentals. Teach them to stay in their zones on defense. These things are FAR more important than a play design. 

Most importantly, stay positive. Don't let the kids see you doubting them or yourself. Find positives in every loss without teaching the kids to accept losing. Come up with short-term goals that will keep them motivated, like prizes for the most flag pulls in a game or a game ball for the best effort in a game. 

Anyway, I know this is late in coming, but hope things have improved for you since you posted. 

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