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Coach Ed

Youth Football And Playing Everyone!

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I know that other folks go though this. I hope that someone can help me here, even guide me......I have 36 7/8 YO kids on our team. We are in a very aggressive 13 team league in Western PA. I have honestly 14 GOOD, possibly GREAT youth players at the 7/8 level. They know how to block, hit, play and more importantly protect themselves. They play clean, pay attention (for the most part) and score points. We lost a heartbareaker yesterday 6-0 for various reason such as penalties and blah, blah, blah.....We played a great game. We know where our mistakes were and what we have to do to correct them.

After the games, some of the parents started with the "EVERYONE SHOULD PLAY" no matter what. In our league, there is a simple clause that not everyone may get to play. Playing time is not a gaurentee. In a 6-0 game when we were on the 6 yard line and failed to punch in, should I have put some of my kids that can't block at the level we need? We took the ball down the field 54 yards in about 3 minutes. These are the young 7 year olds that can block but are still afraid to hit and really can't focus IN A GAME as to what to do. Practice is different. I'm sure you know the kids we are talking about.

What do you do? If they didn't keep score, and there isn't a set of playoffs followed by a Big Super Bowl at the end of the seson I can see just playing everyone. Honestly, I'm at a loss here. It's a new set of parents this year. Seems that the kids are a little bit more babied than years past. It was cut and dry last year.

Keep in mind, we have 5th qtr. games too or JV. They play Monday nights and NO STARTERS are allowed to play. I don't even have them wear their pads. Just shirt and shorts....This is for strictly the younger kids and more inexperienced kids.....

THOUGHTS? SUGGESTIONS? IDEAS?

Coach Ed :rolleyes:

www.WestMifflinYouthFootball.Com

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I know that other folks go though this. I hope that someone can help me here, even guide me......I have 36 7/8 YO kids on our team. We are in a very aggressive 13 team league in Western PA. I have honestly 14 GOOD, possibly GREAT youth players at the 7/8 level. They know how to block, hit, play and more importantly protect themselves. They play clean, pay attention (for the most part) and score points. We lost a heartbareaker yesterday 6-0 for various reason such as penalties and blah, blah, blah.....We played a great game. We know where our mistakes were and what we have to do to correct them.

After the games, some of the parents started with the "EVERYONE SHOULD PLAY" no matter what. In our league, there is a simple clause that not everyone may get to play. Playing time is not a gaurentee. In a 6-0 game when we were on the 6 yard line and failed to punch in, should I have put some of my kids that can't block at the level we need? We took the ball down the field 54 yards in about 3 minutes. These are the young 7 year olds that can block but are still afraid to hit and really can't focus IN A GAME as to what to do. Practice is different. I'm sure you know the kids we are talking about.

What do you do? If they didn't keep score, and there isn't a set of playoffs followed by a Big Super Bowl at the end of the seson I can see just playing everyone. Honestly, I'm at a loss here. It's a new set of parents this year. Seems that the kids are a little bit more babied than years past. It was cut and dry last year.

Keep in mind, we have 5th qtr. games too or JV. They play Monday nights and NO STARTERS are allowed to play. I don't even have them wear their pads. Just shirt and shorts....This is for strictly the younger kids and more inexperienced kids.....

THOUGHTS? SUGGESTIONS? IDEAS?

Coach Ed :rolleyes:

www.WestMifflinYouthFootball.Com

That is a very competitive league for seven and eight year olds. In vermont the kids play flag football until fifth grade. I coach a 5-6 grade team and we pride ourselves on playing everyone. That said, although we keep score there is no championship or playoffs at this level, not until 7-8 grade. We also have wight requirements for all runners to control safety. If a kid is not ready to hit or be hit they should not be put in that position. We do try to hide some of our weaker kids at safety or as a decoy back, so they can be in the game without a lot of the risks. You are in a tough spot, but safety needs to be your number one concern. Plus you have the other games to get the kids some neede experience. Hope this helps, Bill

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I know that other folks go though this. I hope that someone can help me here, even guide me......I have 36 7/8 YO kids on our team. We are in a very aggressive 13 team league in Western PA. I have honestly 14 GOOD, possibly GREAT youth players at the 7/8 level. They know how to block, hit, play and more importantly protect themselves. They play clean, pay attention (for the most part) and score points. We lost a heartbareaker yesterday 6-0 for various reason such as penalties and blah, blah, blah.....We played a great game. We know where our mistakes were and what we have to do to correct them.

After the games, some of the parents started with the "EVERYONE SHOULD PLAY" no matter what. In our league, there is a simple clause that not everyone may get to play. Playing time is not a gaurentee. In a 6-0 game when we were on the 6 yard line and failed to punch in, should I have put some of my kids that can't block at the level we need? We took the ball down the field 54 yards in about 3 minutes. These are the young 7 year olds that can block but are still afraid to hit and really can't focus IN A GAME as to what to do. Practice is different. I'm sure you know the kids we are talking about.

What do you do? If they didn't keep score, and there isn't a set of playoffs followed by a Big Super Bowl at the end of the seson I can see just playing everyone. Honestly, I'm at a loss here. It's a new set of parents this year. Seems that the kids are a little bit more babied than years past. It was cut and dry last year.

Keep in mind, we have 5th qtr. games too or JV. They play Monday nights and NO STARTERS are allowed to play. I don't even have them wear their pads. Just shirt and shorts....This is for strictly the younger kids and more inexperienced kids.....

THOUGHTS? SUGGESTIONS? IDEAS?

Coach Ed :rolleyes:

www.WestMifflinYouthFootball.Com

I say they need to be played. Here we have a 10 play rule; all kids must get 10 plays. If they come to practice and practice hard then warm a bench you won’t see them next year. When all your talent moves up you won’t have kids with any experience either. We had this happen last year. Kids got minimum played and out of 30 kids 5 returned. We lost kids that may never play football again because they practiced hard and were not played.

I have coached sports all my life and this age of kids really don’t care if they win or lose very much as long as they are made to feel like winners and get a snack. We are currently 1-4 with some tough close call games. We have a team of 25 7-9 year olds and EVERYONE plays. We have a bunch of young small kids who come to practice and play their hearts out because they know they will play in the game. We play all our "little" guys on the front 4 D line and they are called D1, D2 and D3. That gets 12 kids played out of 25. These little guys squeak under and through the big O line and cause a lot of chaos. :o) They absolutely stop the run up the middle by filling their gaps. We put out more experienced hitters outside playing Gap 8. We just switched our best and quickest hitters to DE and our lighter fast kids to CBs and the FS. We put the 2 kids that don’t have much discipline but love to hit LB. I had a thread on this last week with help and it is working.

We played an undefeated team who literally has not been scored on all season and lost 46-22 Saturday. By the 4th quarter the other team was flat tired and had not played their bench. Even though the other team won you would never have thought so hearing our kids hoop and holler. We get nothing but compliments on how we play all the kids. Sometimes we as adults forget what this is all about and have to take a step back and reassess. I am going to lay odds that by the end of the season we will be in the championships because all our kids play their hearts out. Our kids are getting better every day and they function as a true team. We lose someone to an injury and it will not be devastating.

My kid is one of the “studs”. He has a gift for football. He has played on a losing team that plays all players and a winning team that wins at all costs and he will tell you where he would rather be without hesitation. He almost did not come back to football this year. Had the coaching staff not turned over he would be playing baseball, his choice. He was miserable last year on a win at all costs team even though he was played it just was awful.

So too much from me but it is a topic I feel very strong about. Hope it helps a bit to hear one perspective.

Leslie

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I know that other folks go though this. I hope that someone can help me here, even guide me......I have 36 7/8 YO kids on our team. We are in a very aggressive 13 team league in Western PA. I have honestly 14 GOOD, possibly GREAT youth players at the 7/8 level. They know how to block, hit, play and more importantly protect themselves. They play clean, pay attention (for the most part) and score points. We lost a heartbareaker yesterday 6-0 for various reason such as penalties and blah, blah, blah.....We played a great game. We know where our mistakes were and what we have to do to correct them.

After the games, some of the parents started with the "EVERYONE SHOULD PLAY" no matter what. In our league, there is a simple clause that not everyone may get to play. Playing time is not a gaurentee. In a 6-0 game when we were on the 6 yard line and failed to punch in, should I have put some of my kids that can't block at the level we need? We took the ball down the field 54 yards in about 3 minutes. These are the young 7 year olds that can block but are still afraid to hit and really can't focus IN A GAME as to what to do. Practice is different. I'm sure you know the kids we are talking about.

What do you do? If they didn't keep score, and there isn't a set of playoffs followed by a Big Super Bowl at the end of the seson I can see just playing everyone. Honestly, I'm at a loss here. It's a new set of parents this year. Seems that the kids are a little bit more babied than years past. It was cut and dry last year.

Keep in mind, we have 5th qtr. games too or JV. They play Monday nights and NO STARTERS are allowed to play. I don't even have them wear their pads. Just shirt and shorts....This is for strictly the younger kids and more inexperienced kids.....

THOUGHTS? SUGGESTIONS? IDEAS?

Coach Ed :rolleyes:

www.WestMifflinYouthFootball.Com

I say play them all. Not 1 play, not 4 plays, enough plays to make them feel a part of the team. They come out and work hard all week in practice, and their reward is to play a padless, meaningless game on Monday? Just because the newer kids aren't good players yet, doesn't mean that in a year or 4 (with proper coaching) that they won't become good players. I'm a first year coach of 11-13 yr old team in Eastern Pa and we have 23 kids currently on the roster (which makes it very easy for me to get everyone a lot of playing time). Every kid gets plays in EVERY game (unless they are injured or miss practice) period. I would have it no other way. Our job as youth coaches is to teach kids how to play football safely, and to foster the love of the sport that we have. So what if you go 0-10 or 10-0? I'll admit I am hoping for 10-0 myself, but I will consider this year a success if we have no major injuries, and all of my kids play next year (and maybe bring a friend). I think it is much more important to lose as a team, then win as a clique.

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K, Thanks points all well percieved. So what do i tell the good kids come Monday nights when they are not allowed to play in the 5th Qtr games. There are NO STARTERS allowed in the games Monday night. Thoughts on that?

Thank again,

Ed

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Hey Coach. Sounds like your in a real bind. At least that's how I would see it if I were in your shoes. You are forced to coach a two-teir team with that "5th quarter" system. A good squad and a bad squad, or not-so-good squad, whaterver you want to call it.

For your own enjoyment and to develop your players have you considered playing everybody sufficiently in the league games and not playing in the consolation games? Like " our team are all first to fourth quarter players." Your kids just might buy into that sort of team spirit stuff. I don't mean to play devil's advocate, it's just that your description of that 5th quarter mondays vs. league games kind of rubs me the wrong way. Am I missing something?

Cheers,

dbc

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Hey Coach. Sounds like your in a real bind. At least that's how I would see it if I were in your shoes. You are forced to coach a two-teir team with that "5th quarter" system. A good squad and a bad squad, or not-so-good squad, whaterver you want to call it.

For your own enjoyment and to develop your players have you considered playing everybody sufficiently in the league games and not playing in the consolation games? Like " our team are all first to fourth quarter players." Your kids just might buy into that sort of team spirit stuff. I don't mean to play devil's advocate, it's just that your description of that 5th quarter mondays vs. league games kind of rubs me the wrong way. Am I missing something?

Cheers,

dbc

Well, the JV or 5th Qtr games were and always been for the younger or less talented kids. Our first team O and D are pretty fast, hardcore and like to hit. I have 14 or so that just don't have the hitting ability and WILL get someone hurt if not themselves. There is a big difference between a just turned 7 YO and an advnaced 8 year old. I don't care what anyone says. My 8 YO QB and Backs can hit any hole with authority and make the play work for 5-15 yards at a time. They are not real quick to understand the Single Wing O that I run coming off the street and putting on a uniform for the first time. My younger kids just can't. Come November they may. But this is what the 5th qtr games are designed for. They are 100% developmental. SO.....What do I say when parents say that their son or daughter should be starting at QB or RB and can't even figure the plays out?? That's whay I love the 5th qtr games. They are a real game, against kids more they size and ability level. I don't know.....I guess I just have the weather it out and stick to the policy that there is "No gaurenteed Playing Time".....But there is 100% gaurenteed playing time in the 5th qtr. I'd personally like to split the teams into a 7 YO developmental team that MAY play come gameday. But will play come the 5th qtr games.

I would say that having them play in those games vs. getting their head smacked in in the regular would bring them back the next year. I'm not for burying them in the O or D. They can miss a block and get killed or get someone else really hurt. That's just appeasing parents and not coaching.

Ed

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K, Thanks points all well percieved. So what do i tell the good kids come Monday nights when they are not allowed to play in the 5th Qtr games. There are NO STARTERS allowed in the games Monday night. Thoughts on that?

Thank again,

Ed

Play by the rules, no starters. Keep your starting Off and Def the same, rotate in your 2nd and 3rd string players (if they are real weak only 1 or 2 at a time) into the games. They still should get to play thier 5th quarter games, as they didn't "start". Granted, with the number of kids you have on your roster, they won't all get a lot of playing time, but your team can only benefit from getting everyone some time in game.

Now if you mean by "no starters", that any kid who has played in the Sunday game can play, then I feel bad for you, because you are in a situation that is not good for you, the players, or the team as a whole. I would recommend getting involved in the league itself and trying to get some changes made. Also, I would recommend that you explain it to the kids and their parents, that if they ALL play Sunday, then NO ONE can play Monday. Get the parents on your side, 99% of them will do nothing (except complain) but maybe that 1% will help make the league changes so all your kids (and every otherkid on every other team) can play.

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