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Posted by rushbuster70 on 10 May 2009 - 10:56 AM
Heres the ones we do most with explanations of them...
If anyone wants more advanced QB & DB drills let me know...These seem to be plenty but I do have some from a coach clinic I went to last summer.Some of them are pretty advanced though.
1 - This just a back pedal drill.We usually break the team in half when we do this.Then we can adjust how they do it and actually teach them to back pedal.This is something we normally only do in the beginning of the season.
2 - This is something we do after teaching them how to back pedal.Some kids get it.Some don't.But this has increased interceptions because it teaches kids how to actually move after back pedaling.
3 - This again something that not all the kids get but we want them to be able to back pedal.We play nothing but zone defense so our safeties have to keep everything in front of them so this works well.
4 - This a drill on teaching kids to read the ball in the air.This has been amazing for us.
5 - More of a Free Safety Drill.So whether you play man or zone this is awesome for the FS.It should be a no win situation for the FS but it makes them react and read the QB,WR's & ball.
6 - A really cool drilll that kids like.We line it up with cones and they always get knocked over but it teaches them to move while back pedaling.
7 - More of a drill for our front zone guys in our 2-3/2-1-2.We dont worry about the sink hips part.Our main thing is teaching them how to shuffle.We just use cones or a bag for them.
8 - I'm sure alot of you coaches already do this.Definitely something we do more as the season is starting to see what kind of athletes the kids are but its great for conditioning.
9 - This is kind of confusing at first but the kids loved this.We didnt worry about the drop part just the sprinting,shuffle,backpedal ect...Again another drill that the kids like and is good for conditioning.
10 - Basic catch and throw drill.However this is were we teach kids how to catch with there hands and not there body and tucking the ball in.Its very very basic but amazing.Its lowered our drops.We do this at the start of almost every practice.Only takes 5-10 mins
11 - Every kid loved this drill.We have our QB throw to them.for teams who run man to man its good for coverage.its good for the WR getting open and the QB because hes throwing.We get in there as coaches and do this and the kids really like going up against us too lol.
12 - Warmup drill for the QB.I would also suggest having your QB stand with both feet towards the WR and him just swinging his hips and not moving his feet.
13 - Another warmup drill for the QB.Gets there arm going before practice/game.
14 - QB drill.I just have the defenders wave there arms back and for without moving there body.
15 - RB drill.We do this for kids who like to juke.We want kids to take 1 step and get up field and not run backwards or try to juke kids.We want them going up field.Good results from this
16 - Whooops same as # 10 lol
17 - Tip drill.I'm sure most of you coaches already do this.Sometimes we will have the WR tip it and have a defensive guy behind them to go catch it.Good practice for your QB throwing also.
Coaches feel free to post up any drills you have with pictures here also.
Posted by jbyars on 24 March 2011 - 04:13 PM
I've uploaded an example of our Spring 2011 Playbook.
This is the most recent revision but obviously still needs some work.
You'll notice each position has a color, shape, and number.
This allows the kids to catch on faster during practice.
It also confuses defenses by allowing 3 different calls (color, shape, number) for the same play.
In addition you can call an audible color should a receiver come open.
Lastly we sometimes will call 2 colors for a HB pass. (i.e. Balanced-Purple-Red-Go).
Bear in mind most of these plays and information has been gathered through this forum.
All I did was modify some of the plays for 10U and add the color, shape scheme. Thanks to all who helped provide the plays.
Let me know your thoughts.
- 2011 Spring Flag Plays.ppt 1.15MB 2153 downloads
Posted by Orange on 30 September 2008 - 02:13 PM
Another good play, is a flood or wash-type play. This version is from Coach Rob: Line up 3 receivers to the right of the center. On the snap those 3 receivers all run slants across the middle. The center delays and runs underneath them the other direction. Have your qb fake pump it at the crossing group and the center should be wide open. I'm going to post my updated playbook and you can see a version of it there. Also, check out the Orlando I-9 playbook I posted. There is a delay slant that does something similar.
Posted by Orange on 24 January 2007 - 09:13 AM
One of the big problems we encountered during the game is that on every play, everyone is open and wants the ball. My assistant calls the plays in the huddle on offense and he said it was really bothering him as he was bombarded by chatter while he's trying to call the play. It was the same last season and I witnessed it in the huddle too. At tonights practice I'm going to institute my "no asking for the ball plan." Any player who asks for the ball, tells us he was open, why don't you pass it to me, etc., will be taken out of the game for a minimum of two plays. I'm going to impliment it our scrimmage and hopefully it will eliminate the problem.
It got so bad that one of our players was moping and crying on the sideline because he wanted the ball. Of course he caught several passes during the game but he wanted more. We have a lot of kids that can catch and run well, plus we move the ball quickly downfield so we have fewer possessions to spread around. Some players only get one touch (I make sure everyone gets at least one), while if someone gets 3-4 that's a lot on our team. It's a good problem to have so many capable players but some of my kids need to be broken of this whining habit.
Posted by Orange on 16 January 2007 - 12:40 PM
The team is a 7-8 year old team. The basic rules are 6-on-6, kid quarterback, qb cannot run, defense can rush after 10 second count.
I coached the same group of kids at the lower level and it was coach quarterback. So this is a big step for them and us coaches allowing the kids to qb. I do have one challenge. Both of my assistants are insiting that I pick 1-2 quarterbacks and stick with them. That goes against my idea of playing maybe 4-6 quarterbacks, probably not 6 in any given game but definitely 3-4 per game. My idea is to have 2-3 that will do more of the passing but the others can take snaps and handoff. I was told that one of the other teams is putting everyone into positions and having the kids tryout for spots. Heck, I want everyone to play everything. During the game I'll make sure that my key stoppers are in position when it counts but I was wanting to have everyone play everything. Thoughts?
My offensive gameplan is pretty simple, keep the ball moving forward. I have two basic runs and some basic quick passes. From what I can see, any kind of long passes or drop back passing is unrealstic. I have my qb either rolling out or hitting some very quick slants and curls.
On defense we ran man-to-man all last season. But with the kids as quarterback it makes much more sense to me to play zone. I'm curious what other people have experienced. My idea is to have 2 cbs in the flats, 2 safties splitting the field deep, one lineman on the center and a mlb. I want my cbs and safeties to stay home and my lineman and mlb to follow the ball side to side.
Give me your thoughts please. I'm most curious as to what kinds of defenses we should expect to see.
Posted by Flagdad on 06 November 2013 - 01:10 PM
I came here 7 seasons ago and through my lurking I have learned a ton. There are better threads about the Xs and Os but this one is about the bigger picture lessons I have learned coaching K-2nd 5v5 Flag.
1. If You Want to Coach, Be the Coach.
If you know what kind of coach you want to be and your priorities are straight, don't let another Dad step on your toes. My son was five and I volunteered to coach his first flag football team. We started with a horribly run league, but I didn't know that then. We arrive at a pizza place, a lady stands up and in all of five minutes says "Let all the kids play. Don't curse or shout. Here's where you pick up your flags.". If this sounds like your league...get out next season (I'll explain why later). At the bottom of the folder I see that another Dad is listed as the assistant coach. I think this is great, because I am new and could use some help.
The guy ends up being a running back coach for the local high school and by the end of the first practice steam rolls his way to being the head coach. I could have pitched a fit, but at the time, he had a routine, he seemed to know how to get things moving and he talked like my High School coach so it felt like coaching to me. As the season went on however, he would reveal himself to be everything I do not like about coaching younger kids. He was a cool guy off the field and was likely a good high school coach, but 5-6 year olds were NOT his forte.
He played 5 out of our 10 kids 90% of the time. One of our grass pickers literally never got a down in 3 games. He had a curse filled altercation with the kid's Dad after one of the games when confronted by him. He tried to convince me and 3 other parents to lie about our best kids ages for the next season so they wouldn't go to the next division. His own kid, who was one of our best kids was in tears during half the practices. Our last game of the year he freaked out over a bad call a referee made stomping off to the league tent in the middle of the 2nd qrtr. I finally confronted him telling him to sit it out. He redzoned on me for a half a second where I thought I was about to have to fight a grown man in front of my kid. Then I explained to him he was hurting the team and he noticed the huddle of wide eyed kids behind me. He apologized to the team and admitted he just wasn't cut out for that age group at the end of the game. However, in the interest of not making waves, I let down my kid and all of the others who weren't playing or really even being coached that season.
I felt horrible for not standing up sooner. I thought that his solid game plan and well run practices trumped what I brought to the table. What I learned is, if there is something you want to coach your kids, then be the coach. Half of your parents will want to win at all costs, I have had some tell me to NOT play their kids. The other half want their kids to have fun. If you let them "help" you, you will not know until week 2 or 3 what kind of parent they are and by then, they are a coach too.
Even if you suck your first season. Suck using YOUR philosophy. YOUR plays and YOUR practices. If you have to coach with someone else, go out for a beer before week one and hash out your coaching styles. -
2. Don't Be "That Coach"
Don't be "That Coach" who has one superstar that you ride all year. The only thing you are proving is that you are good at figuring out which 5-8year old is faster than the rest. Because that is pretty much all it takes. If you want to prove how good of a coach you are, score a touchdown with your grass picker. Get him in the endzone. I can remember every time I got my slower "all heart and less skill" players in to the end zone because of the smiles on their face and their parents.
My third season we played for the championship against a team with a freakish athlete. They beat us 38 to 20 and he scored all their touchdowns and their extra points. He intercepted us twice and played every down of the game. Every down. One of my Dads tracking stats had them down for 22 offensive plays and this kid ran the ball 13 times and they threw to him 5 other times. What really got to me was a parent from his team after the game. He came over and shook my hand and said "I liked how you spread the ball around even when you were losing. My son hasn't touched it all year. Do you have any openings next season?". After that Dad talked to me, I realized just how crappy that coach is for his team. More than half his kids might not play football again because of how boring he made it. Just because they aren't Barry Sanders at age 6, they got snubbed by their own coach. The other kids may have grown to be- great linebackers or linemen or maybe they could have been good that year if coached up. Even if they were never going to be good at football, its exercise, team building and should be fun. "That Coach" won and his kid got to feel awesome for a couple seasons but he did at the expense of other children on his own team.
Please don't be "That Coach".
3. Find a Good League
The first league we tried was run out of some ladies house and she was using the league to pay her mortgage and boy did it show. One season we did not have flags for our first game and had to cancel and reschedule. The cost went up the following season,but the flags got cheap, medals and trophies went away and replaced with certificates. Some days we had 2 refs, other times 1 and never the same ones. One week we had a guy hard counting the 25 second clock (in a Kindergarten league mind you) the next we had guys letting a minute tick down. Applying for a coaching spot was clicking a check mark and getting a quick speech at the beginning of the year. When the field got rained out, you were notified with a sign at the field. None of these are horrible, but they add up, they irritate the parents, you as a coach and they will impact your ability to coach. Our final season someone broke in to the shed she kept all the gear in and she asked everyone to pay an additional 50 bucks for more jerseys which mysteriously showed up two days later, even though 3 seasons prior they were always a week or two behind shipping them. In short, it was shady, run poorly and parent irritation at the league spills on to you.
Contrast that with i9 and it is night and day. The refs and opposing coaches have your play time rotation so that every kid gets in every game. Their website alone will save you a ton of work as a coach. I have always had two refs, usually one of four whom I know how they call the game and can adjust accordingly. They robo call you and your team first thing in the morning when weather cancels a game too. They give you medals to had out each week to a kid for a sportsmanship award, which is a great way to motivate the kids who don't score or get the game winning flag pull.
A good league eliminates most of the stuff you can't control as a coach, leaving you to worry about your team and your team alone.
4. Set Your Practice Days and Location on Day One
When you first contact parents have a brief statement about what kind of coach you intend to be, let them know your practice times and location and then ask them if this will work for them. If you say to a group "Where should we practice?" like I did once, you will have a parent who instantly chooses a time and place convenient for them. Another parent will resent that and put forward one that works for them. None of them are committing as much time as you, so don't feel bad for laying claim to a time and location convenient for you. If some parent has a hard conflict they will let you know and if enough do, then reschedule the time or location at that point. Look around and pick a central location to the team prior to talking to them. Try to pick a field that has access to lights and a bathroom. During the fall, the spots just outside the outfield of softball or baseball leagues are lit up and great finds. If you find one with a nearby play structure for the siblings, jackpot.
5. Get Parents Involved Right Away.
If you wait to get parents involved they will assume you don't want them or don't need them. If you ask for volunteers without specific roles, they may be afraid you are asking for more than you are and decline, or worse, assume you don't know what you are doing and insert themselves.
On the first practice, pass your roster around and tell them you've assigned snack for each week in the order on the roster and let them swap dates amongst themselves. Ask for one or two Dads to track stats so that you can make sure the playing time and touches are as fair as possible (Do not attempt to track stats yourself). Ask if a parent wants to volunteer to organize getting names on jerseys silk screened or to plan an end of season party. Some parents will leap at the chance, others will run away, but it puts some of the success of the season on their shoulders not just yours. If you asked for someone to step up, they can't blame you when it doesn't get done.
If you bring parents on to the field, have a specific job for them. Put them in a box until you know them. Place them by your corners and have them coach up containment during runs and how to play the pass. Have another work on your blitzers. Have another focus on "alligator arms" for proper hand offs. If you just say "Help me on defense", congrats you have a new defensive coordinator who could end up being "That Guy".
6. Have a Parent Track Stats
I love stats as they help you on several levels. Stats help motivate kids, inform the parents and keep honest as a coach. Many parents watch only their kids and not the whole team during the games and have tunnel vision because of it. The parents who have the super star athletes love seeing how well their kid is doing. Seeing one kid with 7 touches week three and another with 0 will wake up your coaching as well. Seeing that one kid scores 75% of the time he gets it, will make the parent of a kid with 4 touches and 0 scores understand why his kid isn't leading getting more. On the stat sheets I always include a few stats like Hustle, Hurries, Sportsmanship, Swarming which I use to quickly pad a few of the under performing kids stats. I still let the stars stand out, but you should always have something to praise at this age.
One season stats revealed that one kid was our best receiver during the games but I didn't see it until I saw the paper. Seeing your kids with 0 flag pulls lets you know who needs work. The best part is, if other parents are tracking the stats, parents can't blame you for unequal praise.
Each season I grab some images from Google to match our team name then print out a half sheet of paper with the logo and their name and laminate it. Then at the end of the game I give out stickers for the tally marks on the stat sheets. The idea being like the college and high school teams that put the stickers on their helmet. Its a pain but the kids eat it up and I have yet to have even my worst grass picker be bummed out because he doesn't have the number of stickers our stars do. These kids know the star player earned them, but I stress the team aspect and that make sure even the worst player has a few to be proud of.
7. Define Your Standards and Punishments On Day One
The sooner you define your standards, the sooner they will meet them. No talking in the huddle. How to address you or other coaches. Taking a knee when addressing them. No horsing around during water breaks. No flag pulling while in lines or huddles. Figure out what will happen when they break these rules and be consistent. Consistent. Consistent. My punishment is running around a backstop about 100 feet away. Some coaches do pushups or sprints. Keep in mind these are boys who spent all day not moving at school, so don't be a drill sergeant, but if practice is being interrupted, have a quick punishment that gives the kid a few seconds to feel a little embarrassed but not shamed. Also try to say why they are in trouble loud enough for the parents to hear. Only the worst parents will have a problem with you equitably and humanely disciplining their kid. Some parents sign their kids up specifically to get some discipline. None of them signed up to hear a grown man humiliate, scream at or berate their child.
8: Keep Your First Practices Basic
When coaching young kids you will always have kids who are new to the sport. Some who have played, will forget half of what they learned or your terminology may be different than their last coach. Define Offense and Defense. Make sure they can all snap the ball properly. Tell them what the Endzone and line of scrimmage is. Show them alligator arms for hand offs. Walkthrough a proper throwing motion. Make sure they can all snap the ball properly. I said that last one twice because it will break your soul when some kid gets over the ball and says hike himself and long snaps it in to the end zone on week three.
Also make sure you update your terminology. I spent an entire season saying "Carry the football like a loaf of bread". Week 7 I saw a blank look and asked who knew what a "loaf" was. None of them could. Facepalm Coach.
9: Practice Plays Not Drills
From age 5-9 I would stress that almost 100% of your practice time needs to be spent running plays or drills that simulate pieces of plays you need to work on. If you can have a full defense against a full offense, do it. If not, short the defense one week, offense the next. The reason is that if concepts like containment, or pressure on the QB or the value of a good fake can not be explained to most kids this age ESPECIALLY if they are new to football. They need to be burnt around the corner, see their good QB put up a rainbow pick with a blitzer coming in or get caught standing still with a good fake before they get it.
The most I would do with drills are sprints, not for conditioning (you will never have enough time at this age for conditioning) but to teach technique and I use a ball and a hard count to teach reaction at snap. I have a snap, then hand off and run between a gauntlet of defenders to focus snaps, hand offs and flag pulling. Then mix it up with a pass and run through defenders.
10: Run First. Pass Second
Until you hit 3rd and 4th grade a consistent passing game is a vaguely close promise land that all coaches and virtually every parent, believe is just over the horizon. Don't get me wrong, you need to pass or those No Run zones will murder your team. I am simply saying that you need to get your running game going first. In 7 seasons I had a freakish QB in two seasons, but only one kid could catch his balls. One season I had four who could catch but the only kid who could throw would only throw to the person I said to watch for, regardless of how covered he was. Even smart QBs just huck the ball in the air when blitzed effectively. Work on your running game, get a few easily completed short passes to the flats and over the middle (depending on where their defense's holes are) and save the bombs. Now if you have a QB and 2-3 who can catch and run smart routes, you're going to be first or second in your league because everyone else is running and opposing defenses will not be sucking up every play.
Around age 9 and 10 the kids get disciplined on Defense and running starts to get hard, but this is because they are starting to grasp big picture concepts. This is when they are able to really grasp route running versus just doing what is on the wipe board regardless of where the defender is.
11. Coach Football
Maybe this should have been number one, but you are a football coach, so coach football. Just because you devised a wacky rule bending play that works, doesn't mean you're coaching good football. By 3rd - 4th grade, your muddle huddle or not having a WR report to the huddle will get crushed hard. All the time your team spent practicing it, is keeping them from learning real football plays and skills. Statue of Liberty, Hook and Ladder or a Flea Flicker are not the type of plays I am talking about here.
If you're designing a play to trick 5-8 year olds, remember that tricking them is not difficult. The target of your trickery are people who believe that fairies pay them for old teeth. Be a good coach and practice good football they can learn from.
Posted by Flagdad on 06 November 2013 - 01:59 PM
I have had similar kids, unfortunately I don't think we have the time to really focus on corrective behavior. What I do is send out an Extra Effort email each week for the parents to go over with their kids. This allows pro athletes to coach the kids and the parents. Here is what I send to parents about proper running techniques. I instruct the parents to watch each video and then highlight the areas I cover below the links.
1) Usain Bolt (World’s Fastest Man)
This clip point out to your son that Usain Bolt is pumping his arms Cheek to Cheek (hands go from cheek to back pocket). Point out that his heels barely ever touch the ground and all his power is up on his toes. Also, highlight how you never look side to side at your opponents, when trying to run your fastest as looking to the sides, slows you down.
2) Jamaal Charles (KC Chiefs Running Back and Olympic caliber sprinter)
At 20 seconds watch his first four steps. He is pumping his arms and his heels barely touch the ground, he is completely on his toes. The rest of the clips show the value of any exercises which require your brain to tell your feet where to go quickly.
3) Ladanian Tomlinson (SD Chargers All Pro RB)
He is showing how to do a spin move. Keep the ball in the outside arm. Set up, get your balance, cut to get him off balance, accelerate out of your spin to the endzone
Posted by Michael Rice on 27 October 2013 - 07:13 PM
We ended our season last Wednesday. We lost out elimination game 44-35, but had a nice finish to the season.
The opposing team had just gone ahead 43-26, with under a minute to play. I was out of timeouts and asked the other coach if he would mind using one so I could get some kids, who play almost exclusively defense, on the field for the final offensive series.
He asked the refs to not run the clock on his XP and then used all three of his time outs, so I could have a full series of downs.
I wound up getting each of the two kids I brought in a carry. The first broke off a run to midfield and the other followed that with a run to about the one.
The second one then caught a TD pass on the final play from scrimmage for the year. It was the first catch or run for him.
I had used him a game or two on offense when we were short handed and he acted almost afraid of the ball. He's a good kid, just has some focus issues, so I switched him to solely defense to keep his responsibilities simple.
I thought it was an awesome thing for the other coach to do. He also happens to be our director of the league.
The kids wanted to do something cool on the last play, so we ran the XP with a halfback option. My son, who is my normal QB, got to make a diving catch for the conversion, so that made it even better.
He told me later on that he planned on targeting the boy who caught the TD pass the whole time, since he knew he hadn't scored. That brought a smile to my face.
We wound up 0-9 and that was our only game where the deficit was less than 10 points.
We weren't a bad team, just ungodly slow. That last game, we probably played as well we could possibly play, all things considered, and still came up short against a team whose only wins were against us.
Walking back to the bench, you would have thought they had won the Super Bowl, parents included.
It was nice to end the season playing the best they could and that last drive was a good topping to that.
Our championship rounds were yesterday and I went out to watch some games.
We instituted a coach of the year and player of the year/mental attitude type of player awards for each age group this season.
I wound getting being selected for the 11/12 group, based on a coach and ref vote, and was given a gift basket with some locally made candy and stuff in it.
There's another coach in that age group who've I've come to know fairly well over the last couple of years. We talk strategy and scout other teams for each other, etc and he asked me to draft his daughters in softball this past season and was one of my assistants.
I know he pushed for me to get the award, so it was doubly sweet when he wound up winning for the 9/10 group, which he also coaches in.
We were standing around talking and watching games and a couple of the regular refs and a guy who I have no clue who he was, came up and told us they were glad we had both won.
I never coach to get the appreciation, but it is really nice to know, even when you are losing, people think you are doing things the right way and want you to coach their kids.
My son will be in 7th grade next year. If we can work it schedule wise, he may play his last eligible year of flag, along with school tackle. If the school football schedule stays as it was this year, he can probably do it.
Regardless, I will probably still coach. I may drop down to the 9/10 level. I like having 6 on 6 versus 5 on 5. I think it's easier to hide problem areas that way.
Either way, I think I would be lost without it.
- Coach Rob likes this
Posted by Coach Rob on 20 October 2013 - 03:07 PM
Sounds like your league is doing it the right way, it's cool to hear that the refs talk to the kids and coaches before the game. I'd add that the good refs should also be talking to the kids during the game and helping teach them. Couldn't agree more on the stealing and fouls rules you have, that is great. I guess it depends upon the mission and philosophy of the league, but most rec leagues I've experienced promote fun, equal playtime and they want repeat customers.
My take five years ago was to keep my son playing with a group of good kids and parents. Not just basketball, but other sports like soccer and flag football. Our kids understood how to play hard and be competitive, but always with the backdrop of displaying good sportsmanship, fundamentals, and having fun. I had no clue what was out there with regards to the real competitive world in sports and often wonder if that would have tainted my coaching philosophy back in the day. I can tell you making the high school team wasn't even on the radar.
Our transition into dealing with presses and learning how to play stronger was a pretty brutal awakening. There really is no easy way to make that transition, but is sure helps a lot if the kids have some strong fundamentals. We decided to play a tourney outside of our rec league at the end of our 5th grade season. We got hammered by three teams and barely hung in with another. The games were physical, fast paced, and the scores were lopsided. We were in shock, to put it mildly.
At some point in a basketball player's journey, the reality of presses, steals, and sitting on the bench comes into play. The officials seem to allow more physical play as the kids get older, so the need to play strong is now a necessary skill. For us, the 5th grade tourney gave us a taste of the competitive world, we never looked back. From 6th grade to now (9th grade), we've been playing up at the higher levels. Hard to say if we started too early or too late with the competitive thing. I feel fortunate that most of the kids on my rec team stuck with it and now will end up making their high school team in a few weeks.
Here's a recent vid of our team playing in a fall league. I just threw some clips together from a mom who'd taped our last 3 games. We're black in the first game and white in the other games. My son is #14.
We've come a looong ways since our 1st/2nd grade teams.
- Michael Rice likes this
Posted by whiskey.alpha on 17 October 2013 - 01:59 PM
A few comments, since I know something about biomechanics and speed/agility programming. If you’re coaching it in a group setting, you’re wasting your time. If you’re coaching it in a group setting to 9 and 10 year olds, you’re really wasting your time. I’m not saying such training has no value, but the bottom line is improving the rate of force development in young kids is an “in for a dime, in for a dollar” type proposition. It takes a LOT of time, effort, repetition, and individual instruction to yield meaningful results. And chances are, since you’ve got limited time to practice during the week, you’re not doing it near enough and/or with near the individual supervision required for it to yield meaningful value across the entire team. If anyone tells you different, be skeptical about their aptitude as a true strength and conditioning coach when it comes to young children.
Bottom line is speed is the product of physical factors AND execution. And execution is far easier to coach in a group setting when you have limited time, and it yields faster, more meaningful results. You’ll never take a bunch of 9 year olds who run a 6.0 forty-yard dash and turn them into a bunch of 5.3 kids through casual speed training. But you can probably achieve that same relative difference on the football field with good play execution, proper stemming and starts, etc.
Remember there is an opportunity cost to everything you do. If you spend your time doing X, the price is that you are NOT doing Y. Your response might be to therefore do some X and some Y, but, like cazador said: to each his own. Personally, I love watching opposing coaches spend time doing things other than working on their plays and play mechanics. Candidly, I think that’s a big reason we’re going to the NFL flag national championship this year and they aren’t.
Good luck in whatever you decide.
Posted by Coach Rob on 07 October 2013 - 01:17 PM
One of my favorite stories I have read on this board so far is Coach Rob talking about one of his basketball teams, he told them if they passed the ball 100 times the whole team would get some sort of prize. When they played they got absolutely destroyed on the scoreboard, but when the kids hit 100 passes you would have thought they won the championship. Your victory on the field doesn't have to be on the scoreboard.
macvolcan - That was an interesting turning point for me as a coach. It was back in 2nd grade and I still have 6 of those players on my current 9th grade basketball team. They are pretty proficient passers these days. It's been quite a ride. As we matured as a team, we started "playing up" a level above. Got killed at first, a lot. The main problem was getting beat by the full court press, we couldn't figure it out. So, I focused on breaking the full court press during games. Of course we would still lose, but each game we would get better at breaking the press. We have it down now and have our own effective press. I digress.
Michael - I know the temptation was strong for me to come up with another few plays or defensive schemes after each game. I finally settled on the philosophy that I'd rather do a few things really well than a lot of things not so well. Sounds like you're headed that direction which will probably be good. If your kids are having fun, you're doing your job.
Posted by Charlie on 25 July 2013 - 06:34 PM
Your letting it get to personal. This is about you and not about your team. Let's be real here. You could be the best coach in the world and if you don't happen to have two or three studs on your team your not going to be blowing people out. Just like you could be a terrible coach and just happen to have three or four studs on your team and you are going to win. YMCA is recreation basketball by its very nature. I am not saying it's not competitive its supposed to be rec ball.
My point is this. Remember the next time this happens (we have all been there and understand exactly how you feel). This isn't about you, it's not about the other coach, this is purely about ego. Nobody likes getting blown out. Nobody. So when the other coach vents his frustration recognize it as a moment of ego getting in the way and walk away.
Now some thoughts on what you can do during blowouts. We would do one of two things. We would implement a couple of rules. No layups or fastbreaks, before we could shoot everyone had to touch the ball on the offensive end and the same person could not take a second shot until everyone else had taken a shoot. We would do this for half of the quarter and you would be surprised how good and quick your passing could get so that someone can take a shot, and then for the second half of the quarter we would do nothing but three point shots again with the rule that you could not take a second shot until everyone else had an opportunity to shoot. And lastly we would focus on playing defense and defensive rebounding.
Finally, if you have a good team and you enjoy teaching the game and you have a committed group of guys. Take them to AAU and quit wasting your time.
Just my two cents.
- Steve72502 likes this
Posted by Coach Rob on 17 March 2013 - 04:58 PM
I don't think you're in the minority. Good coaches know they must have structure and rules or chaos will ensue, especially at the younger ages. I think your 'Lord of the Flies' reference is spot on.
My point about "fun" has to do more with all the surrounding factors controlled by the coach. I don't think just having rules or structure will always solve the frustrations described by the OP. I've run into teams that (and been guilty myself):
-have practices that drag on too long
-drills that drag on too long
-drills that aren't fun
-kids standing in lines too long
-being way too serious
-having a boring team name or no team name
-no team chant or cheer
-not allowing anytime for the kids to just "play" in practice
-getting too wrapped up in the standings
-getting too wrapped up in the execution of plays
-not being creative, doing the same things every practice
-not seeking input from other experienced coaches
-correcting more than encouraging
-not allowing them to be kids
I'm all for maintaining control in practice,having rules of conduct for team members, and instilling confidence in players. However, if a coach is doing some of the items listed above and still expects the kids to "have fun" and not get grumpy or bored, it probably won't happen.
Posted by whiskey.alpha on 13 March 2013 - 10:09 PM
Like I said, I'm probably in the minority. I don't view "fun" and "structure" as two things in tension that need to be balanced. Football is a game, and games are fun. But even a funhouse has concrete under it.
As a coach or volunteer coach, my first responsibility is to the collective experience of the team. And for better or worse, Playground Etiquette 101 is part of any group activity, even at age 5.
If a 6 year old isn't having fun because his i9 coach thinks he's grooming the '85 Bears, that's the coach's fault.
If a 6 year old isn't having fun because acting out and being disruptive aren't tolerated, that's not the coach's fault. That's not even the kid's fault. That's Dad's fault.
If a 6 year old is acting out and being disruptive, and (volunteer) coach never visits with Dad about it and/or doesn't ask Dad for air cover during the other 167 hours in the week, that's coach's fault.
As someone once said: There's no such thing as bad dog; there are only bad owners.
6 year old kids are gonna mess up constantly. But having structure isn't the same as maintaining discipline. At the end of the season, I may or may not have a "disciplined" team. But it isn't about discipline. It's about confidence. It's about having a shared experience. It's about having goals that 6 year old kids can visualize, and, more importantly, are within their power to achieve (since not everyone that age can catch and score touchdowns).
Each season my parting words to parents are always the same:
-- Thanks for sharing your Saturdays with me and my sons.
-- I hope your child enjoyed the ###### out of the season.
- I hope your child learned something from me and the other coaches about competition, teamwork, and the game of football. (In that order.)
Posted by Coach Rob on 11 March 2013 - 05:11 PM
Great points, very practical. I'm in agreement with the "fun" part not being equal to horsing around. Definite need for a few rules that must be followed like you stated in the beginning (e.g. mouthpiece out when speaking, etc.). I couldn't agree more on getting a few decent QBs and centers, or else you end up with tons of bad exchanges and wasted ball touch opportunities. We usually tried to get everyone in at QB sometime during the season though. Especially in practices.
Some of the challenges can be:
-the league and what they emphasize (e.g., everyone must play all positions)
-parents who drop off kids and really aren't interested in the sport, they just use it as a babysitter of sorts
-kids whose parents forced them to play
-kids with issues. everything from a single parent home to problems at home
A few years back I filled in for a 5-7 y/o team b/c they didn't have a coach. I had a kid that was just strange. He'd step on my foot really hard when in the huddle, lie on the ground, not want to participate in drills, etc. My immediate reaction was to sit him out. Dad would show up with his younger brother, drop him off and leave. He'd refuse to run with the ball and made it hard in general. Come to find out, mom was in the hospital with terminal cancer. This kid had no clue how to deal with it, so he acted out. That didn't give him a pass to do whatever he wanted, but it changed the way I dealt with him.
I think there needs to be a balance between having fun and maintaining some type of structure/discipline. I'm going to err on the side of fun though, as I've watched lots of kids come up through the rec levels, only to quit playing because it wasn't fun anymore.
One key ingredient that I forgot to mention in my initial post was ENCOURAGEMENT. You can't give too much of that out. I don't think you need to be fake and constantly shout out accolades, but honest encouragement can go a long way with these kids. It will keep them coming back for more.
Good points Alpha.