- So...I was wondering how do you actually begin play installation? Might be a stupid question but on I really dont feel confident about attempting until I heard from someone thats done it. I have decided to number my positions rather than color code them so I thought I might number cones accordingly and place the cones in formation and work each kid at each cone until I felt they knew what was going on. I figure once we cycled through the cones a couple of times somewhat smoothly we do game situation (against only 4 kids and 2 parents at saftey) until it looked respectasble...any suggestions?
I think when I coached 5-6 year olds, we had maybe three formations (spread, pro, and I). If you think about it, only two players change where they line up in each of these formations.
Next, break your objective into two categories: 1-Learning plays, and 2-Practicing plays.
When I teach my players a new play, I ensure they DO NOT have a defense facing them. Instead I'll put six kids on the LOS, with all other kids watching. I then walk through the play and have the kids run it a few times (once again, not facing a defense). I'll then switch the other kids in and have them walk through it. The reason you don't want them facing a defense is because the best way (IMO) to teach a new play is to be on the LOS and walk them through it. With the defense there, they will know exactly what it is an shut it down--thus stripping any and all confidence about the play from the offensive players.
Once they have their new plays down fairly well--then impose a defense on them (and simply call the play in the huddle). This is where you can begin to fine-tune the plays. I'd wager every veteran coach on here will tell you that the most important thing you can do is fine-tune your plays. Once you are practicing them against a defense, you should see a myriad of "little things" that each offensive player needs to do. In fact, quite often once I see how a new play works against a defense, I have no problem saying, "You know, let's change this. Joey, I'd like you to run a Medium In instead of a Deep In." I firmly believe the key to offensive success in 10u flag football, is the little things.
Finally, it's practice plays, practice plays, and then practice plays. That is the only way to do it, in my opinion. A few seasons ago, I told my team at practice, "Practicing plays is fun." They all kind of looked at me like, "Oh yea, sure." I told them, "No-no. Maybe not at practice, but at the games. When you guys go out there and drill the defense, your gonna be like, 'Yep, I'm having some fun now!'" ;-)
Discipline - I thought I had this one handled, I passed out a "coaching philosiphy" letter to parents letting them know about me, my expectations for them (attendance and so on), my rules for the kids (hitting, kicking spitting...ect), proper apparel and all that good stuff...But 5 minutes after handing it out I have one kid smacking another, I quickly broke it up and pulled the kid aside and noticed that it wasnt just a behavioral issue but that he was autistic (confirmed later by a mutual friend). So I guess my question is how to deal with him? I cannot really make him run because he wouldnt do it but I honestly dont see him fitting into to team in any type of playing capacity. I'm not being mean, just saying he appears to have a severe form of it and seems to be incapable of understanding what he's doing wrong....how would you address this?
This is a tough one. Years ago, I had a player who was a major disruption. I mean major. Would not take the field, screamed at everyone (including me), and simply just stood there and cried and refused to do ANYTHING. I spoke with his parents and they stated that he had "behavioral problems" but I don't believe it was a medical condition--he was not segmented in school or anything. Long story short, I ended up having to remove him from my team. This was simply because he did not want to play, and once his parents (who wanted him to play) realized that I could not physically pick him up and put him on the field--they agreed to withdraw him from the league--with a full refund.
With that said, if this is truly a kid with special needs, AND he wants to play, then I would embrace it. Talk with your team about it--encourage them to embrace him as well. I believe George had a great suggestion of also emailing the opposing coach to keep him in the loop.
Good luck and please let us know how you are progressing!