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Flag Football Coaching


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#1 hollad6636

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 08:34 AM

As we get closer and closer to starting up for the new flag football season I am curious as you all have gained more and more experience coaching your teams what do you feel are the things that you have done that have had the greatest impact in regards to the success/failure of your season.

For me I think one of the most important thing has been to laydown the ground rules up front for the players and the parents and then stick with them. This has brought a sense of consitency and fairness to the team that I rarely have any parent or player issues that I have to spend much time dealing with. The second is a focus on fundamentals and discipline while still keeping it fun and not getting caught up in the wins and loses.

Curious to hear from everyone else.

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#2 Orange

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 09:29 AM

As we get closer and closer to starting up for the new flag football season I am curious as you all have gained more and more experience coaching your teams what do you feel are the things that you have done that have had the greatest impact in regards to the success/failure of your season.

For me I think one of the most important thing has been to laydown the ground rules up front for the players and the parents and then stick with them. This has brought a sense of consitency and fairness to the team that I rarely have any parent or player issues that I have to spend much time dealing with. The second is a focus on fundamentals and discipline while still keeping it fun and not getting caught up in the wins and loses.

Curious to hear from everyone else.

I think the answer would vary depending on how you measure success and the age of your players (began coaching 6 year olds that are now 10). I always say success is measured by the number of kids who have so much fun playing that they cannot wait for the next season to start. There are a number of things that I do to accomplish that goal. The main thing is getting everyone involved (equal time, everyone gets ball touches, etc) and having fun. I'd say secondarily it's about being a good team, organized and developing players. Developing players is becoming more important now as they get older and will soon be one of the top goals.

If you were to measure success with regards to how well the team performs on the field I'd lean more towards developing a good strategy. For us, the zone defense was key. Early on we were the only team running zone and our D was the best. Now most teams run it but we're still trying to run a better version of it, whether it's a 2 1 2 or 1 1 3, etc. On offense it's simplifying things, running misdirection and executing crisply.

#3 hollad6636

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 02:21 PM

I think implementing a zone defense definately has to fall within the top ten in order of importance. That's exactly the kind of thing I was looking for.

#4 Charlie

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Posted 19 June 2009 - 08:33 AM

One of the most important things that we did in regards to having a direct impact towards the success of our season was focusing a lot of time and implementing drills for flag pulling and swarming to the ball. In our early games we had a lot of kids stop once they thought their teammate had the flag and then the flag would be missed and we would give up a lot of extra yards.

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#5 dizzyd

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 08:10 AM

As we get closer and closer to starting up for the new flag football season I am curious as you all have gained more and more experience coaching your teams what do you feel are the things that you have done that have had the greatest impact in regards to the success/failure of your season.

For me I think one of the most important thing has been to laydown the ground rules up front for the players and the parents and then stick with them. This has brought a sense of consitency and fairness to the team that I rarely have any parent or player issues that I have to spend much time dealing with. The second is a focus on fundamentals and discipline while still keeping it fun and not getting caught up in the wins and loses.

Curious to hear from everyone else.

We just finished our season 0-6-1, our last game we got beat 44-0 and I'm happy to say that I actually have kids coming back to play this summer and requested me as a coach again. We're playing in a 10-14 year old league and some of you already heard this, but it was tough for us, since some of my better players were only 10 years old. This last game, the other team beat us up so bad that it left my kids trying to suck up the tears, trying to be tough. I felt so bad for them. At this point, for me it wasn't about coming up with the next best play, but to keep their heads up. That is the hardest thing for me to do because I see they're so far down on themselves that it breaks my heart for these kids. For example my center had back to back snaps to where one fell short then the next went long. He took this very bad, I went up to him, put my arms around him, gave him a good squeeze and I told him that it is alright, he knew he made a mistake and I knew he would learn from it. The next offensive play was his play and he made for the miss snap that he got us a first down. When these kids make a mistake at a position, don't ever pull them off the field. Give them that reassurance right away. Let them know you're still going to use them or let them make the next big play.

Oh yeah, a little bit about our last game. Everytime the other team scored a TD their coach would yell YES or ALRIGHT in a aggressive manner. Everytime we scored a TD this season, not once did I say anything in a outburst manner. I would walk up to the kids, high five them, tell them good job, even though I felt good inside and wanted to jump up and down. So take it from me, if you're beating another team, as a coach, try to avoid getting to excited about your kids making a TD. The kids already know your proud by seeing the smile on your face. When they make a TD, they will look at their parents first then at you. All you have to do is have that smile on your face and shake your head yes and they will know. My kids heard all the cheering on the sidelines when the other team did good that they didn't need to hear it from their coach as well.

What I focused on this year was to make sure every kid touched the ball. At this age one thing they want to do is touch the ball. So at 1st or 2nd down I would let some of the kids that were still learning or just starting out in sports do a running play or catch a short screen pass. It worked so good that when it was 3rd or 4th down I used some of more athletic kids to get a first down. When we got into the huddle, I had all their attention and I can see their excitement. I would always hear yeah yeah or ok ok in the huddles, so I knew I had their attention. Another thing to do to keep kids happy is to keep the parents happy. The parents want to see their kids touch the ball as much as the kids do. They also want to see a fair rotation. So by letting every kid touch the ball will make happy parents and kids. Unfortuantly that if you make a parent unhappy, they will start talking bad about the coach or other kids on the team in front of their son. Then at the next pratice or game, as a youth couch for awhile, you can pick up on this. This will start to tear up a team more than anything because now you have the kids talking amongst themselves. Then it starts to become a individual sport.

Good luck this summer everyone and any input on this would be greatly appreciated. By the way I'm putting my 14 year old son my team this summer to just keep things fair. He knows this and I'm not using him to dominate the league, but more as a decoy. This will allow more kids to touch the ball more often too. I will keep you all posted on how this works for me.

#6 Texas_D_Coach

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 08:38 AM

I know where you're coming from dizzy. We finished our season 1-5. We play in a 3rd-4th grade division right now, and only 2 of my 9 players were 4th graders
(and one of them had never played football before). Looking back on our season now I can see a several things that need improvement:
1. Our team speed wasn't where it should be.
2. None of our kids could catch the ball in games, so our passing threat was nill.
3. We needed more practice with less plays to get all of the plays doen perfect. I think we had over 25 plays this season, and although the kids ran them all "OK", I think it's the little details and nuances of plays that can make all the difference (the fakes, and little uke moves and pump fakes, etc.). With all those plays we didn't have time to nail down the specifics this season, and I think that really hurt us in execution of the plays.

This fall I will have 5 of the same kids back, and I am reducing our playbook down to 12 plays to start the season.

With that said here are the 3 things I think I learned this season that will help us the most this fall:
1. Have a small 8-12 play playbook to start the season and get those plays down perfect including all pump fakes, jukes, routes, etc. for EVERY player before moving on to any more plays.
2. Make sure every play has at least 2 options, whether it be a run and a pass option or 2 run options, etc., this will keep the defense guessing every play.
3. Emphasize swarming to the ball every practice and every game so it becomes second nature.

#7 rushbuster70

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Posted 21 June 2009 - 08:06 PM

Texas you dont have to have a lot of plays...Its just a matter of being able to move kids around running the same thing with a different kid.We had around 15 plays this season but had a core of about 7 but every single kid could run all 7 plays.Made us even more dangerous.You could never guess who was going to get the ball.
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#8 Texas_D_Coach

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 02:44 PM

Texas you dont have to have a lot of plays...Its just a matter of being able to move kids around running the same thing with a different kid.We had around 15 plays this season but had a core of about 7 but every single kid could run all 7 plays.Made us even more dangerous.You could never guess who was going to get the ball.

I agree with you. Since I am still relatively new to running offense (this was only my 2nd season as head coach), I thought I needed to have plays to counter every defense and part of the field. I realize now that with fewer plays that are run precisely, will make a better offense.

#9 rushbuster70

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 09:45 PM

Texas you dont have to have a lot of plays...Its just a matter of being able to move kids around running the same thing with a different kid.We had around 15 plays this season but had a core of about 7 but every single kid could run all 7 plays.Made us even more dangerous.You could never guess who was going to get the ball.

I agree with you. Since I am still relatively new to running offense (this was only my 2nd season as head coach), I thought I needed to have plays to counter every defense and part of the field. I realize now that with fewer plays that are run precisely, will make a better offense.


I thought like that for a while...Then i realized wait.Why not just get these kids really good at the same plays.And Bam instantly my offense has put up huge numbers since i started doing that 4 seasons ago.Good luck with it man.
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#10 Orange

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 06:01 PM

Correct. Become excellent at a few things instead of average at many.