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New Inexperienced Team

New team fundamentals first practice

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#1 mklozdot



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Posted 21 November 2011 - 01:33 AM

As a newer coach of rookie 6-8 yr olds, I am a bit overwhelmed. We only had one practice before our first game and walk though before our first game. We basically had a one formation with several options on offense. We ran some good plays but had some challenges. The offense was ok and I learned a lot about who can do what. Since I only have one player who has played before, my challenge is bringing the kids up to speed. I spent more time during the game trying to get the kids up to the line of scrimmage without being off sides.

The next challenge was getting the defense to move once the ball was hiked. I have some ideas of what to focus on in practice to fix these things.

I was looking to see what other coaches did in a similare situation. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.


#2 Johnp2



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Posted 21 November 2011 - 04:39 PM

I'd suggest the following at a high-level:

1. Base your playbook around your personnel. You noted you learned a lot in the first game, so build on that.
2. Hand the ball off to multiple positions. If you hand off to the RB every running play, defenses will shut it down quickly.
3. Teach the kids a zone defense. It's really not that hard. Just have them "stay in their positions" and keep their eyes on the football until the ball crosses the LOS, then swarm.

Finally, look at this season as a learning season. This is not to say you should not expect much, but it is really difficult for a team to compete their first season (unless you are playing teams in your situation or you have one or two terrific athletes you give it to every play, which you probably don't want to do). We got kicked in the teeth over and over in our first season, but we tried to build on something after each loss---and actually won our first round playoff game that season. ;-)

I hope this helps some---if you need more specifics let us know. Thanks

#3 mklozdot



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Posted 21 November 2011 - 10:52 PM

Great advice. I basically have one formation on offense. We have several options. Apparently we started out against the team with 3 really good athletes who from what I can tell played before. Their coach did not show up so the league coordinator coached them and they were able to run some nice plays. I don't think the rest of the teams have players like that. We ran a couple of plays that were destined for success but were nullified by penalties. We should be fine. I learned that we can run center sneaks in this league??? We had the parents help the kids to stay behind the LOS. We practiced swarming!! Thanks for the advice. I will let you know how our game goes on Saturday.

#4 spider



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Posted 22 November 2011 - 09:25 PM

I would start off with some type of system to communicate the plays. I use a dry erase board and initials of each player. If lining up is an issue, I would consider having another coach or Dad help you line up players for the first couple of games. (because it appears you have several beginners). In practice I would work on flag pulling and getting in front of the runner. Attacking and containing. You can also teach defense during the games. Get them lined up in a zone then pick one or two kids and discuss his responsibilities such as contain or drop into pass etc. while the other coach is drawing up his play. It's difficult to go over everything during a one hour practice, so use the dead time during the games to coach. If you have blitzing in your league. Spend 15-20 minutes per practice on blitzing and executing plays against the blitz. Try to space out your defense and pick and choose your positions where you feel the weaker players can play without putting you at risk. For example you might play the weakest player on the line weak side - have him contain and stop the run. Then put a good flag puller behind him at safety. Try to execute good fakes on offense, use misdirection, and attempt to have your ball carriers running when they take the handoff.

Good Luck

#5 Coach Rob

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 08:32 PM

1) Teach your kids what a good fake handoff looks like, it will payoff in spades.

2) Emphasize 2 things on offense and 2 on defense. Make a big deal out of them. Keep it simple at first.

3) Someone suggested having another coach help for lining up kids, good idea.

4) Get some goofy chant going, involve the parents in the chant before/after games. Keep it fun.

5) Don't get too caught up in the W's & L's.

6) Encourage the heck out of your kids. Be Enthusiastic!

7) Check back in and let us know how things are going.