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How Many Plays Do You Have For 9-11 Y/o?


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#1 richbub

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 09:14 PM

Just wondering how many plays I should have in our play book? Most boys haven't played before. And would you call a play in a game that you haven't practiced? We're really only going to end up with about 3 practices prior to the season starting and I'm a first year coach. Thanks

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#2 patandsu

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 05:44 AM

Let us know the age and how many kids on the field at once and you will get some great answers. Overall, keep it simple, only 1 or 2 formations, 3-5 plays per formation for younger players under 8. Also practice each play many times as you can't "see" the play until you run it, which allows you teaching moments. If you are lucky enough to have 2 full teams, practice each play against your defense, letting both sides of the ball learn.

#3 RoyalFlush18

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 12:39 PM

Start w/ 1.....once they can run that one to your satisfaction (starters and backups) add in a 2nd and repeat the process, then a 3rd, etc.

Don't move on to play 2 until play 1 is installed.

You can put as many plays in your playbook as you want but don't try to install 8 plays on the 1st night, in fact don't try to install more than 1 or 2.

#4 Coach Rob

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 11:01 PM

It never ceases to amaze me how many plays I end up with each season. I start out with a handful of plays and after each game would find myself modifying and adding plays. In the end, I usually only run with a core group of 5-6 plays. The biggest drawback to having a lot of plays is sorting through them all when trying to call a play.

Couple of thoughts. I'd focus on the fundamentals surrounding the plays. No matter what kind or how many plays you end up with, if your kids can't execute the task at hand (e.g. good fake, take a proper hand off, run the proper route) it won't matter how many plays you have.

I would run with 3-4 basic formations and make sure the kids have those down. From there, you can add an option or two on a few plays or all of them. I like this because once the kids understand a few basic formations, it's relatively easy to run a different option from the same formation. It also allows me as a coach to watch for exploits, so I might run an end around and send someone on a fly pattern the opposite direction. If I see that no one covers my fly pattern, I run the same formation, tell my kids to make it a good fake on the end around and throw to the fly pattern.

Hope that helps.
-CRob

#5 Kodiakid

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 06:01 PM

Is it 5 on 5 or 11 on 11? How often do you practice. We paly 5 on 5 and practice once a week, I find myself more and more calling plays I have never ran in practice. But it's all based off of our core plays. We have 3 plays we hang our hat on. Not 3 plays we go left on and 3 we go right on, just 3 plays. We practice these against as many defenses as I can think of so the team knows what to do in just about any situation. Off of this I have some base counter but I'd say about 40% of the stuff I'm able to just draw up because the kids know the general idea. Like Coach Rob said, they are able to execute the fundamentals that make any play work in the first place.

#6 TeeDub23

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 02:16 PM

2nd/3rd grade level 5v5. I have 1 thick letter size sheet that has 16 plays on it. Really, it is 6 plays right with the same 6 plays left with 4 straight up plays. We have a base formation, twins formation, trips formation (no back) and a double stack formation. Pass 80%, run 20% typically.

I am a believer that run what you are good at and keep it simple. Most of our routes are go routes, slants, outs, posts and corners. If you are good at 4 plays, run them well and make them stop you.

#7 Coach Marty

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 01:40 PM

You have 2nd and 3rd graders and are passing 80% of the time? You must have a very skilled team. My 9-11 team runs and passes about 50/50 and we need to pass a little more. I'd like to pass 60%. I think 80% at your age level is too much and I'd be surprised if you have much success. I'm not wishing bad luck on you.....hope it works and if it does, let us know.

#8 TeeDub23

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:14 AM

I know right! This spring we are a select team of 2nd and 3rd graders (8 and 9 year old kids). 5v5 with 25 yards to go to midfield and 25 yards to go end zone in 3 downs. QB can throw it 25-30 yards with accuracy and I have 3-4 kids that can catch it pretty well. I agree, most kids this age cant throw very well or catch very well. We are undefeated in our spring league and have beat the other 2/3 select teams and some 4th/5th grade teams. The league commish is trying to schedule more 4/5 grade teams for competition.

On my play sheet, I have 2 run plays, run right and run left. Literally. Two of my formations have no RB at all. If they start dropping back to cover the passes, we will run or hit quick slants to the WR more, but we truly do air it out. Over the last 3-4 seasons, we have won a couple of league championships and some open flag tournaments and have only been beat by 1 team (last spring). Not blowing our horn, just most teams cant defend us because we pass it so well.

I guess my point was not to do what we do, but do what your team does well and do not try to make it complicated. If that is 4 plays, do it well. Our plays are simple, but we run them well (but we also have the skill to execute them). Keep it simple and run it well. That could be 90% run and 10% pass or vice versa.

We are not the norm at this age for sure.

#9 Techfu

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 09:32 PM

This is my third year coaching flag for both of my boys teams. I guess I do things a bit differently than a lot of the guys on this board. I usually run 4 formations, installing 1 a week for the first 4 weeks. From each formation, I can call 8-10 plays depending on who gets the ball and whether that formation supports reverses, flea flickers, etc. I give my kids a wrist coach with all 4 formations (which are color coded) assign them a number that they keep all year, and they basically have them down pat by week 4. I usually coach 2nd and 3rd graders, but this approach has worked well for me with 4th-6th and even with my k-2nd team I coached when my son was younger. It's a great way to get 35 or 40 plays out of some really simple formations that the kids usually master pretty quickly.

There are a few nice side benefits of running plays this way. By color coding formations rather than players, I can call out a formation as soon as the play is over and chose the hot route while I check the defensive alignment and who needs to get the ball. For instance, I can call a black formation which is a power I or an offset I depending on substitutions and then at the line call black 7, which means the hot route is to the player assigned #7. It creates a fair bit of confusion on defense and keeps them guessing because the offensive players run the same routes no matter who gets the ball. Basically it's a 'hurry up' style offense, which can be a real boon. I run more offensive plays than any other team in our league because I don't linger in the huddle, if we huddle at all. That means my players get more touches, which keeps the highly skilled kids from getting bored or feeling neglected and the unskilled from feeling left out. Another great feature is that I have 1 laminated coaches sheet that has all 4 formations on it, so if I get sick or have an emergency my assistant can easily call plays and not have to revert to sandlot stuff.

Overall, I agree with the concepts the other guys have been talking about ... keep it simple, do a few things and do them well, etc. But if you plan well and get a little creative with how you line your players up, you can have well over 50 plays at your disposal and not really overshoot the kids ability to learn them.

#10 Coach Rob

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 02:37 PM

I run more offensive plays than any other team in our league because I don't linger in the huddle, if we huddle at all.

I really like your wristband concept a lot. It makes sense that you'd be able to run more plays, get more touches and really challenge the kids. The one thing I like about the huddle is it gives me the ability to emphasize something, especially with the younger kids. If I called "Black 7" and to make the play work, we need a good fake and a hard roll from the QB. It's nice to be able to make a big deal out of it in the huddle. "Bobby, you need to give me a real good fake here. Roll that shoulder and don't look back at the QB". "Timmy, I need you to hide the ball on your hip and watch Bobby for one second like he has the ball. Steve should be open, remember to pump fake first, then throw". Do you find that to be a problem with the wristbands or were the kids savvy enough they didn't need reminders?
-CRob

#11 Techfu

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 01:00 PM

One of the real advantages of doing it that way is that I teach them to sell the play every time. We practice strong fakes, running crisp routes, and acting like every player is getting the ball every time. It takes a few weeks of work, but by mid season I don't really have to coach them up too much to get solid results. One of the 'games' we play in practice is calling the formation and then me only telling the qb who gets the ball. That keeps them all engaged and working while we refine the plays and work with anyone that needs improvement.

If we are facing a particularly tough defense and I want to point out soft spots or correct something that isn't working right, we do take the time to huddle. If not, we operate a fast tempo run and gun that usually keeps the opposing defense off balance and vulnerable. I do tend to take a few seconds while we get lined up to offer praise, encouragement, or minor corrections, but I prefer to do that 1 on 1 rather than in a huddle. That being said, I have had a few games where the kids just weren't up for the faster tempo mentally or physically, and we have had to slow things down and huddle for each play. I guess my reasoning for planning to run the hurry up is that it gives me the absolute most flexibility to adjust on game day.

#12 Coach Rob

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 05:08 PM

Thanks for the clarification, I like your system. Seems that preparation on the front end is the key. Like you said, you always have the option to huddle if they aren't getting "it" or need things to slow down for a bit.
-CRob

#13 YMCA Coach

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 11:49 PM

Alot of good thoughts in here!

For my own part, I have a playbook that has slowly expanded over the years to a ridiculous number. My main key is ensuring I can teach the kids how to run the plays, and focusing on a small group of very specific plays that they master.

My last season coaching (I took last season off), we ran 14 plays that were audibles, that I could call (or the QB could call) without the need for a huddle. To be totally clear, though, there were really only 8, as 6 of them were simply reversals of other plays (run right/left, qb fake right/left, etc). When I needed to run a play outside of those (like 2nd & 15, 3rd & 20, etc), I pulled out my playbook and showed them, or I told them the formation and then gave routes. I preferred to give them the play diagram, as that allowed my QB (often my son) to see the plays rather than having to imagine the routes.

Much of this depends on your team. I had an 8-9 year old team that ran audibles with ease, and had only 1 false start all season, but my 10-12 year old team that season could only run 4 plays without the playbook, and we had at least 2 false starts each game. It all revolved around what players could do mentally and skillwise.

Good luck with your team!
Teamwork - two words, team and work.

#14 NC Matt

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 10:50 PM

I'm coaching 9-10 y/o's this fall and I've got about 18 plays in my playbook. Like most have said I have about 4 to 5 basic formations but just do different plays with them. Also I've named the plays using Xbox/PS3 video games. They seem to remember them better when it's something fun to shout out on the field.

#15 adoble

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 07:36 PM

I coach 10's and we have 4 runs and 4 passes, that's it. By week 3 all the kids know the plays and we stick to what they know. I'd rather have them run the plays correctly than add a bunch of other plays and run the risk of someone forgetting the play.

I found stressing and working on defense is the way to go. I have a solid team of good athletes and we concentrate on shutting the opposition down, it makes our offensive series alot easier.