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Member Since 10 Jun 2008
Offline Last Active Apr 13 2009 12:56 PM

Topics I've Started

How Would You Handle This?

11 February 2009 - 06:52 AM

I invited all the players (that were eligible age-wise) that played with me last spring to play on my team this spring. Everyone initially responded that they wanted to play on my team until I got an email this past weekend that one player (the best kid in the league) was going to play on another team (his tackle football coach's). No reason given. In talking to another player on my team that did resign, his mom said that the other coach asked her son and the boy that did end up going to his team to play on his team. One part of me says it's just stupid youth sports coaching stuff and to just let it go. The other part of me thinks that I would never do that to another coach and I should at least confront the coach about it.

One huge by-the-way, is that kid has my playbook from last year. So, do you think I should confront the coach, and do you think I should tell the player I want the playbook back or just ignore both? I definitely won't be passing playbooks out this season.


10-12 Y/o Practice Ideas

08 July 2008 - 06:49 AM


Just wanted to put out here some practice ideas that worked for my kids (10-12y/o's).

* Sharks & minnows (or any other name you want to call it). Use a regulation field, all players (except one) line up in endzone and try and reach other endzone w/out having flag pulled. Once their flag is pulled they help pull others' flags, either by being stationary (staying wherever they were when their flag was pulled) or pursuing. I would give them only 2-3 seconds to line back up after each time down the field, so this excercise was great for flag pulling technique, conditioning, and running in the open field. Variations: coaches could have 2-3 balls, stand behind person who is it (so they can't see you) and then throw the balls to a few players waiting to run. Once they catch ball, the pursuer could only get those with footballs. This was a great warm-up game and the kids never grew tired of it.

* Handball (what we call it in soccer, as it's the same game). Two teams, regulation field, one football. Team with ball starts on their 5 yard line. They move the ball down field by passing it to their teammates. No LOS, so ball can be passed forward, sideways, back. Once a player catches ball they have to freeze and immediately look to pass it again. Team gets a touchdown if they receive the ball in their endzone. If ball hits ground, or is intercepted, it is the other team's ball at the spot. Defender must be one step away from person trying to throw ball (no faceguarding). This is a free-flowing game and the kids love it. To vary things up, make a stipulation that every player on the team has to touch ball 1-2x before scoring to get results you want (i.e. everyone participate). Good conditioning/defending work and the kids loved it. I used it at the end of practice for 5-10 minutes several times and they always grumbled when I would tell them practice was over.

* Shielding, Illegal Contact & Poor sportsmanship: Anyone can catch a ball in practice, especially with minimal pressure from defender. To help my players become better gameday receivers, I ran a practice that worked on players concentration when receiving a pass. Split them in groups of three and played moneky in the middle (10 yards between two outside players), except the "monkey" could only distract/shield/yell and not tip or intercept pass. This could then progress to the person in the middle standing next to the receiver and jostling/bumping/jersey pulling/holding, shielding his/her vision, yelling, or anything that can (and will) happen during a game (all while standing stationary. Progress to catching the ball while running. QB is 5-10 yards away, two defenders in between QB and receiver (two lines of receivers facing each other, 10 yards out, they just take turns running square across the field). Use same type of distractions (holding, pushing, yelling, etc.) Boys obviously have great fun doing this drill. It MUST be emphasized that most of this is either illegal or unsportsmanlike (one in the same in my book), but by practicing it, you're kids won't be surprised by it. I especially emphasized to them that we were doing these things to HELP our teammates - not prove that we could distract them. Once they realized their task was to help, not hurt, it was cool to see they worked harder at distrating the better players, and took it a bit easier on those who struggled to catch a pass with NO pressure. I was happy to note that we performed extremely well with crossing routes on offense and playing the deep ball on defense. Better than any other team IMHO.

* Rushing the QB. We won the SB primarily b/c we applied so much pressure to the other teams' QBs and they were all passing teams. Practicing this 2-3 times a season by showing them how to take a curved run, pushing the QB to their weak side, breaking down so they don't run past the QB, focusing solely on the QB's hips/flags and also working together with the other LB (we played with one right over the center).

* Partner passing relay race. One ball per pair of players. Starting in the back of the endzone (everyone), player w/out ball runs a pass route, receives ball and stops dead. Once ball is caught, the person who threw the ball then runs their own pass route, receives ball and so on. If ball is dropped, ball must be thrown back to person who passed it, receiver recovers back beside QB, then runs another route. If receiver doesn't run a good route, coach yells for both to "give 5", meaning 5 pushups. First pair up and back 1 or 2 times is the winner. I try and pair kids up to make sure it's fairly even. Kids quickly learn that the deep pass patterns are low-probability. Fun warm up game.

Sorry for the long post. I'd be curious to hear others' drills & games that were successful, both from teaching a skill and/or conditioning, or especially just plain fun.