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Author: Subject: What did you learn this year?
CoachScotty
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[*] posted on 1-22-2008 at 04:55 AM Reply With Quote
What did you learn this year?



Well I have finally had time to fully reflect on this past season. Every year we as coaches learn new things about the game or about the age group we coach. This to me is one of the main reason of sites like this so newer coaches can learn those lessons from veteran coaches. I just want to see what some of yaw (yes I'm southern) have learned this year.

One lesson I learned this year is that the bigger the offensive line man the more work it takes. We are a small community of about 2,000. So we don't have much to field a team from although we usually have 30-35 at 5-7 age group, 15-20 at the 7-8 age group and for the past few years 35+ for the 10-12 age group which is the one I coach. Usually we get one big kid and a lot of average kids. We have a 150 lb weight limit on 12 year olds only, so most linemen are under 150 or 10-11 which very few are over 150. However this year we were huge here was our line.

LT 11y 210lbs
LG 10y 190lbs
C 11y 245lbs
RG 11y 210lbs
RT 11y 220lbs (great athlete)

At the start of the season we though we were going to run over everybody. (and mostly we did) But good lord this was the most work I ever had to do with the line. Honestly I probably work twice as much with the line as I normally do. I usually spend about half of our offensive practice with the line then while an assistant coach does drills with them I spend the other half with the WR's (the OC has the backs). This year I had to work with the WR's before practice because the line took up all my time. So I guess what I learned is don't get too excited about a future BIG OL because they may be more trouble than they are worth.

So is there anything some of the rest of you learned this past year?
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davecisar
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[*] posted on 1-22-2008 at 08:21 AM Reply With Quote


Thats a huge team, like some we see in tournaments. Like you I had one like that in 2003, age 8-10 Selects, 5 kids over 180, 2 of those in the 200 area and all but one could run well. Most coaching I ever had to do and most frustrating season I ever had. We went 11-0, but I had to stay on everyone all year because they could get by on less than proper technique and still do well, that's a huge problem. Give me the small average or sub average team of kids that have to be great technique and exectution wise to compete, a lot more fun :cool:

What I learned this year: I take a new team almost every season and I found that each team has its own unique indentitiy. Each team has it's own unique motivation factors and unique "most effective" way to communicate with.

This year the older team I coached played real well when they were loose and played a bit tight if they felt pressure. The younger team I coached of all rookies, needed constant reminders of their base responsibilities etc.
I cant treat each team the same way every year or think what works from a motivation and communication standpoint for team "A" will universally work for every team.
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[*] posted on 1-22-2008 at 12:18 PM Reply With Quote
Don't under estimate the importance of special teams



We spend at least 20-25 minutes a practice on some element special teams and it's probably not enough. We usually go right from dynamic warm-ups into a speical teams period in addition to having snappers, punters and kickers work with a special teams coach prior to every practice. Two years ago, we won two games because of good special team play and this past year we lost one game because of bad special teams play (could not kick an extra point and a long snapper sailed a snap over the punters head into our end zone). Kicking an extra point was a big problem for us this year and forget about field goals. Our kicker was real weapon two year's ago. If you can develop a place kicker, it's worth the payback particulalrly if you get two pts instead on one in some leagues.



"They call it coaching but it is teaching. You do not just tell them...you show them the reasons"

“…you have no bad habits to break, other than what we allow to exist… We either coach it or are allowing it to happen.”
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AKCoach1
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[*] posted on 1-22-2008 at 05:00 PM Reply With Quote


My dilemma....This will be my fourth year coaching Pop Warner football. I started several years ago with the Jr. Pee Wee (8-10) team as a "drafted" assistant (I must have been standing too close to the practice field). The following season I was a last minute substitution for a Head Coach that backed out. Last year my boy moved up to Pee Wee (9-11) and I fell back to assist the league's commissioner.

Anyhow, the past two seasons we have only had two coaches - myself and one other. Two years ago (when I was HC), the assistant was just another dad but without any background or motivation to prepare to coach/teach the kids. Last year, I mistakingly believed the Commish would bring a vast amount of experience to the team - didn't happen. He was either busy running the league (ameliorating parents, team moms, other coaches, etc.) or did not organize very well for practice. In both cases, I had to invest a tremendous amount of time preparing for and running practice (which I have no problem doing), but it is difficult for one coach to conduct an entire practice.

So, after that long-winded introduction, does anyone have suggestions for coaching a team with only one coach? There isn't any way to break down into line / back drills effectively. So, how do you invest time with each of the respective components of the team?

Next season, I'm moving up another division (Jr. Midget, 10-12) and suppose I will be able to recruit another Dad. But, I haven't been successful finding another coach willing to invest the time necessary to learn, prepare and organize. Heck, I've been preparing for next season since Thanksgiving (we took our team from Alaska to North Carolina to compete in a November tourney).

I've been researching offensive / defensive schemes that can be coached and implemented with limited resources (both player talent and coaches). So far, I'm leaning towards Colt's 3-3-5 defense, but am intrigued by Seay's 2LD. However, the 2LD seems like it will be coaching intensive.

Also, I'm comparing DC's wing-t against Seays' Wild Bunch.

Sorry for the manuscprit, but looking for any suggestions.....
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[*] posted on 1-22-2008 at 05:42 PM Reply With Quote


Quote:
Originally posted by AKCoach1
My dilemma....This will be my fourth year coaching Pop Warner football. I started several years ago with the Jr. Pee Wee (8-10) team as a "drafted" assistant (I must have been standing too close to the practice field). The following season I was a last minute substitution for a Head Coach that backed out. Last year my boy moved up to Pee Wee (9-11) and I fell back to assist the league's commissioner.

Anyhow, the past two seasons we have only had two coaches - myself and one other. Two years ago (when I was HC), the assistant was just another dad but without any background or motivation to prepare to coach/teach the kids. Last year, I mistakingly believed the Commish would bring a vast amount of experience to the team - didn't happen. He was either busy running the league (ameliorating parents, team moms, other coaches, etc.) or did not organize very well for practice. In both cases, I had to invest a tremendous amount of time preparing for and running practice (which I have no problem doing), but it is difficult for one coach to conduct an entire practice.

So, after that long-winded introduction, does anyone have suggestions for coaching a team with only one coach? There isn't any way to break down into line / back drills effectively. So, how do you invest time with each of the respective components of the team?

Next season, I'm moving up another division (Jr. Midget, 10-12) and suppose I will be able to recruit another Dad. But, I haven't been successful finding another coach willing to invest the time necessary to learn, prepare and organize. Heck, I've been preparing for next season since Thanksgiving (we took our team from Alaska to North Carolina to compete in a November tourney).

I've been researching offensive / defensive schemes that can be coached and implemented with limited resources (both player talent and coaches). So far, I'm leaning towards Colt's 3-3-5 defense, but am intrigued by Seay's 2LD. However, the 2LD seems like it will be coaching intensive.

Also, I'm comparing DC's wing-t against Seays' Wild Bunch.

Sorry for the manuscprit, but looking for any suggestions.....




coach--you and i should talk---i have been in your same situation for the last 4 years. this past year i used schemes off of this very board and did better than i ever have. also i learned how to organize my practices and i learned how to "spread" myself. i did have one other coach (but he usually wasnt there one day of the week) we only practiced twice a week--but we only get 25 kids on average---i found that asking dads that insist on watching practice to hold handshields or bags---they usually do it or stand very far away in the future. i hate when dads are close enough to yell at their kids--its annoying--they say stupid stuff like "hit somebody" or "man up" and it usually messes kids up. so if they are goind to be there, i put them to work--dont talk--hold the bag--sooner or later they feel like coaches without having to do any work. i noticed that they all want to help teach what they know and not what you need taught--so again---hold the bag or dont waste my time.


with all of that being said---when you are a 1 or 2 man show, IMO you need to pick simple schemes that are an easy teach and all you have to do is work on technique. I found coltscoach 3-3-5 perfect for defense. i used DC R&S for my base offense and it worked great. i had some injuries and such and then modified it, but it worked well. what i took most from them was how to setup practice, get rid of useless stretching and dinosaur drills and focus on what i needed from the kids with the schemes i was running. after the first game, i never lined up my 3-3-5 against an offense in practice--we walked through alignment against bags and barrels but mostly worked on technique and shooting the gaps low and quick--let the Bandit and rover do whatever they wanted---gave the Mike LB a play sheet on his wrist (with 4 plays)--most of the learning (for the kids) came in a game situation. i am probably making it sound overly simple but it wasnt. statistically we had the best year on defense than we had in the previous 3 years. we forced more fumbles and made more interceptions than we ever had.


Our calls on Defense were - Mike, Will, Sam, and Cover 3 (zone coverage). thats it.

we scored more points this season than we did in the previous 2 seasons combined.

i tell you this to because i had one stud and he is done but i surrounded him with inferior talent (not by choice) and 1/2 of the starters were 1st year players. in other words, i will be teaching the same system to 20 kids that will play for me 2 more years---it is simple but i already know its going to be good. you can u2u me for more details on practice and schemes if you like.

it can be done but i would suggest doing your homework in the offseason, setting up an plan and staying with it no matter what---it seems you are way ahead of the game

--just for the record, no matter how good you are, i found that trying to coach over 20 kids by yourself on a consistent basis and being sure they are learning is not possible no matter how stern you are-kids pick up on that and just act wild--i found that on those days i would do more team building stuff and drills that incorporated larger numbers( i.e tug of war, sharks and minnows, and hot ball--there is too much to worry about (especially in a game). i personally wouldnt do it again. people can tell if you need help---getting all the kids quiet is the first thing--otherwise you will be running them all practice and you dont get squat out of that.

anyway, let me know if you want to know more of what i did--i ended up with 3 coaches (including myself) for 27 kids this past season (the most i ever had)--i did all of the work and they showed up when they could---so essentially i was a one man show. we didnt win alot but with the help of the schemes and some fancy coaches tricks from alot of good coaches on this board, we had the most successful season ever for my team. now that i know how to do it. we are way better off.


CRF
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davecisar
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[*] posted on 1-22-2008 at 09:17 PM Reply With Quote


Quote:
Originally posted by AKCoach1
My dilemma....This will be my fourth year coaching Pop Warner football. I started several years ago with the Jr. Pee Wee (8-10) team as a "drafted" assistant (I must have been standing too close to the practice field). The following season I was a last minute substitution for a Head Coach that backed out. Last year my boy moved up to Pee Wee (9-11) and I fell back to assist the league's commissioner.

Anyhow, the past two seasons we have only had two coaches - myself and one other. Two years ago (when I was HC), the assistant was just another dad but without any background or motivation to prepare to coach/teach the kids. Last year, I mistakingly believed the Commish would bring a vast amount of experience to the team - didn't happen. He was either busy running the league (ameliorating parents, team moms, other coaches, etc.) or did not organize very well for practice. In both cases, I had to invest a tremendous amount of time preparing for and running practice (which I have no problem doing), but it is difficult for one coach to conduct an entire practice.

So, after that long-winded introduction, does anyone have suggestions for coaching a team with only one coach? There isn't any way to break down into line / back drills effectively. So, how do you invest time with each of the respective components of the team?

Next season, I'm moving up another division (Jr. Midget, 10-12) and suppose I will be able to recruit another Dad. But, I haven't been successful finding another coach willing to invest the time necessary to learn, prepare and organize. Heck, I've been preparing for next season since Thanksgiving (we took our team from Alaska to North Carolina to compete in a November tourney).

I've been researching offensive / defensive schemes that can be coached and implemented with limited resources (both player talent and coaches). So far, I'm leaning towards Colt's 3-3-5 defense, but am intrigued by Seay's 2LD. However, the 2LD seems like it will be coaching intensive.

Also, I'm comparing DC's wing-t against Seays' Wild Bunch.

Sorry for the manuscprit, but looking for any suggestions.....

One simple way to get more face time with each is have the linemen show up from 6-8 and the backs from 5:30-7:30, that way you get 30 minutes of concentrated time with each.
After the first week you can have a dad do dynamic warmups and angle from tackling with the backs and get an additional 10-15 minutes with the line by yourself.
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AKCoach1
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[*] posted on 1-22-2008 at 11:01 PM Reply With Quote


Thanks for the input - I had no illusion that I was the only coach to face the problem. I never considered splitting practice times - that's something I think can work well.

Thanks again.
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