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Author: Subject: Does Failed NFL QB = Failed Youth football?
swchull
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mad.gif posted on 11-20-2008 at 02:35 PM Reply With Quote
Does Failed NFL QB = Failed Youth football?



Does Failed NFL QB = Failed Youth football?

I find that most coaches and or organizations don't believe in passing in the youth leagues. Once these kids get in middle school and high school they may learn a system. They get recruited by their abilities in some system. They get drafted by their production and then get thrown in the fire. Not blaming it on youth football but when do you start teaching a kid how to play one of if not the most difficult position in professional sports?
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[*] posted on 11-20-2008 at 05:10 PM Reply With Quote


Quote:
when do you start teaching a kid how to play one of if not the most difficult position in professional sports?


there is a lot to learn for a quarterback, not just throwing, where to throw, when to throw, etc. A ton of it has to do with game management and leadership. No matter what the system or play calls on game day, we, as coaches can teach these things to our QB's.

IMO, a failed NFL QB is usually due to a poor decision(s) in the front office and coaching staff of the NFL organization. These decisions are usually drafting and putting a kid in the QB position when he is not truly a QB:

http://assets.espn.go.com/photo/2008/0610/nfl_g_russell_300.jpg

or

http://hornsonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/04/vince-young.jpg

or

http://i.a.cnn.net/si/2007/writers/don_banks/02/14/carr/t1_carr.jpg
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[*] posted on 11-20-2008 at 06:20 PM Reply With Quote


I doubt Johny Unitas ran a pass oriented offence in grade school, this is just a guess but I bet based on the time period, he ran something closer to the single wing.

I wouldn't at all be surprised if Joe Montana and Steve Young ran run orited offenses when they were in grade school. Nor would I be surprised if they were running backs at the youth level.

I know Brett Favre ran the wishbone in HS (and his dad was the coach).

The pro scouts could care less what a player was exposed to in a youth league. Most HS coaches I know, just want kids who are coachable and love football regardless of the system they ran as a youth.

But I got to ask: should it even be a goal to prepare a kid for the NFL? Given the extremely long odds against a youth player getting to the NFL (the stat I heard was something like 173,000 to 1 against). Shouldn't the youth coach's goal to give all players a positive environment from which they can learn to love the game as much as we do so they keep playing.
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[*] posted on 11-20-2008 at 06:52 PM Reply With Quote


Coaches,

DW is right. I recently posted on another thread some of my feelings on the Q.B. postion. There was some very good Game film, from another poster, of a kid(#5) with seemingly, outstanding athletic ability. However, I basically summized that the Boy, no matter how gifted, was no real Q.B. prospect. Yes, he could throw the ball a fair distance, and run like the wind, with moves to boot. Yet, if dealt with properly from a Team Defensive standpoint, he would fall right back on his natural instincts, and run for the nearest outside daylight. I had the feeling, that even his Coaches recognized this, and were using it to their advantage by increasing the depth of the Shotgun Snap. At the youth Level, his skills are beyound the normal average range, and as a consequence, he's free to play the game from his gut.

However, it ain't doing him one bit of good for the next level of play. It's interesting, and I'm no "get em' ready for the next level" kind of Coach, how Coaches will use a Player without regard to their future development. For me, it's always been about Teaching them the Game of Football, which means building thier skills for the benefit of the Team. Not the High School team, but the Team they currently play on. Many Coaches can teach a kid to throw, or to use the proper footwork for a handoff. (And, feel they gave the kid something.) But, can they Teach him to lead for the benefit of others? As I mentioned, it's a maturing process to get a kid to fight his natural intincts, and make decisions, as well as, show the presence, and patience to allow things to unfold naturally, as planned. Afterall, he is mearly one of 11 Offensive players allowed on the field, on any given play from scrimmage. His job, and his proper development, depend on more than natural ability, or guady numbers. As I have mentioned many times before, it's what's between the Ears, that makes a Football Player. Not only for some time in the Distant future, but for the following Game they play. The only way they can learn this, is by seeing the Scenerios, over and over agian. Proper decisions, and proper decision making, is based on knowledge. Seeing is knowing. Knowing is seeing.

Natural Leadership ability is really a Nature-Nurture thing. Some have it, some don't. Some can be taught to some degree, while for others, it's just not in the cards. For the one's that do, it can be Tempered for the benefit of others. Sometimes, it takes years. But, for the one that except it, the sky can be the limit. Especially, if they also have some degree of natural ability.
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[*] posted on 11-20-2008 at 07:23 PM Reply With Quote


Perhaps not germane to the intended topic, but something I wrote a while back on another board when I coached QBs. This post was specific to coaching up a HS freshmen QB. Some may find it of help.

*****************************
I do not have the knowledge or expertise of you guys; but here are some of my thoughts on this topic.

Starting with basics, your QB should be:
1) A leader
2) Exude confidence
3) Command/earn respect from others
4) Set an example
5) Be positive

We always instruct QBs to always be upbeat, to encourage teammates; to be the type of guy who in the huddle on 3rd and goal at 2 yard line says to teammates; "were running off left tackle and scoring!" Hes the guy who tells a teammate that "well get it back" when something bad happens to that player. He is the leader of the team.

A lot of what I list here is what you might do in the offseason with the freshman QB, if it is possible:

Warmups before any workout should include lots of the basics. One of my favorite warmups, is having the QBs throw back and forth to each other from a distance of 5-10 yds with both feet parallel (on yard line). Each QB is turning shoulders and hips; just working on mechanics/follow through. Emphasis on mechanics herenot oomph. Other drills that we like to do include right foot forward and left foot forward drills. We also like placing two QBs about 10 yds apart; one QB holds the football with both hands and trots towards the other QB. The other QB backpedals, at 5 yards, the QB moving forward turns shoulders and, focusing on proper mechanics, throws to the other backpedaling QB; the backpedaling QB then starts trotting forwards and the other QB begins to backpedal. This continues until the two get tired.

A key thing that we have focused on with QBs is their footwork (especially in offseason). We have found that footwork is a BIG part of being a successful QB. A QB MUST have quick feet. They have to be able to setup quickly and be in proper position in order to throw the ball with accuracy. I have found that if a QB has proper footwork and body positioning, then good things will result. I recommend doing lots of footwork drills, such as dot drills, to improve foot speed and dexterity (in the offseason). Also, have QBs do lots of setup type drills (3 and 5 step drops); and keep in mind that these set-up drills should reflect or complement the types of passing plays that are included in your playbook.

For example, a Wing T QB might practice footwork/setup and throwing using Waggle and Belly Keep passes. The QB practices his footwork and body positioning for these plays; he then adds passing by making throws to different depths (e.g., short flats to FB, 12 to TE, and fade to SE on a Waggle-type play) for each of the plays included in your playbook. The objective is to try and combine setup mechanics and passing as much as possible with the plays included in your playbook. Do not waste practice time. These are also what we call "end of route" drills. Place a receiver or coach at or near to the end of the route; the spot where player and ball should meet.

Work on grip (need daylight inside hand) and ball velocity. The more revolutions; the tighter the spiral, and greater velocity.

Work on the touch of ball from fingertips and wrist. The tip of the index finger is last to touch the ball. Some coaches use the hammer and block of wood drill (hit a block of wood with hammr without moving elbow or arm). This helps with flexibility of the wrist.

We also like to use goal posts in training QBs--alot. We find that they are useful for practicing intermediate depth passing and for improving accuracy. We like to have a QB line up at various positions (start at 5 or 10 yd line and work backwards) within hash marks and throw to precise locations behind goal post. Our goal posts have three slots (two horizontal bars with three slots), so we also have the QBs try and throw the ball above selected slots. We start them close (5 yd line) and then move to 10, 15, 20 etc. We also move east to west between the hash marks. Here, we typically throw from a 3-step drop. The purpose here is to gain accuracy and zip. BTW, Id love to have a net that we could hang from goal posts. The net would have a series of targets. And again, when possible, we try and incorporate some of our plays when working with goal posts.

Some notes on technique problems that I have picked up over time:

Overthrow:
Releasing behind top of arc; possible overstride

Underthrow:
Releasing in front of top of the arc; possible understride.

Tail of Ball Wobbles:
Jerky motion. Palm not rotated down. Elbow too wide. Grip too far forward or back on ball.

Ball Floats:
Points too high. Loose grip.

Point too high:
Point up on grip

Point to low:
Point down on grip

Inability to throw with velocity:
Weight not transferred to front foot (which is angled slightly).
Poor hip and shoulder rotation.
Not pulling down on the ball.
No hand acceleration.
No follow through.
Throwing across the body.

Inaccuracy:
Initial step not at target.
Throwing across body.
Not pointing fingertips at target.
Poor concept of receiver routes.

My simple 2 cents.
JB
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[*] posted on 11-20-2008 at 09:24 PM Reply With Quote


12 years old is when retention seems to take hold, up until then, cultivate athleticism and general fitness. You can develop basic understanding of function and concepts, but their bodies won't really start retaining muscle memory of deeper disciplines until around 12 and older. Up until then, character, body control, and base skills are all good places to start.
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[*] posted on 11-21-2008 at 08:46 PM Reply With Quote


Boy JB, your two cents is worth about $20! Thanks for the itemized list. I think this thread touches on the conundrum youth coaches face. If the "great athlete" kid is playing qb, and you are tweaking your offense to take advantage of his athleticism, is this better than running your rote offense and "developing" the kid? Who is to say the "great athlete" kid at qb doesn't turn into a lb in HS, or a flanker? I say leave position specific development to the HS coaches and camps. Instill a basic love of the game, confidence to block and tackle, and build up the "football IQ" of your players. Most HS coaches would rather see 27 ripsnorters coming to them out of a youth program than one or two Pop Warner superstars, that may or may not translate at the next level. My 2 cents!
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[*] posted on 11-22-2008 at 09:45 AM Reply With Quote


I started this thread because I am from Valdosta, GA and always played on winning teams but the work ethic and teaching principles are what made us succesful. We always outnumbered teams but our preparation was what beat the team. Our numbers just intimidated some teams. When I moved to where I'm living now my son wanted to play so I just signed him up with the closest organization and I was introduced to the world of Youth Football. I learned in his first year (7yo) that he already knew everything that he could have been taught at that age. The coach was not a teacher and everyone suffered. We got blown out of every game scoreing once on offense with maybe only 3-4 earned first downs all year. It really let me experience it from the L side and the main difference is that our kids did not have the teaching that all the other teams had. I personally feel that if we place a kid on the field at a position for our benefit then that kid should benefit from being in that position. Who knows where a kid will end up playing but the knowledge he gains can be used when he gets there. Some examples are Ray Lewis who played RB, Matt Jones who played QB, Urlacher played TE, Jay Ratliff was a TE, Randle El played QB, and if I'm not mistaken Matt Ryan played DL in youth league. So to me the two of the three ingredients of a football player we can have some effect on and those are knowledge and ability. We can't teach heart!

"I LOVE THIS GAME!"
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[*] posted on 11-22-2008 at 10:03 AM Reply With Quote


kcdeer,

Good point! Most youth Coaches can use the Talent of 1 or 2 Players to win alot of Games. But, does that mean they are preparing those Players for the future. (Any kind of Future, next game, or 5 years from now.)

In our league, there are Teams that are very naturally talented at the youth level, but it doesn't translate to the high school where they play. There are also teams that are perennial losers, that become State Powerhouses at the next level up. (with many D1 and D2 Prospects.)

What gives?

I know there are many factors involved, and I'm not saying it is smart to Develop them for sometime in the future, while ignoring the results of today. It's just that, if you develop them properly between the ears today, they'll naturally be ready for the future tommarrow. It ain't only about the love of the Game, because there will be many things that they won't neccessarily like doing as part of the development process. Especially, doing things over-and-over agian, until it's up to your satisfaction.(How boring, with the thought that he'll never live up to your expectations.) But for me, physcologically, that is the critical Juncture in a Football Players development. How this is handled, will determine thier Football future. Many youth Coaches don't have the internal fortitude, much less the patience for this, and as a result, they fail the Players and the Team. It's not, cramming square blocks into round holes, it's allowing the kids to prosper within a System, despite thier natural instincts. It's doing something for them, that they would naturally be inclined to never accomplish on thier own. That's hard work, is long and exausting, but the payoff is big, for the team and the players themselves. It's something they can take with them, as the travel foreward in life. (Who want's to be a 12 yr old Superstar Q.B. the rest of their life? And, who wants to be pushed to the side, ignored, and thrown on the Athletic scrapheap of life?) Give em' what they need, and they'll show you what you've been missing!

(If only I had one more stud!!!!) :(
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[*] posted on 11-22-2008 at 12:06 PM Reply With Quote


To think that whatever or however we teach a 10 year old now has a direct effect on his NFL career is a MAJOR stretch and completely absurd regardless of position.

All we can do as youth coaches is to teach players how to love the game now so at least they have a shot in HS...if they then avoid all of the pitfalls in HS they may make it to college...if they then avoid all of the pitfalls in college they have a slim chance to make it to the NFL.

Thats one hell of a long row to hoe.

Maybe I am missing the point of this thread? I dont believe anything I teach a youth QB now will lay the foundation for an NFL QB except maybe a tiny amount of experience at the position. I dont even teach them how to read a defense...thats my job.

Coach Mike
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[*] posted on 11-22-2008 at 01:16 PM Reply With Quote


Coach Mike
My point is not how a kid rises from playing QB in youth to QB in the league or at any other position.

The point is that I feel the coaches should focus on teaching the kid what he needs to know to play the position he is at regardless of his talent level. I was one of the players that had all the talent and really never had a coach to teach me past the basics because my talent made the basics look real good. The reason being is because we won most of our games. We had other kids that the coach pushed because they had to depend on technique more than abaility. I am just a coach who doesn't want my W-L record to take from teaching my kids.

I feel like failing is not ending the year with greater knowledge than you started with. I feel like because I was a natural athelete I wasn't really taught or pushed to increase my ability.
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[*] posted on 11-23-2008 at 12:52 PM Reply With Quote


Helping a kid develop a love and appreciation of the game is Job #1 for us. That includes teaching great fundamentals at whatever position each kid is assigned and makes the most sense for the team grouping I have that year. Getting creamed every game usually throws a wrench in that developing love for the game goal BTW.

Remember Tim Tebow played LB and TE until his last year of youth ball, didnt seem to bother him much. He plays like he just loves to play and Im not a Gator fan.
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Mood: shocked about how low my talent level is!

[*] posted on 11-23-2008 at 06:30 PM Reply With Quote


Just my two cents here...

With my oldest son(now 20).He never played QB until he was 14.All through youth ball he was always the best athelte..that means HB on most youth teams.Once he hit 14 his coach moved him to QB although he did not pass much as he was in a option system he went on to be recruited Division 1 at the QB postion.What he hd was leadership and understanding of the game.He is also a big kid 6'4 215.

My other son who is now 12 has played QB since he was 8.While he is also a big kid 5'11 155 at 12,he does not have the same dispostion as his brother.He's a hot head,and plays mad at the world.While he has great physical tools,unless his personality changes I can all but asure you he wont be playing QB in High School much less college.

First thing I look for when chooseing a QB prospect is does this have the "it" factor.If they don't understand the details of the game,and show great leadership..we look past the phyisical abilitys.Those are much easier to fine tune and develop.
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[*] posted on 11-23-2008 at 07:56 PM Reply With Quote


Coaches,

Does the Coach, that mearly Pitches the Ball to the Fastest Player in the league, deserve credit for the development of the players? Does the Coach, that allows a Player to score around the end, when the play call was up the middle, deserve credit for the development of the players? Does the Coach, that has players, who can score at seemingly any moment, deserve the credit when there is absolutely no sign of a coherent blocking scheme?

Any Coach can benefit from natural ability, but are they, in turn, really benefitting the players? (Who's doing who a favor?) On the Youth circuit, and at some higher level schools, some of these coaches are considered to be the geniouses of the coaching world. Their ability to recruit, far overshadows thier ability to Coach the average athlete.

I'm not saying, that me, or any other Youth Football Coach, can do a whole hellva' lot to expeidiate the destiny of a naturally gifted athlete. Or, systematically produce future Professional Football players. But, we can do something to help promote sound organizational principals that help to teach the future higher level players the Game of Football. Afterall, what good does it do the gifted athlete, much less the average player, if you send them up with virtually no knowledge of how the game is played? The System you run, or the postions they play, are mostly irrelevent. What matters, is that they learn how to play the Game in an atomosphere that is functionally competitive, and is built on universially sound Football principals.
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[*] posted on 11-24-2008 at 08:35 AM Reply With Quote


Quote:
Originally posted by WNYfootball
Just my two cents here...

With my oldest son(now 20).He never played QB until he was 14.All through youth ball he was always the best athelte..that means HB on most youth teams.Once he hit 14 his coach moved him to QB although he did not pass much as he was in a option system he went on to be recruited Division 1 at the QB postion.What he hd was leadership and understanding of the game.He is also a big kid 6'4 215.

My other son who is now 12 has played QB since he was 8.While he is also a big kid 5'11 155 at 12,he does not have the same dispostion as his brother.He's a hot head,and plays mad at the world.While he has great physical tools,unless his personality changes I can all but asure you he wont be playing QB in High School much less college.


These are good examples where you coach them to a point of understanding the game. The younger son playing QB might end up that MLB who reads the plays like he was in the Offenses Huddle. Coaching can make him understand why a QB has to check off or where the play is going based on the backs counter step. He may not end up a QB but his knowledge can increase his abilities at another position.

A kid can start out at any position but that start is their window into the world of football. Why not give them understanding from their point of view and increase their natural progression.

There are way too many underdeveloped quote unquote superstars who make it through the ranks on natural ability and become uncoachable because they have not been coached since highschool or before. Everybody talks about reggie bush because of the possibility of excitement but what has he really done since he has faced a more level playing field? Everybody talks about TO but what about Wes Welker (David and Goliath)? Welker has been coached to a point that he uses his knowledge to turn a good talent that is coachable, has understanding and love for the game into a silent walk into the Hall of Fame.

There are a lot of atheletes who play past their "Prime" because they have the knowledge to coach themselves as well as being coached.

Quote:
Originally posted by step-n-rip
Coaches,
Afterall, what good does it do the gifted athlete, much less the average player, if you send them up with virtually no knowledge of how the game is played?



Knowledge is power!! This is the edge that atheletes look for and it is more powerful than any enhancement drug!!!
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[*] posted on 11-24-2008 at 11:16 AM Reply With Quote


swchull,

Agreed! All the "Greats"(no matter the sport) have something else besides natural ability. The common thread is that they throughly understand the Game they play. Thier comprehension is outside of the postion they play. They understand how the other postions around them, affect the outcome of the Game being played. And, they are seemingly always in the right postion at the right time, which affects the outcome.

As a Youth Coach, I have witnessed many times, that natural ability makes up for the lack of proper postioning, proper reaction, and proper execution to/of a play. As the Athlete moves up in level of play, the athletisism starts to equal out, and natural ability becomes less of a factor, and knowledge of game becomes more of one. Typically, this in itself, can hurt the chances of many gifted prospects.
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[*] posted on 11-24-2008 at 11:28 AM Reply With Quote


swchull,

You arent kidding about winning at Valdosta. 82% winning percentage and 24 state titles. We played you in the state chamionship in 82. I still think the FG we kicked was good and the last drive y'all turned our TE upside down before the ball got there. No call, of course, but I'm not bitter :). You guys have always been a very, very good team. Belue, Lastinger, Bonner, all great QB's.

We will have our first passing camp at 10 years old this year. Our QB's are not our best athletes, they are leaders who are positive. At 9 this year we had 2 players play the 1 and 2 backs in our SW system and throw it a little. We had limited success mostly due to lack of practice time committed to the passing game.

Our number one goal is always to foster the love of the game. The passing camp will focus on new terminology as we will be multiple offensively next year. We will practice calling the plays in a mock huddle and lining up on a line made out of trash cans. The backs and receivers will also be a part of the camp. This will help our QB's be leaders on the field by being able to line up any backs who cannot attend the camp, or have a momentary lapse in concentration during a game.

After terminology, we will focus on taking a snap from center, securing the football for the transition from under center to assigned handoff or set up spot, and proper footwork. We will work on ball position, elbow position, forming a good base, and stepping toward the target. We will probably not focus too much on release point at this age as we want them to play instinctively with the mechanics becoming more or less automatic through repetition. I don't want the QB thinking about footwork on 3rd and 10.

Our terminology will attempt to mimic the Middle School and HS terminology on similar formations, motions, etc. Along with teaching fundamentals for each position, that is the extent of our involvement in MS or HS schemes.

I quit playing HS ball because I never developed the love of the game at the youth level. I developed it later in the Marine Corps while playing for unit football teams. My son had a horrible year his first year due mostly to coaching. His second year was better but only because he was the only viable offensive option. He actually complained about playing too much, carrying the ball too much. The HC put him in the I and he was the defensive focus on every play.

I coached this year to ensure the kids had a better experience. We had all 25 kids show up for the banquet. The HS coach spoke to the kids and they each got a trophy, dog tag, and an individual certificate that had a quick story behind it unique to that player. i.e. we gave the Timekeeper Award to a player who NEVER let me forget that practice ended at such and such a time.....etc...The kids and the parents got a big kick out of this. We also had 0 parent complaints at the end of the year.

So......responsible coaching requires me to get my ego out of the way and always do what is best for the team and the kids. As Dave Cisar said before.....winning helps kids love the game more for sure.

Take care, Alex
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[*] posted on 11-24-2008 at 02:17 PM Reply With Quote


Remember Tim Tebow played LB and TE until his last year of youth ball, didnt seem to bother him much. He plays like he just loves to play and Im not a Gator fan.

It's ok Coach Dave, Nobody's perfect. lol
GO GATORS




So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak.
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[*] posted on 11-24-2008 at 04:45 PM Reply With Quote


I say he benefited from his experience at those positions. I'm not sure but he probably reads linebackers better than secondary coverage. Thats why he is gaining alot on the run. He also benefits from having studs at his disposal so he is not the only target. Here is a little article on why I think knowledge makes a difference. Ironically about Tebow.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/sportsline/main11012740.shtml
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