Author Topic: Back Into Coaching  (Read 1738 times)

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Offline Coach E

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Back Into Coaching
« on: July 19, 2018, 03:33:15 PM »
I have been "hired" to be the HC of a new middle school program that will feature primarily 7th-8th grade players. We're guessing somewhere between 18-24 players and one AC. I have decided on DCWT and the KB for my X's and O's. The rub? I get 10-12 practices before our first game; we're starting a full three weeks after our opponents start their preseason. (No, I don't know why, nor do I have any say in this.)

We will be a co-op team, featuring players from 7 different academy schools. Due to the various school start/end times, we'll be practicing in the evenings.

I know this is doable, but I'm looking to get any suggestions on how to approach the season. How would you go about using your time wisely? This should be a fun challenge.
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
- Marcus Aurelius

Offline Dusty Ol Fart

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Re: Back Into Coaching
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2018, 04:56:08 PM »
E:

Always have an agenda for each practice. I try to allot time accordingly but, with a small staff we end up in Group Real Quick.  Make sure you have and use your Key or Must Have Drills before adding anything else. Personally, I dont split my practices between O and D we use different days for each.  By doing that at least we concentrate on coaching as we rep and not simply throwing things at them and moving on. I'd use the first couple of practices for "Quick Evals" and go with your Gut and what fits your scheme. 

The more you can stick to your agenda, the better.  Quality over Quantity

Good Luck
Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  :)

Offline Coach E

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Re: Back Into Coaching
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2018, 09:00:22 AM »
Thanks, Dusty. That makes sense splitting into O and D days. My first pass on a practice plan had me mixing things together so I'll have to look at that.

I also wonder how much time I should spend on special teams. I'm pretty sure the league switched the rules so that a run or pass for PAT is worth 2 points and a kick is worth 1 point, so I'm not even going to bother with kicking unless we have a kid that can boot it well.

I know there will be a couple of drills/practice items/agendas that I want based on my own experience and, more importantly, what I've read here: 12 perfect blocks as my daily warm up, very high tempo, competitiveness and aggressiveness incorporated into everything we do, allow for challenging of positions before practices.
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
- Marcus Aurelius

Offline Dusty Ol Fart

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Re: Back Into Coaching
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2018, 10:05:56 AM »
You can run Special Teams the last 15 Minutes of Every Practice with no Ill Effect.   8)
Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  :)

Offline Coach E

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Re: Back Into Coaching
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2018, 01:24:39 PM »
I have my meeting this afternoon where I get to lay out what my plan will be going into the season. I took Dusty's advice on splitting days. I also have a couple of other things I want to incorporate, but I think I'll struggle just getting my footing. I was told by the HC he wants us to run Spread. When I asked how the QBs look during the summer session he said that they don't have anyone yet but they're hoping to get one once school/practice starts. Based on that alone, I should be able to push DCWT. Defensively, I get to do what I want, just so long as push aggressiveness and tackling fundamentals.
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
- Marcus Aurelius

Offline Coach E

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Re: Back Into Coaching
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2018, 02:56:06 PM »
Varsity HC agreed to most, except he wants me to run their offense. I asked when he thought I could get a copy of what he wants me to run. He told me the OC is working on it, but has been pretty busy as of late and may take a while. I didn't ask at the time, but thought it later: If he doesn't have time to simply put the plays down on paper, how is he going to find time to help me troubleshoot if he's running his practice at the same time I am running mine?

Tomorrow night I participate in a meet & greet with all the players, 7-12. Afterward, I'll take my players aside and have a quick talk, not sure about what yet. I will try to get all of their contact information, as most of what I have is pretty messy and incomplete. I plan on a full blown parents meeting and equipment hand-out on the 23rd, four days before we actually begin practices. I have yet to meet my AC as he has been too busy.
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
- Marcus Aurelius

Offline Dusty Ol Fart

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Re: Back Into Coaching
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2018, 05:30:34 PM »
BINGO!  If they cant or wont then you need to come up with your plans on O and D and let him sort it out when they get there.  Our Varsity (Assuming you mean HS) can and does put things on paper with explanations.  However, his main concern is not that they know it lock step its that we keep the kids interested and teach the Fundi's (Blocking and Tackling) well. 

jmho
Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  :)

Offline Coach TonyM

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Re: Back Into Coaching
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2018, 05:53:50 AM »
Been in the same boat with varsity header...wanting me yo run his offense.  This is my 9th season as middle school head coach, and starting with my 5th varsity head coach.  I run what I want.   Although, this one is running alot of what I do.  Pistol WingT and air raid passing.  Keep meeting with him and support him.  He wont have time to scrutinize you.  He will be too busy with his stuff.

Offline Coach E

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Re: Back Into Coaching
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2018, 02:11:19 PM »
Met about half the team and parents last night for about 20 minutes. We'll be doing a more thorough meeting on 8/23 that is specific to our club.

Afterward, I met with the OC for about an hour talking scheme and what his concerns are. After going back and forth for a while, I asked him that if he could nail it down to three bullet points at most, what does he want these kids to learn for next year: O-line footwork, a couple of specific WR routes and the ability for the QB to read defensive backfield (not as complicated as it sounds). They use GDL for the playside and reach for the backside. He wants a power play (24/26), a Trap (32 Trap), a toss (36 Toss) and a sweep (he liked 47 Speed). So, the long and the short of it is, so long as I can incorporate his wants into the offense, he's fine with what we want to run.

My AC was a no-show again. No one has heard from him in a week. I hope I'm not back to flying solo.
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
- Marcus Aurelius

Offline Monster

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Re: Back Into Coaching
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2018, 10:55:48 AM »
...

My AC was a no-show again. No one has heard from him in a week. I hope I'm not back to flying solo.

Turns out, he was back to flying solo.
Mission Statement:
To make a genuine effort at every opportunity to help those around me build and maintain a commitment to success.

Offline Coach E

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Re: Back Into Coaching
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2018, 11:40:13 AM »
Well, if you're in for coaching, might as well be a challenge.

Got our game schedule. First game next Thursday, first practice is tomorrow. We will get 8 practices before the game, 1 of which is Labor Day where we will be missing half the team.

Got 20 players that showed up for the meeting on Thursday with 6 no shows. 2 kids dropped before the season started.

My AC is on board. He has coached and played o-line, so that will help. I also asked another guy I worked with in the past who has experience with the KB and he is checking on his schedule. Fingers crossed!

We go 5 days this week, 4 days next week (including the game), and then three days per week until the end. No playoffs. 6 games total. The final four games are all on Wednesdays which is really bad for this age group as most have religious programs they participate in on that day. I tentatively set up for the three day weeks to have practice Monday and Tuesday and then the game, giving the kids the rest of the week off. That will give me time to break down film and get ready for the next week.

I'll keep posting if anyone is interested.
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
- Marcus Aurelius

Offline DumCoach

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Re: Back Into Coaching
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2018, 01:06:08 AM »


I'll keep posting if anyone is interested.

We are if you win...
Because it sounds like an uphill battle!   8)
"Football is for the kids - But let's win anyway."

Offline Coach E

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Re: Back Into Coaching
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2018, 08:24:42 AM »
So practice 1 is in the books. Got up in the morning and was notified by the AC that there was a threat of rain for the evening. When I checked into it, it wasn't rain, but severe thunderstorms. Got on the phone calling around to various places to try and find someplace indoor to run the practice. Finally got a hold of a fieldhouse nearby and requested about 1/4 of the place to run practice. Got the whole place to ourselves instead. Worked out well since the high winds and lightning knocked out power just about everywhere except our little corner. In fact, the building we practiced in was about the only one still with power! Now, I just have to come up with a good excuse to the wife for the charge on my card...

I ran a modified "DC School of Football". Did a few minutes of warm ups to get the kids focused and then went into stances, starts, fits and drives. Worked a bit on first step, but focused more on driving the hands up, keeping them together, keeping hips low until the lift to maintain leverage. Lots of timidness (timidity?) from the players. Had to draw them out to really strike the shield.

As I checked them out, moved them over to centering to have every one test there. My original AC had worked line last year and played center himself for 4 years. He had no idea on how to evaluate a center.  ??? Plus, he doesn't believe this group of kids can learn how to shotgun snap. Luckily, the other guy I brought in was able to help out to get them straightened away.

From there, we split them up into two groups. On group went to get their 27 yard times done and the other group was run through a passing square. After all the times were taken (not much speed) we switched them up. We identified a couple of possible candidates for QB and a couple of guys that can really catch the ball. It was interesting that only one kid really wanted to play QB and he wasn't anywhere near the best.

Next, everyone tried kicking. A dad volunteered to help out with this and did so in an interesting way. He just let them try without any instruction and looked for kids who seemed to "know" what they were doing and didn't care about distance so much. He looked for head and foot placement and identified 4 kids he could work with. Turns out he had been a special teams coach at a local high school for a number of years, so that worked out.

We finished with some agilities and then Michael's "Patriot Drill". That was eye-opening. You can really see who the athletes are at the end of that drill. Wrapped up and headed home.

Talked with the coaches afterwards and we agreed on a couple of things. First, we are a typical youth team in that we have a few really good athletes, a few really bad athletes and most are somewhere in the middle. Second, due to the fact that we only have 6 practices left before the first game (we lost another day because of other outside events) we will be going to a simpler offensive and defensive teach. Third, we have a team of mostly really nice boys that have never been drilled in being aggressive or strongly competitive.

We're going to start with a Beast offense and JJ's 33 Stack Attack defense and focus a great deal on working the fundamentals of blocking and tackling. I want to work on a targeted kick off, trying to drop it in between the lines closer to the sideline so we can just cover the kick and avoid getting the ball to the other team's best players. I don't want to punt. Extra points will just be offensive plays. I will be implementing a more aggressive and competitive focus in everything we do, including some of DP's drills.

We'll get through the week and see where we are at on offense and defense and proceed from there. I am toying with the idea of working into the DCWT the second half of the season, but that might just be a pipe dream right now.
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
- Marcus Aurelius

Offline Coach E

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Re: Back Into Coaching
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2018, 11:05:58 AM »
Practice 2 done. We started out with a quick warm up and then split. I sent the QBs and Cs to practice snaps and everyone else came with me to experience 12 perfect blocks. As expected, it was ugly, but we made some progress. After that, since we already determined our QBs, we split the team in half and gave everyone an opportunity to be a receiver. We gave instructions on the route, how to hold the hands and guide the ball in and seat the ball after the reception. Coaches graded all of the players and gave them a "Yes", "Maybe" or "No". We then split up again and ran through a drill to test the kids on RB skills. Coaches graded them again with the same designation. After that, we came together to walk through the offensive plays (Beast), and this is where I broke down. I got too tied up in the minutia of the play - splits, positioning, etc. - instead of just giving a look to everyone of what the plays will look like. Eventually, I caught on to my mistake, removed the ball from demo and walked through them again. I will correct that tonight as well. We finished with whose ball and the kids were really fired up at the end.

Tonight we will finish the walk through of the offense and then get into tackling progressions and defense. My goal is to have the best 11 tacklers on defense to start the season, with the rest of the team earning their way on through the completion of a tackling circuit. If anyone has any experience with this, please let me know how you did it. I know I saw Coach John did something similar a few years back and may just steal his. Basically, what kinds of things should they know (in your experiences). We are using Hawk Tackling and will be going off of the fine progressions posted by the Seahawks and others at the youth level.

On the downside, we found out last night that the league wants to have a weight limit to ball carriers. As proposed, it immediately eliminates about half my team. They can't catch, throw or run the ball. If they recover a fumble or get an interception, they can't advance the ball at all. There isn't any listed penalties to go along with these changes, either. This, and some other rule changes were proposed without any input from me or my schools' ADs. I have asked for clarification if these are, in fact, going to be enforced and also sent along my recommendations.
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
- Marcus Aurelius

Offline Coach E

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Re: Back Into Coaching
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2018, 01:24:00 PM »
Practice 3 was kind of a disaster on my part as I got off my plan for the evening. Kids were getting bored as we talked and walked through a lot. Did I mention our first game has been moved up a day? Combination of factors made this deteriorate - not sticking to my plan, too much standing around, residual resentment at having a weight limit for ball carriers applied - but mostly it was on the head coach for not running a good practice. I realized how much was on me and then brought everyone in and we ran DP's fit and drive for a bit. That got their attention and we left on a high note.

Practice 4 was much better. Did our EDDs to start and then went into Hawk Tackle teach. As we worked through the progressions, we started splitting kids off between those that were getting it and those that needed more help. One coach would move on to the next progression with the kids that could and two other coaches worked with the others and then "move them up" when they were getting it. They were still working off the notion of the "head across the bow" method they were taught last year and it took some time. At the end, we had three lines of angle form going on with some really good pops, lots of reps and a really good pace. From there, we introduced the concepts of the 33 Stack Attack defense and walked a couple times through, subbing kids in and out. Finished off with some punt covering drills (lots of sprints).

Another practice tonight, one shortened one Tuesday and then our first game Wednesday.
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.
- Marcus Aurelius