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Author Topic: discussion on our team  (Read 521 times)

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Online Bob Goodman

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discussion on our team
« on: September 09, 2017, 11:31:45 AM »
With our practice plan for the past week (which seemed to include a lot of conditioning), our HC Dan solicited ideas, so I responded:
Quote
> Feel free to shoot ideas on this email chain or we can discuss
> pre-practice.

I don't think conditioning is our problem.  Of the players who said they
wanted to come out because "tired" in the waning minutes of the game, I
think it was failure of nerve, not stamina.  Besides, the amount of
conditioning you can get just in practice in a short time isn't much.

Also, our defense wasn't bad last week.  One long TD run given up in a
game is par for the course with 9 year-olds.  (I'd still like to practice
sideline tackling, though.)  They did not give up a lot of first downs.
They did give up some pass completions, but I think the interception makes
up for that.  They didn't even do too badly with the unusual formations
Mt. Olive used.

Our problem was more on offense.  A lot of penetration in the middle
leading to fumbles we were lucky to get back.  I told you weeks ago about
my misgivings of playing with 2-arms-length splits and the line all the
way forward.  I'd rather shrink the splits and play the line as far back
as legal, as the manual Dan sent said.  That way we can better cover
against penetration even if we resume pulling the guards.  I'd also like
to teach the crab block to cover for pullers.  Plus, I noticed some of our
players have natural shoulder blocking form, and I'd like to exploit that
too.
Dan never wrote anything back -- he's fairly taciturn in person too, preferring to listen -- but some ACs did.  Here's Lance:
Quote
I wanted to respond to your email that you sent out yesterday regarding your
viewpoint of the game. The first thing I want to address is the splits for the
offensive line. We are instructed by the high school that splits are finger tip to
finger tip as these are the splits that they run for their offense.  They want us
run our offense this particular way.

With regards to moving the players further back off the line is an incorrect move.
You are giving the defense more of a running start and any small push back will
disrupt the backfield more. We had 1 fumble on offense that the play was blown up by
a player that was 7 pounds over weight that was allowed to play due to this game not
being a league sanctioned game. I watched the film of each play and our offensive
line did well. Could they have stayed on blocks longer- yes but for the most part
they held their own.

Responding to your conditioning comment, I think you are 100 percent wrong. I can't
be more adamant on this. Being properly conditioned will help eliminate mental
mistakes. You are the first person that has ever said anything about conditioning
not being important. With 8-9 of our kids playing iron man football how can you say
that they will not get tired and being properly conditioned is irrelevant.
Tim said he agreed with Lance, and John just responded with a phone-based  character I couldn't xlate.  I responded:
Quote
> Bob,
> I wanted to respond to your email that you sent out yesterday regarding
> your viewpoint of the game. The first thing I want to address is the
> splits for the offensive line. We are instructed by the high school that
> splits are finger tip to finger tip as these are the splits that they run
> for their offense.  They want us run our offense this particular way.

2 points about that.  One is, what difference does it make what way THEY
want US to run OUR offense?  (One of the other teams' coaches also told us
the HS wants shoulder blocking.  I like shoulder blocking, as I think most
who run wing T do.  But I notice that we went back to hands as soon as he
walked away, so obviously what the HS wants cuts no ice with some of us!)
The other is, I'm going by the 2015 NBYFL playbook,, which calls for 2'
C-G & G-T splits, then a 3' T-E split, but that they could widen any split
by a foot vs. head-up DL.  I don't know what age that playbook was made
for, but if it was adapted from HS, then shrinking the splits down to 9 YO
size would make them even smaller.  In any event, 2 or 3 feet is less than
2 arms' length of 9 YOs.

> With regards to moving the players further back off the line is an
> incorrect move. You are giving the defense more of a running start and any
> small push back will disrupt the backfield more.

Both sides get more of a running start.  It would require some adjustment
of their steps because it wouldn't be as in the sled drills where they
could just reach & touch trom their position.

I'm telling you from the experience of a great many coaches, including me,
as well as the 2015 NBYFL playbook that says.to get as far back of the
line of scrimmage as legal.  (That would be head just breaking the plane
of the snapper's waist.)  Playing all the way forward is popular only in
offenses like I formation, ace back, etc.  Most other systems popular in
youth ball go with the advice in that book, as is typical of wing T teams;
some wing T teams will play maybe halfway back, but none of them like to
crowd the line.

Playing the line back trades space for time.  The sacrifice of space is
minimal, and matters very little unless you're in a goal line situation
using wedge blocking or the like, which we don't do.  What you gain is
time for the OL to move laterally to cover ground to cut off penetration.
It's about the only way you can do it if you want to pull or cross-block,
but it helps against penetration in all circumstances.

In I formation and pro systems typically big splits are used, and you just
want to keep those big spaces open for the runner.  Wing T tends to use
more moderate splits and take advantage of angle blocking and double
teaming to move DL sideways, not drive them backwards, to open holes.

> We had 1 fumble on
> offense that the play was blown up by a player that was 7 pounds over
> weight

My understanding is that he was only 3 lbs. over the limit to play the
line in league competition.  7 lbs. if he wanted to play backfield.

> Responding to your conditioning comment, I think you are 100 percent
> wrong. I can't be more adamant on this. Being properly conditioned will
> help eliminate mental mistakes. You are the first person that has ever
> said anything about conditioning not being important. With 8-9 of our kids
> playing iron man football how can you say that they will not get tired and
> being properly conditioned is irrelevant.

I may be the only one you've heard of, but I'm not the only one.  Dave
Cisar, a pretty good authority on youth football coaching, never does
conditioning drills, and gets great results.  We don't have a lot of
substitutes, but our practices are longer than our games, are at no slower
a pace, and our players aren't gassed by the end of practice unless we
have them sprint at the end, which never happens in games.  So I don't
think they were too tired, they just had butterflies -- performance
anxiety.
The playbook referenced is the one HC Dan sent.

Online mahonz

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Re: discussion on our team
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2017, 11:44:50 AM »
Fingertip splits for 9's might be pushing things....and Im a wide splits fan. Depends on your blocking rules. If you do a lot of pulling this is a lot of space to cover for the puller.

We are minimum vertical splits because we use 2 point stances. If you are 3 point then I agree they should be maximum. I did a little experiment a few years ago on this and it proved out. Whatever it takes to get that power step down before contact.

9's are naturally conditioned IMHO. No need to be excessive. The act of practicing is conditioning at that age. They need more drilling and reps....not more laps.
Collect moments, not wins.

Online Bob Goodman

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Re: discussion on our team
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2017, 12:11:49 PM »
Now I see John responded to my last e-mail just before our game:
Quote
Conditioning wins championships. Rob ever hear the term grinder . It a athlete that
is tired , but when the game is on the line will find it in himself to find a way to
win when exusted .  You can have the greatest coach or teacher in the world but if
that athlete doesn't have heart he will never win. And that's all I have to say now
can we just play some Dam football 🏈
I notice that none of the ACs besides me sent to the whole list responses to Dan's solicitation of ideas.  Maybe they e-mailed him privately or spoke to him at Thurs. practice, which I had to miss because of teaching.
Fingertip splits for 9's might be pushing things....and Im a wide splits fan. Depends on your blocking rules. If you do a lot of pulling this is a lot of space to cover for the puller.
We intended to pull our guards.  Didn't try it until we were into pre-season for a while, then quickly dropped it when we saw we couldn't cover for the pullers.  So it's a wing T playbook they're trying to run in an "I" or pro manner, base blocking everything.
Quote
9's are naturally conditioned IMHO. No need to be excessive. The act of practicing is conditioning at that age. They need more drilling and reps....not more laps.
You & I know it, but the other coaches think I don't know what I'm talking about.  The reasons they're going on about conditioning are:

(1) Our roster is shorter than that of most other teams we play against.  We have 15, and for our game a week ago only 13 were available.  But I don't care if the other team has 3 full squads -- the games are not enough to significantly tire out our 1st-&-only string.  Our opener was shorter than the ones I was used to back in the city, because in this league the game clock runs during team time-outs until the last 2 mins. of the half.  We have no kicks at all to sprint covering.  Plus, huddling is mandatory unless you're trying to play catch-up.  So it's a shorter, slower game than I was used to with comparable sized rosters.

(2) In the final minutes of that game, 2 of our players asked to sub out because they said they were tired.  But those same players have enough wind to get thru our practice sessions, which are more grueling than these games.  Immediately after that game, the coaches' consensus was that the problem was mental, not physical -- our players just got butterflies on offense trying to make up a 1-point deficit in the closing minutes.  They said they were tired, but they were just scared of contributing to a loss.

Online gumby_in_co

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Re: discussion on our team
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2017, 11:12:14 AM »
Seems like John is confusing heart and conditioning. By his logic, teaching football to a soccer team would be a foolproof way to win.
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Offline Seabass

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Re: discussion on our team
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2017, 05:57:37 PM »
John is just wrong about all that stuff but he doesn't sound open to an suggestions made by you. Tough spot to be in.

Online Bob Goodman

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Re: discussion on our team
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2017, 01:40:44 PM »
John is just wrong about all that stuff but he doesn't sound open to an suggestions made by you. Tough spot to be in.
But John's opinion probably doesn't matter that much.  It's Jeff (who has charge of line during practice when he's there) and Dan (HC) who need convincing.  It's just that John (who assists with line but is never in charge) was the only AC to give a long, substantive response to all of us on the e-mail list.  Of all the coaches on the team, John (from my listening to him generally during practice) seems to have the least knowledgeable input about anything, mostly smiles & gives encouragement during drills or holds a bag/shield & gives kids the best whacks.  Sorry if I gave a misimpression by quoting him.  It's always possible he knows a lot of football but is just bad at communicating it; he does slur his speech a lot.

Meanwhile Lance (who usually has charge of the backs, calls plays on offense) reports that league rules for 9YOs ban the combination on DL of 0 & 3 tech.  If there's someone on the nose, then the other DL have to be 4 tech or wider.  But if it's a 6-DL alignment, then one of them can be in a 1 or 2 tech and they can have one or two 3 techs.  Something like that.

Offline woodhawg

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Re: discussion on our team
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2017, 07:39:38 AM »
On splits for 9 year olds. I agree with you. They maybe finger tip to finger tip at the h.s. but a h.s. lineman is not a 9 year old lineman. 9 yr olds can't cover as much ground have to keep it relative.

You are also correct about setting back off the ball the advantage there goes to the oline. Even a college o-lineman is challenged by a DT crowding the Los. Initial space is an advantage to the oline not defense, no question. Especially if you have guys pulling. I even teach my centers to reach the ball out as far as possible for that reason.

In my experience the more time a coach wants to spend practice time conditioning; the less he knows about football.

On the other hand if nothing has changed in 30 years no one ever struggles against Mt. Olive (NJ). So you may have problems
« Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 07:47:32 AM by woodhawg »

Offline Wing-n-It

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Re: discussion on our team
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2017, 08:10:57 AM »

In my experience the more time a coach wants to spend practice time conditioning; the less he knows about football.

In the illustrative words of Melanie Griffin
YES YES YES !!
Robert

2 Things my offense will always have is a Wing and a Wedge

Offline patriotsfatboy1

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Re: discussion on our team
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2017, 08:13:53 AM »
In the illustrative words of Melanie Griffin
YES YES YES !!

Griffin, Griffith.  Whatever.  :P

Offline Wing-n-It

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Re: discussion on our team
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2017, 09:31:41 AM »
Griffin, Griffith.  Whatever.  :P
Exactly
 :-[
Robert

2 Things my offense will always have is a Wing and a Wedge

Online Bob Goodman

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Re: discussion on our team
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2017, 08:16:34 PM »
I will say one thing I very much appreciate about our coaches: their perspicacity.  At halftime of our game yesterday, I was surprised at how just about all of the coaches except me had a lot of observ'ns & suggestions for adjustments or emphasis.  I tend to see only a few things at a time; I'll frequently catch that a certain player I'm watching on our team is under-performing or misexecuting.  But when it comes to assembling what I'm seeing into a big picture, I was floored by how much I heard this time from them, and how on-point.  Even with his speech impediment, John turns out to know a fair amount.

Granted, some of that is from their experience with this team -- and most of its players -- the previous season, along with familiarity with the competition in our circuit.  Plus, sometimes they'll communicate things I'm out of the loop of.  For instance, during the first half of this game I shouted to Xander a few times that he was improperly positioned at his RG spot.  What I didn't know was that his father, Coach Jeff, had told him to shade toward C to help out against the MG.  Also, I did not notice the coaches' perspicacity so much at the previous games.

But with all that, I'm still very impressed that our other coaches are so good at picking these things up, when you consider that, as I'm used to, they each have a son on the team.  And there are 6 of us!  Back in the Bronx, it would be hard to find that many volunteer coaches; I was used to no more than 4 per team, and of those, many were not so knowledgeable.  And it's not like it's a big roster here -- just 15 players -- so the coach/player ratio is high and of good quality.  I just wish they knew a few of the things brought up in this thread.  It bugs me to attend so many practice sessions -- 5/week in Aug., 4/week thereafter -- and teach the game so inefficiently.  But then, probably our opponents do as well.

(The orientation of being a feeder for the HS bothers me too, but what you gonna do?)