Consider helping MosleyTheCat keep the web hosting hamsters fed and happy. Please Donate.

Author Topic: Special Team practice  (Read 5412 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline KFMagee

  • Bronze
  • Posts: 728
  • Total likes: 13
  • Plano Colts - 23th Season (Dallas,TX Area)
    • Plano Colts Team Website
  • Coaching: 10 & Under
  • Defense: 6-2
  • Offense: Wishbone
  • Title: Head Coach
Special Team practice
« on: May 24, 2015, 12:03:08 AM »
Our team has traditionally been a pure onside kicking team, and in our league punts are NO RUSH/NO RETURN...   We usually just spend 10 minutes going over kickoff cover and return before our games, and that is it... we do fine, but not exceptional, and we haven't returned a kickoff for a TD in two seasons.  We usually get at least one or two per year at the young ages.

This season, I think I want to add in a 10 minute session to each practice right after cals, to get the boys going.  I would do it at the end of practice, but fear it would get "skipped for more important stuff" if we do it that way. (I have seen that happen a lot in my 21 years of coaching!)

I'm thinking we do 10 minutes of Kickoff Return on Tue. Night and 10 minutes of Kick Cover on Thurs. nights.  Beside just running the play 10 times, what drills do you recommend for return and for onside recover?

PSO- Youth Rec League (2nd - 8th)
Wishbone & 45 Gritz Blitz

Offline mahonz

  • Administrator
  • Kryptonite
  • Posts: 24003
  • Total likes: 2363
  • No Wimps
  • Coaching: 7 & Under
  • Defense: DC 46
  • Offense: Single Wing
  • Title: Head Coach
Re: Special Team practice
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2015, 11:45:07 AM »
Our team has traditionally been a pure onside kicking team, and in our league punts are NO RUSH/NO RETURN...   We usually just spend 10 minutes going over kickoff cover and return before our games, and that is it... we do fine, but not exceptional, and we haven't returned a kickoff for a TD in two seasons.  We usually get at least one or two per year at the young ages.

This season, I think I want to add in a 10 minute session to each practice right after cals, to get the boys going.  I would do it at the end of practice, but fear it would get "skipped for more important stuff" if we do it that way. (I have seen that happen a lot in my 21 years of coaching!)

I'm thinking we do 10 minutes of Kickoff Return on Tue. Night and 10 minutes of Kick Cover on Thurs. nights.  Beside just running the play 10 times, what drills do you recommend for return and for onside recover?


KFM

Our routine is....

Right after cals and always THUD with a quick whistle....5 KO's...5 KOR's....5 punts....5 punt returns....5 PAT kicks when they are old enough. 5 no matter how poor the rep. They ALWAYS get better...fast. We do punts because they are live plays for us. A coach punts for punt return and kicks of KOR so the reps move right along with quality kicks.

You can get all 25 reps done in 20-25 minutes since each play is a space play....meaning you are covering a lot of space so reps obviously don't go that fast. If you dont do punts or PAT's then 10-15 minutes is realistic and worth the time.

Recovering on side kicks gets harder as they get older. With the little guys we recover a ridiculously high percentage.

http://www.dumcoach.com/kick-off-kick-off-return/super-smurfs-running-a-3-kicker-on-side-ko/
Collect moments, not wins.

Offline Michael

  • Diamond
  • Posts: 14277
  • Total likes: 2834
  • Coaching: 13 & Under
  • Defense: Undecided
  • Offense: One Back
  • Title: Assistant
Re: Special Team practice
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2015, 11:49:43 AM »
I would do it at the end of practice, but fear it would get "skipped for more important stuff" if we do it that way.

Schedule it at the end and just let everyone know that everything stops when it's time for special teams.  If you're in mid-rep, you finish the rep.  If you're about to start a rep, that rep is now gone.  If you think you're in the middle of a speech, you're wrong; you are at the end of a speech.
“If you can't explain it to a six-year-old, you don't understand it yourself.” ― Albert Einstein

Offline Tripwire

  • Silver
  • Posts: 1478
  • Total likes: 67
  • Coaching: 12 & Under
  • Defense: Wide Tackle 6
  • Offense: Double Wing
  • Title: Head Coach
Re: Special Team practice
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2015, 12:14:26 PM »
Special teams?  What is that?!   ;D

We don't punt unless we are inside our own 20 and if we do punt its a quick kick off of a sweep toss to the WB.

Every single kickoff is a onside kick.

Kick Return is about all we work on and we return it right down the middle, no sideline or fancy stuff.

If we can't kick the extra point 3 out of 4 times (which we very rarely can), we don't kick that either.  We just run a play.
Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard.

Offline coachdoug

  • Silver
  • Posts: 1061
  • Total likes: 260
  • "Fatigue makes cowards of us all." - V. Lombardi
  • Coaching: High School
  • Defense: Other
  • Offense: Spread Formation
  • Title: Head Coach
Re: Special Team practice
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2015, 06:19:51 PM »
If we can't kick the extra point 3 out of 4 times (which we very rarely can), we don't kick that either.  We just run a play.
If your league, like most youth leagues, gives 2 points for a kicked PAT and only 1 point for running/passing it in, you might want to check your math.

In my experience, most teams only convert about 25% or so of PAT opportunities when going for the run/pass play, so the average points per attempt is about 0.25.  So, if you can make 1 kick out of 8, you're at break-even; any better than that, and you should definitely kick every time.  Even if you only make half of your kicks, you would have to make 100% of your run/pass PAT attempts to just break even.

Unless you're playing by standard HS scoring rules, it makes no sense to set the bar so high on kicking PATs.  You probably are playing by standard HS scoring rules, so my comments are not directed towards you, but rather to any youth coaches who have standard youth scoring rules (2 points for kicks, 1 point for run/pass), who should probably kick 100% of the time once they can achieve about a 15%-20% success rate for kicking.

Offline Tripwire

  • Silver
  • Posts: 1478
  • Total likes: 67
  • Coaching: 12 & Under
  • Defense: Wide Tackle 6
  • Offense: Double Wing
  • Title: Head Coach
Re: Special Team practice
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2015, 09:43:20 PM »
If your league, like most youth leagues, gives 2 points for a kicked PAT and only 1 point for running/passing it in, you might want to check your math.

In my experience, most teams only convert about 25% or so of PAT opportunities when going for the run/pass play, so the average points per attempt is about 0.25.  So, if you can make 1 kick out of 8, you're at break-even; any better than that, and you should definitely kick every time.  Even if you only make half of your kicks, you would have to make 100% of your run/pass PAT attempts to just break even.

Unless you're playing by standard HS scoring rules, it makes no sense to set the bar so high on kicking PATs.  You probably are playing by standard HS scoring rules, so my comments are not directed towards you, but rather to any youth coaches who have standard youth scoring rules (2 points for kicks, 1 point for run/pass), who should probably kick 100% of the time once they can achieve about a 15%-20% success rate for kicking.

Yea, I am probably overstating that.  That is what I tell my coaches, but if we can kick 50% of our kicks I will go for the kick.  We were able to get the extra point nearly 75% of the time with our offense.  I averaged 4.2 TD's a game last year.  Running the ball for extra points we got 3.2 points per game.  Kicking the ball we were 1 of 4 for the first 2 games.  Of course I didn't try it again anymore after the beginning of the year, so there is that.

I do know what you mean though.  I didn't put enough emphasis on kicking and it took way too much time for me.  If I can score my extra point 75% of the time I need to be able to make 2 kicks a game to make it worth the practice time and the effort.
Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard.

Offline coachdoug

  • Silver
  • Posts: 1061
  • Total likes: 260
  • "Fatigue makes cowards of us all." - V. Lombardi
  • Coaching: High School
  • Defense: Other
  • Offense: Spread Formation
  • Title: Head Coach
Re: Special Team practice
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2015, 02:09:13 AM »
Yea, I am probably overstating that.  That is what I tell my coaches, but if we can kick 50% of our kicks I will go for the kick.  We were able to get the extra point nearly 75% of the time with our offense.  I averaged 4.2 TD's a game last year.  Running the ball for extra points we got 3.2 points per game.  Kicking the ball we were 1 of 4 for the first 2 games.  Of course I didn't try it again anymore after the beginning of the year, so there is that.

I do know what you mean though.  I didn't put enough emphasis on kicking and it took way too much time for me.  If I can score my extra point 75% of the time I need to be able to make 2 kicks a game to make it worth the practice time and the effort.
Well, if you're scoring 4+ TDs per game and making 3+ PATs per game (i.e. 27+ points per game), you're obviously doing something right, so it probably doesn't matter too much what you do with your PATs most of the time.  However, it probably does matter come playoff time, when you're facing teams of similar caliber - you may want to sacrifice a few points on PATs early in the season (if you're winning by 2-3 TDs, which I assume you probably are most of the time, it's not going to hurt you) just so you can get your kicking down by the playoffs when it might actually make a significant difference.  Just a thought.  In my experience, the kicking game tends to go like 10%-15%-25%-25%-50%-70%-90%-90%-90%, meaning, it takes a while to get it down, but once you do get it down, it becomes almost automatic.  Just something to think about.

Offline coacho

  • Bronze
  • Posts: 645
  • Total likes: 58
  • Coaching: 10 & Under
  • Defense: 5-3
  • Offense: Undecided
Re: Special Team practice
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2015, 05:56:22 PM »
After our Dynamic Stretch/Cadence period we have Kicking Game for 20-30 minutes. On offensive days we do K-O Return, Hands Team for Onsides and Punt. On defensive days we do K-O and Punt Block and Return. Not only is this a great period for us but it allows time for our coaching staff to get to practice. Early in the season we do more walking and talking as the season progresses we don't go over 30 mins.

Offline patriotsfatboy1

  • Gold
  • Posts: 3177
  • Total likes: 645
  • Coaching: 11 & Under
  • Defense: 6-3
  • Offense: Double Wing
  • Title: Head Coach
Re: Special Team practice
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2015, 11:20:29 AM »
As our kids have gotten older and we have become more competitive, special teams has become more important.  We go through kick off and kick return at least once during the week and then walk through before the game (about 10-15 minutes total).  For games that we think are going to be tight or if we see a team that does something special, we will spend more time on it (15-20 minutes).

Extra point kicks are now part of our plan every other practice (5 minutes).  We get two balls going and work on snap, through protection and fire drills.  Should be able to get in at least 10-15 plays that way. 

We have a good kicker and we make about 80% of our kicks.  We have had teams adjust their plans because they know that if we score, we are getting 2 points on the kick and they need to score twice to beat us.  It can be demoralizing when we go up 8-0 or 16-0 on a team and they realize how much they have to do to get back into the game. 

Offline Michael ODonnell

  • Copper
  • Posts: 237
  • Total likes: 22
  • Coaching: High School
  • Defense: 6-2
  • Offense: Wing T
  • Title: Head Coach
Re: Special Team practice
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2015, 06:18:25 PM »
PRACTICE SCHEDULE: With a Friday game schedule, we review all our kicks and returns on Monday, cover kickoff/kickoff returns on Tuesday, punt/punt returns on Wednesday, and total review of all phases on Thursday. If we feel that there is an area that needs additional attention, we will budget time during practice each day until we feel that we are proficient. Once we are comfortable with what we are doing, we spend probably 25 minutes on Monday, 15 minutes each on Tuesday and Wednesday, and 25 minutes on Thursday covering drills and team scheme. That is 80 minutes per week. The key is to find something we like and can execute and then continually rep what we do. Simple is good and simpler is better in all phases of football. Lastly, before the official start of each practice, we like to get our players out early to kick, punt, and field kicks as part of the pre-warmup period. This only has to be 10 minutes in length but when you look at the week it is another 40 minutes (not counting pregame) of specialized skill work.

KICKOFF/KICK RETURN: I have always liked doing kickoff and/or kick return with drills at the beginning of practice because it can be part of your warm-up period for the players. We typically have all our players ready to go at the beginning of practice but have had regular occurrences where players needed to leave a bit early at the end of practice. The players are fresh and, as we tell them, the game will either begin with a kickoff or a kick return. We will alternate which one (kickoff or kick return) will begin the practice.

PUNT/PUNT RETURN: These ususally come midway through practice and are alternated by day as well. We will run our fakes during our team punting and our punt blocks during the return time. We generally preceed the team punt/punt return with group punt/return drills. This is a simple conditioner for the middle of practice (15 minute period) on the days we punt.

FIELD GOAL/EXTRA POINT: We always have two units working off the opposite hashmarks to get more repetitions. While one team is kicking, the other is getting a practice snap and protection rep. We will flip hashmarks after four to five kicks and then move back 5 yards. When one team's kicker reaches his maximum distance, we then move forward and stress quickness and accuracy.
We are all in this together.
Simple is good . . . simpler is better.