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Author Topic: Indroduction from a lurker  (Read 1686 times)

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Offline CoachDP

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Re: Indroduction from a lurker
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2018, 05:47:00 PM »
Welcome!

I don't know Clark's DC Wing-T, but I know the traditional Delaware Wing-T.

You'll be as good as your OL coach in that offense.  The OL coach needs to know how to coach the stance and start well, along with down blocks, kick outs, wraps, scoops, and maybe log blocks.  If he can teach those handful of skills, you'll be ok.  The RBs just need to know how to run their tracks and sell good fakes.  QB needs to hide the ball, fake, and occasionally hit a drag every now and then.

My advice is to pick 1 formation to base from (you may not need more at that age level), then run Belly Series (Belly, Tackle Trap, Keep Pass, Rocket Sweep--maybe Down), and Buck Series (Sweep, Trap, Waggle, Throwback Screen) to the opposite side.  Those 8-9 plays would be just about all you'd ever need.  They work together beautifully if you coach the blocking, faking, and other fundamentals.  If you have a hard time running Trap, you can substitute Wedge and it'll work nearly as well.

Structure your practice so everyone gets reps blocking down and kicking out, because just about everyone in that offense will be doing it.

^ Great advice.

Regardless of what you, don't base block everything. (Unless you're just that much bigger and stronger than everyone else.)

--Dave
"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement:
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Offline blockandtackle

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Re: Indroduction from a lurker
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2018, 09:31:49 PM »
I've thought about this post some more over the day.  As far as advice for a rookie coach who's taking over:

1.)  Make it all about the players' experience.  You don't need to be Nick Saban.  Just be the guy who is there for them, pushes them, believes in them, and makes this a fun and rewarding experience.  If you do that, you're a good coach.  Period.

2.)  Find a role for every kid.  They can't all be starters, but they can each do something.  Find that and put them out there to do that thing.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with substituting kids in situationally or putting together a "Beast Mode" MMP package.

3.)  Special teams matter.  You don't want to be the team who loses because of bad long snaps or shanked punts.  Put together a depth chart for each one that goes 2-3 deep and give all those kids reps in practice.  Do this quickly: run a rep with one team, have the 2nd team ready to go and line up for theirs as soon as 1st team goes.  To cut down on what you have to teach, try to make your starting defense the punt return and FG block teams, with maybe a returner subbed in for a S.  That way you can teach punt team as a defensive play.

4.)  Look for ways to keep all the kids engaged in practice.  I absolutely detest practicing "on air" because it's a huge waste of the OL's time and a huge part of your team is left to loaf on the sideline.  If your skill players are doing their drills, have the linemen do some stuff going into the end zone.  If you're running team and you still have a bunch of guys on the sideline, see if you can free up an assistant coach to take them somewhere and work on blocking, tackling, or special teams drills with them.

5.)  In that same vein, if you have enough kids, put together 2 scout huddles in practice.  One lines up to play while the other gets its instructions from the coaches.  As soon as the last rep is done, the second scout team runs out to set up the next rep.  Not only does it keep kids involved, but it also gets more reps done more efficiently.

6.)  Make a coach the scout team QB and tell players it's 2 hand touch on Coach ScoutQB.  Simulate shotgun snaps on scout with the coach already holding the ball so you don't waste reps on bad snaps--those can be practice killers.  If you're the coach, make sure you throw a few INTs or fumble in practice so they can get a few reps recovering and returning those plays.

7.)  Consider doing an offensive practice day and a defensive practice day, with another one set aside for special teams and a little walkthrough on both O and D.  Trust me.  It can change your life and help get so much more focus and in-depth work done.

8.)  Script each rep in team and group periods and give all assistant coaches a copy of the script.  Double space it.  If possible, have each coach make a note before practice of a key player or block to watch for on each play to make sure it's done right.  Like if you're running Power, your OL coach should make sure your T is getting a good down block and the backfield coach should make sure the FB is kicking out properly.  If you're on defense defending Iso, the DC should make a note to make sure your MLB is stepping up into the hole to meet the block instead of catching it at 3 yards.  Stuff like that.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2018, 09:36:00 PM by blockandtackle »

Online Dusty Ol Fart

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Re: Indroduction from a lurker
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2018, 10:18:22 PM »
I've thought about this post some more over the day.  As far as advice for a rookie coach who's taking over:

1.)  Make it all about the players' experience.  You don't need to be Nick Saban.  Just be the guy who is there for them, pushes them, believes in them, and makes this a fun and rewarding experience.  If you do that, you're a good coach.  Period.

Its youth ball. find a role for everyone. Injuries happen, Kids cant always be there,  If you spend the time teaching them one role, it does pay off!

2.)  Find a role for every kid.  They can't all be starters, but they can each do something.  Find that and put them out there to do that thing.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with substituting kids in situationally or putting together a "Beast Mode" MMP package.

Not Minimum Play Player....One task see above



3.)  Special teams matter.  You don't want to be the team who loses because of bad long snaps or shanked punts.  Put together a depth chart for each one that goes 2-3 deep and give all those kids reps in practice.  Do this quickly: run a rep with one team, have the 2nd team ready to go and line up for theirs as soon as 1st team goes.  To cut down on what you have to teach, try to make your starting defense the punt return and FG block teams, with maybe a returner subbed in for a S.  That way you can teach punt team as a defensive play.


Say what you will.  Special Teams can make a huge difference in your outcome.  My own son went from a "Tweener" (Not enough this or too slow for that) to a Great Role on Special Teams in High School.

4.)  Look for ways to keep all the kids engaged in practice.  I absolutely detest practicing "on air" because it's a huge waste of the OL's time and a huge part of your team is left to loaf on the sideline.  If your skill players are doing their drills, have the linemen do some stuff going into the end zone.  If you're running team and you still have a bunch of guys on the sideline, see if you can free up an assistant coach to take them somewhere and work on blocking, tackling, or special teams drills with them.

1/2 Line drills can work wonders! 

5.)  In that same vein, if you have enough kids, put together 2 scout huddles in practice.  One lines up to play while the other gets its instructions from the coaches.  As soon as the last rep is done, the second scout team runs out to set up the next rep.  Not only does it keep kids involved, but it also gets more reps done more efficiently.

6.)  Make a coach the scout team QB and tell players it's 2 hand touch on Coach ScoutQB.  Simulate shotgun snaps on scout with the coach already holding the ball so you don't waste reps on bad snaps--those can be practice killers.  If you're the coach, make sure you throw a few INTs or fumble in practice so they can get a few reps recovering and returning those plays.

7.)  Consider doing an offensive practice day and a defensive practice day, with another one set aside for special teams and a little walkthrough on both O and D.  Trust me.  It can change your life and help get so much more focus and in-depth work done.

Absolutely!  Don't confuse them with O and D.  One or the other.  Its worth it! 

8.)  Script each rep in team and group periods and give all assistant coaches a copy of the script.  Double space it.  If possible, have each coach make a note before practice of a key player or block to watch for on each play to make sure it's done right.  Like if you're running Power, your OL coach should make sure your T is getting a good down block and the backfield coach should make sure the FB is kicking out properly.  If you're on defense defending Iso, the DC should make a note to make sure your MLB is stepping up into the hole to meet the block instead of catching it at 3 yards.  Stuff like that.


A lot of this depends on how many Coaches you have.  AND How "Invested" they are!  But scripting practices, is a must.  Try to stay "on Script" as much as possible.  More important, don't go on to the next task, if the one you are working Doesn't Work!  FIX IT! 

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

Offline spidermac

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Re: Indroduction from a lurker
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2018, 08:54:43 AM »
Scripted practices...yes...but be prepared to adjust fire...I script every practice, including walk throughs, down to the minute, but sometimes, something I am working on isn't quite right, so we will stay on it until it is where I want it to be...but, I always start my practices on time (regardless of who has arrived) and end them on time.

We always start and end the practices the same way as well...we start with our warm up, and end with our Dawg pound...this consistency will comfort your players, especially if the are younger or inexperienced...and it becomes a part of your culture...
None of them suck, they just haven't found what the kid is good at yet.

Offline blockandtackle

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Re: Indroduction from a lurker
« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2018, 12:37:25 PM »
Scripted practices...yes...but be prepared to adjust fire...I script every practice, including walk throughs, down to the minute, but sometimes, something I am working on isn't quite right, so we will stay on it until it is where I want it to be...but, I always start my practices on time (regardless of who has arrived) and end them on time.

We always start and end the practices the same way as well...we start with our warm up, and end with our Dawg pound...this consistency will comfort your players, especially if the are younger or inexperienced...and it becomes a part of your culture...

This is very true.

This is a great point.  A scripted practice doesn't mean you can't adjust things on the fly or depart from the script.  The script is just there so everybody's organized and on the same page (literally).

At the end of the day, coaching is about teaching.  Just lining up and running a bunch of plays at each other without stopping to fix what's broken isn't going to do anybody any good.

The key is to be efficient with how you use your time to fix it.  Taking a minute to coach up a player or two is absolutely necessary at times, but you don't want to stop practice so you can go off on a 5 or 10 minute sermon about technique or tell a story about something from back in the day like some coaches I've worked with.  Save that stuff for after practice and do it with just the few kids who really need to hear it.

Offline Seabass

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Re: Indroduction from a lurker
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2018, 12:58:52 PM »
Man...I was an AC for 2 years before becoming a HC. I was beyond excited when I got my shot. I hope you kill it!

A friend of mine forwarded a letter to me the winter after my first season as HC. Google search "Mike Sherman's letter to Texas HS football coaches" if you want to see it. I didn't even know who Mike Sherman was at the time but that letter had a huge impact on how I coached my teams...still impacting how I coach today. Below is the list of items I think are the most important to be successful early on.

1- Be Organized! That CAN'T be over emphasized...not just in your practice plan but in everything you do as it relates to your team and parents. It's good to be flexible and able to adjust but don't us that as an excuse to be lazy and unorganized.

2- Communicate as clearly as you can with your players and parents about everything. I used to send out a "weekly update" e-mail at the end of every week. In that e-mail I detailed the obvious upcoming events and the schedule but I also discussed what we had done in practice that week. I never got into specifics but I gave everyone an idea of what we were working on and how we were progressing.

Once we started playing games I added my thoughts about how the games were played, how we practiced leading up to the game, and things that we needed to address as a team. After a few games, I went back and re-read them. They were really about me processing the week more than anything. I never got any feedback from anybody and came to the conclusion that those e-mails were unnecessary or "over-kill." Nobody cared about that stuff...I didn't think anybody was even reading them. So, the next week I didn't send a weekly update.

My AC's were the first to bring it up, a few dad's made comments at practice that night, then my e-mail started filling up with parents asking why I had not sent a weekly update that week. I had no idea how much everyone enjoyed hearing what was going on. It might have been one of the best "accidental" things I ever did as a coach.

3-Never pass up an opportunity to work on tackling. We did some kind of tackling work every single day without exception. I wasn't, still not, a genius at any part of the game and defense was my biggest weak spot. However, I knew that good teams tackled well so that was going to be us. I became tackle obsessed and we were a REALLY good tackling team. When I got hired as a HS AC last year, my HC asked me if there was anything that I had done as a coach that made my teams significantly better. I told him he would never regret spending 10-12 minutes/day working on tackling. There are only 2 ways for a play to end....TD or tackle. If we were nothing else this last season, we were damn good at tackling.

4-Be intense without being scary. Be serious as hell and still have fun. You can be a disciplinarian and still be liked by your players. Steal a minute or two everyday to learn something about your guys...not football stuff. Especially early on...don't wait til week 3. There are always times during practice where you can get to know them. Ask them what kind of music they listen to, what other sports they play, do they fish or hunt or ride dirt bikes...become another human who is interested in them....but you can't fake that shit. If you don't really care then don't ask.

5-Find ways to give your AC's some ownership. I was a control freak in the beginning. Lot's of reasons why but that didn't change the adverse effects it had. Make a plan for your season and communicate that plan to your AC's and they should support you, assuming you're not an A-hole. Don't assume everyone knows what's going on inside your head...assume they don't and let them know. Don't be afraid to admit when you are wrong or that you don't know something. Your ego can kill you if you aren't careful. That goes to players as well. Some of my biggest gains in player relationships came after mistakes I admitted to.

6-Pick an offensive and defensive scheme...learn them the best you can and stick to them. Even if you are good the first year, you still don't "know" those schemes. If they aren't working it's unlikely that a new scheme will solve your problems. Schemes are like computers when they don't work...it's usually operator error.

Obviously there are other important things to consider but I am WAY over my word limit. Good Luck and don't be afraid to ask questions even if some of us come across as dick's.

Offline blockandtackle

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Re: Indroduction from a lurker
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2018, 01:57:39 PM »
Man...I was an AC for 2 years before becoming a HC. I was beyond excited when I got my shot. I hope you kill it!

A friend of mine forwarded a letter to me the winter after my first season as HC. Google search "Mike Sherman's letter to Texas HS football coaches" if you want to see it. I didn't even know who Mike Sherman was at the time but that letter had a huge impact on how I coached my teams...still impacting how I coach today. Below is the list of items I think are the most important to be successful early on.

I met Mike Sherman at a Clemson coaching clinic a few years ago.  He'd recently came out of retirement to coach HS ball in the New England town he'd retired to.  The man went from HC of the Green Bay Packers during the Favre years to HC at Texas A&M and then down to the HS level.

He said that, unquestionably, coaching HS football was a lot more challenging (and more meaningful) than anything he'd done in his career before.  He was a class act.  Sadly, he'd just went winless in his first year as a HS coach.  I think he retired again a year or two later.

Offline lobwedge

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Re: Indroduction from a lurker
« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2018, 02:21:36 PM »
I appreciate all the information and the time you coaches have taken to post your thoughts. Thanks so much.

Offline Seabass

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Re: Indroduction from a lurker
« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2018, 02:52:19 PM »
^ Great advice.

Regardless of what you, don't base block everything. (Unless you're just that much bigger and stronger than everyone else.)

--Dave

Even then don't base block everybody because being bigger and stronger eventually has an expiration date. I always want to be the guy who brought the gun to a knife fight...never the guy who wins a gun fight with a knife.

Offline CoachDP

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Re: Indroduction from a lurker
« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2018, 03:15:08 PM »
Even then don't base block everybody because being bigger and stronger eventually has an expiration date.

Yes.  When they graduate.  ;)

--Dave
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Offline SingleWingGoombah

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Re: Indroduction from a lurker
« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2018, 05:27:43 PM »
And understand the equation.  Everyone looks at it a little bit different.  There is no exact right answer, but my equation is about 20% scheme and 80% how you practice.  My off-season time will thus mirror that ratio.  I am not going to spend 80% of my time on scheme.  I will spend 80% of my time on effective drills/ and running drills effectively, time management, etc. 

Offline coachmiket

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Re: Indroduction from a lurker
« Reply #26 on: November 14, 2018, 12:02:07 PM »
And understand the equation.  Everyone looks at it a little bit different.  There is no exact right answer, but my equation is about 20% scheme and 80% how you practice.  My off-season time will thus mirror that ratio.  I am not going to spend 80% of my time on scheme.  I will spend 80% of my time on effective drills/ and running drills effectively, time management, etc.

Amen to this!

Pretty much all I've done this offseason (I'm a basketball coach, mind you) is listen to podcasts, read articles and watch/attend clinics that focused on how to be a better teacher.  I feel like I have a decent enough grasp on my preferred X's and O's as it is.  And quite frankly, I get kind of get bored when I'm reading or watching something on the different offenses or defenses to run.  But I get all jacked up when I see someone run a drill or talk about how they approach practice and I can immediately see how I can incorporate that into my teams. 

One thing that I think is super important as a basketball coach is to not just do drills for the sake of doing drills. Have a reason for it.  I try to design our shooting drills so they mimic how, when and where we will likely get our shots in a game based on the type of offense we run.  I'm sure you can follow the same type of mindset in coaching football.  Make sure the fundamentals you're stressing are age and game appropriate and try to make your drills as close to what happens in an actual game as possible.  This leads to higher retention and transfer.

Offline PSLCOACHROB

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Re: Indroduction from a lurker
« Reply #27 on: November 14, 2018, 01:11:16 PM »
Whether you understand this now or not, everything that your team does on the field is done because you coached it or you allowed it. Often it won't seem like that. Sometimes a kid will do something so crazy you want to pull your hair out. You'll think there is no way you taught him to do that. You need to think "I didn't teach him what he needs to do".

Don't waste time. So much of football practice for many teams is time wasted. When I was coaching we got to a point where pretty much everything we did was game related. Why practice something that won't happen in a game? Running laps in practice? Second biggest waste of time. Coaches talking is the biggest. Sometimes coaches need to stfu. Seriously. I cant over emphasize how much youth coaches just need to stfu. Long lines on drill is a biggie as well. Warm ups longer that about 5 - 10 tops is a waste and stretching in young athletes may do more harm than good. Seriously, plenty or articles on the subject. As far as time for conditioning, if you run your practice right, you won't need it.

As far as scheme goes, don't let these guys convince you it isn't important. It is. Fundies don't matter one bit unless you can actually line up and run a play. I advise guys to base their offense around no more than 6 blocking schemes. Then dress them up with formations or formation tags. Formations are an easy teach. Blocking schemes are not. So by using tags and formations you can easily look like a very complicated offense but you are really only running 6 plays. Passing game should be simple but effective. A few concepts and quick screens if you will spread out a bit. Make the reads simple. Waggle in wing t is the best pass play ever and the drag is always open. It's been proven.  :D On defense, kiss. I mean as simple as possible. Simplicity = aggression.

I'll post more later. Gotta work.

Offline mahonz

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Re: Indroduction from a lurker
« Reply #28 on: November 14, 2018, 01:51:43 PM »
Amen to this!

Pretty much all I've done this offseason (I'm a basketball coach, mind you) is listen to podcasts, read articles and watch/attend clinics that focused on how to be a better teacher.  I feel like I have a decent enough grasp on my preferred X's and O's as it is.  And quite frankly, I get kind of get bored when I'm reading or watching something on the different offenses or defenses to run.  But I get all jacked up when I see someone run a drill or talk about how they approach practice and I can immediately see how I can incorporate that into my teams. 

One thing that I think is super important as a basketball coach is to not just do drills for the sake of doing drills. Have a reason for it.  I try to design our shooting drills so they mimic how, when and where we will likely get our shots in a game based on the type of offense we run.  I'm sure you can follow the same type of mindset in coaching football.  Make sure the fundamentals you're stressing are age and game appropriate and try to make your drills as close to what happens in an actual game as possible.  This leads to higher retention and transfer.

Any tips on how to become a better free throw shooter? 7th grader. Thanks.
Collect moments, not wins.

Offline coachmiket

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Re: Indroduction from a lurker
« Reply #29 on: November 15, 2018, 11:45:07 AM »
Any tips on how to become a better free throw shooter? 7th grader. Thanks.

If you're serious, send me a PM with a little more detail and we can have a discussion there, so as not to derail this thread completely.  Unless you think there are lurkers who might also benefit from a discussion on free throws.  ;)