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Author Topic: Lurker making the leap  (Read 9139 times)

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Offline CoachMattT

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Lurker making the leap
« on: December 21, 2016, 03:51:57 PM »
So last year was my first foray into coaching. 7-8 year old players, i got involved because the coach obviously needed help (a lot of help) The way our league works is all the kids that sign up get split into (hopefully) three teams (occasionally two) and we play a season then combine them to a "all star" team and play some of the neighboring counties.

The "coach" for my sons team appeared from the beginning to only have a mild understanding of football, therefor I didn't hesitate much to jump in and help. At first I was really worried about stepping on his toes, but thankfully he didn't seem to take it that way. We did well and I learned a ton, but I really struggled with a lot of the offensive game planning. Essentially had I not taken the "playbook" (term used really loosely... It was literally not much more then a couple pages of poorly written plays.) I took the playbook and typed it all up and made copies for all the players on the team. (something that hadn't been done in the first 2+ weeks of practice  :o )

Well this year my son moves on to the 9-10 year old group that was even worse. So this year I am planning on holding nothing back in requesting a head coaching position. I have not decided on a scheme at this point I am becoming familiar with as many as I can so I can try to let personnel dictate that.  The big thing I want is to get away from the "go block someone"  :'(  The blocking was soooooo bad last year, and of course you can probably guess it was always "their guys are bigger then ours" as the reason we can't block...

SO anyway.. I will probably be asking lots of questions in the coming months, but does anyone have any advice for that initial "I want to head coach this disaster?" lol

Offline Test Account

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Re: Lurker making the leap
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2016, 03:53:26 PM »
So last year was my first foray into coaching. 7-8 year old players, i got involved because the coach obviously needed help (a lot of help) The way our league works is all the kids that sign up get split into (hopefully) three teams (occasionally two) and we play a season then combine them to a "all star" team and play some of the neighboring counties.

The "coach" for my sons team appeared from the beginning to only have a mild understanding of football, therefor I didn't hesitate much to jump in and help. At first I was really worried about stepping on his toes, but thankfully he didn't seem to take it that way. We did well and I learned a ton, but I really struggled with a lot of the offensive game planning. Essentially had I not taken the "playbook" (term used really loosely... It was literally not much more then a couple pages of poorly written plays.) I took the playbook and typed it all up and made copies for all the players on the team. (something that hadn't been done in the first 2+ weeks of practice  :o )

Well this year my son moves on to the 9-10 year old group that was even worse. So this year I am planning on holding nothing back in requesting a head coaching position. I have not decided on a scheme at this point I am becoming familiar with as many as I can so I can try to let personnel dictate that.  The big thing I want is to get away from the "go block someone"  :'(  The blocking was soooooo bad last year, and of course you can probably guess it was always "their guys are bigger then ours" as the reason we can't block...

SO anyway.. I will probably be asking lots of questions in the coming months, but does anyone have any advice for that initial "I want to head coach this disaster?" lol
Welcome, I think you will find plenty of wonderful help. Good luck.
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Offline Michael

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Re: Lurker making the leap
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2016, 03:55:54 PM »
You'll get a lot of help, and a bunch of people are going to tell you you shouldn't have handed out a playbook.  It took me a while to realize I was really bad my first year, but now I realize I'm doing a bad job a lot faster.
“If you can't explain it to a six-year-old, you don't understand it yourself.” ― Albert Einstein

Offline CoachMattT

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Re: Lurker making the leap
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2016, 05:33:09 PM »
well now I gotta ask, Why would you not give the players a playbook?  I know how much of a leap the players seemed to make when they knew what the playcall was, and what their part in it was... I am sure there is a reason, so now I have to know...  :P

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Re: Lurker making the leap
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2016, 05:47:13 PM »
I took the playbook and typed it all up and made copies for all the players on the team. (something that hadn't been done in the first 2+ weeks of practice  :o )

--You don't need a playbook.  To distribute a playbook means that you're relying on kids to study it and get their learning from a sheet of paper.  That won't work.  You'll have no idea who's read it and who hasn't.  What you want them to know needs to be taught on the field.

I have not decided on a scheme at this point I am becoming familiar with as many as I can so I can try to let personnel dictate that.

--If you are going to allow personnel to dictate scheme, how long do you believe it will take you to see what kind of personnel you have?  Will it take a day?  A week?  Will you learn your scheme after you've decided what kind of personnel you have?  Will you learn several schemes in the off-season so that once you've seen your personnel and have decided on scheme, you can then hit the ground running?  Do you know how long it takes to learn a scheme/how to teach it/how to troubleshoot it?

--Can you tell me what kind of personnel you would have that would dictate your choice of scheme?


The big thing I want is to get away from the "go block someone"

--Then find a blocking scheme you like and let it determine what offensive scheme you chose.

does anyone have any advice for that initial "I want to head coach this disaster?"

--Learn how to teach fundamentals.  Don't overlook it.  Don't pooh-pooh it.  Don't put it on the backburner while you focus on plays, formations, scrimmaging and running laps.  Focus on it.  If your team can block and tackle successfully, you will win.  If your team can't block and tackle successfully, you will lose.  Bring fundamentals to the forefront of your practices.

--Dave
« Last Edit: December 21, 2016, 06:12:23 PM by CoachDP »
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Offline jrk5150

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Re: Lurker making the leap
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2016, 05:49:37 PM »
well now I gotta ask, Why would you not give the players a playbook?  I know how much of a leap the players seemed to make when they knew what the playcall was, and what their part in it was... I am sure there is a reason, so now I have to know...  :P

They don't read them, so it's not worth the time.

Other than that, I don't believe it's considered a negative.  The only way I'd say it could be is if you create your teaching plans with the assumption they have read the playbook. As long as you know most won't have read it, not a big deal either way.

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Re: Lurker making the leap
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2016, 05:51:45 PM »
They don't read them, so it's not worth the time.

It is a waste of time.  And there's no way to know who's read it and who hasn't, so you end up teaching it on the field anyway.

--Dave


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

The Mission Statement:
"I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go." #BattleReady newhope

Offline jrk5150

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Re: Lurker making the leap
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2016, 05:55:00 PM »
Didn't I just say that?   :P

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Re: Lurker making the leap
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2016, 06:13:29 PM »
Didn't I just say that?   :P

No, you said it was a waste of time.  You didn't say why it was a waste of time. :P

Okay, yes you said it.  But I was just helping you.  lol

--Dave
« Last Edit: December 21, 2016, 06:15:13 PM by CoachDP »
"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement:
"I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go." #BattleReady newhope

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Re: Lurker making the leap
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2016, 06:17:29 PM »
well now I gotta ask, Why would you not give the players a playbook?

The ONLY thing that I assume my players know, is what I have taught them on the field.  Rules, plays, penalties...if I haven't covered it on the field, I assume that they don't know it.

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

The Mission Statement:
"I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go." #BattleReady newhope

Offline Michael

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Re: Lurker making the leap
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2016, 06:21:06 PM »
I'm pretty sure you won't find anyone saying the kids shouldn't know the plays (unless you have a ton of plays, which is another discussion, and one I would hate to set off).  It's a question of whether of not giving them a playbook is the best, or even an adequate, method to get them to know the plays.
“If you can't explain it to a six-year-old, you don't understand it yourself.” ― Albert Einstein

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Re: Lurker making the leap
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2016, 06:28:41 PM »
And this was from the "getting there faster" thread about mistakes that coaches make:

Wasting time that they're not even aware of wasting.

Teaching the wrong kind of warm-ups and spending too much time on them. 

Too much scrimmaging.  No instruction during scrimmaging.  Scrimmaging for the sake of scrimmaging.

Just accepting what kids bring to the table and not coaching them to get what they want.

Accepting poor effort.

Assuming a less-talented kid can't be coached.

Not understanding that aggression can be taught.

Coaching only the Backs.

Giving the o-line to the least experienced coach.

Not coaching something and then complaining that players aren't doing what you haven't been coaching.

Not demanding all-out effort.

Complaining about parents when they haven't provided a road map or expectations for them.

Complaining about a lack of effort when the coach hasn't demanded effort.

Complaining about a lack of talent when they don't even demand effort.

Complaining that players aren't studying their playbook, instead of relying on on-the-field teaching.

Complaining that kids are walking their laps instead of running them.  ("Don't be last!  Better not be last!")

Coaches who want to "enlighten" players with war stories of their own boring experiences from 25 years ago.

Mistaking "telling" for "coaching."


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

The Mission Statement:
"I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go." #BattleReady newhope

Offline jrk5150

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Re: Lurker making the leap
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2016, 06:30:44 PM »
There is some great stuff in that thread.

As there is in Joe's Developing Coaches thread - that's just a longer thread, so more to sift through to get the nuggets...

Offline COACH JC

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Re: Lurker making the leap
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2016, 07:01:16 PM »
Welcome Matt!

The playbook thing is not an important issue. Doesn't hurt the team. I've had kids where it did benefit them. Some where it just becomes a paper airplane. A playbook it not particularly helpful early in the season cuz you don't necessarily know where players are gonna play. At the higher levels playbooks are more useful because there's a general understanding what position a guy is coming into the year.

1 thing in your post that did stand out is the "i'm studying up on everything & i'm gonna let perseonel dictate."

To me that reads a bit like "I wont be prepared coming into the year, & I wont have have mastered my system in advance."

If I was you, I'd choose something now, study it, learn all it's about, & then adjust what you add & subtract from it based on your personel. If you're gonna be a series based guy (Wing T, Double Wing, Single Wing), the talent requirement is all pretty much the same.

If you're gonna be a grab bag guy (which is totally fine), theres a lot more you need to figure out. But mainly you'll need to decide how many blocking schemes you plan to use, & a method for installing & calling the offense.
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Offline Huskerprice

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Re: Lurker making the leap
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2016, 08:16:33 PM »
I think playbooks are great because you can see your own outline of what you want your offense and defense to look like and everyone especially the assistant coaches can get a good understanding of what you want. People underestimate the side coaching that goes on at home between the player and his dad, this way the dad can see exactly what his son should be doing on each play.
  I also would email a practice plan for the evening and any install of plays that we would be working. Makes for a much more efficient practice so all the other coaches don't look at you with the deer in the headlights look.