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CoachDP
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May 16, 2020 10:41 am  

For several years, we did the Crunch Bar reward, where if you caused (or recovered) a fumble, you received a Nestle's Crunch Bar.  That worked well.  It was cheap and simple.  We also came up with the idea of other ways to reward them such as "If you cause/recover a fumble, you get a different color wrist band because now you are a member of the "Hit Club.'"  And once a player's wrist band has changed color, the next time he causes/recovers another fumble, you exchange the band for a new color.  It could be like being a black belt where there's various degrees.  In "Hit Club," you could go from white, to green, to blue, to orange, to red, to brown, to black.  You can challenge your players by saying the most colors anyone has received is up to red (or whatever color)....It's like putting hash marks on their helmet, or stickers.  Players love the recognition and it keeps the defensive competitiveness up.  But I just like rewarding my guys for a job well done.

--Dave

This post was modified 2 weeks ago 2 times 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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Bob Goodman
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May 16, 2020 12:21 pm  
Posted by: @coachdp

The key here is teaching tacklers what you want, not so much the technique of doing it.  I don't want defenders who are thinking about shoulder- technique at the expense of blowing up a ball-carrier.  I want them chasing the ball-carrier and making sure that the contact is so hard, the ball comes free.  What we've found is that once tacklers know what it is that we want, they come up with all sorts of ways to make that happen.

Reminds me of DumCoach's tactic of calling time out and telling his players they need the ball now.  Except, you send that message the whole season.


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gumby_in_co
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May 16, 2020 12:58 pm  
Posted by: @rpatric

One of the coaches on here has a way of teaching pursuit that is really helpful. I can't remember right off hand, probably Coach Potter. Use 2 whistles, the first when contact is initiated and the second a few seconds later. Anyone who is not at the ball carrier or trying like hell to get there by the 2nd whistle is replaced or has to deliver punishment to the rest of the team.

Once you get kids moving that fast to the ball and arriving in droves, you can take the ball away much easier. It takes care of 1 kid tackling and 10 watching!

Sounds like me, but I'm sure I stole it from someone else. It's as effective as anything I've ever used.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
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May 16, 2020 1:01 pm  
Posted by: @coachdp
Posted by: @bob-goodman

It looks like the defender put his near shoulder onto the ball, since the ballcarrier was presenting it on the near side.  If he'd been carrying it on the far side, would you have preferred to see a far-shoulder, head-across-the-bow hit?

But we never have to worry about that oh-so-common fear that "if I teach my first guy there to strip the ball, he'll miss the tackle."  We're not trying to steal a lady's pocketbook off her arm.  We're trying to make the collision of us vs. ball, us vs. his hand, us vs. his arm that's so impactful that it can't be held onto.

--Dave

Thanks for that. For that reason, it's extremely important to be precise with your words. If I tell a 9 year old to "get the ball", I will get exactly what you described . . . he'll try to take a lady's pocketbook off her arm. 

Lots to think about.

Can you please provide examples of coaching language that instills a focus on the ball while still keeping the goal of an impactful hit on the ball carrier?

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Bob Goodman
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May 16, 2020 9:19 pm  
Posted by: @gumby_in_co
Posted by: @coachdp
Posted by: @bob-goodman

It looks like the defender put his near shoulder onto the ball, since the ballcarrier was presenting it on the near side.  If he'd been carrying it on the far side, would you have preferred to see a far-shoulder, head-across-the-bow hit?

But we never have to worry about that oh-so-common fear that "if I teach my first guy there to strip the ball, he'll miss the tackle."  We're not trying to steal a lady's pocketbook off her arm.  We're trying to make the collision of us vs. ball, us vs. his hand, us vs. his arm that's so impactful that it can't be held onto.

--Dave

Thanks for that. For that reason, it's extremely important to be precise with your words. If I tell a 9 year old to "get the ball", I will get exactly what you described . . . he'll try to take a lady's pocketbook off her arm. 

Lots to think about.

Can you please provide examples of coaching language that instills a focus on the ball while still keeping the goal of an impactful hit on the ball carrier?

I believe in coaching them in techniques.  Once they've learned some, they might generalize the idea and come up with their own as Dave Potter wrote, but at least they'll have learned some.  I'm afraid if I coached it only by results-orientation, a few of the most imaginative players will "get it", while the rest would be ineffective.

I do show them some principles, though, that help with ball control from either the ballcarrier's or the defender's perspective.  Basically it's that the longer the chain of muscles and joints is from the body, the weaker it is.  So shoulder is stronger than elbow, which is stronger than wrist, which is stronger than fingers.  Sometimes I have them wrestle over a ball to demonstrate that.

What I'm going to e-mail the other coaches on my team is that we get away from teaching only head-across-the-bow and instead teach shoulder into ball.  If I can sell them on the value of that, then later I'd like to introduce, in situations where the tackler has the ballcarrier held up, the elbow chop on the ball.


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CoachDP
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May 18, 2020 9:47 am  
Posted by: @gumby_in_co

Can you please provide examples of coaching language that instills a focus on the ball while still keeping the goal of an impactful hit on the ball carrier?

For us, "Hit to Hurt" went a long way towards giving us what we were looking for from the violence of impact side of things.  However, once the fundamental of tackling had been taught, everything we coached in tackling and pursuit drills (over)emphasized that "the only reason we are pursuing the ball-carrier is because of what he has in his hands."  It is reinforced in "Whose Ball" where we talk about (possession of) the football being the most important aspect of the game, the fact that it's "always our ball," and that our #1 fundamental of "The Invisible Offense" is that we aren't to make contact with anyone who doesn't have the football.  "11 on 1" is a drill that is solely about taking the football from the ball-carrier.  So because we emphasize "our ball/whose ball/get the ball" so much (to the point of if the ball slips out of my hands (accidentally, of course 😉 ) while I'm addressing players, that it should immediately become a team-wide Whose Ball drill.  So now we are targeting not the ball-carrier, but the football.  We are pursuing the football as if the football is a player on their team and it's our job to blow it up.  But we do enough fumble-incorporated drills (such as Gauntlet) where at the end of the tunnel after the player has fought through 20 players, has chased the dummy and has tackled it, that the football then pops free and he has to recover it.  We'll even put a 2nd player at the end of the Gauntlet to act as a member of our opponent, so that they're both chasing the "fumble" and it's become a Whose Ball fight.  So we get used to the pursuit, hit, fumble and recovery because that's ALL part of the drill. 

--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


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CoachDP
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May 18, 2020 10:04 am  
Posted by: @bob-goodman

I believe in coaching them in techniques. 

--So do I.  See my previous post.

Once they've learned some, they might generalize the idea and come up with their own as Dave Potter wrote, but at least they'll have learned some.  I'm afraid if I coached it only by results-orientation, a few of the most imaginative players will "get it", while the rest would be ineffective.

--Having "a few of the most imaginative players will "get it" is better than having NONE of them get it.  But that's not my experience.  You can't play for us and not know how vitally important the football is TO US.  When I call a defensive timeout in the game because there's 7 minutes remaining in the 1st Quarter and our opponent hasn't fumbled yet, they know (because I [ahem] "remind them") that they'd better find a way.  And "finding a way" simply means making the effort to take away the football.  And because they've practiced it in Dynamics, practiced it in "The Gauntlet," practiced it in "Whose Ball Is It?," practiced it in "Tee Time," practiced it in "11 on 1," etc. then they know exactly what I'm talking about.  Kids aren't stupid.  As a matter of fact, they're far smarter than most adults.  We just have the arrogance not to believe it.

And when they swarm the ball-carrier and 4-8 players are now trying to strip out the football (if their initial impact hasn't done so), three good things happen from there on out:

1) The OC/HC on their team starts yelling to the ref for a quick whistle.  This is advantageous to us because they're no longer thinking about scoring.

2) The OC/HC on their team starts yelling to their ball-carrier to "go down" or drop to their knees.  This is advantageous to us because they're no longer thinking about scoring.

3) Their ball-carrier changes his running style because now he is concerned about the ball getting taken away.  He no-longer runs in an "open style" but in a more controlled, protective style.  It's not how he normally runs and now he's slowing himself down.  This is advantageous to us because they're no longer thinking about scoring.

--Fundamental?  Teach them to hit hard.  Fundamental?  "11 on 1" teaches each player what will work best for them.  Fundamental?  Teach them to recover a loose ball at the end of a drill or even as part of your Dynamics.  Fundamental?  Tackle the dummy and then roll the ball on the ground.  Causing fumbles are about 2 things: 1) A hard hit. 2) Seeing the opportunity.  And when a tackler's eyes are focused on the ball-carrier he sees the opportunity.  

What I'm going to e-mail the other coaches on my team is that we get away from teaching only head-across-the-bow and instead teach shoulder into ball.  If I can sell them on the value of that, then later I'd like to introduce, in situations where the tackler has the ballcarrier held up, the elbow chop on the ball.

--Nothing wrong with that.  Lemme know how it works.  I do know this:  MANY youth RBs carry the football on the wrong side in the wrong arm.  If you aren't teaching your defenders that it's a perfect opportunity for you, then you're doing your players a disservice.

--Dave

 

 

This post was modified 2 weeks ago 6 times 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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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
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May 18, 2020 11:51 am  

Posted by: @coachdp

Posted by: @bob-goodman

What I'm going to e-mail the other coaches on my team is that we get away from teaching only head-across-the-bow and instead teach shoulder into ball.  If I can sell them on the value of that, then later I'd like to introduce, in situations where the tackler has the ballcarrier held up, the elbow chop on the ball.

Nothing wrong with that.  Lemme know how it works.  I do know this:  MANY youth RBs carry the football on the wrong side in the wrong arm.  If you aren't teaching your defenders that it's a perfect opportunity for you, then you're doing your players a disservice.

"How it works" in this case means selling it on Coach Dan (HC) and Coach Dennis.  For years I've been correcting ballcarriers who are holding the ball on the wrong side when they're about to start a rep.  I want to stop our doing that and instead get the tackler to recognize the opportunity.  But the coaches have to be on board with that so they don't then "correct" the tackler afterward because they "failed" to get the head to the other side of the body, when the runner was holding the ball on the near side.

I'm hoping the players will also learn to recognize tendencies of opposing runners in a game as to how they hold the ball -- including whether they hold the ball low or high.  As the "high and tight" form becomes more popular, we should hit higher on the players who are doing that.


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CoachDP
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May 18, 2020 4:44 pm  
Posted by: @bob-goodman

I'm hoping the players will also learn to recognize tendencies of opposing runners in a game as to how they hold the ball -- including whether they hold the ball low or high.  As the "high and tight" form becomes more popular, we should hit higher on the players who are doing that.

I concern myself with making sure that our players know that regardless of where the football is, and whether it's being held correctly or not, that they're to hit their player so hard, they will want to give away the football.

--Dave

This post was modified 2 weeks ago 2 times 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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