2018 Numbers....bad
 
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2018 Numbers....bad

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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
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Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 9578
 

Our league had a "rookie" division, 1st graders I believe. From what I heard, it was a bit of a shit show with only 2 or 3 games getting played.

You mean they had more scheduled or at least planned, but could manage to play only those?  I hope they expected to play more games than that, because with so much practice necessary it'd be a grind to be rewarded w so little play by design.


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davecisar
(@davecisar)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 7679
 

The amount of time required to run an org is completely over estimated

Not sure- why. Maybe its because people in charge exaggerate the amount of time it takes to do things to try and make themselves out to be important or a saint or maybe those doing things are completely inefficient with their time or extremely slow about how they do things. Not sure, because either im the fastest person in the history of the planet in doing admin stuff or Im simply not doing a lot of stuff these people must waste their time doing. We have zero meetings during the year, I use this thing called email to do most of my communicating.

We are done with week 1- and our gear handout- so the heavy lifting is finished. Our equipment manager had to travel this week. so he gave us zero help. We handed out all the helmets after practice on Monday and Tuesday- the coaches fitted- I delivered them and set them up, so an hour and a half there for me. I put them in plastic trash cans with wheels onto my trailer and hauled them to practice. On Thursday we handed out the gear 6 teams took us about 75 minutes. Its an assembly line we run out of 2 storage units I rent about 10 minutes from the practice field.  I had to resort the shoulder pads because I had forgotten to do it earlier, so another hour there for me. We usually get done with practice at 8- we started handing gear out at 7:10 and I was home at about 8:30 so- 30 minutes later than normal

My son and I spent a full day with gear back in January or Dec on a day we got "snowed in" day off of school. Tossed all the bad stuff, got an inventory, sorted into right bins and stacks- placed order for replacement stuff. So 8 hours there- on a day no one was working. YEs I guess that is a strange benefit- some dont have- I also live on 20 acres so having a trailer to move things is really easy to do- it sits in a field about 300 yards from my home.  I left practice 10 minutes early to open the doors and wheel the cans holding the pants onto gravel so the kids could change in the unit- same for the practice jerseys, socks and mouthpieces-  didnt have to move anything else. Shoulder pads are on racks, plenty of room to manuever.

I told the parents there would be no refits if we didnt have an equipment helper take charge, we had 3 people step up, but I had to go to the warehouse and gather up several bags full of stuff- so about 30 minutes of my time there, the warehouse is about 10 minutes from my home, IN every instance my son helped

All coaches had bags with their game jerseys in which they got at the team meeeting
Team moms gathered all the paperwork and emailed their spreadsheets in- sorted the paperwork and is in place for our weigh ins on Thursday

So last week the busiest of the year, I put in an extra 3.5  hours or so- my youngest son helped. Yes I took off of work a little early on the first day of practice and Thursday
I wont have to the rest of the SEASON with the possible exception of maybe a couple of hours during our open house event

We will practice 4 times a week for the next 2 weeks, then school starts and we go 2 times a week- so kinda tough now, easy in 2 weeks.
All Im doing now is setting the drills up prior to practice- I always grab 4-5 kids- they take all the gear out of the trailer, I set up with their help- takes less than 10 minutes
One of the teams is responsible for putting the gear away after every practice- I beat about half the parents out of the parking lot every day

I also email out all the practice plans the night before practice
Most of them come right out of my book- with a few tweaks
I just assign a leader to each station or position group- everyone else jumps in
A coach hands out the sheets prior to practice and 2 minutes before practice starts we coaches huddle up. So doing all that takes about 10 minutes of my time only on the days we practice- that includes printing time- I have a really fast industrial strength printer.

Its called management, delegating and working fast
Some people are just natural time wasters- that isnt me- for those that have gone to one of my installs or clinics can attest to

Some people are also really into whining and complaining about what they do- for a variety of reasons- not me either
Really simple stuff

Some lady in the program set up the team store- have no clue
The top team mom has pictures set up for about 30 days from now- I like that- dont steal practice time when we dont have the time to do so

We pay extra for the league to come to our park and weigh us, so minimal distraction on Thursday

When we handed out the gear the concession manager picked up all the stuff. We will be minimalists again this year- the CM from 2 years ago told him how to do things. The team moms will assign the parents to do 1 session. The only thing I did was help him put the coolers into his trailer and write him a check. That and the introduction took less than 10 minutes. Our CM is a paid position- will cost us about $750 for 4 home games. They give me the money for all the season a week after the last game. I DO NOT micro manage this- if they steal from us, they need it more than we do. Money really well spent. Filmer is paid position too.

Lost our filmer- put an email out- one of our ex players is an accomplished video guy- problem solved with an email that took me all of 2 minutes to write  ;D ;D

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.Winston Churchill


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Michael
(@michael)
Kryptonite
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 12890
 

I like when the kids are all single file, and some kid leans out to get a look at what's going on and gets yelled at because now the line isn't straight.

Michael can not receive PM's, emails or respond to Posts. He passed away in September 2018. To honor his contributions we are leaving his account active. R.I.P - Dumcoach Staff.


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patriotsfatboy1
(@patriotsfatboy1)
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Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 3260
 

I like when the kids are all single file, and some kid leans out to get a look at what's going on and gets yelled at because now the line isn't straight.

I was walking through our 5th graders practice the other day. All relatively new coaches. I see 8 kids in a line doing a drill. I tell them to split them up in groups of 4 and make the lines so the kids can see the instruction- problem solved, but I have been telling them for weeks about this stuff. No tempo, no energy from the coaches from my perspective.

I had both sets of coaches starting drills with blowing the whistle. I ask “why” and no one knows. I tell them we want kids to play until the whistle, but you are teaching them to start on a whistle. Use your cadence for every drill. Basic stuff, but not being done.

I need to do better teaching the coaches.


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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
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Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 9578
 

I like when the kids are all single file, and some kid leans out to get a look at what's going on and gets yelled at because now the line isn't straight.

That trouble is because kids have been taught to form a line pointed straight at whatever's going on.  When they do that, I turn the line sideways to whatever's going on.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 4344
 

You mean they had more scheduled or at least planned, but could manage to play only those?  I hope they expected to play more games than that, because with so much practice necessary it'd be a grind to be rewarded w so little play by design.

Not sure, Bob. Kind of a bad idea if you ask me. 1st graders are allowed to play up with 2nd graders and a lot of 1st graders do that, so I'm not sure how they were expecting to find kids.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
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Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 9578
 

Not sure, Bob. Kind of a bad idea if you ask me. 1st graders are allowed to play up with 2nd graders and a lot of 1st graders do that, so I'm not sure how they were expecting to find kids.

Did I say I thought it was a good idea?  I just didn't know whether the story was that the rookie div. was designed to play few games, or just wound up that way because they couldn't get it together.  Neither is good IMO, but at least the latter meant they were well meaning but incompetent, while the former meant they were...uh...stingy, cruel...?


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 4344
 

Did I say I thought it was a good idea?  I just didn't know whether the story was that the rookie div. was designed to play few games, or just wound up that way because they couldn't get it together.  Neither is good IMO, but at least the latter meant they were well meaning but incompetent, while the former meant they were...uh...stingy, cruel...?

I suspect it was the latter. I guess the story is that at least 2 teams folded from last season. That means a significant number of parents who in 2017 said, "sure, let's let Billy try football", but in 2018 said "screw this".

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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davecisar
(@davecisar)
Diamond
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 7679
 

I suspect it was the latter. I guess the story is that at least 2 teams folded from last season. That means a significant number of parents who in 2017 said, "sure, let's let Billy try football", but in 2018 said "screw this".

Part of the numbers game in smaller areas anyway has to do with who signs up
There are influencers amoungst kids and parents
When those kids sign up, lots of kids follow
For instance here- for 3rd grade this year we had more kids than we needed
Why? because several of the "cool kids" signed up early and lots of their friends followed
5th grade same- had more than we needed- we had to add a team

The key is to find those key influencers and get them on board early
Appeal to their needs- do they want to be left alone and just want good coaching- good gear etc
Or do they want to feel like they are part of the proccess and want some input? Do they have things they like to do or are good at, that can help the program?
Find something they can own, let them run with it and they often times become a "champion" in the community for your program

Your parents know who those people are
We send out an email to all our coaches asking them who the influencers are
They know from other sports and school/church- most of our guys coach other sports
Then we assign whoever is closest to those people- a coach to talk to them
We have dates they have to have it done by and we follow up
I dont talk to any of them- all I do is send out a couple of emails, sometimes a coach will call to discuss how we should approach them- and who should etc

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.Winston Churchill


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GP
 GP
(@gpenn44)
Gold
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 1670
 

For us, the biggest time suck by far is recruiting. But in many ways this is a self-created problem.

Starts with retention. Our younger teams are perennial losers. Their coaches have been at it for a decade now and still run slow, boring practices, waste time, create no accountability for attendance, etc. Kids regularly quit during / after the season.

Add in idiotic decisions. For ex, last year our President assigned a 12U HC who was a part-time volunteer the year before. Shockingly, we had no 12U last year. Begged him to make a change in April when we had time to salvage - offered to have my best AC run the 12U. President declined saying instead he would have a "serious talk" with the 12U coach  ::)

So on the 14U, we typically start with ~10 kids (this year it was less bc no 12U moving up) and I have to work my ass off to get to 25-30.

NYC is not a "football city" but it is a city of 10M.  There are kids to be had but they don't just show up in droves to play football like Miami.

In the winter I conduct assemblies - try to get 5 - BY FAR the best bang / buck on recruiting. Changed jobs this year - less flexibility and needed to save PTO for paternity. I conducted one which got us great return - two Coaches who were supposed to do the rest totally dropped the ball.

We have a good online presence - nice website & I keep us active on social media. If we retained those "passive streams" would prob be sufficient but we don't so it's not.

I go to areas where kids & parents will be - local pools, parks, sporting events, etc. where I can speak with interested kids & parents, get their info, etc. Hit or miss but if I get their info, usually a pretty good return %.

Our next most effective method, which is a horrendous amount of work for the return, is passing out fliers. I created sleek fliers on vista which i hand out and put up in high traffic areas (project houses, bus stops, playgrounds, etc.). Sometimes I'll spend half hour doing this and get several calls. Other times I'll spend 3-4 hours and get nothing.

Timing is also a factor. In August / early Sept, kids come out of the woodwork wanting to play. Every year we seem to get 8-10 new kids in August. Would love to not have to take on new players at that point, esp bc many are first time players at 14U now getting limited summer prep, but bc of our many self-created issues we have never gotten to that point.

Last factor is coaches in our org simply don't pull their weight on recruiting and there's no accountability. Every year big talk about things being different then when it comes down to it, excuses fly and I am the only one who generates real recruiting returns. If we legitimately got rid of everyone who doesn't pull their weight, as I have suggested to the board, I would literally be alone (which is prob why they are against that suggestion).

I have always welcomed the challenge of having to overcome these obstacles but my patience with these guys has worn out. The fact that so much of this is self-created yet continues year after year is demoralizing. The BS'ing and excuse making adds insult to injury.

Not sure how much longer I can do it with these guys but focus is giving our players the best possible experience this year and then reevaluate in the offseason.

"Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated." - Lou Holtz


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COACH JC
(@winged)
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Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 6999
 

I think when you live in a football community and your ORG. was booming before the CTE stuff, it’d be pretty easy to keep the momentum going and not invest that much time in the ORG.

In my county, I can honestly say that football is probably the 6th most popular sport. Soccer, baseball, basketball, surfing, skateboarding, flag football, and THEN, MAYBE, tackle football.

Then add in the fact that our county is a retirement/tourist destination. And the cost of living is astronomical. So we don’t have as many young families as a typical area this size.

Another isseue is our highways. You can’t drop your kids off at practice & head home. It takes 1
about and hour 15 to get 12 miles at rush hour. So people coming from anywhere but right by our field, have to come to practice and stay. It’s a huge commitment.

Basically the only thing we have going for us is we’re now the only tackle ORG in town. But that’s after 4 programs folded. We’re the last standing.

It's all about having fun.  But losing aint fun!


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davecisar
(@davecisar)
Diamond
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 7679
 

I think when you live in a football community and your ORG. was booming before the CTE stuff, it’d be pretty easy to keep the momentum going and not invest that much time in the ORG.

In my county, I can honestly say that football is probably the 6th most popular sport. Soccer, baseball, basketball, surfing, skateboarding, flag football, and THEN, MAYBE, tackle football.

Then add in the fact that our county is a retirement/tourist destination. And the cost of living is astronomical. So we don’t have as many young families as a typical area this size.

Another isseue is our highways. You can’t drop your kids off at practice & head home. It takes 1
about and hour 15 to get 12 miles at rush hour. So people coming from anywhere but right by our field, have to come to practice and stay. It’s a huge commitment.

Basically the only thing we have going for us is we’re now the only tackle ORG in town. But that’s after 4 programs folded. We’re the last standing.

But how does one get to the "booming" level when other programs in our area are shrinking or folding?
It isnt automatic by any stretch
LOTS of programs come and go here
My old org in Omaha that had 400 kids doesnt exist anymore

Here we have had a 2nd round draft choice in baseball just a couple of years ago- right out of HS
The local HS consistently is playing for state titles in baseball- LOTS of DI kids

In basketball- almost always top 10- known as a baseball and basketball school

Football not so much FB team had something like 1 winning season in 10 years before we got here
The year before we got here youth program didnt win a game, didnt score a point

Football wasnt big at all- by any stretch

ZERO DI football players from this HS in over 20 years

Here the sports popularity is:
Baseball
Basketball
Football
Socccer
Camping/Hunting/Fishing/Trapping
Water Sports

We have very low population and Lincoln proper is probably 30-40 minutes away, North Lincoln 45- 60
Very very south edge 20 minutes
Rural- the tiny communities and acreages that feed into the school we have in the middle of a cornfield- can be as far as 30 minutes away
So many car pool- and lots of parents stay the entire time
No one walks to practice here- there just arent many houses within walking distance

Locally we compete with another program for kids
If you include Lincoln which is in our county, we would be competing for over a dozen youth football programs

All places are different

However Im not convinced at all that anyone is even relatively close on maxing out on the recruiting end- or even doing most of the very low time investment low money investment low hanging fruit stuff we do here

Just like many here complain about most youth coaches being bad
Why then are the org leadership people so awesome? or maybe the ones who sat back and relied on their big newspaper adds have been lapped by those who have figured out a different approach

So our disadvantages are
Travel to practice and having to stay
Some kids dont have enough $$ to play- we offer schollys, lots of people in Nebraska arent into accepting "charity'
LOW LOW population here- Lincoln isnt that big either compared to the big cities- If I live in Lincoln why would I drive 40 minutes to play and have to stay rather than drive 5 minutes to practice. We have lower population- fewer kids
Other sports more popular- they have amazing practice facilities and go year round
More local success and support of other sports
The other local team has been around for 40 years, is named Jr- High School mascot and wears their colors

All of the above excuses, PLEASE ignorep that isnt how we roll
We run with the equation we have and dont accept boundaries and limitations others place on themselves  😉

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.Winston Churchill


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Dusty Ol Fart
(@youth-coach)
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Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 7660
 

Dave.

Out of curiosity.  How many people population wise in your service area? 

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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davecisar
(@davecisar)
Diamond
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 7679
 

Dave.

Out of curiosity.  How many people population wise in your service area?

We are in a rural/suburban  area very south of Lincoln NE

The local HS is Class B- with just 517  kids
While I live on 20 acres about 9 miles from the nearest "town" we are classified as living in a town
The closest towns have populations of about  2.500,    1,800,  200,  150,  100

Lancaster County has about 270,000 people in it
Lincoln proper has about 235,000 people in it

We have about 140 kids playing tackle

We get a handful of kids from south Lincoln- usually less than 10 who will make the commute
If Lincoln had fewer teams- we obviously would get a lot more- we dont really recruit Lincoln though

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.Winston Churchill


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davecisar
(@davecisar)
Diamond
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 7679
 

Update on the time thing

The equip manager needed 4 medium helmets and practice jerseys for some kids that were out of town
It would be an extra 20 minutes for him- so I offered to pick them up yesterday afternoon and this AM I dropped off all the extra gear in the warehouse
So a grand total of about 40 minutes for me- He would have done it all- but I offered to help him out

We are 100% done with gear now so equip manager wont have to come to practice after this Thursday
Yesterday I didnt get to practice until right at the start time- but was able to get all the drills set up with the help of 6 players from the oldest team- while our kids were doing the dynamic warm up and angle form tackle fits

After weigh ins on Thursday- its 100 percent  coaching with exception for game 1- will have to make sure everything is set up correctly just for game 1- so they follow the template- so that will be about an hour on a sunday morning and half hour after they get done- so 90 minutes, I live 3 minutes from the stadium- no I dont stay for every game.

Then the open house thing takes me altogether a couple of hours to set up- print flyers, pick up jerseys, send emails out- add to facebook page etc

Then we are done until banquet- and each team will have their own- so no problem there'
Gear hand in 2 hours

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.Winston Churchill


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