Can you get too man...
 
Notifications

Can you get too many players involved in youth football?  

Page 2 / 3
  RSS

gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
Platinum
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 3902
August 30, 2019 6:58 am  

Dave I can see why you would say this. At the HS level kids are there because they want to be there. Effort and desire are not in short supply.  At the youth level I almost think there is danger in playing a kid who shows up on game day after missing practice all week and thinks he is deserving of time.  This week was another example of why one of my mpp should not be playing. Player shows up for pictures and then tells us - I am going out to eat with my family... bye.  I ask him if he is serious. Tell him that he will not be able to play on game day if he misses practice. .. OK coach bye.  - I text mom and tell her that her son will not be playing Saturday because he missed 2/3 practices this week. She says he will be at the game ready to go. ----- Drives me crazy.

He will not get a single snap as per rules.

100% agree with your scenario. Playing time is directly affected by attendance. Our league allows us to ignore the MPP rule for attendance and legitimate discipline issues. I've never honestly had to deal with a kid who was at practice all week, but we sat him for his behavior unless something happened at home/school and the parents asked us to intervene.

When my son started playing in our league back in 2006, it was very common practice for coaches to never play certain kids on their roster. One of these teams won by mercy rule every week. I was acquainted with one of the moms on this team. At the end of the season, she was asking advice on turning in the coach for violating the MPP rule all season. Since we had mandatory play count sheets, I wanted to know how they got away with it. Well, this mom was in charge of the play count sheet and falsified the sheet each and every week. She lied about her own freaking son getting 8 plays and at the end of the season, wanted to bust the coach. That's why we have MPP rules.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


ReplyQuote
CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 16984
North Carolina
High School
August 30, 2019 7:50 am  

Dave I can see why you would say this.

--Nope.  Not sure that you do.

At the HS level kids are there because they want to be there. Effort and desire are not in short supply.

--Not necessarily.  Effort and desire are really no greater.  I have coached at 5 high schools and 2 middle schools.  Players rise or fall to whatever level the header demands.  The problem is that the coach doesn't understand what "demand" is.  They most often think that it's yelling at the player, or instructing through more intensity.  It isn't.

It is a misconception to say that because parents don't sign up a high school kid, that the high school kid is motivated to be there.  Just like saying a youth player has less desire to play because he was signed up by his parent.  I've coached all over the place, and I've run practices for teams all over the country.  High school kids are no more motivated than the youth player.  The biggest difference is that by the time a kid is in high school, he usually has a better idea of what he's signing up for and getting into.  Perhaps he has more experience and certainly more physical maturity.  The youth player may have no idea what he's getting into, or even know whether he really wants to do this.  He may have never heard of any other position other than QB, RB or WR.  But effort and desire?  If a coach doesn't know how to get it, then it doesn't matter the age of the kid.  And if he does know how to get it, it doesn't matter the age of the kid.  This misconception comes from the fact that more than 90% of coaches out there just accept whatever the effort level is from their kids, without understanding how to get more.  And if the player gives a poor effort, while the coach may scream/holler/complain about effort, in the end they still just accept that player's lousy effort, by writing-off that player, not playing him, etc. 

If coaches just simply accept whatever level of effort (high or low) players are willing to give, then the players' effort will vary greatly from one player to the next.  I see it when we run gassers.  Some kids give great effort.  Others drag, barely finish and complain while the coaches only answer to this is to either yell, or punish.  (And none of those two options ever seem to work very well.)

--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


ReplyQuote
JustPlay
(@rjbthor)
Silver
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 524
August 30, 2019 8:51 am  

Dave - If a player never attends or shows up once a week full knowing the rules - should he play on game day? No

As to the rest of your point not sure I agree, but you have the time served to say what you have experienced. We have discussed this point before. You can motivate any player. I can not say that. I can say if you give me any effort I will channel it and help make you better.

nothing replaces effort. nothing replaces the mind. One with out the other is a waste of time.


ReplyQuote
CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 16984
North Carolina
High School
August 30, 2019 8:56 am  

Dave - If a player never attends or shows up once a week full knowing the rules - should he play on game day? No

--Our (youth rule) was miss the week, miss the game. 

As to the rest of your point not sure I agree, but you have the time served to say what you have experienced.

--That's the only thing I can go by.

We have discussed this point before. You can motivate any player. I can not say that. I can say if you give me any effort I will channel it and help make you better.

--Maybe you can, maybe you can't.  I don't know.  I've never seen you coach.  But I'm willing to bet you can.  That all being said, coaching is a skill.  And perhaps I have some skillsets that are better than yours.  I'm sure that you have some skillsets that are better than mine.

--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


ReplyQuote
vikingdw
(@vikingdw)
Copper
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 77
August 30, 2019 8:28 pm  

Coach Potter,
I remember all the help and the talks you've helped me with online, on the phone and in person. I'm convinced that your knowledge and the way you teach/coax/demand effort from your teams would help so many other coaches out there that might be struggling just like I did. It sure helped me a ton when I needed it. If you have the time/desire to do so, would you be willing to share with others how you've been successful getting your kids to give their best effort and desire?


ReplyQuote
angalton
(@angalton)
Platinum
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 2551
August 31, 2019 6:20 am  

Stick with what you do. I believe you must be consistent  and follow your teams rules. I have seen some Of my players, mp that played in rotations and way more than minimum, grow and become quite the athletes in HS. Had they been swept aside, they probably would not be playing football.

The greatest accomplishment is not in never failing, but in rising again after you fail.


ReplyQuote
Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
Diamond
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 9368
New Jersey
3rd - 5th
Asst Coach
August 31, 2019 10:01 am  

Am I missing something here?  Is there nothing in between giving all players equal time and giving some only the minimum allowed?

That's been the approach for just about every team I've coached on.

What's been the approach: Something in between?  Or minimum?

Equal play is "football welfare".  Very early in my career as a coach, I recognized teams who ignored MPP rules.

Ignored them which way: Violating them by not giving some the required minimum?  Or ignoring them by giving players so much play that the MP rule was irrelevant?

I used to think that was taking an unfair advantage. I think about 3 seasons in, I stopped thinking of it as an advantage at all. Some kids take more work than others. We don't coach football because it's easy, do we?

Interesting -- though I still don't understand what you mean -- but doesn't answer what chuckandduck's situation is, regardless of what you mean.

If it's not clear what I mean, why can't chuckandduck's team give more than the minimum required plays, but less than equal play for all?

I think I got the answer from chuckandduck's later post that he was doing that.  Am I right?


ReplyQuote
Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
Diamond
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 9368
New Jersey
3rd - 5th
Asst Coach
August 31, 2019 10:07 am  

When my son started playing in our league back in 2006, it was very common practice for coaches to never play certain kids on their roster. One of these teams won by mercy rule every week. I was acquainted with one of the moms on this team. At the end of the season, she was asking advice on turning in the coach for violating the MPP rule all season. Since we had mandatory play count sheets, I wanted to know how they got away with it. Well, this mom was in charge of the play count sheet and falsified the sheet each and every week. She lied about her own freaking son getting 8 plays and at the end of the season, wanted to bust the coach. That's why we have MPP rules.

So she was the very instrument of the team's violation of the rules, and nobody else held her pencil, and after the whole season wanted to get her superior busted for telling her to do it?  And these are all unpaid jobs?

That explains a lot of what's wrong in society.


ReplyQuote
CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 16984
North Carolina
High School
August 31, 2019 11:38 am  

Coach Potter,
I remember all the help and the talks you've helped me with online, on the phone and in person. I'm convinced that your knowledge and the way you teach/coax/demand effort from your teams would help so many other coaches out there that might be struggling just like I did. It sure helped me a ton when I needed it. If you have the time/desire to do so, would you be willing to share with others how you've been successful getting your kids to give their best effort and desire?

I appreciate that, Bobby.  But when I go in depth about our work ethic and what/why/how we approach what we do, the usual response is:  "But DP, we don't have cuts," when I've never cut a player.  Or it's, "But DP, I'm not going to run off a kid."  Neither am I.  So there's a real misunderstanding of what we do, regardless of how detailed I get.  The assumptions that coaches make, or the conclusions that they jump to blow my mind.  So I can only assume that they either don't want to learn, or are excuse-makers. 

This forum, like coaching in general, in full of excuse-making: "They had 3 D1 guys!"  "They had more dudes!" "They had this..."  "They had that..." 

In the mean time, they just continue to coach the same old way they've always coached.

There are a few guys here and there that approach things with an open mind.  There are a few guys that seem to get what it is that I'm saying.  But most don't.  And I'm just as guilty as they are:  Mahonz and Lar will talk about wide splits and how successful they are with it and they might as well be speaking Martianese.  I don't trust what they're saying, and I simply don't believe it.  And we run huge splits at our high school (and won 47-19, last night).  So I am guilty of the very thing that I'm complaining about. 🙂

--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


ReplyQuote
CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 16984
North Carolina
High School
August 31, 2019 11:54 am  

I wish we had open tryouts that way we could discuss with the parents/players the expectations of a football team before they pay the $250.

Forget the "open tryouts."  That has nothing to do with being able to discuss the expectations with players and parents.  I coached youth football for 16 years (12 as a header) and I discussed my expectations with parents and players.  Many coaches in our org did not, and subsequently had a myriad of parent/player issues and then would wonder why they had the problems that I didn't have.  I didn't have their problems because we went to great extent to make sure that parents and players understood our expectations, they knew how high I was setting the bar, they knew how tough I was to play for, they knew what our objectives and goals were.  They knew how challenging it was going to be for their son because I'd already told them that I didn't know of a tougher, more demanding coach to play for.  I told them what the drills were and what those drills were designed to accomplish.  I had meeting after meeting after meeting to make sure that we didn't overlook one parent who was coming into this blind.  I gave them copies of last year's DVD, so that they could see the physicality that was involved in playing for us.  So having "open tryouts" has nothing to do with letting players and parents know your expectations.  And if you haven't made your expectations clear, how do you otherwise expect them to know what they're in store for?

--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


ReplyQuote
Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
Diamond
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 9368
New Jersey
3rd - 5th
Asst Coach
August 31, 2019 12:59 pm  

"But DP, I'm not going to run off a kid."  Neither am I.  So there's a real misunderstanding of what we do, regardless of how detailed I get.  The assumptions that coaches make, or the conclusions that they jump to blow my mind.

It doesn't blow mine, because it seems that at times you've gone out of your way to foster at least that misconception.  Unless I'm mixing you up with someone else, you used to go on quite a bit about your Hell Week, a pre-season week of conditioning that seemed designed to discourage all but the most dedicated kids, and you wrote about how your numbers dropped during that time.  You've said your registration long term is high because of how you do things, but I don't think I'm alone in concluding that you were getting that way by selection -- parents and players selecting your program because they liked what they knew about it -- rather than by developing interest and dedication in those who might've been less enthusiastic at first.

It's like the suspicion about the performance of the student body at certain schools: that the school's methods and faculty were not superior, but that superior students were choosing to enter those schools.  I think your program is like that, that you're getting players who are more motivated to begin with, because they know they'll have to be so because of what you do.


ReplyQuote
CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 16984
North Carolina
High School
August 31, 2019 1:12 pm  

If you have the time/desire to do so, would you be willing to share with others how you've been successful getting your kids to give their best effort and desire?

Bobby, boys want to be challenged by things they know they can already accomplish.  Most often, it doesn't even matter if they already know it's going to be hard.  They just need to know that they can do it.  When boys jump a creek, they'll do so if they believe they'll make it, and not fall in.  They won't do it if they think they'll fall in.  Some think they can, try it, come up short and still fall in.  My point is, they believed they could make it.  It's why boys climb trees.  Because they think they can.  But they won't even try if they see that the branches are too high for them to reach.  Fast kids like to race, because they know they're good at it.  Aggressive kids like to hit, because they know they're good at it.  But kids who don't want to try are usually afraid of failing, or of failing in front of others.  It's not because they're lazy; it's because of fear (fear of failure, fear of pain, fear of the unknown).  And yet coaches will yell at them for being lazy.  And all kids want to be good at something.  Especially boys, where other boys are competing.

When I coached 7-9s, we'd bear crawl 240 yards.  What we didn't do was say this: "Fellas, get ready to bear crawl 240 yards."  Because some would have checked out, right then and there.  What we did was bear crawl 10 yards, "from here to there."  Nothing intimidating about that.  And they'd all do it.  Easily.  And it took no time at all for all of them to do it.  Then we'd bear crawl another 10 yards.  And they'd all jump in because not only did they just successfully complete it, they also saw just how short the distance was.  And then we'd go another 10 yards, and another, and another.  Before you knew it, they'd gone the distance of the field.  And we'd celebrate.  Then we'd go back the other way.  This time, some would ask if we were going "all the way back?"  And I tell them yes, because they'd just proved that they could do it.  And we do it in 10-yard increments, but with higher intensity encouraging the players to get there quicker.  And the ones that finished last, who took the longest?  We celebrated them the most, because for them it was the hardest.  It was the biggest challenge.  And they didn't quit.

We used an approach I call, "What's hard is easy and what's easy is hard."  In other words, if it were a hard drill, we'd sell it as "easy," so they weren't intimidated by it.  And if it were easy, we'd sell it as "hard," so that when they were successful in it, they'd gain confidence.  So we were always placing our players in a position of success, because if it was a hard drill, they weren't intimidated and if it were an easy drill, they were confident in their mastery of it.  So we were winning every drill either through confidence or success.  As a result, players were always coming to me with, "Coach, watch me do this" because they felt like whatever they attempted, they would be successful. 

Too many coaches overlook the power of feedback, especially positive feedback.  I don't mean worthless "attaboys" for no reason.  I mean, teaching them on every rep either what you liked, or what you want.  Either way, it's always positive instruction.  What's "positive instruction?"  It isn't "Thataway to run the ball!"  It's "I need your hands higher.  Excellent!  That's what I want, right there!"

240 yards of bear crawls isn't fun, or easy.  But they'd do it.  Because they wanted to be successful.  We taught them the importance of being successful.  Many coaches overlook that.  It's as if coaches expect their players to be mind-readers.  It's amazing the number of really good drills that I've seen coaches use, but it gets taught as if it's just another mindless "busy-work" drill and kids don't give the effort, because they don't understand how important that drill is, or how great they are for having completed it.  That's why COD can be such a great drill.  And why running gassers rarely is.

--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


ReplyQuote
CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 16984
North Carolina
High School
August 31, 2019 2:03 pm  

It doesn't blow mine

--Well Bob, I'm not quite sure how yours works.

because it seems that at times you've gone out of your way to foster at least that misconception.  Unless I'm mixing you up with someone else, you used to go on quite a bit about your Hell Week, a pre-season week of conditioning that seemed designed to discourage all but the most dedicated kids

--That's because I don't know how to make it any harder.  I don't know that there's any coach who makes it harder.

and you wrote about how your numbers dropped during that time.

--Absolutely.  There was a time where I didn't understand that my words and actions could influence players to stay.  I coached hard and let the kids decide their own outcome.  Those who stayed were motivated to.  Those who weren't motivated to stay, didn't.  It wasn't complicated; I didn't ask them to stay or force them to leave.  We wanted players who wanted to be there.  We weren't going to ask someone to stay who didn't want to be there.  And that was THE fatal flaw in my approach.  Because I allowed our players to decide whether I was the right coach for them.  But make no mistake, we had softies out there who learned to be tough football players.  You couldn't help but be tough after going through what we were doing.  If you chose to be there, you were going to be tough and I had great confidence in our ability to make them so.  Our approach revealed to me the great heart that even the least talented players had.

So what changed?  I said earlier that I didn't understand that my words and actions could influence them.  And that was because I didn't value what I was teaching them outside of a football-concept.  Yes, we had the CAL Program, Academic Awards, Meet & Greet, Sunday Night Phone Call, and so on.  But I had no understanding that this approach is what made us important.  I received feedback from players, parents and coaches about the positive impact we had.  However, up to that time, this approach had been for a select group: those who'd made the sacrifice to play for us.  A coach I worked with told me that I had a ministry.  That what we were doing was a ministry for these boys.  I pooh-poohed his remarks and tried to convince myself otherwise.  "I'm a football coach, not a minister."  But his words stuck with me.  And so I wondered if we could maintain all of the Hell Week approach, the P.A.I.N! Program, and the emphasis on Mojo and yet be more inclusive?  Could we chase down kids, who otherwise might not have the initial confidence they needed to be a part of us?

One day in church, our pastor was talking about "Leaving the 99," otherwise known as the "Parable of the Lost Sheep."

In the Gospel of Luke, the parable is as follows:

"Which of you men, if you had one hundred sheep, and lost one of them, wouldn't leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one that was lost, until he found it? When he has found it, he carries it on his shoulders, rejoicing. When he comes home, he calls together his friends, his family and his neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!"

This resonated with me and we took the approach that what we had to offer was of value and could help young men who otherwise had no place to go.  I started chasing that "1."  Instead of being an "exclusive club," we wanted to be an "inclusive club."  We looked for even more ways outside of just the CAL Program to help young men.  That is what I'm working on now and it's called, "The BattleReady Program."

You've said your registration long term is high because of how you do things, but I don't think I'm alone in concluding that you were getting that way by selection -- parents and players selecting your program because they liked what they knew about it -- rather than by developing interest and dedication in those who might've been less enthusiastic at first.

--I agree with you 100%, Bob.  When I coached youth ball, what we did and how we did it was very different from the other 9 or so teams on the practice field.  It stood out.  As a matter of fact, I told our parents at our Parents Meeting that our practices would look very different, how they'd look different and why we were doing what we were doing.  We had players and parents come from other orgs and leagues to play for us.  I remember back in 2007, a parent bringing his son from another county to play for us.  We were having a spring camp and the young man was very impressive.  I met his dad after practice and I asked, "Where do you live?"  He answered, "Orange County" which was 45 minutes away.  But he said he wanted to sign up his son for our team.  I asked him, "Don't they have football out there?"  He said they did, but then he asked me, "Aren't you that Academic Coach?"  I said, "Yes."  He said that he'd seen our Academic Hall of Fame DVD and wanted his son to be coached by me.  His son became a team captain, was an Academic Hall of Famer and went on to play college football at a D1 Power 5 school. But parents and players wanted to be part of this because of how we did things; our structure and how organized it was, our communication with parents, and how far we went for our players.

It's like the suspicion about the performance of the student body at certain schools: that the school's methods and faculty were not superior, but that superior students were choosing to enter those schools.  I think your program is like that, that you're getting players who are more motivated to begin with, because they know they'll have to be so because of what you do.

--Bob, that's a valid observation.  But as far as talent, these same youth players played for other teams in our same org; but without the same results.  But here's the thing; since we've taken on our "Leave the 99" approach, we've done just as well.  Even at the youth level (I coached youth ball last year).

--Regardless, thank you for making these observations.  But after 29 seasons, I'd like to think I've evolved as a coach and a man.  I'm a lot older and much wiser than when I began this journey.  My hope in this forum is for coaches not to make the same mistakes that I made, because I have made every one of them.

--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


ReplyQuote
Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
Diamond
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 9368
New Jersey
3rd - 5th
Asst Coach
August 31, 2019 5:16 pm  

It's like the suspicion about the performance of the student body at certain schools: that the school's methods and faculty were not superior, but that superior students were choosing to enter those schools.  I think your program is like that, that you're getting players who are more motivated to begin with, because they know they'll have to be so because of what you do.

--Bob, that's a valid observation.  But as far as talent, these same youth players played for other teams in our same org; but without the same results.

That's what I'd expect, because when the more motivated are mixed into a crowd of less motivated, after a while they won't be as motivated either.  You're giving them a chance to perform where they'll be better appreciated and their efforts won't be wasted.  Everyone who's the least bit competitive tends to improve with challenges.

But it may be that the teams who lost players to you were the better for it too, not because the loss of those players' motivation on the team was good, but because other players who may have felt at a loss to teammates who would always try harder than them become the ones who can try the hardest on their team.  They've lost a good example, but they may no longer give up early in competitive drills like sumo.  Just a guess.


ReplyQuote
CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 16984
North Carolina
High School
August 31, 2019 7:38 pm  

So our president signed on about 6 kids that wouldn't have even been good enough to play in their own age group, and put them on our older team.  So I have 14 year olds that have been playing year around sports since the age of 6, playing along side 11 year olds who have never played organized sports.

--Their gap in experience doesn't matter.  Their gap in age does.

These kids cry at every practice, have no desire to be there, and if I could, I'd cut them or send them to their own age group. I know this view is out of fashion here where everyone likes to show their coaching credentials by bragging about turning soft lumps of dough into killer bee's but this situation is beyond my skillset. 

--There's a difference between bragging and showing others what's teachable.  Regardless, 11 to 14 is a ridiculous gap.  An 11-year-old could be a 5th grader.  A 14-year-old could be a 9th grader.

--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


ReplyQuote
Page 2 / 3
Share: