[Sticky] Dave Cisar's study of success and consistently poor youth football programs.
I will raise my hand and say I do a terrible job practicing defense. We spend maybe 1/3 of the time on D that we do on O. Granted, our defense is super simple and that's a big reason.
When we had 28 kids, we did a decent job working the defense. Typically that meant we had enough kids to actually give the D a nice look live. The last few years with 20 kids, it's been brutally difficult. There's just no way to challenge the defense. We can do smaller scale drills, but as far as trying to get team stuff done...I haven't figured it out.
Our defense was HORRIBLE last year. I did a poor job coaching and practicing, and I think I could have done a better job with player placement. In hindsight, I truly think my player placement on defense cost us at least one game, maybe two.
Player placement is often one of the biggest mistake coaches make across the board. We all have this ideal for each position in our minds, & often will overlook the player's actual ability.
Many years ago at a clinic a coach spoke about coaching ability over potential. He gave the example of 2 DL's he had. One was the perfect size speed & strength, the other was a Fat Freddie. The "Perfect" one did a decent job but not great. The only thing Fat Freddie did was make plays. His point was you keep coaching the "Perfect"one, but you play the Fat Freddie. Too often coaches make this mistake, & it takes a smart man to admit it.
This is why I am a firm believer in seeing players under fire. The players that start game one are very often different from who starts in the championship. I have seen players who are great in practice only to crap the bed in a game, & players who are mediocre in practice be all over the field in a game. I believe this not only for defense, but offense too. Early in the season I want as many players as possible to carry the ball.
"Champions behave like champions before they're champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners"Bill Walsh
Here is an article I did on the subject:
Let the sparks fly ;D
Dave this link now says page not found - do you have a refreshed link? Def something I want to share with the perennially unsuccessful coaches on our younger teams.
"Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated." - Lou Holtz