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Effort vs. Mojo  

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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 17457
North Carolina
High School
August 21, 2019 3:21 am  

This time of year, this forum receives more "What offense should I run?" (although surprisingly, not very much "What defense should I run?"  But that's perhaps due more to inane youth rules which prohibit the use of a real defense), "Help me with this parent!" "Help me with this kid!" or "Help me, period!"  I'm actually kind of relieved we don't have the Mojo discussions anymore, as they were for the most part, pointless.  Myself and (perhaps) Mahonz grew weary of those discussions, and where they'd lead to.  Plus, it becomes kind of a drag explaining the same thing over and over, season after season, especially to a non-believer.  Thank goodness for the stickies and the search function. 

That all being said, we still get the discussions about "effort" and what to do about?/with? it.  I know that Mahonz, along with Lar, as well as Robert (with apologies to those I'm overlooking) who have not only taught Mojo, but embraced it also understand that they are teaching "effort;" that you can't teach Mojo without teaching effort, but that you might could have effort without teaching Mojo.  But why you'd go so far to teach the effort component and leave out the Mojo component, would mystify me.  By the time you've taught "effort," Mojo becomes a "downhill (i.e., easy) teach."

Here's something I wrote for a clinic presentation years ago about teaching "physicality."

"Coaches shouldn't expect kids who haven't been pushed hard before they were in pads to suddenly get tough after they've been issued pads.   You don't wait until you've had a puppy for two weeks to begin training it.  You begin training it as soon as you bring it home."

"While my youth team conditioned extensively (thus, no dead-weight, despite having no-cuts), our middle school team which had cuts pretty much just handed out equipment to players and said "Here. You're on the team."

"In middle school, every player went through the same unchallenging process (just sign up and show up), so we had no idea who was motivated because no one had to go through a demanding process in order to play.  None of the pre-season drills required toughness, motivation or taught them to participate at a high intensity level."

So if you were at you first day of practice and you asked your group of 25 if they'd rather go on a 10-mile run, or just play "touch football" all day, what do you think their answer would be? 

You can't have soft practices and then complain that the players are soft.  You can't have practices where players aren't demanded to "finish" and then complain that they aren't motivated.  So what's a 10-mile run have to do with football?  What do you think the C.O.D. is?

And if you're worried that players will quit if they go through COD, then you underestimate your own importance and influence with your players.  If a player doesn't believe he's all that important, then perhaps you've allowed him to feel that way.  And if he's a hypochondriac head-case, you'll never get him over his drama by kowtowing to him.

--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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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
Platinum
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 4177
August 21, 2019 11:17 am  

Years ago, one of the most epic, 80+ page threads started with the question, "What is more important, scheme or team spirit?"  That started a debate for the ages. At the time, was solidly, "Are you crazy? Scheme makes the team." Now, I'm on the other end of the world. I don't care what you run on offense or defense. Mojo makes team.

The chicken heads definitely get in our way. Our league says that the first 4 practices are "no pads, no contact" and are to be used for "conditioning". As if cardio is the most important aspect to a successful player. What about conditioning the mind and spirit? You don't get that by running for time in your shorts.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 17457
North Carolina
High School
August 21, 2019 11:50 am  

Our league says that the first 4 practices are "no pads, no contact" and are to be used for "conditioning". As if cardio is the most important aspect to a successful player. What about conditioning the mind and spirit? You don't get that by running for time in your shorts.

3 weeks aren't really enough time to "condition" the body for football, imo.  Lose weight?  Yes.  But 30 hours isn't enough time for Joe Weider to turn somebody into Tony Atlas.  But it's more than enough time to condition their mind.  To get them to understand Mojo, they'll understand effort.  And you can do that in one day.  30 hours is a surplus.

--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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coachmiket
(@coachmiket)
Gold
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 1371
August 21, 2019 11:55 am  

Is this old addage used in football too?  I hear it a lot in my basketball coaching studies...

"It's not what you do. It's how you do it."

Three years ago my junior high girls went unbeaten until losing in the championship.  Super talented team that maybe questioned themselves/doubted themselves every now and then and that little itsy bitsy lack of assurance cost us the championship.  The next season I committed to getting them to be the toughest team in the league.  They were already the most talented, deepest team with the best basketball IQ.  But I wanted them to make teams quit before the 1st quarter was over with.  We were on a mission to win the title but I wanted them to do it in a way that left no doubt that they were a beast that would have to be reckoned with.  I added one drill during the preseason that we did almost every day.  Single file line. I threw a basketball in a direction and they had to dive on the floor to get it.  Of course, I started slow and we worked on how to hit the floor to reduce any fear. Then we got into it.  Rapid fire, loose ball, get on the floor.  Our mantra became "First on the Floor!".  Every ball. It's ours. Nobody will play tougher than us.  The first on the floor thing got to the point where we broke our pregame huddle before the other team and were lined up for the jump ball waiting for them to come meet their doom. At one point, there was a loose ball right in front of our bench and one of our girls came diving from nowhere to get it.  Our whole bench erupted.  It might have been the most exciting play all season.  The attitude was set.  We destroyed everyone.  In a regular season rematch with the team that beat us in the finals the previous year we won by more than 20.  We held the best individual player in the league to 1 point (until she scored with less than two minutes left in the game).  We came after them like a pack of rabid dogs and they had no clue what the heck just happened.

By the time we played in the championship, the opposing coach told me they were just going to try to keep it close for as long as possible, but nobody deserved the title more than us and it was clear to everyone that we were on a mission.

Mind, Spirit, Attitude, Mojo, whatever you want to call it. Yes, it has to be trained and cultivated and it can be done on more than just the football field.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 17457
North Carolina
High School
August 21, 2019 11:57 am  

Rapid fire, loose ball, get on the floor.  Our mantra became "First on the Floor!".  Every ball. It's ours.

Loose Ball Is 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


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 17457
North Carolina
High School
August 21, 2019 12:08 pm  

At the time, was solidly, "Are you crazy? Scheme makes the team." Now, I'm on the other end of the world. I don't care what you run on offense or defense. Mojo makes team.

At the high school level, the disparity in talent, physicality and even coaching acumen doesn't have the wide gulf that youth ball has from the best team to the worst.  I remember my 2016 8-1 high school team trailing a winless opponent, 23-14 in the 4th Quarter.  In youth ball, a winless team could have never done that.  Youth coaches make the mistake that since the high school team focuses on scheme, that we should too.  In high school, the field is a more even playing level from team to team, generally speaking.  By that time, tackling, physicality, aggression, and effort doesn't have be taught like it does on the youth level because most players already have those fundamentals and skills.  (Although I still focus on it at the high school level.)  Youth ball is about closing the gap of talent disparity on your team because every player on your team usually has to play.  Not the case in high school.  So youth coaches need to focus on an entirely different skillset and fundamental, than the high school coach.

--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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coachmiket
(@coachmiket)
Gold
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 1371
August 21, 2019 12:20 pm  

Loose Ball Is It?

--Dave

I was thinking that as I typed it!


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chucknduck
(@chucknduck)
Bronze
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 393
August 21, 2019 1:55 pm  

I coached my nephew's 3rd/4th grade basketball team in 2007.  The team was horrible.  They were so timid I started taking our practices to the grass and had them pair up with one another and compete/wrestle/dive for loose balls. This took up most of the practice time after I incorporated it about midseason.  It started to get intense after a few weeks.  I knew things were looking up when one kid dove through dog shit to get the loose ball. 

He got up, threw his sweater in the trash and lined up again.

We won one game (in OT) during the regular season.  For some reason they put all 8 teams in the playoffs.

We beat the #1 seed by two points and then blew out the next two teams to win the title.


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SingleWingGoombah
(@singlewinggoombah)
Gold
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2070
August 22, 2019 4:42 am  

I coached my nephew's 3rd/4th grade basketball team in 2007.  The team was horrible.  They were so timid I started taking our practices to the grass and had them pair up with one another and compete/wrestle/dive for loose balls. This took up most of the practice time after I incorporated it about midseason.  It started to get intense after a few weeks.  I knew things were looking up when one kid dove through dog shit to get the loose ball. 

He got up, threw his sweater in the trash and lined up again.

We won one game (in OT) during the regular season.  For some reason they put all 8 teams in the playoffs.

We beat the #1 seed by two points and then blew out the next two teams to win the title.

Hold up... a kid wore a sweater to practice???


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chucknduck
(@chucknduck)
Bronze
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 393
August 22, 2019 6:32 am  

Outdoors, in the winter, and at night.  So sometimes they wear sweatshirts.


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coachmiket
(@coachmiket)
Gold
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 1371
August 22, 2019 7:11 am  

Hold up... a kid wore a sweater to practice???

No joke, I had a kid wear a yellow and white striped sweater under his jersey for a football game when I coached 3-4 grade.  Our colors were red, black and white.  It was odd to say the least.

Also had a kid wear a black sweater under his baseball jersey on a nice, sunny Saturday morning game.  He was our pitcher and was getting less effective as the innings went on.  At one point I went to the mound as he looked worn down. I asked him if his arm was ok and he said "yes, my arm is fine.  I'm just freaking hot!!!" as he tugged on his sweater sleeves.  We then had him remove the sweater between innings.

Kids, man.  ;D


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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
Diamond
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 9515
New Jersey
3rd - 5th
Asst Coach
August 24, 2019 5:51 pm  

"Coaches shouldn't expect kids who haven't been pushed hard before they were in pads to suddenly get tough after they've been issued pads.

Heh...our Coach Dennis asks those of our players who also wrestle why he's seen them take down wrestling opponents harder than they take down football opponents when they're wearing pads.


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Coach TonyM
(@ramoody)
Gold
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 1734
North Carolina
Middle School
Head Coach
August 24, 2019 6:00 pm  

We had our scrimmage Thursday,, coaches on the field, refs too.  The ball flips out on defense! I'm screaming get your ball get your ball!!  The ref tells me coach "he was down"  I tell him I do not care if he was in outer space but if the ball is out we are to get it. EVERYTIME!!


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53
 53
(@_53_)
Copper
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 71
August 25, 2019 9:40 am  

We've implementednted a lot of Coach DP's stuff.

We're a really small middle school that generally fields 16-18 players playing against teams that generally have between 30 to 40.

Its a lot of fun getting laughed at getting off the bus or while you're warming up, and then it being 30-0 at halftime.


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Coach TonyM
(@ramoody)
Gold
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 1734
North Carolina
Middle School
Head Coach
August 25, 2019 10:07 am  

We've implementednted a lot of Coach DP's stuff.

We're a really small middle school that generally fields 16-18 players playing against teams that generally have between 30 to 40.

Its a lot of fun getting laughed at getting off the bus or while you're warming up, and then it being 30-0 at halftime.

Yup,  we always lose the warmups.  Other teams perfectly aligned clapping together, beating on pads.  We are over there doing our warmups, four lines, ten yards, with dynamic stretching, A Skip, B Skip, Lunges, Tackle fit, Midget Stompers (Hip flexor exercise, cannot remember actual name as one of my kids named it this about ten years ago and it stuck). Twenty or so kids, but tough as nails.


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