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Dusty Ol Fart
(@youth-coach)
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Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 7683
 

Special Teams Rule # 1

Never kick directly to the return man.  The Sideline is your friend.  

Several Years back. We scored with 20 seconds left go up by 2 points, 20-18 during the last game of a Winless season.  I tell the Header to kick the ball out of bounds and make them score against our defense.  He tells me I'm F-ing Nuts and kicks it deep.  We lost 24-20.   

Happens more often than you know! 

This post was modified 6 months ago by Dusty Ol Fart

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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spidermac
(@spidermac)
Gold
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 2462
 

@youth-coach

Funny story...Coaching a select team, one of my jobs is special teams, we never kicked it "to" anyone unless they were on the front line and looked like a Guard or Tackle, always found a hole to kick it in...anyway, we are up big against a team, and getting ready to kick it in a "hole", one of the other coaches says to me, "I saw something last kick off, kick it deep and right"...I asked him "You sure?", He said "Absolutely" or something to that effect, so instead of signaling where I wanted the ball kicked, I grab the kicker on his way out..."Kick it deep and right", He siad "are you sure coach?"..."Absolutely"...

So he kicks it deep and right, and their deep right return guy catches it in the air, and roughly 8 seconds later is in the end zone celebrating with his team...the header looks at me and say "What are you doing?"...I promptly threw the other coach under the bus..."coach said he saw something"...Header says, "That's why he isn't the special teams coach"...

Never kicked at someone ever again...at least not anyone who didn't look like a Guard or Tackle 🙂

None of them suck, they just haven't found what the kid is good at yet.


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IMMIRU
(@immiru)
Copper
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 15
 

How competitive is your team? I took a HC job at a Middle School that split with another school and as a result our 451-student body school competed in a conference with 1100 student body schools so last year was BAD! but before that they had 4 conference championships in the last 10 years

What is your competition like? Offensive Lines are typically 180-215, most are run heavy and fundamentally sound with depth and some platooning,  Wing T showed up the most on O and an even front single high safety on D
What drives you crazy? School administration with ticky tac rules.  (school is out at 2:45 but won't release athletes until 3:00.  They wouldn't even entertain a 2:55 release)
What makes it worthwhile? Seeing the players learn and continue to play beyond MS
What offense are you running and why? At various locations for the past decade True Triple Option out of the flexbone because of the size difference and my experience but we are switching to the UBSW due to a lack of assistant coaches available.  I ran that before changing to TOF
What defense are you running and why? Killer B
What is your approach to special teams? IMPORTANT AS O or D.  Onside or short KO, Rugby punt IF we punt and simple lane return rules
What makes you stand out from your peers?  I'm shorter and older than most of them. Never thought about it because from my perspective it's about the kids
What is your philosophy? Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.  Ok mission first, people always.

Are your ideas and thoughts going to get picked apart? Likely not


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tiger46
(@tiger46)
Bronze
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 422
 
Posted by: @gumby_in_co

I want to hear from some of you who haven't posted, or don't post often. If you're a lurker, or if you just don't post much, this invitation is for you.

What are you planning on doing differently next season and why? Coach up our coaches. Lack of knowledge and cohesion with our assistant coaches has really hurt us over the last two seasons.  We've added 4 new coaches and it's been a mess, imo. I was the OL coach this past season. I had no idea wth the OC was calling, nor why. I'll be the HC this upcoming season. Actually, I will be the HC/OC/DC.  I haven't been a HC since 2015.  I haven't really missed it, either. But, there are some things that we've seriously gotten away from.  I want to get back to our players experiencing the feeling of winning. Finger-pointing at other coaches won't do anyone any good. It's time I did some thumb-pointing at myself.

If you are planning on staying the course, what does this mean and why are you doing it?  I'm staying the course as far as the defense that I like to run, which is the Killer Bee. We didn't run it last season. It showed. The defense installed (5-3) wasn't coached well.  That showed, as well.

  • How competitive is your team? We're not competitive. Our first season in the league we went (7-1). Got crushed in the 1st round of play-offs.  But, it was by the eventual League Champions.  They were more akin to a select team. We were really just two coaches and some over-achieving kids from the neighborhood, mostly. Next season we added more coaches and went 4-4. Back-doored our way into the play-offs and got crushed in the 1st round by a team that we would have, most likely, have beaten soundly the season before.  Last season we went (3-5) and didn't make the play-offs.  
  •  
  • What is your competition like? Average performing teams during the regular season. We haven't really ran into any off-the-scale talent loaded teams except for twice.  The play-offs is when it heats up, of course.
  • What drives you crazy?  Confusion. Namely, confusion in the coaching staff.  It just shows on the field.  It prevents us from being competitive. It makes the players look bad. It's not fair to the players. 
  • What makes it worthwhile?  The kids. So many learn so much about themselves.
  • What offense are you running and why?  DC Wing-T. I've studied it for years and I've always wanted to install it. It has power, misdirection and quick hits.  Multiple plays call and points of attack off of the same base backfield motion.  Pass friendly when needed . Good with formation changes and getting multiple players touching the ball. 
  • What defense are you running and why?-  Killer Bee.  It works. I've coached it for years.  I'm happy with it.  
  • What is your approach to special teams?  Practice. Practice. Practice. Open field hitting and tackling are essential parts of the game that don't seem to be coached up enough.
  • What makes you stand out from your peers? This forum. Really. Over the seasons I've tried so hard to convince coaches in our organization to come here.  There's a wealth of information on this site. None of our coaches can ever be bothered; yet, they still want to be coaches.  It's like someone wanting to read books but they're not interested in going to the library.
  • What is your philosophy? 'Yelling' and 'telling' are not the same as coaching. Demonstrate and articulate what it is that you want your players to do. Repeat as necessary.  

Are your ideas and thoughts going to get picked apart?  Most certainly (this is, after all an online forum), but so what?  If they are solid, then defend them. If not, you've identified an opportunity for improvement. 

Looking forward to hearing from you.

 - Coach Gumby

 

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. ”  ― Frederick Douglass


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Coyote
(@coyote)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 274
 

Coaches,

I appreciate reading your responses. Lots to think about. 

Thanx. 

Umm.... why does that 6 ft tall 9 yr old have a goatee...?


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 17794
 
Posted by: @spidermac

I like arguing with you Dave, it makes me think...and thinking is good... 🤔 😀 

-- 👍 

I believe we were so low because we didn't have the spring to work on this stuff.

--But you shouldn't need the addition of spring time to get something to work.  This goes back to what I said about how time is spent.

and I think I also mentioned that the snap issues affected the running more so than the passing

--If my Center's snaps are hindering what we do from Gun, I essentially have two options: go under Center, or improve the performance of my Center.  There is a third option, but one that I wouldn't take:  struggle with that Center, but continue with his lack of consistency anyway.

In that 39% were moments of absolute brilliance...an underthrown pass (terrible decision to throw it in the first place) and my Z turned into a defensive back to stop the ball from being picked...contested catches by my Y, defenders hanging off of him, but his concentration on the ball allowed him to come down with it. Those same catches by Y, my QB put the ball on him allowing him to make those catches...

--There are always sunshine and rainbows that can be found in any thunderstorm.

In the 61% there were LEARNING OPPORTUNITES 🙂 (argue with the opportunity to learn and get better 😉

--I don't have to be failing at something 61% of the time to learn and get better.  We can also have great success at something and learn and get better. My preference is always to take what we do well and become even better at it.  And if there's something we're not good at, we dispense with it.

So, 44 attempts, 4 TDs, 9% of the time we dropped back, we scored. 146 rushes, 27 TDs, 18% scoring rate.  I know there is some sort of math in here that says if my completion pct went up, my scoring rate would go up as well (another receiver was so wide open in the end zone, he dropped a TD, we actually ran the same exact play right after it and scored 🙂

--Actually, what the math says is that your scoring efficiency is two times higher on running plays (18%) than on passing plays (9%).  I think that's significant; especially at the youth level where many COMPLETED pass plays have a good chance of being touchdowns because of poor coverage.  At the youth level, the offense is far more responsible for the outcome of the passing game than the defense is.  Pass coverages at the youth level are practically non-existent.

And I don't disagree, my eyes are more experienced than his eyes, and I would say that on 37 of the 44 attempts, we told the QB who was going to be open and who we wanted him to throw the ball too, and just a guess here, we were correct 95% of the time...but, that said, we want the QB to get better at his craft, we want the oline to get better at their craft, we want the receivers to get better at their craft...whether they we are running the ball or throwing it.

--So now I'm not sure which side of the fence you're standing on.  Is your point that your QB gets better at his craft by you predetermining what he should do, or by allowing him to make the decision?  

Like I said, we run first...our run game sets up the pass game...when we see an 8 man front, they are not honoring someone on the perimeter, because we have been shoving the football down their throats and the coach overreacts to stop it...guess what, we are getting the ball out fast to whoever they are not honoring...because we cannot block 8 with 5...so we audible to a fast screen to whoever they are not covering...Double Wing thought process, give us the Edge or the Wedge...just a little different in how we get the ball to the edge, and a little different on who we run between the tackles.

--I understand the strategy of throwing the football against a defense that has stacked the box.  In 2004 (ages 8-10), my starting QB completed 19 of 23 passes (82.6%) with 0 INTs and 4 TDs.  But if you can only be successful with it 39% of the time, then I go back to my original point of time expenditure/return on investment.   

--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)
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Joined: 11 years ago
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Posted by: @spidermac

@coachdp @gumby_in_co

How'd i do? 😛

Fantastic. 

Pistol:  Playing the QB at 5 and the F at makes sense. I've seen Pistol teams with the QB at 5 and the TB at 9-10. My thought was always "Why?". It seems that the only success these teams had was on broken plays where their QB or RB twisted, spun, stiff armed and/or outran the entire defense. That maybe happened once per game.  Still, to me, reducing the depth would only be a mitigating factor. However, the important thing is that YOU feel the pistol gives you the best of both worlds. 

Defense: Interesting to me that teams have figured out how to block your 33. I suppose with all that familiarity, your opposing coaches must be burning the midnight oil to figure out how to block you. That's also a good thing when you force the other team to take a break from what they normally do just to prepare for you. Mahonz and I have taken the 33 to extremes to make it harder to block, culminating in our "Amoeba" defense that absolutely no one could block. KB does present a lot of problems to the offense, starting with the front 4. If a team is in double tight, most teams end up trying to block 4 DLs with 7 OLs, which makes very easy work for the 2nd level.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Dusty Ol Fart
(@youth-coach)
Diamond
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 7683
 

--I understand the strategy of throwing the football against a defense that has stacked the box.  In 2004 (ages 8-10), my starting QB completed 19 of 23 passes (82.6%) with 0 INTs and 4 TDs.  But if you can only be successful with it 39% of the time, then I go back to my original point of time expenditure/return on investment.   

--Dave

 

To Dave's point.  Even against a Stacked Box, usually what DW Teams see from the get go, passing is possible.  For some the concept of Passing needs to be pared down to a yardage game.  An 8 yard pass and 40 yard run is still a 48 yard TD!  A 4 yard pass with a 7 yard run is still a 1st down.  Dont need to be Air Coryell or Daryl Lamonica (Mad Bomber) to have a very successful passing game.  In Youth Ball if I have a kid who played Catcher on the Baseball team he is just as likely to be a QB as the Best Pitcher.  

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Joined: 11 years ago
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Posted by: @prodigy

 

  • How competitive is your team?

Define "competitive".  We seek to win every challenge we have, during practice, during games and throughout life.

For this exercise, let's say W/L and how close are your L's? Mahonz and I did a post-mortem on the season. While we are very pleased with the progress from 3rd grade (1-7 with maybe 4 mercy losses), we realized we are playing in a rigged game and must adapt or accept being a "Middle of the Road" team for 4 more seasons. The latter is not an option for either of us. We were "mercied" 4 times again and that simply will never be okay.  So for us, I'd say we were not competitive. We finished 3-5 and only 1 of those losses were close ones. Interestingly, we blew the doors off our opponents in our 3 wins. 

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Posted by: @coachdp
Posted by: @spidermac

--Good.  Now I get to argue with Chris. 😉 

if they do not honor trips and empty sets, we simply kill the play at the line and call a pass play to where we have the numbers advantage. We have boys who can catch, a QB who can throw and run and the oline can protect (when they don't take a play off). 

we had snapping issues for most of the season

our completion percentage was not as good as I would have liked, only 39%.

--What difference does it make if you have numbers, yet had "snapping issues for MOST of the season," and completed 39% of your throws?  How does the means justify the end?  I can't think of how to justify a 39% completion rate in passing as a success.

39% in the youth game can get it done, especially if you are a run first team. In my neck of the woods, about 1/5 completions is a TD. Also, 39% is enough to force young LBs/secondary to choose between doing 2 things and choosing wrong is bad.

We still want to run the ball, run first offense...we had 1300 yards rushing at about 9 yards per attempt, and by far our best running play was G/T counter...pulling lineman...something else we will work on in the spring is getting better at running the ball, I want Trap and Wham this season.

--9 yards per rushing attempt and 39% completion on your throws?  I think I'd play to my strength and run the football.

I'd try to get better at passing. 

let me defend the pistol, the way we run it...the 3 yards gives the QB time to "look" at things, whether it is a run or a pass, and it gives him depth straight away on pass plays.

--I don't want my 10-year-old QB "looking at things," making a read or determining what to do.  I'm banking that my experience and knowledge is greater than any 10-year-old, and as such the offensive decisions are mine and not his.  I'm not saying reads can't be taught.  But I'm guaranteeing that my knowledge is greater than his, so I'll spend that practice time in more productive endeavors.

--QB-focused offenses require so much pressure, attention and focus on that position that teams that are without that talent, or lose that player are more vulnerable than teams that share the wealth amongst their running backs.  I know you said you threw the ball 44 times on the season (which isn't a great deal over the course of the season), but I wonder how much investment of time, focus and energy on that singular position and aspect of the game it took(?)

I saw something very concerning in our post season festival. Two of the top teams in our age group were playing each other and one ran a read option . . . well. I can't tell you how many teams I've seen in the last 10 years who pretended to run a read option, but you could tell the "option" was pre-called. This particular QB, though was the first youth QB that I've seen actually read the EMLOS and make a decision and that worries me. However, I agree with you that if that QB gets hurt, suspended, sick, forgets his helmet, etc . . . then that entire offense and all the hours that went into are done.

 

 

 

 

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Joined: 11 years ago
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Posted by: @g8trs
Posted by: @gumby_in_co

I want to hear from some of you who haven't posted, or don't post often. If you're a lurker, or if you just don't post much, this invitation is for you.

What are you planning on doing differently next season and why? Spend more time on STs. We lost a tough game against the 1 seed by 4 points and we gave up a KR for a TD.

There's a reason that guy is way back there and it isn't because he sucks, LOL. We managed to kick to another teams stud this year and we onside kick every time.

  • What makes you stand out from your peers? We are a Power run team. Every team in our division is 2x2 spread. 
  • What is your philosophy? Pound the rock and waste the clock.

Your opponents probably struggle to prepare for you. We had a coach approach us this year who told us we were crazy not to run Beast all the time because a) it works and b) no one else does it.

 

 

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Posted by: @youth-coach

Several Years back. We scored with 20 seconds left go up by 2 points, 20-18 during the last game of a Winless season.  I tell the Header to kick the ball out of bounds and make them score against our defense.  He tells me I'm F-ing Nuts and kicks it deep.  We lost 24-20.   

Happens more often than you know! 

I have the same story, except it wasn't the HC, it was the WR coach. My son was the kicker and I told him to kick it to "Tiny Tim" and try to recover it. WR coach stormed onto the field and screamed at my son, "NO! YOU KICK IT AS FAR AS YOU CAN!!!"  After we lost, WR coach told the team in post game that he'd never been more disgusted with a team and told them "Be ready to run on Monday."

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Posted by: @immiru
What offense are you running and why? At various locations for the past decade True Triple Option out of the flexbone

Ooh.  Fun. I have it stuck in my head that Triple Option is not a good idea at the youth level, but I'd love to run it. I was a Wishbone QB on my HS sophomore team and they wouldn't let me option. They called the play for me, so it wasn't really "option". And thank you for posting. We'd like to hear much more from you.

This post was modified 6 months ago by gumby_in_co

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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@tiger46

Sounds like you have the right plan to turn things around. Now go execute it. 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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CoachSteel
(@coachsteel)
Copper
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 48
 
Posted by: @gumby_in_co

What are you planning on doing differently next season and why?

I’ve been toying with adding a pistol or shotgun formation next year, but weather or not we actually install that will depend on personnel and if we need it. I’d also like to put more emphasis on ball security. We worked with the kids a lot on protecting the football early in the season, but we got away from it late and of course, it cost us. 

How competitive is your team? I’d say we’re competitive, we’ve made it to the semi-finals 2 out of the last 3 years.  

What is your competition like? I’d say it’s good but not great.  We’re in a league of 10 teams, there’s 2-3 teams that struggle every year, but the rest of the league is competitive for one of two reasons: they are either a well coached, disciplined team or they might be undisciplined but with superior athletes. 


What drives you crazy?

Mental errors. It’s the one thing we have complete control of. 

What makes it worthwhile?

For me, I love building relationships with the kids. We always have a few kids every year that might not come from the best situations at home. Being able to add some consistency to their day and letting them know that someone cares about how they’re doing off the field is huge.


What offense are you running and why?

 Wing T, I run it because that’s what I know and what I’m comfortable teaching. Deception in the backfield is huge at the youth level and the wing T does that while still being versatile enough to adapt it to your talent each year. 

What defense are you running and why? 

We run a multiple front 5-3 with some concepts from Coach JJs 3-3 stack, and some split 4-4 stuff. 

What is your approach to special teams? 

I’ll be honest, every year we say we’re going to make it more of a priority and we never do. Not saying we don’t put in time, but every year we say we’re gonna do more, we don’t and it always bites us in the ass at some point. Gotta get better here. 

What makes you stand out from your peers? 

 I guess my willingness to learn and spend the extra time off the practice field to prepare. 

What is your philosophy?
I have a a few but, I love to create competitive situations whenever possible. Competition brings the best out in players. You want to get the best out of players? Make it competitive. 

 

 


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