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DukesCoach
(@dukescoach)
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Joined: 6 years ago
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October 29, 2019 5:20 am  

As we approach the end of our season; hopefully not for a little while yet though, some of the kids on my 14u team have been kicking around the idea of coming back for another year.  All but 2 players are 8th grade.  2 players are over age for next year.  There are probably 5 or 6 that are going to be legit high school players and will play freshmen ball.

That leaves about 15 guys eligible to come back once they are in high school.  We have never had anyone to my knowledge play once they reached high school but the freshmen program has fallen out of favor the past couple years.  For whatever reason the freshmen coach gets to be a cowboy and doesnt run the varsity offense or defense.  So he isnt preparing the kids for JV and V.  None of us has a clue why the header allows it but this year it did seem to set off a firestorm of parent concern that also included a minimal number of players actually playing.  Mind you, we all know there is no MPP in high school but on a team that started with 54 kids - 10 quit (3 really good players from what Im told) and only about 18 played regularly that seems pretty poor on the development side.  We have 2 feeder programs - the AYF team lost in finals in PA or Ohio? last year and the PW Jv team lost in Eastern finals, so really a talented bunch overall.

Our best receiver last year on PW JV did not run one single route in a game this year.  He is a very good player but the coach runs a ground and pound offense.  That is all well and good, but the Varsity runs a spread O with a lot of passing so there is some kind of disconnect there. 

So here are the questions, any similar experiences?  Could there be any negative w playing PW while in high school? 

I think for some of the kids, it may be the last year they play barring some growth but for others it would seem more beneficial to develop for one more year in a program they know rather than gain very little in a program that isnt going to benefit their future game.

thanks and appreciate any knowledge/input you all may have.
CoachPhil


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 17469
North Carolina
High School
October 29, 2019 7:02 am  

So he isnt preparing the kids for JV and V.

--I don't know what this means.  Isn't preparing them, how?  In what way?

None of us has a clue why the header allows it

--Allows what?

Our best receiver last year on PW JV did not run one single route in a game this year.  He is a very good player but the coach runs a ground and pound offense.  That is all well and good, but the Varsity runs a spread O with a lot of passing so there is some kind of disconnect there.

--I don't see a prob with that, although a lot of others would freak out about something like that.

So here are the questions, any similar experiences?

--With seeing kids quit, the coach not playing enough kids and parents being upset?  Yes.  A high school that runs different offensive schemes on JV and Varsity?  No.

Could there be any negative w playing PW while in high school? 

--Yes, if the coaching isn't as good.  If a brand-new kid comes in to play his Soph, Jr or Sr year and he's good, there are coaches who'll recognize it and play them.  While others are still completely blind to the talent of kids they've have for 4 years.

I think for some of the kids, it may be the last year they play barring some growth

--???  Every kid has a last year that they play. ::)

but for others it would seem more beneficial to develop for one more year in a program they know rather than gain very little in a program that isnt going to benefit their future game.

--Maybe.  But high schools have weight rooms.  And high school football players can lift.  Sure, you don't have to play high school football to lift weights and work out, but many kids won't do that on their own.  And that's the single, biggest deficiency of freshman and sophomores.

--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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32wedge
(@32wedge)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 711
Virginia
Middle School
Only / Head Coach
October 29, 2019 7:07 am  

I say if you have enough eligible players who want to play football, you want to coach them and a PW league they can play in, go for it.  Just don't try to justify whether you organize the team based on what the Freshman team is doing or not doing.  If you want to and they want to, do it.

But what do I know?  I am another cowboy who refuses to run the varsity's offense and defense.  My varsity coach is happy if I just send him players who are excited about football and can tackle.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Posts: 4181
October 29, 2019 7:11 am  

Mahonz and I fielded a Spring youth team consisting mostly of Freshmen. It was an 8th grade division, but Freshmen under 170lbs were eligible to play. Most of these kids had played a season of Freshman football that previous Fall. A few of them made the jump to Varsity as Sophomores this Fall season. I realize that this is different than "playing instead of", but it's what I've got. Our kids fed 4 different high schools.

Pros:
* Lots of experience, especially for the players who didn't get much playing time as Freshmen.
* Being thrust into a leadership role. We let the players run the team for the most part.
* Fun. I think this helped stoke their passion for the game and reminded them why they go through the grind of HS football.

Cons:
*Injuries. We had an 8th grader break his wrist in like game 2. He was ready to play a limited role with a cast 7 weeks later in the bowl game, though. Another dislocated his elbow on a freak, non-contact play. His Varsity HC had plans for him and was very upset. This kid also played in the bowl game with a brace, but lost a lot of weight room gains. He's a starting OLB for the local football factory. He's struggled with an ankle, but unrelated to Spring football. No issues with his elbow. He apparently no longer wants to play football after HS. Weird for this kid. He's the kind of guy who when asked what he wants to do on his birthday, it would be to play football.
* Some of our guys seemed to struggle moving on from us. They question what their HS coaches are teaching vs what we taught them, which suggests to me that they haven't "bought in" to their HS program. I have 4 kids who regularly text me to ask football advice and by that I mean X's and O's, technique type stuff. Initially, I was concerned about stepping on toes, but it became clear to me that some of them aren't being told much other than "get after it", etc.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 17469
North Carolina
High School
October 29, 2019 7:27 am  

Cons:
*Injuries. We had an 8th grader break his wrist in like game 2. He was ready to play a limited role with a cast 7 weeks later in the bowl game, though. Another dislocated his elbow on a freak, non-contact play. His Varsity HC had plans for him and was very upset.

--Kids can get injured do anything, at anytime.  It could be game-related, practice-related or non-football-related.  Does it really matter?  No.  I understand that a coach is frustrated when a player is lost, but kids are going to be kids.  We live in a society where we complain about bubble-wrapping kids, but when we let them be kids and they get hurt, we complain about that, too?  Can't have it both ways...

* Some of our guys seemed to struggle moving on from us. They question what their HS coaches are teaching vs what we taught them, which suggests to me that they haven't "bought in" to their HS program.

--I get that, a lot.  From youth ball to high school, from JV to Varsity and from my coaching approach to someone else's.  I guess what that means is those players preferred doing it your way.

I was concerned about stepping on toes, but it became clear to me that some of them aren't being told much other than "get after it", etc.

--Preach 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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J. Potter (seabass)
(@seabass)
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Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 1249
October 29, 2019 10:06 am  

It sounds like the HS program these kids are headed to is poorly run...many of them are.

I am just finishing my 2nd season as a freshman assistant. It's not any easy gig. Typically, we are under staffed and under trained. Often times the freshman program is an "after thought."

That said, I would tell any kid with aspirations of playing Varsity football, he needs to play for his school and find a way to take chicken shit and turn it into chicken salad.


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Posts: 4181
October 29, 2019 10:13 pm  

--Kids can get injured do anything, at anytime.  It could be game-related, practice-related or non-football-related.  Does it really matter?  No.  I understand that a coach is frustrated when a player is lost, but kids are going to be kids.  We live in a society where we complain about bubble-wrapping kids, but when we let them be kids and they get hurt, we complain about that, too?  Can't have it both ways...

You know that and I know that, but tell it to the Varsity HC who had big plans for the young man. The same varsity HC (actually, there were 2 of them this year) who lost starters to injury late in a mercy games with the clock running.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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jrk5150
(@jrk5150)
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Posts: 6431
October 30, 2019 4:30 am  

Depends on a lot of things that are specific to your situation.

Local city in our area, big school, big PW program, the HS coach encouraged the smaller freshman to stay with PW.  He just figured that meant he had more kids getting more playing time than if they were all on one team.  He had open communication with and trusted the PW coaches, so there were no issues.

Our local HS has had bad coaching, and the very few kids who did that got a ration of sh*t from the varsity header.  Despite the fact that at one point the freshman coach was also coaching on the PW team, so the level of coaching wasn't an issue.  It was mind-boggling, actually.  Now that there's a MS program, same thing is happening.  It's being made clear to the kids that if they want to play in HS, they should play for the MS team, not PW. Despite the fact that the upper two age levels of PW had VERY good, successful coaches who also coached in successful HS programs.  BUT, the MS numbers are much better than ours were, so from a pure numbers standpoint, it seems to have been a good decision.  We'll see what it does as far as player development over time.

Historically, kids have been coached better in our PW program than they were on the sub-varsity levels at the HS.  And it wasn't even close.  The old HS coach's program spent ZERO time on fundamentals and teaching.  And I'm not exaggerating.  They never taught techniques or skills - the kids who could do it played, the kids who couldn't stood and watched.  All day. Every day.


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Rockets11
(@rockets11)
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Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 107
October 30, 2019 5:11 am  

I have  been in this position in the past and have always pushed players to play for their high school. 

DP's point about being able to workout with the team and otherwise participate in team functions is a good one and the main reason why i lean towards pushing the kids towards playing in high school.

However i will say it probably doesn't matter.  If it's a good kid and good player things will work out for him 


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 17469
North Carolina
High School
October 30, 2019 7:03 am  

Local city in our area, big school, big PW program, the HS coach encouraged the smaller freshman to stay with PW.

Which is excellent advice.  I've told kids and parents, "If you're small enough to still be eligible to play in a weight-based youth league, then do so.

--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: 17469
North Carolina
High School
October 30, 2019 7:05 am  

If it's a good kid and good player things will work out for him

Absolutely agree.  Coaches will always find a way to make room for talent.  What amazes me is when it's right in front of them and they don't recognize 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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DukesCoach
(@dukescoach)
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Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 162
October 30, 2019 7:38 am  

So he isnt preparing the kids for JV and V.

--I don't know what this means.  Isn't preparing them, how?  In what way?
For the varsity playbook both offensively and defensively.  HC is involved w both our town's youth programs.  We have their core 6 - 8 plays implemented from mites on up so that when they come in first day of high school they know his basics.  Just shows some level of consistency from youth to HS.

None of us has a clue why the header allows it

--Allows what? 
A different system for the freshmen team vs JV and V.  Seabass may have been close with the capabilities of support or not at the Freshmen level

Our best receiver last year on PW JV did not run one single route in a game this year.  He is a very good player but the coach runs a ground and pound offense.  That is all well and good, but the Varsity runs a spread O with a lot of passing so there is some kind of disconnect there.

--I don't see a prob with that, although a lot of others would freak out about something like that.
No problem with it other than the complete difference of O and D when they move up.

So here are the questions, any similar experiences?

--With seeing kids quit, the coach not playing enough kids and parents being upset?  Yes.  A high school that runs different offensive schemes on JV and Varsity?  No.

Could there be any negative w playing PW while in high school?

--Yes, if the coaching isn't as good.  If a brand-new kid comes in to play his Soph, Jr or Sr year and he's good, there are coaches who'll recognize it and play them.  While others are still completely blind to the talent of kids they've have for 4 years.
Agreed, but I know the coaching theyre getting  ;), I dont have 1st hand knowledge of what's to come next year

I think for some of the kids, it may be the last year they play barring some growth

--???  Every kid has a last year that they play. ::)
No doubt 😀

but for others it would seem more beneficial to develop for one more year in a program they know rather than gain very little in a program that isnt going to benefit their future game.

--Maybe.  But high schools have weight rooms.  And high school football players can lift.  Sure, you don't have to play high school football to lift weights and work out, but many kids won't do that on their own.  And that's the single, biggest deficiency of freshman and sophomores.
Fortunately, they can still participate in the off season weight program whether they play for the high school team or not.
--Dave
Thanks Dave, I know you have been up and down the youth and HS ranks so I appreciate the input.  Could be just my old school recollection of high school and running the wing T because the varsity coach ran it and that would prepare us to play for him, same with their 5-2 D.  College, we didnt have a freshmen team obviously so JV and V ran the same, so was just thinking feeder on up would have some kind of commonality, not mandated but for some consistency.


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JustPlay
(@rjbthor)
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Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 559
November 3, 2019 4:15 am  

Our Freshman/Sophomore program was a bunch of well intention coaches with very little ability. If it were me this is strictly a decision between how well the coaching is going to be and playing time. You dont get any better sitting.

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


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DukesCoach
(@dukescoach)
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November 19, 2019 8:50 am  

I was just speaking with a parent who had a kid on the freshmen team this year.  There was one coach for practices and another assistant on game day.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 17469
North Carolina
High School
November 20, 2019 7:54 am  

I was just speaking with a parent who had a kid on the freshmen team this year.  There was one coach for practices and another assistant on game day.

Depending on how many kids there were on the freshman team, that may not be a problem.  If it's 25-30, I can handle that myself.  It's not my pref, but it's doable.  But generally speaking, you want a ratio of at least 1/10.

--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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