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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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Joined: 12 years ago
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So this has been a pretty frustrating time so far.  We had our jamboree last week, playing two "games."  We were shut out in both games and gave up numerous "big plays" (just simple sweeps, but they resulted in The Big Play).  We're not very fast, not very big, not very good.  The kids aren't tough for the most part (but I'd hate to see where we'd be if we hadn't coached the toughness).  

Despite having coached this age group (and younger) for 10 years (1997-2006), I feel like I'm on another planet.  I've always been a "simple" coach in play design, fundamentals and instruction and yet I'm finding myself challenged to make everything simpler than simple.  Players not understanding right from left, up from down and in from out.  I find the ridiculous observations from this age group frustrating and I wonder how I dealt with tying shoes, fastening chin straps, and sticking in mouthpieces for so long.

The "I'm tired/It's hot/I don't feel good/My stomach hurts" excuses are new to me, despite coaching youth ball last year, and again in 2019 and again in 2018.  But the players were never this young.  Not even close.

I'm coaching our offensive line and since we are now "unlimited weight" for my first time in youth football, we have some kids who weigh so much I wonder how they can even get out of a chair.  Just taking a knee seems to be a miraculous achievement.  I wonder if parents expect their child's obese lifestyle to somehow get "fixed" by us in just a few weeks.

Heading into today's game, I knew our opponent couldn't be as bad as us because nobody could be as bad as us.  Regardless, the "mind games" of our opponent's coaching staff began soon after we arrived at the playing field.  One of the opposing coaches came up to me and asked "What age are these guys?"  I said they were 10.  He said, "Wow, they're even smaller than your 9s."  I agreed and went on my way.  Then their header came over to chat.  Actually, he came over to talk about his son who he assured us was in the top 10 in the state for his age group in the 100 meters or whatever Olympic event his son has already qualified for.  Then he told us that his son was also in the top 10 in California which is "a bigger state than North Carolina."  I appreciated the geography lesson, otherwise I'd have never known.

Not until today did I know that our Backs only knew two plays: Power and Wedge.  And I was calling the plays.  Huh?  I've never gone into a game with only 2 plays.  So....Pop Warner no longer allows kick-offs (or the 3-point stance), so we won the coin toss and took the ball starting at our own 35.  Power and Wedge worked well today because, well...they had to.  We had nothing else.  I used every way possible to slow our offense to take as much time off the clock and keep our offense on the field.  We took the ball 65 yards down the field, scoring on our first possession, going up 7-0.  We took almost 7 minutes off the clock.  Our opponent took possession at their 35 and on their second play their top-10, all-state Olympian took it outside and went 60 yards for a touchdown.  That was quick.  But...they did not get their extra-point.

We spent the rest of the half taking time off the clock (we had only 3 possessions in the 1st Half, even with 10-minute quarters).  We moved the ball well in our 2-play offense, but their defense started stacking the inside, practically daring us to run outside.  But when you don't have a sweep play, it becomes tough to take advantage of it.  We lead 7-6 at halftime.

In the 3rd Quarter, we were able to stop them on their opening possession, but we were able to dink and dunk: 4 yards, 2 yards, 6 yards, 1 yard, 3 yards, 7 yards...We took the ball all the way down the field and scored again, while eating the entire 3rd Quarter.  We converted the extra point, and lead 14-6.  I reiterated to our header that we were now ahead by TWO scores and there was only one quarter remaining.  They came right back with Mr. Olympiad running a long way for a TD and instantaneously they were right back in it, trailing 14-13.  I thought we'd be able to drain away the 4th Quarter, but two back-to-back procedure penalties and a fumble put us in a position where we couldn't convert on 4th Down.  With only 4 minutes remaining, the opponents took over at mid-field.  For the most part, we held on tight.  They were getting panicky and starting to try things out of desperation.  We sacked their QB for a 15-yard loss which set them up with a 3rd and 16.  We shut down their next play but were flagged with a 15-yard Unsportsmanlike Penalty.  We never got an explanation as to what took place, but it gave them a 3rd & 1 which they converted.  Mr. Olympiad ran the ball down to our 15-yard line with 20 seconds remaining.  They tried a short pass to their sideline, but our Cornerback picked it off with 6 seconds left.  As our offense went on the field with 6 seconds remaining, I realized not only did we not have a QB Sneak, we didn't even have a Victory Formation kneel.  Not wanting to risk any sort of a fumbled gaffe at our own 6-yard-line, I used the same approach I used at high school:  I told the refs we were taking a knee and not running a play.  They responded by winding the clock and we never even had to snap the ball.  Final score, 14-13 us.

We were bad.  But our opponents were worse.  Just goes to show, even when a team has a size/speed/talent advantage, the Double Wing (even in a fractured form) can take away the game from them.  I'm sure they are kicking themselves for losing not just a winnable game, but a game they could and should have won.  

Next week, the header agreed that we would switch groups so I'll be working with the Backs and he'll have the o-line.  I doubt that we'll be much better, but today at least we got a reprieve from the Governor.

--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


Seth54, Coyote, Coach Kyle and 1 people liked
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mahonz
(@mahonz)
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Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 23318
 

Way to pull out a W. That is all that matters tonight. 👍 Kids these days are "different" that is for sure. It may take all season for you to get them halfway to where you want them to be as a unit. I have no idea why but I think kids these days live a very sedentary life. Mom and Dad are so busy with their careers....video games are the babysitters. 

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 18267
Topic starter  
Posted by: @mahonz

Kids these days are "different" that is for sure. 

Parent's are, too.  At the coin toss, our opponent had a "coach" walk out there wearing some sort of pro wrestling championship belt around his neck.  I just shook my head and thought, "So that's really where we are now?"  Grown men acting like 7-year-olds....

--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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mahonz
(@mahonz)
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Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 23318
 
Posted by: @coachdp
Posted by: @mahonz

Kids these days are "different" that is for sure. 

Parent's are, too.  At the coin toss, our opponent had a "coach" walk out there wearing some sort of pro wrestling championship belt around his neck.  I just shook my head and thought, "So that's really where we are now?"  Grown men acting like 7-year-olds....

--Dave

Parents. 🤬 I could write a book on some of these parents these days. Their entitlement makes me ill. I cant imagine being 30 something and have never learned how to earn anything. 

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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terrypjohnson
(@terrypjohnson)
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Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 486
 
Posted by: @coachdp

Despite having coached this age group (and younger) for 10 years (1997-2006), I feel like I'm on another planet.

You're not alone, my friend. Without getting into specifics, let's just say I was like "Wow, it looks like I'm not the only one having that issue right now".

Fight 'em until Hell freezes over, then fight 'em on the ice -- Dutch Meyer


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Coach Kyle
(@coach-kyle)
Platinum
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 4128
 
Posted by: @coachdp

So this has been a pretty frustrating time so far.  We had our jamboree last week, playing two "games."  We were shut out in both games and gave up numerous "big plays" (just simple sweeps, but they resulted in The Big Play).  We're not very fast, not very big, not very good.  The kids aren't tough for the most part (but I'd hate to see where we'd be if we hadn't coached the toughness).  

Despite having coached this age group (and younger) for 10 years (1997-2006), I feel like I'm on another planet.  I've always been a "simple" coach in play design, fundamentals and instruction and yet I'm finding myself challenged to make everything simpler than simple.  Players not understanding right from left, up from down and in from out.  I find the ridiculous observations from this age group frustrating and I wonder how I dealt with tying shoes, fastening chin straps, and sticking in mouthpieces for so long. I tell my kids to strap up each other's helmets.  

The "I'm tired/It's hot/I don't feel good/My stomach hurts" excuses are new to me, despite coaching youth ball last year, and again in 2019 and again in 2018.  But the players were never this young.  Not even close. Just ask if they can play. 99% of the time it's still a yes. 

I'm coaching our offensive line and since we are now "unlimited weight" for my first time in youth football, we have some kids who weigh so much I wonder how they can even get out of a chair.  Just taking a knee seems to be a miraculous achievement.  I wonder if parents expect their child's obese lifestyle to somehow get "fixed" by us in just a few weeks.

Heading into today's game, I knew our opponent couldn't be as bad as us because nobody could be as bad as us.  Regardless, the "mind games" of our opponent's coaching staff began soon after we arrived at the playing field.  One of the opposing coaches came up to me and asked "What age are these guys?"  I said they were 10.  He said, "Wow, they're even smaller than your 9s."  I agreed and went on my way.  Then their header came over to chat.  Actually, he came over to talk about his son who he assured us was in the top 10 in the state for his age group in the 100 meters or whatever Olympic event his son has already qualified for.  Then he told us that his son was also in the top 10 in California which is "a bigger state than North Carolina."  I appreciated the geography lesson, otherwise I'd have never known.

Not until today did I know that our Backs only knew two plays: Power and Wedge.  And I was calling the plays.  Huh?  I've never gone into a game with only 2 plays.  So....Pop Warner no longer allows kick-offs (or the 3-point stance), so we won the coin toss and took the ball starting at our own 35.  Power and Wedge worked well today because, well...they had to.  We had nothing else.  I used every way possible to slow our offense to take as much time off the clock and keep our offense on the field.  We took the ball 65 yards down the field, scoring on our first possession, going up 7-0.  We took almost 7 minutes off the clock.  Our opponent took possession at their 35 and on their second play their top-10, all-state Olympian took it outside and went 60 yards for a touchdown.  That was quick.  But...they did not get their extra-point.

We spent the rest of the half taking time off the clock (we had only 3 possessions in the 1st Half, even with 10-minute quarters).  We moved the ball well in our 2-play offense, but their defense started stacking the inside, practically daring us to run outside.  But when you don't have a sweep play, it becomes tough to take advantage of it.  We lead 7-6 at halftime.

In the 3rd Quarter, we were able to stop them on their opening possession, but we were able to dink and dunk: 4 yards, 2 yards, 6 yards, 1 yard, 3 yards, 7 yards...We took the ball all the way down the field and scored again, while eating the entire 3rd Quarter.  We converted the extra point, and lead 14-6.  I reiterated to our header that we were now ahead by TWO scores and there was only one quarter remaining.  They came right back with Mr. Olympiad running a long way for a TD and instantaneously they were right back in it, trailing 14-13.  I thought we'd be able to drain away the 4th Quarter, but two back-to-back procedure penalties and a fumble put us in a position where we couldn't convert on 4th Down.  With only 4 minutes remaining, the opponents took over at mid-field.  For the most part, we held on tight.  They were getting panicky and starting to try things out of desperation.  We sacked their QB for a 15-yard loss which set them up with a 3rd and 16.  We shut down their next play but were flagged with a 15-yard Unsportsmanlike Penalty.  We never got an explanation as to what took place, but it gave them a 3rd & 1 which they converted.  Mr. Olympiad ran the ball down to our 15-yard line with 20 seconds remaining.  They tried a short pass to their sideline, but our Cornerback picked it off with 6 seconds left.  As our offense went on the field with 6 seconds remaining, I realized not only did we not have a QB Sneak, we didn't even have a Victory Formation kneel.  Not wanting to risk any sort of a fumbled gaffe at our own 6-yard-line, I used the same approach I used at high school:  I told the refs we were taking a knee and not running a play.  They responded by winding the clock and we never even had to snap the ball.  Final score, 14-13 us.

We were bad.  But our opponents were worse.  Just goes to show, even when a team has a size/speed/talent advantage, the Double Wing (even in a fractured form) can take away the game from them.  I'm sure they are kicking themselves for losing not just a winnable game, but a game they could and should have won.  

Next week, the header agreed that we would switch groups so I'll be working with the Backs and he'll have the o-line.  I doubt that we'll be much better, but today at least we got a reprieve from the Governor.

--Dave

 

Deaths while walking 4,743Deaths from football 12


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 18267
Topic starter  
Posted by: @coach-kyle

I tell my kids to strap up each other's helmets.  

--Oh, I get it.  We do all that.  Doesn't stop the incessant this or that or any number of other related/unrelated things.  

Just ask if they can play. 99% of the time it's still a yes. 

--Actually, I've been surprised by the general lack of interest.  One kid missed practice because of a stomach ache.  That's fine, but his parents took him to the hospital!  For a child's stomach ache.  I'm just further adjusted to coaching older kids.  Which is surprising for me.

--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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Coach Kyle
(@coach-kyle)
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Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 4128
 

@coachdp the hospital? 😆 I do remember from last year that it seems to get better after about 3 - 5 weeks.

Deaths while walking 4,743Deaths from football 12


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Troy
 Troy
(@troy)
Bronze
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 143
 

@coach-kyle I ALWAYS snap their helmets when asked. I think it is an opportunity to show them that you care a great deal about them personally and individually. Pain in the arse but I think it's worth it.

The longer I coach, the lesser I know.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 18267
Topic starter  

So we have a bye this weekend, which I really hate this early in the season.  The following week we will play who we project to be the #1 team in the conference, and the week after we will play my old org where I coached for 17 years.  Never, ever thought I'd be coaching against them, but here we are.  Life's full of surprises.  In looking back, in my years as a header and the additional 5 seasons I've spent as a youth AC (2015, 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022) we are 121-4 in conference play, our worst season being 8-1 in 2018 losing in the league title game.  We have been Double Wing each of those years, except for 2015.  This season though...we're rough.  At the end of our practice tonight, when the header asked the players if they had any questions, one kid asked "Will we be getting those rings like players get?"  The header and I replied at the same time, "What rings?"  Man, I hate stupid questions.

--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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