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gumby_in_co
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September 24, 2020 10:54 am  

9/24/2020 Update

Request from one of our younger ACs to run Meatgrinder, so that's what we did last night.

H started out doing the "kitten paws" technique, so I tore into him a little. On the next rep, he was more aggressive (he was grunting, which is a pretty big deal for him), but still using his hands, so I corrected him again. I just looked him dead in the eye and told him that what he is giving his brothers is unacceptable and to use his freaking shoulder. Next rep, he got some good "pops", then looked at me with a big grin on his face, "I hit him with my shoulder, Coach!" I asked if it hurt and he said "just a little, but it was fun". When it was his turn to go through the meat grinder, he put guys on their heels. It was the first time I'd seen him use his big body as a weapon. Then, when we went for time, he actually had the 2nd best in the bigs group. I would not have thought this possible a month ago. I invited the bigs to recognize him since he did a great job. They all surrounded him and clapped him on the back. I think it was the first time that group of Alphas made him feel like he was part of it. The grin on his face was priceless. It showed when he was a scout NT vs Beast. He really bullied our centers to the point I had to introduce the "Ogre" call, which means "Help me with this guy". Next step is for him to do this against an ugly jersey. I also introduced a new drill for the o-line that I call "12 blocks" (not to be confused with "12 perfect blocks"). H caught my attention. He may be ready to play o-line soon.

P blended right in with his group, which is not a bad thing. He worked in at Beast C, which in hindsight was too soon. Snaps all over the place and ineffective vs H. The good thing about P is that when you give him technical advice to fix his snaps, he takes it to heart. Point is . . . the fear is gone. Now I can focus on getting some aggression out of him.

S . . . sigh.  He plays like every opponent is covered in bees. First run through in Meatgrinder was pathetic. We made him do it again. 50% improvement, which I recognized. I'll take 50% improvement any day. Tomorrow, he will run through the Meatgrinder on every rep. He is in bad need of desensitization therapy.  I introduced the towel drill in Beast. Climbing lineman has a towel (pinny) in the back of his jersey. BC is told that he had better grab that towel. Climbing linemen is told he better not get his towel grabbed. When S ran the ball, he made it to 1 yard past the LOS with AUTHORITY. Hopes were high. Then, he saw "M", the 2nd smallest player on the team and S stopped dead in his tracks and went into full "protect" mode. Right or wrong, I lost it on the kid. Then, I think every coach on the staff had a word with him. A failure on my part is that I didn't seek him out and build him back up.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
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September 27, 2020 5:14 pm  

9/26 Game Update

Just watched film.

H is aggressive, just not doing what we ask of him. He played the entire game at DT, but was often on roller skates because he stands straight up at the snap. He is a VERY good blocking dummy. Working on that this week.

P had a set back. Played the first half at short guard. Knew his assignment, but very lackluster effort. Vs this front, his assignment was 2nd level. He would half heartedly jog to his block, maybe give a little shove, then look back to see how the RB is doing.

At halftime,

P: "Coach, my head hurts"

Me:"So are you in or out?"

P: "I don't know"

Me: "I'll take that as a 'no'. Let me know if you change your mind."

Later, P:"Coach, I think I might be able to go in."

Me: "I thought your head hurt. Do you want to play or not?"

P: "I'm not sure."

Me: "I'll take that as a 'no'.

So he did not play the 2nd half, which is fine with me. Plenty of kids who want to play. A few that throw tantrums when you pull them.

Lot's of work to do with S. He was pressed into service since we had 3 key players missing. He responded with all the aggression of dandelion fluff. We had him run every rep of Meatgrinder last week. 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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mahonz
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September 27, 2020 10:40 pm  

 

Lot's of work to do with S. He was pressed into service since we had 3 key players missing. He responded with all the aggression of dandelion fluff. We had him run every rep of Meatgrinder last week. 

Mom asked me at halftime when he was going to start hitting something...anything. I told her its up to him. 

Maybe she will help. 

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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lobwedge
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September 28, 2020 6:29 pm  

Gumby, can you explain the Meatgrinder? Thanks.


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gumby_in_co
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September 28, 2020 11:36 pm  
Posted by: @lobwedge

Gumby, can you explain the Meatgrinder? Thanks.

 

^ Cone

D

B

B

B

^ Cone

0 Football

On "Hit", D (defense player) runs downhill to ward the line of B (blockers). The general rule for Blockers is one shot, let him go, but if the blockers really want to battle, we let them go at it. It's usually when they smell fear on a D player. That encourages the D to be extra aggressive and try to intimidate the blockers. We do not allow jukes, spins or running wide by the D. I wouldn't mind seeing a rip move, but I'd rather they try to knock the crap out of each other. There is about 2-3 yards between players. D hits each B, then gets the football at the end. We try scoop and score, but that's very hard to do. We run 4-5 lines simultaneously. 2 practice runs, then a third for time. We run this right after our last warmup exercise and do a water break immediately after. Winner of each line gets a candy bar after practice. Things get real when there's fructose on the line.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
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September 29, 2020 9:38 am  

9/28 Scrimmage

Well, I thought P got a sack, but it was someone else. P was in the mix from DT and played well enough to get a sack, anyway. This was going against a double team with each kid WAY bigger than him.

Talked to H in pre-practice about standing straight up.

Me: What instructions did I give you?

H: Hit the center in the socks?

Me: Did you hit him in the socks even one time?

H: (Eyes brightened up) I tried!

Me: Did you try, or did you think about it and decided it was a bad plan and did something else?

H: I decided to try something else.

Me: Thank you for being honest. Let's fix it.

So we got the fear out of him and he's working on the aggression. I don't think he's physically capable of playing with a bend in his knees. He carries a lot of mass. We'll keep plugging away.

S: still a bit hesitant, but I think he's at least beginning to accept the inevitable. Progress?

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
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October 4, 2020 2:21 pm  

Update for 10/4.

Scrimmaged twice last week. This is a challenge for the staff because if you want to get anything out of it, you have to coach your butt off. 

Had to pull P off the o-line because he just isn't ready. It's not an aggression issue. I just haven't done a good job of teaching him how to move yet.  So on Saturday, he got a lot of plays at DT. Best game I've ever seen out of him, but . . . the opposing o-line was turrible. Still, he is playing a tough job for tough guys and constantly bugs me about getting in the game, which I love.

H had his best game ever. He is starting to learn how to be a bully with his size. He's starting to run a bit and I'm seeing him trying very hard to make tackles. I even moved him to (KB) DE where he did quite well . . . against a turrible o-line.

S had his best game ever as well. He played Y and didn't do too bad, considering the standard that the rest of the Regulators have set. Mahonz tells me he will work with the Regulators this week. Saw him get knocked on his butt once on film trying to block a 9 tech, but he got up and kept playing. At CB, he was playing downhill vs the run and wasn't avoiding contact. 

Biggest factor for success: The meat grinder drill. It could have been any of a hundred "Mojo" drills that we decided to run, though. It's a pretty brutal drill and the high number of hits is probably counter to our USA Football training 🙄 , but the high rep count combined with the nature of the hits has served its purpose well as "desensitization therapy". The entire team is playing more aggressively and we are again looking like the more aggressive team across the board. We have some vinegar going. 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
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October 13, 2020 10:25 am  

Looks like I'm a little past due for an update.

Overall, the physicality and aggression from this team is light years ahead of last season. Saturday's opponent was a measuring stick. They mercied us last year. Satuday, we lost by 8 points. More importantly, we were bringing the hammer to them. They have a kid who knocks the snot out of us every year and this year was no different, but our guys were taking him on with no hesitation and no tears despite giving up 20 pounds to him. We even tackled him HARD on a few of his carries. 

Offensively, plenty of pancake blocks from our Power Tackle and Y (we don't teach pancakes, but aren't too upset if they happen). I would like our backs to run with authority. One did and had 3 TDs. He's just about the smallest kid on the field, BTW. The others are still dancing trying to create space with their nonexistent "moves".

Defensively, lots of swarming gang tackles. 2 kids stopped their wedge and inside running game by rotating and cutting their C/G combo. Opposing coach shared his film with us after the game, along with text call out commentary. He was unimpressed with our "submariners". Their beast of a FB scored on 2 long wedges in the first half. 2nd half, wedge was done. I'll take that as a victory since one of my cutters is "H". He was bragging on the sideline about his "dirt clowns", which is our code word for "cut the dude".

Anyway, H had a moment that Mahonz caught. Had a chance to make a tackle on the FB at the LOS, but went "kitten paws" on him. Disappointing, but no one is perfect. He knows what he did and redeemed himself by throwing his big body into the o-line's legs on 20+ plays.

P is doing just fine. We're just about at the limits of his athleticism. He'll play at DT and SG against our next opponent who are MASSIVE. Not worried about him at all. He always gives his maximum effort.

S made some improvement, but he had some really bad plays including 1 at CB where he allowed a tiny kid at WR to close on him from 8 yards, and block him. I've been watching film for a little while, and my eye told me that he was relieved to get blocked so he wouldn't have to make a tackle. Well, they scored on a long TD on that one. Plenty of mistakes by other players, but his was the only mistake not made full speed.

DC and I talked it out and I think we're going to do the splatter progression with him this week. If it works, then we're idiots for not doing it 2 months ago.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Prodigy
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October 13, 2020 11:32 am  
Posted by: @gumby_in_co

DC and I talked it out and I think we're going to do the splatter progression with him this week. If it works, then we're idiots for not doing it 2 months ago.

@gumby_in_co
what is your splatter progression?  I ask because, I've found no better progression than what CoachDP does.

The first two weeks or so of practice, where it's no pads, we take full advantage of getting contact for the team.  It's during that time that I want the team to be extremely comfortable with physical contact, even without pads.  We run a fair amount of close quarter blocking drills and splatter tackling onto dummies with no pads.  I feel that this contributes enormously to building confidence in the kids...then when we get them into pads, they are maniacs.

If you show up for a fair fight, you are unprepared.


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gumby_in_co
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October 13, 2020 12:41 pm  
Posted by: @prodigy
Posted by: @gumby_in_co

DC and I talked it out and I think we're going to do the splatter progression with him this week. If it works, then we're idiots for not doing it 2 months ago.

@gumby_in_co
what is your splatter progression?  I ask because, I've found no better progression than what CoachDP does.

The first two weeks or so of practice, where it's no pads, we take full advantage of getting contact for the team.  It's during that time that I want the team to be extremely comfortable with physical contact, even without pads.  We run a fair amount of close quarter blocking drills and splatter tackling onto dummies with no pads.  I feel that this contributes enormously to building confidence in the kids...then when we get them into pads, they are maniacs.

When we start most seasons, we have a mandatory 3-practice conditioning period where contact of any kind isn't allowed. Due to the pandemic, this rule was lifted because . . . reasons?

Anyway, my splatter progression goes like this:

Splatter pad is a pile of dummies and shields.

1) have the tackler fit up to the tacklee. Grab cloth and drop the non-contact shoulder to the ground. Repeat a few times, encouraging tackler to drop the shoulder faster and faster.

2) Have the tackler back up one step, then fit and freeze. Check the fit, then have him drop the non-contact shoulder to the ground.

3) From 1 step back, have the tackler fit, grab cloth, and drop the non-contact shoulder to the ground in one motion. Encourage the tackler to go faster and faster until he is going full tilt from 1 step.

4) Have him take 2 steps back and repeat. 

5) 3 steps back. Repeat until you are getting a solid, no hesitation hit.

6) Have the tacklee move laterally and have the tackler intercept him using the technique above. Go both directions.

7) Repeat 6 without the splatter mat.

Coaching points:

  • Fun and positive. No such thing as failure. Make sure the tacklee is in on the fun as well. Message: THIS IS FUN!
  • Loud and boisterous. Positive reinforcement. Get the serotonin flowing. Program the brain to associate hitting as a rewarding behavior. Make sure the tacklee is in on this. "Wow, Jimmy. Good hit." Have him rub his elbow or something.
  • Go back a step if you hit a bump in the road. Expect this on step 7.
  • Be patient. NEVER question the kid's toughness, etc.
  • When the kid re-joins the rest of his team, announce it with some fan fair. "Coach! We have a hitter here!"

It's simply a matter of by-passing the kid's self-preservation mechanism.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Prodigy
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October 13, 2020 1:04 pm  

@gumby_in_co sounds like a pretty standard affair.  DP has a few innovations on this that I'm sure he'd share if you were interested.  I don't think any of it is magic bullet sort of stuff and the more I think about it, the more I see the value in this being day 1 page 1 sort of stuff so you're not going back later trying to overcome whatever fear or apprehension exists within the player.  Definitely something that got me thinking about this some more...

 

If you show up for a fair fight, you are unprepared.


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rpatric
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October 13, 2020 1:37 pm  

@prodigy

I used DP's progression last year as well and I loved it!


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Prodigy
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October 13, 2020 2:09 pm  

@rpatric it worked extremely well for us also.  I would credit it with being a cornerstone of becoming the team that gives other teams nightmares.

 

If you show up for a fair fight, you are unprepared.


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gumby_in_co
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October 13, 2020 2:53 pm  

@coachdp

Hey Dave. Would you mind posting your splatter progression. I think it pertains to this conversation.

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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CoachDP
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October 14, 2020 10:29 am  
Posted by: @gumby_in_co

Hey Dave. Would you mind posting your splatter progression. I think it pertains to this conversation.

Everyone's going to have their own take on this chapter of our P.A.I.N! development.  We also include Twin Cannons as part of the progression (at 5-step distance), as well counting steps for distance instead of yards (used to be Fit, 1, 3, and 5 yards of separation.  Now it's Fit, 1, 3, and 5 steps of separation.)  5 yards of separation is a lot more room for a smaller guy than a bigger guy, so we changed it to 5 steps so that the distance adjusted to their size.  We also started with a chest bump when measuring off the steps.  Tackler chest bumps the Tacklee so that there's no gap from when he starts measuring his steps.  Since the Tacklee already has his heels up against the bed of shields, the chest bump usually knocks him over (though that isn't the intent).  At the high school level, this really seems to PO the Tacklee and raises the blood pressure of both participants.  The "chest bump as measuring stick" also seems to create some staredown opportunities that whet their appetites for physicality.  This was something I've discovered at the high school level when we started incorporating the tackler taking backwards steps to measure off the distance, as opposed to our old way of using cones set at 1, 3, and 5 yards of distance.  I tried the chest bump count at the younger level (don't recall the age group, but I think it was 7-9) and the chest bump was a waste of time.  Tackler just found it funny and Tacklee took too long to stand back up so we went back to putting down cones to mark their separation.  The chest bump was more comedic for the younger guys, and more intense with the older guys.  Older kids obviously don't mind being facemask to facemask while younger kids may find it silly.

--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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