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Scrimmaging During Pre-Season


bdjackson
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What’s everyone’s opinion on scrimmaging with other teams during pre-season. I tend to enjoy it as I get feedback on how our base plays are working against non scout defenses and allows me to see flaws before the season starts. 

However, talking with the coaches in my org, they seem against any type of pre-season scrimmage for what I can only describe as a sense of secrecy regarding their schemes. Maybe it’s just the DW mentality, but I don’t give a damn if you know what I run, because it’s not gonna change. 

Thoughts? 

—Brian

Being Capable, first begins with being Confident.


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CoachDP
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Posted by: @bdjackson

Maybe it’s just the DW mentality, but I don’t give a damn if you know what I run, because it’s not gonna change

^

--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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Bob Goodman
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I think the value of testing what you have against "strangers" well exceeds anything you lose by surprise value.


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bdjackson
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Posted by: @bob-goodman

I think the value of testing what you have against "strangers" well exceeds anything you lose by surprise value.

I couldn’t agree more. 

—Brian

Being Capable, first begins with being Confident.


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CoachDP
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Posted by: @bob-goodman

I think the value of testing what you have against "strangers" well exceeds anything you lose by surprise value.

^ Exactly.  If you want to find out how good your execution is, show your hand and then play them again.

--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
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From a non-DW standpoint.

The #1 reason we scrimmage (and we scrimmage a LOT) is to get game experience for our players. Mahonz and I firmly believe that you get better at football by playing football. 

As far as showing our hand?  Let's assume things go right for us this Fall. We roll out with an under-center offense based on Wing-T principles with a 2-3 man mesh (maybe even a 4?). It will either be unbalanced or a pro-set (TE on one side, SE on the other). If the pieces fall into place, it will be 50/50 run to pass. Then, we roll out in 5 wide empty which will be maybe 30/70 run to pass. Then, we roll out in Beast. What are you going to prepare for? We are far from a good team, but we are definitely not predictable. If we are concerned with giving away too much, we don't have to show them everything. There is a team who practices next to us and we scrimmage them at least once per week, often twice. We scrimmaged them twice the week before we actually played them. The game plan was to throw the ball. In the scrimmage, we ran the ball. 

The caveat is that if you want to be scrimmage heavy, you need at least 3 competent, involved coaches on each side of the ball. The younger coaches we have this flex season have really stepped up and surprised me. I have a coach watching the backs on the left side and another watching the backs on the right side and they are really on top of things. My struggle is that I'm in the middle of developing a QB, so I have to "mama cat" him a lot while still keeping an eye on the o-line and a center that is hit and miss. Our defense is out-performing the offense by a large margin and there are only 2 coaches on that side of the ball.

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Coyote
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Pre-season scrimmages...  we have a league wide "jamboree" in which we'll scrimmage three other league teams.  the benefit, we usually find a couple kids who exceed expectations, and couple who don't live up to them, and nearly always end up moving a kid or two to different positions and/or the sub becomes the starter.  Seeing them in action against someone other than the kids they practice with everyday very helpful.  

Not sure I'd want to do a whole lot of it, I feel like I'm losing valuable time if the other coaches are spending too much time correcting their kids, and at the same time, when I find things with my kids that gotta get fixed I like to take the time to get it right.   So...  

With our age group, I believe that some of our opposition over-hit - by the end of the season they seem to be too beat up to play their best right when they need to be peaking.  If I were to scrimmage more than the jamboree, I'd want quick whistles, and limited contact - esp. to avoid those tackles that twist the ankles, or those times when the back gets held up in a crowd & can't get to the ground, and taking needless hits. 

 

This post was modified 1 month ago by Coyote

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


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mahonz
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I came to the conclusion about 15 years ago that EDD's were pretty useless until AFTER the players know what they were doing. 

Like a good soldier for years I followed a practice plan that others way smarter than me insisted was the way football is taught. You start at A then end at Z over the course of the season. 

Then I had an epiphany. It was the first year I coached zone blocking. Maybe 2005....5th graders....pretty talented team. 

I was disgusted how many yards we were leaving on the field. Then I realized that the OLM doing their thing with their coach and the Backs doing their thing with their coach EVERY DAY was the problem because as a whole the kids had no clue what they were doing as a unit ON GAME DAY. The Backs and OL REALLY NEEDED TO BE WORKING AS ONE most of the time. 

Hello!

From that day forward I sent all practice planning to the shredder....stopped listening to guys way smarter than me....and began teaching this great game starting at D....then progressing to M....coming back around to A and if I made it all the way to Z great. If not....maybe next year. 

I do this with every phase of the game and its all experience dependent per team. I pretty much threw working on fundamentals out the window until about mid season or on a need only basis.... and plugged in Group all hands drilling that mimics the games. Why? Because teaching your SAM how to tackle like Ray Lewis means nothing if he is never in the right places at the right times. IMHO it takes 100 times more reps to learn proper fits and spacing and anticipation and knowing what your buddies around you are doing and playing unselfish football and recognizing formations and possibilities as a unit over learning a text book tackling technique.  

Give them the basic concepts....teach them how to preform as a unit....then clean up the techniques. 

Obviously the older they get and the faster the game becomes and hopefully with more experienced players....the script flips. Experience matters....most of us are teaching smurfs with little experience. 

I will scrimmage at any time any where for any reason always. Fortunately we share a practice field with a team whose coach feels the same way. Eventually when we play each other every Fall the games will be decided by a 2-0  score on some obscure play that results in a Safety and that's OK...we already know each other very well and its only going to get worse making the scrimmages even more important for both teams.... meaning making both teams that much better....out of necessity. Hard to execute when your opponents knows you quite well but at least they are still the enemy and not your own players. Makes a HUGE difference mentally. 

Finally.... all this requires a quality Staff and why I delegate everything. Pride in ownership works. Builds better coaches faster. If all I do is watch others have fun coaching em up....Im happy. 

My 2 cents. 

This post was modified 1 month ago by mahonz

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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