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Are my expectations too high for 8U?


terrypjohnson
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There ended up being an opening on my middle son's team, so I am an assistant on an 8U team this year.

We had our first practice yesterday. We spent most of the practice making sure they could take a three point stance (Feet, seat, down) and then had them fire out. With 15 minutes to go in practice, we split into linemen and backs. Since I felt that many of them needed conditioning, I taught them to pull. That way, they could still work on firing out, but also work on their cardio.

Two of the other assistant coaches think I'm pushing the kids too hard. "That's an advanced topic, you need to just teach the basics at this level". I obviously disagree, as I've been pulling on sweeps at 8U for the last four seasons. I also don't think it's an advanced topic. Even if it were, what's wrong with having high expectations? If I can run a drill that the kids enjoy that also gets them some extra conditioning what's the downside?

What do you guys think... is this the right way or do I need to dial it back? 

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


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C-Rob
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We pulled with 7U so I don't think it is too much.  We even ran jet sweeps with this same group which honestly surprised me when we did it, but they could handle it and we kept seeing how far we could go with them:

This post was modified 1 month ago by C-Rob

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gumby_in_co
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If the HC and/or OC are on board with pulling and it's part of their plan, go for it and ignore the peanut gallery. If not, then you're spinning your wheels and wasting precious time. Having high expectations with isn't an issue, but that has to be tempered with patience. I'm helping one of my ACs with his 1st/2nd grade team. For half of these kids, we are struggling to get them to line up in the same place rep after rep.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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terrypjohnson
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@gumby_in_co - That's part of the problem. I have no idea what we're doing on offense or defense yet. It was just "Coach, take 'em and do line stuff". Since I knew we weren't running (and needed to), that was my solution. If they scrap that, I'm cool with it... at least the kids got 12 minutes of running in.

Since our older kids play on the same team, I'll corner him about it this evening and try to find out what exactly he wants done. As a head coach, I always tried to give each coach a position group and tell them what we wanted to accomplish at that position. As a fellow IT geek, I'm sure you appreciate the UNIX philosophy (e.g. do one thing and do it well).

EDIT: The kids actually *LOVED* the drill because they got hit DD Dummy (which is what I named the shield. If there are any other ex-mainframers on here, you'll get the joke). I didn't have to do ask them to pay attention one time. 

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


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Coyote
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Posted by: @terrypjohnson

What do you guys think... is this the right way or do I need to dial it back? 

I believe pulling is age-appropriate - tho, some of your kids will get it, some won't, pull with the ones who get it.   I've been coaching 9U, but have had several 7 year olds on our team over the years, from my experience with the 7 y.o.s , I'd say pulling is age appropriate for your group.  Basically you're asking your kid to pick himself up and run over there, and go block that guy over there, and usually just running interference is enough to give the back somewhere to run.  

OTOH, I believe in loyalty to the HC.  If the HC says go with it, then do so with gusto.  If he says, no, its not part of our program.  Then don't do it.   As soon as you get his playbook, be the fastest ever to swallow the thing whole and master it.  It often surprises folk how, once they master a good offensive system how much can be adapted to fit within the scope of that system.  One of the reasons I love my Wing-T is the versatility.  Once the Buck and Belly are sound and effective, sooooo many things can be adapted to it.    But before making adaptations, master the playbook as it is.  

Expectations, set them low and that's what you;ll get.  I suggest setting them high, but within the kids' reach.  Success is the great confidence builder, and we want our kids to be confident.   I'm against dumbing down, I believe most kids want to be challenged, its part of what makes them competitors.  

 

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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terrypjohnson
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Posted by: @coyote

OTOH, I believe in loyalty to the HC.  If the HC says go with it, then do so with gusto.  If he says, no, its not part of our program.  Then don't do it. 

You've hit the nail on the head. When our older boys were practicing, I asked him about pulling. He said, "If you can them to do it, I'm for it". Not knowing what his scheme is, I thought, "Why not?"... and to be honest, I've got some pullers unless they end up on defense.

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


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Coach Kyle
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Posted by: @terrypjohnson

There ended up being an opening on my middle son's team, so I am an assistant on an 8U team this year.

We had our first practice yesterday. We spent most of the practice making sure they could take a three point stance (Feet, seat, down) and then had them fire out. With 15 minutes to go in practice, we split into linemen and backs. Since I felt that many of them needed conditioning, I taught them to pull. That way, they could still work on firing out, but also work on their cardio.

Two of the other assistant coaches think I'm pushing the kids too hard. "That's an advanced topic, you need to just teach the basics at this level". I obviously disagree, as I've been pulling on sweeps at 8U for the last four seasons. I also don't think it's an advanced topic. Even if it were, what's wrong with having high expectations? If I can run a drill that the kids enjoy that also gets them some extra conditioning what's the downside?

What do you guys think... is this the right way or do I need to dial it back? 

I've always found the "advanced" nature of pulling isn't so much the skill it takes to pull. It's "advanced" because now you have lineman doing different things. If I tell all of my lineman to reach block, I can have a guard play tackle and vica versa, no sweat. Can't always do that with pulling. 

Second, not all pulling is equal. Pull and kick is a lot easier than pull and lead.

Deaths while walking 4,743Deaths from football 12


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CoachDP
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Posted by: @terrypjohnson

We spent most of the practice making sure they could take a three point stance (Feet, seat, down)

--Gee, that's too bad.

Two of the other assistant coaches think I'm pushing the kids too hard.

--Lollering at what they considered "too hard."

"That's an advanced topic, you need to just teach the basics at this level".

--"Advanced topic." 🤣 

I also don't think it's an advanced topic.

--He meant it's an "advanced topic" for their coaching staff.  It's only an "advanced topic" to those who have no idea how to teach it.

Even if it were, what's wrong with having high expectations? If I can run a drill that the kids enjoy that also gets them some extra conditioning what's the downside?

--There is no downside.

What do you guys think... is this the right way or do I need to dial it back? 

--You can lower your standards, but that's up to you.

--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
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Posted by: @terrypjohnson

It was just "Coach, take 'em and do line stuff".

--Oh, good grief...and their coaches want to talk about "advanced"...

--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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Posted by: @terrypjohnson

It was just "Coach, take 'em and do line stuff".  

On the one hand, yikes!

On the other hand, this leaves a very wide opening for interpretation. 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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CoachDP
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co
Posted by: @terrypjohnson

It was just "Coach, take 'em and do line stuff".  

On the one hand, yikes!

On the other hand, this leaves a very wide opening for interpretation. 

Because, y’know all “line stuff” is exactly the same.  One size fits all. 🤫 

I’m coaching Double Wing football with a youth team and I can tell you that despite my familiarity with this scheme, their “drills” and approach to practice are unlike anything I would ever do.

—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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On the flip side, I've been giving fairly specific and detailed instructions, but getting "line stuff".

I gave pretty specific instructions to my o-line coach, but had to go help him set up the drill I wanted. Prior to that, I told him to "fix the pass protection", again with specific instructions, but later learned he just confused the kids. Experienced part time coach was helping him in this session and said, "I don't understand what you're asking them to do."

Also during pass pro, he had our TE and Split End in his group. OC and I were working the routes and timing and noticed we were missing 2 key receivers. I was a little surprised that I had to remind the o-line coach that the TE and Split End have no role in pass protection.

Then, on the car ride home (he's my brother in law), He admitted he didn't understand the blocking scheme. You know, the one he's been trying to teach for a month. Run blocking was fine in our last game. In fact, it was better than fine. Pass protection was abysmal. Mahonz wrote me a book or two on the things I need to do to fix it. Then I watched film. a) we had a kid who is maybe the last person on our roster, after me and the team mom that you want at tackle . . . playing tackle. Instead of fanning out, he was double teaming to his inside. At least he contributed to his 5 tech's highlight reel. 

I now have to take over the o-line. Luckily, the OC knows what he's doing and so does my defensive coach.

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Bob Goodman
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co

On the flip side, I've been giving fairly specific and detailed instructions, but getting "line stuff".

Oof!  Reminds me of 2010 when I was an AC under Dave, a very controlling guy who let me sometimes coach the lines.  I asked him who he wanted them to block, and he seemed annoyed by the question (as he was by all questions) as he repeatedly told me, "Block your man away from the ball."  No guidance on who "your man" was, so I took that as "man away from the ball" and instituted MOMA.

Then, on the car ride home (he's my brother in law)

Reminds me of 2011-13, when I was AC under brothers-in-law whose family squabbles sometimes carried over into football.


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gumby_in_co
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Last night, I helped my brother in law fix the o-line. I made him part of it, so it didn't seem like he was being fired, but I definitely took charge of the situation. I have limited time, so I coached quickly and efficiently. Asking him to run the show by himself was probably too big of an ask. Fixed pass pro and actually made dramatic strides with one player just by showing him how to intercept a pass rusher. Also installed TKO (Beast Right only), which the o-line absolutely loved. In Team, it was devastating. Tonight, we'll work intensely on wedge, then work on TKO from Beast Left.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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ZACH
 ZACH
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Posted by: @terrypjohnson

There ended up being an opening on my middle son's team, so I am an assistant on an 8U team this year.

We had our first practice yesterday. We spent most of the practice making sure they could take a three point stance (Feet, seat, down) and then had them fire out. With 15 minutes to go in practice, we split into linemen and backs. Since I felt that many of them needed conditioning, I taught them to pull. That way, they could still work on firing out, but also work on their cardio.

Two of the other assistant coaches think I'm pushing the kids too hard. "That's an advanced topic, you need to just teach the basics at this level". I obviously disagree, as I've been pulling on sweeps at 8U for the last four seasons. I also don't think it's an advanced topic. Even if it were, what's wrong with having high expectations? If I can run a drill that the kids enjoy that also gets them some extra conditioning what's the downside?

What do you guys think... is this the right way or do I need to dial it back? 

If your first play/series involves pulling then it's "basic" for what you run.  If not, then I agree with your assistants.

 

I teach zone steps day one and have done so at as young as 7yrs old.

 

I can explain it to you, I can't understand if for you.


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