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Having trouble getting the Bobbleheads to line up correctly... looking for ideas  

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terrypjohnson
(@terrypjohnson)
Bronze
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 281
United States
Head Coach
September 18, 2020 11:01 pm  

Good evening all:

In the past, I've always used formation names when calling the plays. So, last season, I had Single Wing Right, Single Wing Left, Beast Right, and Beast Left. I didn't have any trouble with the backs remembering where to line up.

This year, I have a much younger team. Many of them didn't know their right from their left, so using formation names just confused them. At that point, I gave each formation a color (Purple, Gold, Red, and Blue, respectively). Unfortunately, they're still having trouble lining up correctly.

While I plan to drill them extensively next week to help them memorize each set, I wanted to make certain that I'm going down the right path. Is there a better way to teach this concept (e.g. let the kids pick a name that they'll remember?) or should I just treat it like multiplication flash cards and work with them until they've memorized them?

Thanks in advance for your insights!

Coach Terry

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


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32wedge
(@32wedge)
Silver Moderator
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 695
Virginia
Middle School
Only / Head Coach
September 18, 2020 11:09 pm  

I have always used wrist coaches.  Many times I have used a less than symbol “<“ to tell a player to line up on the left side and a greater than “>” for him to line up on the right side for a certain play.  I just told the kid it was an arrow pointing to the side he was supposed to be on.


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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
Diamond
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 9504
New Jersey
3rd - 5th
Asst Coach
September 19, 2020 2:28 am  

Something that's been discussed here is the use of landmarks to orient those who don't know left from right.  But that does mean it flips when your team's going the other way on the field, and it means you need landmarks for every field you play on.  Uh...the balloon vendor over there...no, wait, he's leaving.


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ZACH
 ZACH
(@bucksweep58)
Diamond
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 9393
Coach
September 19, 2020 2:05 pm  

Our de days with 7u was the name of player getting ball and direction with maybe a extra call. Toss left would be "Tim left", counter left would be "Tim left special" 

If it were me calling plays now ide have a formation and play call 2 words.  

 

If formations are an issue have a flash card session. Tell a formation kids get into it. Reward them for getting it right, penalize them for getting it wrong. 

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


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Prodigy
(@prodigy)
Gold
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 2484
September 29, 2020 7:40 am  

assuming that you're really married to the idea of running those different formations with that age group (just saying, it might really not be necessary for success):
I would probably go to the sporting good store and buy several pairs of shoelaces and lace up all of the kids right shoes with the off-color shoelaces.  You could buy exercise wristbands or even athletic tape and put a wrap around each kids arm but you'd have to do that daily.

I'd probably make up a drill for formation recognition.  Setup cones for the different formations and name off the names and have the kids run to their spots.  Put the formations far enough apart and you can get a little conditioning in at the same time. 

I'd also print off the formations as handouts for the kids to see.  I would also bring a whiteboard and do a Q/A and I'd ask the kids to draw on the whiteboard.

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


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Coyote
(@coyote)
Bronze
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 186
3rd - 5th
Coordinator
September 29, 2020 8:25 am  
Posted by: @prodigy

You could buy exercise wristbands

Beat me to it.  If you can find them small enough, you can but a couple sweat bands on each arm, or go with those little color bands that were popular a while back.  

With 7U do you really want more than 2 formations?   I've no real opinion on this, but w/ my 3rd & 4th graders, we choose a couple formations once we get an idea of our kids abilities, and pretty much stick with them.    From there, the only kid who has anything to learn is our Split end whom we move get an unbalanced formation, by splitting wide over on the same side as our TE and WB with a "Plus" call, or bring in tight on the strong side with a "Plus Nasty" call.

This way we spend more time teaching form and technique and less time teaching formations.   Even in our regular season finale, the opposition's coach was getting frustrated trying to get his kids lined up right at times, using 8 formations in our game.  

This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Coyote

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


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17394
North Carolina
High School
September 29, 2020 9:14 am  
Posted by: @terrypjohnson

This year, I have a much younger team. Many of them didn't know their right from their left, so using formation names just confused them. At that point, I gave each formation a color (Purple, Gold, Red, and Blue, respectively). Unfortunately, they're still having trouble lining up correctly.

TPJ, when I coached 7-9s, I gave out white wrist bands with "L" and "R" written on them. And we used (then, and still do) a formation recognition drill at the beginning of every practice for the offense.  I stand in front of the offense and call out, "Tight Right," "Lucy," "Beast Left," "Loose Left," "Nasty Right," "Toronto," "Tight Left," "Beast Right," "Loose Right," "Toledo," "Ricky," etc.  Always random.  Sometimes calling out the same formation twice in a row, to see if someone tries to move away from it.  Takes 5 minutes.  If they have to think about it, I know that's where we need reps.

--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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terrypjohnson
(@terrypjohnson)
Bronze
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 281
United States
Head Coach
September 29, 2020 10:39 am  

@coyote & @prodigy - In my opinion, you're both right, which is why I only use two formations - Beast (Right and Left) and Double Wing. They started picking up the Double Wing (shortly after I posted this) because no one had to change spots. I'm cool with helping align them correctly on Beast every now and then if they forget which side. Of course, our left side was kicking butt the other day in the scrimmage, so I ran 17 Tank 8 times in a row. That repetition seemed to help the 2 and 3 backs figure out which side was Gold (Left) and which side was Purple (right) without asking for help.

@CoachDP - Although the younger team is doing better, I'm going to add this drill for both teams immediately after eye-openers. Definitely something to highlight in the digital notebook!

Thank you everybody for your insights!

 

 

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


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Prodigy
(@prodigy)
Gold
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 2484
September 29, 2020 11:31 am  

I actually came up with a better way just now while thinking about this.

Everything is in relationship to the "center".  You could have the center with two different socks or wristbands or even take his cleats and write L and R on the back of them and just have the kids look at the center to know where to align.

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


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