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Seth54
(@seth54)
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My club has a few formations and plays that they like us to install, but after that we have some freedom to get creative. One issue I have when adding to the play book is that things can get wordy, especially when we starts adding motions. Does anyone have any experience or tips for one word name calls, or other similar strategies to keep things short and sweet?


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terrypjohnson
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Here's what worked for me this year with two 8U teams (30 kids, so I split them and coached both teams). It's far from perfect, so I welcome any feedback.

Each play had the following:

1. We had a color for each formation. Black was Double Wing, Purple was Single Wing Right. Gold was Single Wing Left.

2. Motion if used.

3. The number of the back carrying the ball (or catching the pass).

4. The number of the hole to run to.

5. Each blocking scheme had a keyword. Razor was SAB Right. Laser was SAB Left.

6. A play description (or two). This was how I could mix in "one off's". For example, on Power, the backside tackle knows he's pulling rather seal and wheel. On Spinner, the 3-back knows he's selling the sweep fake like his life depends on it and the 1-back knows to spin.

Putting it all together, here's what some of the calls would look like:

Black, 28 Laser Sweep

Gold, 16 Laser Spinner Trap

Purple, Fake 31, Fire, 90 Pop Pass

Black, Orbit, 25 Razor Cutback

This is what worked for me. Hopefully it helps!

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


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CoachDP
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Put the player's assignment on a wristband.  Instead of everyone needing to remember and understand "Lee 45 Counter Fake Larry Boot," the Left Guard reads his assignment, "Pull."  The Fullback reads his assignment, "Seal Right."  The Left End reads his assignment, "Fill."  It doesn't matter what you call the play or how wordy it gets if you puts assignments on the wristband.

--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
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I have tried. For me short and sweet is more difficult to retain than wordy even if you go check with me. Plus short and sweet is not all that flexable 

I follow the what you hear is what you do format. Each part of the playcall speaks specifics to the backs receiver and line. I try to avoid math because math is boring. I also stay within a specific blueprint so I can expand. 

Green Right X Shift Viper Right X Stickie Lookie Slide Spider Y 2 Banana

No clue what it means but it sounds cool. 😎 Seriously. Its the famous Spider Y 2 Banana pass from Gruden with a TON of window dressing pre snap. The protection is SLIDE with X sticking around if there is a blitz or overload.

But I suppose you could call this play Gronker and be done with it....if everyone does their homework.  

See attached for how we build plays. Might help some. Been noodling around with this stuff for years in an attempt to shorten everything so I get what you are saying. I call it the Lego System. What I like about this is you can marry systems together, plug in discoveries, draw a play in the dirt without melting brains. Some things you can make as an automatic. Super flexible IF you create a defined blueprint. Once the players learn the blueprint....easy peasy.

My take. I also like Daves idea of the wrist coaches but I hate maintaining them. 

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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Seth54
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Thanks, we are currently using a Lego bay system that sounds pretty similar to what Terry is describing. A typical play it would be something like, strong right 41 toss. That means the FB is offset to the WB side in a king set, and we are tossing the ball to our tail back going wide to the 1 hole. I think Mahonz’ point that being descriptive helps kids learn is valid, but I think Coach potters idea of using wrist coaches may be what I’m looking for. The maintenance does sound a bit tedious. Coach, once you write up a play set, are they pretty reusable?


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Dusty Ol Fart
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Green Right X Shift Viper Right X Stickie Lookie Slide Spider Y 2 Banana

 

Thanks Gruden!  🤣 

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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Coyote
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Posted by: @seth54

Does anyone have any experience or tips for one word name calls

We're a buck and belly wing T offense, so its formation & play.  Play determines the blocking... 

I like Dave’s suggestion about putting plays on wrists. 

Since, I’m on the field with the kids (3rd & 4th gr) I can handle most Q’s in the huddle. 

We’re Wing T, but use colors to designate formations.  Colors with Rrrrr.... sound in them put the strength (TE & Wing) to the  Rrr-Right.  Colors with the Lllll... sound in them put the strength to the Llll-Left.   

Compare to Delware Wing T formations:  Green = 100; Black = 900.   Grey sets the HB to strength = 300; Gold to left = 700.  Red; Strength is right, HB is in slot to left; Blue Strength is left, HB in slot to right.  White is full house T.  We flip the HB and WB by formation, our HB is always the HB, the WB is always the WB.

Usually we pick a base formation based on our HB talent.  For the first couple yrs we were mostly Red/Blue, the last couple mostly Green / Black.   We like Grey / Gold on Short yardage and Goalline. 

Currently, if we use motion, its only the Wing Back coming in Jet motion, so it’s just ‘Jet’.   We have ‘Sky’ motion for the HB from Red/Blue if we want him to motion back thru the traditional HB position, but haven't used it the last 2 seasons.

We are series based so we number our Belly, Bucksweep action;  basically 20 (belly left), 40 (Bucksweep), 80 (Belly right), were we to run the option it’d be mid-line = 60 series.   Basically, we tell the FB to read left to right, 20 he goes left, 40 / 60 he goes middle(ish), 80 he goes right.

Pass plays are 10 series = screen passes; 30 series = 3 step drop; 50 series = 5 step drop; 70 series = 7 step drop; 90 series = roll-outs.   Most our passing is on play-action waggle so we don’t use the pass series often unless we have a pass-catch combo & then its mostly been 30 series (Slant and Arrow).   Our most productive pass has been 20 belly waggle pass, the Strongside TE (Y) fakes a down block then 5 yard square out / X runs a deep drag across the middle (depth depends on QB arm strength).  Defense tends to chase the FB to our left while we're throwing to the right.

Our X end usually is tight, we do call ‘plus’ to put him wide to the strong side creating an unbalanced formation.   Wouldn't believe how often the Defense doens't catch this, and have a backside CB defending grass.  If we want him tight, it’s Plus Nasty.  Putting the X a yard wider on the LOS than the WB.  Basically flexed. 

We used to number holes and so our bread and butter; Buckshort which we always run toward strength, almost always to the right the last few yrs. was 46 = 40 series backfield action to 6 hole.  One of our kids once asked, we always run 40 Buckshort to 6 hole why do we have to add the 6?   So, now we don’t bother numbering holes, its just 40 buckshort.  At the next level up, different teams number the holes differently anyway, so if needed, we use defensive calls = A gap, B gap, etc. – one less thing.  

We do have a slight change up in our play call when we run wingback on bucksweep to the weak side. 40 wing around

Our most common calls the last couple yrs ~ 80-90% of the time:

Green 20 belly; Green 40 & Black 40 buckshort (sometimes Green plus); Green 40 Wing around; Green 80 belly (sometimes plus).   On goalline; Grey Plus Nasty 80 Belly.   We have the usual traps and counters, which one(s) we run depends on the kid who runs his trap / counter the best.  This last season 40 QB spinner was our best counter.

FWIW: We find our opponents consistently over play their Defense to stop the Bucksweep to formation strength.  We haven’t called a Bucksweep to the strongside in the last 2 seasons, our competition doesn’t understand our strongside Buckshort is a 6 hole (C gap) attack not an 8 hole (D gap) attack, so they get an extra guy out there to defend a play we don’t run. 

This post was modified 5 months ago 6 times by Coyote

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


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32wedge
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Posted by: @coachdp

Put the player's assignment on a wristband.  Instead of everyone needing to remember and understand "Lee 45 Counter Fake Larry Boot," the Left Guard reads his assignment, "Pull."  The Fullback reads his assignment, "Seal Right."  The Left End reads his assignment, "Fill."  It doesn't matter what you call the play or how wordy it gets if you puts assignments on the wristband.

--Dave

Absolutely!  This is what I have been doing since 2009.  

 

The cons:

1)It is a lot of work to make all the different wrist coaches.

2) It makes it hard to interchange players at different positions.  Players have to have the wrist coach for the specific position.

3) I list my blocking adjustments as completely different plays.

4) The amount of space on the wrist coach and the number of plays you can fit on it is limited.

 

The pros:

1) My players do not have to remember a lot of information.  It's all on their wrist coaches.  Less thinking equals more aggressive play.

2) We spend our time learning the fundamentals of blocking, ball handling and faking instead of repping plays just to remember plays.

 

The cons of individual wrist coach assignments are mostly logistical issues that I have to deal with. The pros are more aggressive play and more time practicing fundamentals and these pros are what wins football games.

 

Attached is an example of my wrist coach sheets with individual instruction for each position.  It shows a different wrist coach for the QB, TB, FB, WB, TE and backside guard (the top left block of each sheet where the number 00 would be is, indicates the position that wrist coach pertains to).  The white/gray plays are my power series and the red plays are my yoyo series which has out and back motion (the cadence changes to 2 count on all RED plays).  On play #01, the instructions tell the QB to Run to the 8 hole, the TB to Lead Block the 8 hole, the FB to Kick Block at the 8 hole, the WB to block First Backer Inside, the Y TE to Fill for the puller and the Quick Guard to Pull and Lead Block the 8 hole.

 

 

This post was modified 5 months ago by 32wedge

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Seth54
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@coyote

 

This post gave me flashbacks to High School. We ran the Delaware wing T, with the 3 digit number calls. Funny thing is I never knew what that first digit meant because a played OL and never bothered to look around at how the backs aligned. When I started HS we shifted HBs so we had a designated LHB and RHB, and we always ran Buck to the right because the LHB was always our stud. Then my junior year we started playing a designated HB and WB and flipping them, but our coach still always seemed to run Buck to the right. I guess he couldn’t break that habit. 

it’s funny to read these posts now and realize how little I picked up on, even though I thought I was a pretty smart football player for a teen. Like I didn’t get the concept of having series even though it seems pretty obvious now.


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chucknduck
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I used have the qb wear a wrist band and I'd give him a number and he'd read it in the huddle.  Now everything is through hand signals.  I don't like to huddle in practice or games.  The players learn everything through hand signals.  I remember telling the team during a timeout that we were running a screen to our x receiver and two of our lineman looked at me confused.  I said "one of these" and flashed the signal, they both said "oh, ok."

Coaching 4th and 5th graders a few years back with wristbands I noticed my players broke the huddle and just wandered around into a formation I'd never seen.  I called time out and asked what was going on.  The qb told the team in the huddle, "play number 2, ready break!"...he was the only one wearing a wristband.


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Coyote
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Posted by: @seth54

it’s funny to read these posts now and realize how little I picked up on

LOL.   I'm thinking you were capable of understanding, but like a lot of kids, if it didn't affect you, you didn't pay attention to it.  I know I had a full plate just handling my own responsibilities (OG in a wishbone, early '70's / 1st man off the bench for the whole DLine in 5-2 monster - usually in for 2-3 play while coach chewed out whoever; or got equip't fixed.  We busted a lot of those little plastic clips that hold the facemask in place back then, since we led with our heads) without worrying about what the Backs were doing.

FWIW... 
Seems there's a fine line between teaching enough and overwhelming the kids with info.  I tend toward the - 'there is no such thing as too much information' end of the continuum.  [My kids always ask my wife first, b/c I tend to tell them more than they wanted to know]  So, we kinda pick and choose what we think the kids need to know and we decide to take responsibility for the rest.   Sometimes we provide the kids with the info they need, but they don't pick it up, sometimes we are selective on how much we get into, b/c its more than they need to know intellectually, as long as their getting it done physically.  [ex. does an 8 yr old need to hear about F = MA and the physics behind it?  Or just need to know a smaller guy moving faster hits harder than a big guy moving slower]. I guess coaching is partly knowing where the line is for our particular age group. 

If the coaches taught it, but the players didn't catch it, it could be the fault of either one or both.  Sometimes we teach 'em what to do, but they don't get it.  How many times we hear coaches yelling, "I told him...."  and often they did, but the kid didn't get it.   Sometimes the kids aren't paying attention.  And, on occasion we're being undermined by parents who tell their kid to do something different than what we're teaching.

Something I learned early on coaching H.S.  If the kid doesn't get it right in the classroom, they flunk the kid.  If the kid doesn't get right on the football field, they fire the coach.  

Posted by: @seth54

coach still always seemed to run Buck to the right. I guess he couldn’t break that habit. 

Probably, but it could also go to 'handedness'.  Most kids are right handed, stronger arm & grip = better ball security, and we want the ball in the outside hand away from the defenders, so running Buck with a right-handed kid, I'd generally run him to the right to increase ball security.  When we've had a lefty, we run mostly buck to the left for the same reason.   

 

 

This post was modified 5 months ago by Coyote

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


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jtrent64
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I seriously struggled with this, as I was trying to run uptempo.  Here is how I build my plays and each position group had different wrist coaches.

 

In our spread, the play call would be Wide Right 7-

Formation, motion, Play name(15 being 1 back to 5 hole) 

Trips Wide right, Liz, Crack 15 Follow

Wrist coaches would read on line 7

QB - 15 Follow RB

RB - Lead Left to OLB

W - Motion LIZ Crack DE

X - Blk Corner

Y/Z - Blk first man inside

Line - LG Pull(OLB), LT down, RT (LB or FS) 

NOTE - If Line does not have a tag, they block Man

 

I need a better way to audible, besides saying "number 7"

 

 


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Bob Goodman
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I agree with Mahonz's modular style of building and naming plays on offense or defense, once you get beyond the very beginner-most kiddie stuff.  (I mean, there's a point where you can do short and sweet because you don't have enough in to justify anything else.)  Then it doesn't much matter whether it's words, numbers, letters, or colors.


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Bob Goodman
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Posted by: @32wedge

2) It makes it hard to interchange players at different positions.  Players have to have the wrist coach for the specific position.

Why don't you just sub the wristband with the player?  It holds on just by elastic, right?  So just slap hands and slide the wristband off as you come off and on as you go on.


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Bob Goodman
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Posted by: @seth54

@coyote

 

This post gave me flashbacks to High School. We ran the Delaware wing T, with the 3 digit number calls. Funny thing is I never knew what that first digit meant because a played OL and never bothered to look around at how the backs aligned. When I started HS we shifted HBs so we had a designated LHB and RHB, and we always ran Buck to the right because the LHB was always our stud. Then my junior year we started playing a designated HB and WB and flipping them, but our coach still always seemed to run Buck to the right. I guess he couldn’t break that habit.

I don't understand why Delaware wing T teams (like where I've been coaching since 2017) don't flip the line so the play call is the same left and right, mirrored, and just the first digit (formation) would change.  Seems to me the HBs should stay on their side (except in the formations we call Strong that have the HB and WB to the same side) and have the line flip and the hole numbers flip with them.  So plays would always go to the same hole number, with the direction determined by the first digit.

Is it easier coaching an OL at a position if a down block from there is always left or right, or always in relationship to the center?

This post was modified 5 months ago by Bob Goodman

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