Notifications

Am I the only one having this problem?  

Page 2 / 2
  RSS

32wedge
(@32wedge)
Silver Moderator
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 697
Virginia
Middle School
Only / Head Coach
September 10, 2020 2:26 pm  

One of the most important things that I learned at my first Winning Youth Football clinic was to do player evaluations, keep record of the evaluations and have a parent meeting at the start of the season and clearly explain that I intended to evaluate all players and place them in positions according to their ability and where they would benefit the team the most.  I explain that a 2nd string tailback probably would not be sitting on the bench if he was the best guard or tight end available.  I kept track of the evaluations and if/when little Johnny's daddy started questioning why little Johnny was not the starting tailback, I could pull out the evaluations and show that little Johnny was the 2nd slowest kid on the team and that is why he is not the starting tailback.  In 9 years of coaching youth football, I offered to bring the evaluation sheet 2 times when parents confronted me.  Both times the parents said that was not necessary and neither one complained to me about the kids position or playing time after that.


ReplyQuote
CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17403
North Carolina
High School
September 10, 2020 2:27 pm  
Posted by: @mahonz

Its in the Team Rules Handout. Only the Players are allowed to discuss positions.

I like this, a lot.  TPJ, I would suggest that if you are going to use this approach, explain to the parents that the reason you're choosing to do it this way is so that you're not trying to avoid parents but teaching players the skill of how to advocate and interact for themselves.  That will truly be an example of where you are teaching your player life lessons.

--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


ReplyQuote
chucknduck
(@chucknduck)
Bronze
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 393
September 10, 2020 2:31 pm  
Posted by: @terrypjohnson

Good morning coaches!

Last night was the first night that I put the kids in positions. After practice, I had several different parents upset with me that I put their kids on the offensive line. I calmly let them know that it was only the third practice and that things will change as I try to find the right mix for the team. I also reminded them that there are only 13 kids on each team, so many players would have to learn multiple positions. Finally, I stressed that blocking is a skill that translates to every position, so regardless of where they play in the future, the kids are learning what they need to do to be successful. Because of how we block things, there's not a very big difference between G and E (e.g. they both pull on GATE, they both SAB on Power to their side) or FB and E. Therefore, if you know one, you know them all (with a few minor tweaks, anyway).

However, the fact these conversations took place concerns me. When I played, every coach's philosophy was, "You will play where you help the team the most". As a 5'8" 149-pound slotback, I wasn't exactly happy when I was moved to offensive guard as a junior. But, both the coaches and my parents kept reiterating that football is a team game, and I had to do whatever I could to help the team. Since I had speed, I could pull and help make our triple option more explosive. This lesson obviously stuck because I'm writing about it 25+ years later.

The conversations I had last night were the exact opposite. Don't get me wrong -- those kids aren't going to play line exclusively. As someone (I think it was @CoachDP) told me awhile back, if kids want to play a certain spot for a certain number of plays, then give them a list of things that they need to do in order to get there. Once they do it, give 'em a shot. Yet, it still doesn't sit right with me that parents aren't "team first" like my parents were. Especially at my age group where the kids are still learning (e.g. positions will change a dozen times as they move forward).

Is anyone else having this issue or is this just another example of me having an edge case?

I'm not one to give advice on this. I coached 7-9's one time. Wouldn't ever do it again. They didn't complain about playing time because I started 22 players. No complaints about positions either, except from the dad AC's who were imbeciles. The parents complained about losing close games. Yells of "block somebody" and "hit somebody" rained down from the stands whenever something went wrong. Had a parent meeting at midseason to address it, they blamed me because the team "never ran laps and was out of condition." The team improved a great deal and lost in the final seconds to the #1 seed and eventual champions. Parents tried to be friendly towards me after the game while screaming at the officials. I was so disgusted with them I told the team mom who was the vice president I'm not doing a party or having a bowl game with these people. A few weeks later she called me after scheduling a bowl game and a team party. I didn't attend either one.


ReplyQuote
CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17403
North Carolina
High School
September 10, 2020 2:38 pm  
Posted by: @chucknduck

Parents tried to be friendly towards me after the game while screaming at the officials. I was so disgusted with them I told the team mom who was the vice president I'm not doing a party or having a bowl game with these people. A few weeks later she called me after scheduling a bowl game and a team party. I didn't attend either one.

Coach, keep in mind that while you don't have the power to make a blind person see, you can get them a seeing eye dog.  lol

--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


ReplyQuote
CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17403
North Carolina
High School
September 10, 2020 2:43 pm  
Posted by: @32wedge

I explain that a 2nd string tailback probably would not be sitting on the bench if he was the best guard or tight end available. 

Nathan, the MPR rule was also one of those things that dictated not only playing time, but who played where.  Being responsible for 8/10 plays for every kid made it a math equation that I could share with parents.  Once they understood why their son couldn't get a few carries in a blowout game because I still had to make sure MPR quotas were met despite having a running clock, parents accepted the data.  We have to inform them and simply not expect that they should already know these things.

--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


32wedge liked
ReplyQuote
Prodigy
(@prodigy)
Gold
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 2488
September 10, 2020 2:44 pm  

I dealt with this a fair amount in my first year as a head coach and not so much in the subsequent years.  For as simple as this issue appears, it's actually a little more complicated.  If you bother to try to understand the motivations of the parent who is advocating for their child...you can gain a tremendous amount of insight.

I genuinely believe that the majority of parents do not care where their child playsWhat they do care about is:
-that their child is treated fairly
-their child is included
-has fun / enjoys being on the team
-learns something

There are the outlier parents who genuinely believe their child is the next Tom Brady and there's not much you can do to please these people.

Know that if a child has played on ANY sort of youth sports team previously and the coach failed to meet these simple expectations, that YOU are automatically guilty of being unfair, excluding their child, ruining the enjoyment of the game and teaching the child only negative things about youth sports.  The easiest way of overcoming this is by:

-evaluating players fairly.  I recommend Dave Cisars book Winning Youth Football IF for nothing else the information on this.
-As CoachDP and others have said, giving all of the players many of the same opportunities in practice (i.e. blocking, tackling, running the ball).
-Acknowledging and encouraging all of the players for their individual contributions
-Making your practices fun for the players (this is really open ended.  I've got my own idea of "fun" when it comes to football and not everyone agrees).
-Teach as much as you can.  Whenever possible make it more than just about football.  Make it about team, perseverance, setting goals, improving, sportsmanship, respect, discipline, work ethic etc.

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


ReplyQuote
mahonz
(@mahonz)
Kryptonite
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 22974
September 10, 2020 2:45 pm  
Posted by: @coachdp
Posted by: @mahonz

Its in the Team Rules Handout. Only the Players are allowed to discuss positions.

I like this, a lot.  TPJ, I would suggest that if you are going to use this approach, explain to the parents that the reason you're choosing to do it this way is so that you're not trying to avoid parents but teaching players the skill of how to advocate and interact for themselves.  That will truly be an example of where you are teaching your player life lessons.

--Dave

My pre season meeting stresses the importance of accountability and taking ownership in something. I drill it into their heads....this is not your team....its your sons team. As soon as you allow this....you will be very happy.  

I cant think of a single Fall parent that didn't accept this approach...publicly. Spring ball was a different deal. I didn't have Team Rules for those teams other than attendance. A few Cowboys tried to take advantage but failed. It was carryover from how they ran the roost with their Fall team. We had players from as many as 6 different Fall teams. 

What is beautiful, lives forever.


ReplyQuote
CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17403
North Carolina
High School
September 10, 2020 2:51 pm  
Posted by: @mahonz

I cant think of a single Fall parent that didn't accept this approach...publicly.

--When you have rules that are reasonable and fair and stated up front, it'll save you hassles and headaches in the long run.

Spring ball was a different deal. I didn't have Team Rules for those teams other than attendance. A few Cowboys tried to take advantage but failed. It was carryover from how they ran the roost with their Fall team. We had players from as many as 6 different Fall teams. 

--Which is why my preference is to have youth players who've never played before.  

--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


ReplyQuote
32wedge
(@32wedge)
Silver Moderator
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 697
Virginia
Middle School
Only / Head Coach
September 10, 2020 2:56 pm  

@coachdp

 

I got you! 

 

I didn’t have to deal very many running clocks!

 


ReplyQuote
CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17403
North Carolina
High School
September 10, 2020 3:07 pm  
Posted by: @prodigy

If you bother to try to understand the motivations of the parent who is advocating for their child...you can gain a tremendous amount of insight.

--^ This.

A good example would be "The Problem Child."  You know the kid who (regardless of whether he's talented, or not) is a PITA with a poor attitude.  It's easy to think, "I wish I didn't have to deal with that kid."  "I wish that kid weren't on the team."  Then, when you start to find out about what that kid has gone through, and the trials and tribulations of what his daily life is like, it's not only easier to accept him, but to embrace him; to become his champion.  But you'll never know if you don't open yourself up to it.  That's why understanding and hearing the parent is of value.

I genuinely believe that the majority of parents do not care where their child playsWhat they do care about is:
-that their child is treated fairly
-their child is included
-has fun / enjoys being on the team
-learns something

--I agree.  I am advocate of making practice special.  It's my favorite part of the day and the part that I can't wait to get to.  For many (players and coaches), practice is simply drudgery (and their body language and manner show it) until game day.  Most on here know that I'm not a cookies and rainbows type of coach.  We aren't going to play special games "if y'all are good today."  We're not going to have water balloon fights, play Red Rover or Sharks and Knives.  We're going to get better at football and today's practice will be the cataclysm.  But we'll learn and today will be the Super Bowl; not Saturday.

There are the outlier parents who genuinely believe their child is the next Tom Brady and there's not much you can do to please these people.

--Correct.  I did have a former NFL QB whose son was my QB for 2 years.  When he realized that we were going to be a DW offense, he simply stopped coaching with me.

-evaluating players fairly.  I recommend Dave Cisars book Winning Youth Football IF for nothing else the information on this.
-As CoachDP and others have said, giving all of the players many of the same opportunities in practice (i.e. blocking, tackling, running the ball).
-Acknowledging and encouraging all of the players for their individual contributions
-Making your practices fun for the players (this is really open ended.  I've got my own idea of "fun" when it comes to football and not everyone agrees).
-Teach as much as you can.  Whenever possible make it more than just about football.  Make it about team, perseverance, setting goals, improving, sportsmanship, respect, discipline, work ethic etc.

--True all this ^.  And you can do NONE of this if you just show up and try to wing it.  Better be prepared.

--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


ReplyQuote
Prodigy
(@prodigy)
Gold
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 2488
September 10, 2020 3:54 pm  
Posted by: @coachdp

 That's why understanding and hearing the parent is of value.

 

@coachdp you had once said that your approach is to treat the parents like they are your closest friend...that goes a long way if you adopt it.

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


ReplyQuote
terrypjohnson
(@terrypjohnson)
Bronze
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 281
United States
Head Coach
September 11, 2020 12:45 am  
Posted by: @coachdp
Posted by: @prodigy

If you bother to try to understand the motivations of the parent who is advocating for their child...you can gain a tremendous amount of insight.

--^ This.

A good example would be "The Problem Child."  You know the kid who (regardless of whether he's talented, or not) is a PITA with a poor attitude.  It's easy to think, "I wish I didn't have to deal with that kid."  "I wish that kid weren't on the team."  Then, when you start to find out about what that kid has gone through, and the trials and tribulations of what his daily life is like, it's not only easier to accept him, but to embrace him; to become his champion.  But you'll never know if you don't open yourself up to it.  That's why understanding and hearing the parent is of value.

 

Just as a follow-up to this, I wanted to point out that @CoachDP was right (shocker!). I asked one of the kids parents, "Could you tell me why he doesn't want to play offensive line?" It turns out that there were some other things going behind the scenes (not football related). After his mom added the necessary context, everything that was said made sense. I was able to motivate him and he had a great practice at both offensive guard and defensive end. Heck, he was even one of the five kids standing at the end of Circle of Death / Shark Tank.

Coach Terry

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


CoachDP liked
ReplyQuote
ZACH
 ZACH
(@bucksweep58)
Diamond
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 9393
Coach
September 11, 2020 6:05 pm  

We had this come up yesterday at practice. Dad approaches me bc his kid is on the oline. Says " there's a lot of wasted talent on this line, that could be better served in the backfield...". I asked where else should they play.   He responded "in the running back spots, these 2 boys would run WILD on teams".  I then explained that if that were to happen I don't think we would have anyone to block for them and we wouldn't get a snap off (his boy is our center and I specifically requested him).  So I asked the boy if he would rather be with playing somewhere else...kid responds "no way! I'm the oline leader and we beat up people".  Dad smiles and walks away. 

If there was just another dad coach with the oline this convo would've went sideways quick. I think bc I was able to build a unified front 5, they are now inseperable.  

This boy is also our mlb and when I asked him about where he wants to play he said on day one "I just wanna play defense" ...sometimes bringing the kids opinion to light infront of the parental units helps these situations. 

 

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


ReplyQuote
terrypjohnson
(@terrypjohnson)
Bronze
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 281
United States
Head Coach
September 12, 2020 12:38 pm  

@bucksweep58 - Good point, Coach Zach! Thank you!!

 

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


ReplyQuote
Page 2 / 2
Share: