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mahonz
(@mahonz)
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Im a big fan of making sure kids have fun at practice and feel part of the team
I can get what I want and make sure they have fun too- they aren't mutually exclusive at all
Fast inclusive practices with efficient teaching and FEW of them 3 days a week before school starts, then just 2 is the way to go IMO

I even do that for speed training

In 2012 all but one of my kids made it to the end of the season and came back to play the following year 24/25
In 2013 I think all of them came back and made it to the end of the season 25/25
Pretty rare I lose anyone

Dave

Same here for the most part...but not this time. Really a head scratch'r. Even asked some of the Dad's if it was me or the Staff or the process or the atmosphere or the coaching change. Nope....they like playing multiple games per week even if is all during the weekends.

My oldest Grand Daughter is playing Softball....1-2 practices per week...2-3 games a week and they never play on the weekends? She is 9 years old.

Had a few request the Draft though....good move....they are requesting D3 in the hope they get a lot more playing time. That part I understand and encourage. I cant  / wont play everyone 100% of the time but some feel I should. Mathematically impossible.

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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jrk5150
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No matter how fun we make football, it is going to be harder than any other youth sport out there - with the exceptions of hockey and wrestling.  It's hard, and there is nothing we can do about that. And it's not for everyone.

Here's the problem - kids can come and go from football without really harming their ability to excel.  Once a kid has been exposed to the game for a year, maybe two, they understand what it's about, and can fall back into the routine/rhythm pretty quickly.  Is there another sport like that?  Maybe track/running?

Football is a sport that is largely about athleticism. If a kid plays for a couple of years, drops out at 10, he will be FINE if he comes back 3-4 years later in 8th or 9th grade.  It may take him that year to catch up, but I guarantee you by the end of his first year back (assuming he's a good athlete), unless he's playing QB, you won't be able to tell the difference between that kid and a kid that played the 4 or 5 intervening years. That's just the way it is.

I am 100% against specialization, but if a kid has played football, and decides he wants to play fall and spring soccer, and mixes basketball or swimming or something into his winter...that's fine. We have no right to complain about that. If he doesn't want to be on the football field, he really shouldn't be on the football field.


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mahonz
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No matter how fun we make football, it is going to be harder than any other youth sport out there - with the exceptions of hockey and wrestling.  It's hard, and there is nothing we can do about that. And it's not for everyone.

Here's the problem - kids can come and go from football without really harming their ability to excel.  Once a kid has been exposed to the game for a year, maybe two, they understand what it's about, and can fall back into the routine/rhythm pretty quickly.  Is there another sport like that?  Maybe track/running?

Football is a sport that is largely about athleticism. If a kid plays for a couple of years, drops out at 10, he will be FINE if he comes back 3-4 years later in 8th or 9th grade.  It may take him that year to catch up, but I guarantee you by the end of his first year back (assuming he's a good athlete), unless he's playing QB, you won't be able to tell the difference between that kid and a kid that played the 4 or 5 intervening years. That's just the way it is.

I am 100% against specialization, but if a kid has played football, and decides he wants to play fall and spring soccer, and mixes basketball or swimming or something into his winter...that's fine. We have no right to complain about that. If he doesn't want to be on the football field, he really shouldn't be on the football field.

J

Agreed. I think it also is a logistics thing that Parents have to experience and then learn about. The younger they are the less the Parents know. In a few years the Parents know about a lot of stuff.

Dave has wonderful retention rates....but I don't think it has much to do with how he does things. Matter of fact that plays a very small role IMHO. Its logistics.

I currently coach in the largest Org in the State.  If a Parent doesn't like the way my breath smells then there are 5 other Teams in my own Org they can play for....OR...drive 10-15 more minutes in any direction and play for an entirely new Org....OR....dont play football at all and play for the 3 or 4 Fall Sokker Clubs....the 2 or 3 Fall Baseball Clubs...the 1 or 2 Fall LAX Clubs....3 on 3 Basketball Circuits....go hunting....snow skiing....etc.

Logistics where I am says....kids have too many choices. Besides....does a 10 year old really know what he wants? I say that changes monthly regardless of what he is playing.

OR...I completely wrong and really do have very bad breath.  🙁

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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Coach E
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As I mentioned in another thread, we lost half of the kids from last year to this year. Half. I don't know if that's normal or not. I know we had issues with coaching and how the kids perceived their roles. A real mess.

What I am hearing straight from the kids....football is a grind....too much practice....not enough games.

I can see this as well. In 6th grade, the league ordained no more than 4 football events a week prior to school starting, and no more than three a week afterwards. That includes games. Practices were generally 2 hours long. In total, there were 18 practices and 8 games. In 7th grade, we went to 5 football events before the start of school and 4 afterwards and practices went to 2-1/2 to 3 hours long. We ended up with 39 practices and 10 games. It was a huge change in the amount of practice time with not much payoff as they implemented a sort of MPP program, limiting the playing time of some of the kids drastically.

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.- Marcus Aurelius


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davecisar
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J

Agreed. I think it also is a logistics thing that Parents have to experience and then learn about. The younger they are the less the Parents know. In a few years the Parents know about a lot of stuff.

Dave has wonderful retention rates....but I don't think it has much to do with how he does things. Matter of fact that plays a very small role IMHO. Its logistics.

I currently coach in the largest Org in the State.  If a Parent doesn't like the way my breath smells then there are 5 other Teams in my own Org they can play for....OR...drive 10-15 more minutes in any direction and play for an entirely new Org....OR....dont play football at all and play for the 3 or 4 Fall Sokker Clubs....the 2 or 3 Fall Baseball Clubs...the 1 or 2 Fall LAX Clubs....3 on 3 Basketball Circuits....go hunting....snow skiing....etc.

Logistics where I am says....kids have too many choices. Besides....does a 10 year old really know what he wants? I say that changes monthly regardless of what he is playing.

OR...I completely wrong and really do have very bad breath.  🙁

Well not really true
There is another program that practices at the same complex as we do and is quite a bit cheaper
In 11 years here we may have lost 10-15 kids to them max
If the kids want to drive 15 minutes they can play for another program in a different league

There is also Fall baseball a local kid was chosen in the second round of the draft last year right out of HS- baseball is huge here, In this district alone there is a Legion complex and at least 5-6 other baseball complexes kids can play at all with local clubs/coaching. If they want to drive to Lincoln- 20 miles away- then they have access to what a city of 325,000 offers and where most of the parents work.

There are 3 indoor baseball facilities right in the district and then year round basketball. There are 2 huge select programs that kids can play fall ball here if they want to.
The local HS has either won the state title of been in the quarter finals something like 3-4 of the last 5 years, finishing second twice, winning one.
3 kids in the last 2 years got DI baseball deals- scholarships
There are soccer teams that practice at same time as we do in our complex

In Omaha- metroplex of 900,00 + I had the very same retention rates as I do here, while my competition had MUCH lower
SO Im guessing it has quite a bit to do with how I do it- after I left Omaha, they went back to the much lower retention rates.

Football will always be king here but plenty of competition

We have had some older kids drop out to do more hunting, trapping, fishing and one dropped because he wanted to farm more all that within 2-10 minutes for most of them.
And of course always the option to do nothing and play video games

In Reno  lost 1 kid and then 1 kid to grades, had I been in a situation where I was coaching them again, very confident we would have gotten almost all of them back to play again- location or league hasnt impacted my retention, scoring or win rates at all. It's the process, not the circumstances. Inner city Omaha, Rural/Suburban Nebraska/Lincoln or Inner City Reno- 5 different leagues same results.

When I lived in Colorado I don't remember many kids snow skiing in August, September or October- when we are playing football. With the exception of tiny little A- Basin with limited runs, most of the slopes don't open until late November or December

Im not sure breath has anything to do at all with retention rates

When I did the exit interviews of kids who quit my Omaha program- with 300+ kids reasons for not playing anymore were in order:
Poor Coaching
Non Competitive team
Lack of Playing time
Not having fun
Not seeing progress

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.Winston Churchill


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mahonz
(@mahonz)
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Topic starter  

Well not really true
There is another program that practices at the same complex as we do and is quite a bit cheaper
In 11 years here we may have lost 10-15 kids to them max
If the kids want to drive 15 minutes they can play for another program in a different league

There is also Fall baseball a local kid was chosen in the second round of the draft last year right out of HS- baseball is huge here, In this district alone there is a Legion complex and at least 5-6 other baseball complexes kids can play at all with local clubs/coaching. If they want to drive to Lincoln- 20 miles away- then they have access to what a city of 325,000 offers and where most of the parents work.

There are 3 indoor baseball facilities right in the district and then year round basketball. There are 2 huge select programs that kids can play fall ball here if they want to.
The local HS has either won the state title of been in the quarter finals something like 3-4 of the last 5 years, finishing second twice, winning one.
3 kids in the last 2 years got DI baseball deals- scholarships
There are soccer teams that practice at same time as we do in our complex

In Omaha- metroplex of 900,00 + I had the very same retention rates as I do here, while my competition had MUCH lower
SO Im guessing it has quite a bit to do with how I do it- after I left Omaha, they went back to the much lower retention rates.

Football will always be king here but plenty of competition

We have had some older kids drop out to do more hunting, trapping, fishing and one dropped because he wanted to farm more all that within 2-10 minutes for most of them.
And of course always the option to do nothing and play video games

In Reno  lost 1 kid and then 1 kid to grades, had I been in a situation where I was coaching them again, very confident we would have gotten almost all of them back to play again- location or league hasnt impacted my retention, scoring or win rates at all

When I lived in Colorado I don't remember many kids snow skiing in August, September or October- when we are playing football

Im not sure breath has anything to do at all with retention rates

When I did the exit interviews of kids who quit my Omaha program- with 300+ kids reasons for not playing anymore were in order:
Poor Coaching
Non Competitive team
Lack of Playing time
Not having fun
Not seeing progress

Dave

What about LAX? That seems to becoming VERY popular and its a contact sport.

I agree....if kids are going to drop football....it tends to happen at the older age groups since they are spreading their wings somewhat and have more friends / interests.

Interesting exit poll. If I did one with the Players leaving it would probably read...

Not having fun anymore

Not having fun anymore

Not having fun anymore

Coach has bad breath

Moving

The not having fun anymore floored me. Totally unexpected so I went drilling to see if I was doing something wrong so that I could address it in the future. The answer was always the same...we love you, the Team, football but Jr likes LAX or Baseball more and it really upsets me but its Jr's choice.

Cant argue with that...cant make someone play a Sport if their heart isn't there.

On the flip side the kids coming back, the majority play multiple sports to include LAX. They can hardly wait for Football Season to start.

Odd.

Question. Do your players still register in December? I think that is genius. That forces a financial commitment early.

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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Bob Goodman
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No matter how fun we make football, it is going to be harder than any other youth sport out there - with the exceptions of hockey and wrestling.

I think football's harder than wrestling.  In football there are lots of situations where, except for the coach, you get very little feedback about how you just did.  You may not understand how a drill relates to the game, and you may not know how well you did in a drill.  In wrestling you can assess your performance practically continuously, and practice is very match-like.


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Bob Goodman
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OR...I completely wrong and really do have very bad breath.  🙁

Then use that to your advantage in coaching!  "Hut!" & your players learn to get off quickly to get away.

Wish I could do that somehow w my gas.


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Bob Goodman
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baseball is huge here,

"Here"  ???  How many places are there in the Western Hemisphere where American football is available but baseball isn't bigger?


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davecisar
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Dave

What about LAX? That seems to becoming VERY popular and its a contact sport.

I agree....if kids are going to drop football....it tends to happen at the older age groups since they are spreading their wings somewhat and have more friends / interests.

Interesting exit poll. If I did one with the Players leaving it would probably read...

Not having fun anymore

Not having fun anymore

Not having fun anymore

Coach has bad breath

Moving

The not having fun anymore floored me. Totally unexpected so I went drilling to see if I was doing something wrong so that I could address it in the future. The answer was always the same...we love you, the Team, football but Jr likes LAX or Baseball more and it really upsets me but its Jr's choice.

Cant argue with that...cant make someone play a Sport if their heart isn't there.

On the flip side the kids coming back, the majority play multiple sports to include LAX. They can hardly wait for Football Season to start.

Odd.

Question. Do your players still register in December? I think that is genius. That forces a financial commitment early.

To play LAX they have to drive to Lincoln, about 20 minutes for most of them

We sign kids up in October at our Open House event and then again at the Banquet which is in November

We make practice fun
Its short, intense and everyone is engaged
Then we do all the Team Chemistry Development process to make everyone bought in and connected
We win and the parents see kids having fun, making progress
That's why weve been able to do so well retention wise- we also state it as a goal and compete against each other - teams/coaches to be the best at it
Football isn't for everyone is a cop out IMO- I can find SOMETHING Jr can do to add value to the team and for him to see himself as an important part of the machine. I can help him get to that point and have fun along the way. Most guys LIKE it when a weak kid drops- makes it easier to win, some even try to get those kids to quit. Short cut IMO, not a fan of it. You sending kids down, not the same thing- not poking at you.

Losing 5 kids in our entire program was a failure this last year IMO- man I would be crushed if we lost 1/2 the kids. I plan on getting that turned around this year- also most aggregate losses in program in over 6 years. 

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.Winston Churchill


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DL
 DL
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I saw almost my whole team back at equipment day.  All are registered.  Most of my team is moving up to next level so I will have only 3 returners -  all came back out. 

All said they had a good experience and were excited about this season.  One kid is playing for a different org. because his dad and I had a falling out toward end of season.  He was an AC.    The org. asked him not to come back because of his history.  I had nothing to do with that decision.

A few kids talked about NFL dreams.  LOL.


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davecisar
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"Here"  ???  How many places are there in the Western Hemisphere where American football is available but baseball isn't bigger?

Bob

In most inner- cities baseball isn't big
As to wrestling- if you've ever been on a wrestling team you would get it. It's much harder and no place to hide if you are an "mpr" wrestler

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.Winston Churchill


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davecisar
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I saw almost my whole team back at equipment day.  All are registered.  Most of my team is moving up to next level so I will have only 3 returners -  all came back out. 

All said they had a good experience and were excited about this season.  One kid is playing for a different org. because his dad and I had a falling out toward end of season.  He was an AC.    The org. asked him not to come back because of his history.  I had nothing to do with that decision.

A few kids talked about NFL dreams.  LOL.

Im taking over a 5-3 team that lost a game by 30 and has 8 kids returning. I think 2 who could have come back dropped out. Never knew/recruited or coached any of them or with any of the coaches, should be fun. Just 1 "striped" player if the weights given are correct. 16 blank slates- which is good.

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.Winston Churchill


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mahonz
(@mahonz)
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Topic starter  

To play LAX they have to drive to Lincoln, about 20 minutes for most of them

We sign kids up in October at our Open House event and then again at the Banquet which is in November

We make practice fun
Its short, intense and everyone is engaged
Then we do all the Team Chemistry Development process to make everyone bought in and connected
We win and the parents see kids having fun, making progress
That's why weve been able to do so well retention wise- we also state it as a goal and compete against each other - teams/coaches to be the best at it
Football isn't for everyone is a cop out IMO- I can find SOMETHING Jr can do to add value to the team and for him to see himself as an important part of the machine. I can help him get to that point and have fun along the way. Most guys LIKE it when a weak kid drops- makes it easier to win, some even try to get those kids to quit. Short cut IMO, not a fan of it. You sending kids down, not the same thing- not poking at you.

Losing 5 kids in our entire program was a failure this last year IMO- man I would be crushed if we lost 1/2 the kids. I plan on getting that turned around this year- also most aggregate losses in program in over 6 years.

Dave

I think the beauty of what you do is that you have full control.

Since Im in a huge Org this isn't that uncommon....was at the July Board meeting and it took them 30 minutes to explain how the Draft would work this Season and then another 30 minutes for everyone to complain about it. Why cant the Draft be the same every Season was my thought? its int eh Rule Book plain as day but everyone has to overthink everything when you are dealing with a thousand players.

What I like about a big Org is the facilities....what I dislike about a big Org is all teh player movement within the entire Org. Loyalty seems to be an issue.

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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DL
 DL
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Im taking over a 5-3 team that lost a game by 30 and has 8 kids returning. I think 2 who could have come back dropped out. Never knew/recruited or coached any of them or with any of the coaches, should be fun. Just 1 "striped" player if the weights given are correct. 16 blank slates- which is good.

Cool.

I am coaching the local "A" team of 9 and 10 year olds. 

Will be close to A team of 7 and 8 year olds of two years ago - minus 4 of their top players.  1 got recruited to play next weight level even though weight wise he should be with me as an older lighter.  One is playing up a weight class to be with his dad and brother.    One got recruited to pop warner.    Another kid gained too much weight in last 2 weeks and doesn't want to lose 6 lbs. 

They lost every game save one by 25+ points and its really hard to lose by more than 24 in our league.  Team they beat was a tiny program with far fewer kids. 

I'll have all new coaches except for 1 and my brother who doesn't really coach yet.  Met 1 guy today, he seems like a good coach. 

Michael is thinking about helping me as well.  He might do rowing club or something. 

All that being said I think we will be in the hunt if my two returning twins make weight.  Right now they are both over, but are committed to losing the weight.   

I can really lean on them.  Only thing that is really hurting us is a complete lack of top end speed.    Should have a solid core of 6 - 8 kids otherwise, rest of kids we can coach up. 

If those kids don't make weight we won't be very good.  That will hurt us a lot.


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