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chucknduck
(@chucknduck)
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Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 393
August 26, 2020 7:31 pm  

I know every football season is different, but typically, with a team of 22-25 players, would you have your top players going both ways the entire game, assuming the game is close?

Do you feel as long as the mpr is met, no further playing is required for a non starter?

Do you try to win the game and then give extra playing time once the game is no longer in doubt?  Or do you work out a rotation with every kid in mind, regardless of the score....and then try to go win the game without breaking up your preplanned rotations?

Do any of you platoon?

Are you doing the team a disservice if you play a bunch of players above the mpr and the team loses?

 

Just curious about everyone's philosophy towards playing time...

 

 


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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
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Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 9516
New Jersey
3rd - 5th
Asst Coach
August 26, 2020 9:01 pm  
Posted by: @chucknduck

I know every football season is different, but typically, with a team of 22-25 players, would you have your top players going both ways the entire game, assuming the game is close?

Do you feel as long as the mpr is met, no further playing is required for a non starter?

Do you try to win the game and then give extra playing time once the game is no longer in doubt?  Or do you work out a rotation with every kid in mind, regardless of the score....and then try to go win the game without breaking up your preplanned rotations?

Do any of you platoon?

Are you doing the team a disservice if you play a bunch of players above the mpr and the team loses?

 

Just curious about everyone's philosophy towards playing time...

There's been plenty of discussion at DumCoach regarding platooning.  It depends on more factors than just the roster length -- like whether you have the coaches for it.  My choice would be, I would if I could.  But if conditions are good for platooning, then although that doesn't answer your entire question, it answers most of it.

Where I've been coaching since moving to NJ, we have no minimum play rule, but our coaches give the scrubs a good deal of playing time anyway.  But that might be different if our rosters were that long, because I don't know how they'd feel about platooning; probably in favor.


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spidermac
(@spidermac)
Gold
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 2440
August 27, 2020 8:59 am  

My League makes it easy for me, each player must have a starting position and play the entire game barring injury or equipment issues...

None of them suck, they just haven't found what the kid is good at yet.


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rpatric
(@rpatric)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 194
Maryland
6th - 8th
Head Coach
August 27, 2020 9:01 am  

The first thing I would have to determine would be how many legit MPR's I actually had. MPR to me doesn't mean the kid isn't able to contribute to the success of the team. I look at it more like how much of a factor can the player be. I firmly believe that every single kid can be taught to do something well that benefits the team.

To answer your first question, my top players will more than likely play both ways and in most case they will play a large portion of the game. Generally these players are playing in space, so they wouldn't have much to do with the MPR requirements to begin with. In other words, I'm not trying to get a kid plays at CB or OLB. No matter how close the game is, my MPR's are likely playing positions that require them to cover less space. Usually the interior of the defense, or the weak side of the o line in my case.

As far as the MRP requirements being met, I would never advise waiting until the game is "in hand" to start trying to get kids their plays. There is not set amount of plays in a football game, nor is there any guarantees as to how the game is going to play out. As far as I am concerned, the MPR's are being taken care of from the first play of the game. Ideally, I'm starting 1 or 2 on offense and at least 1 on my d line. If you wait to get kids plays, you'll end up worrying about play requirements late in the game instead of play execution and that's not where you want to be!

I view the requirements as part of the game plan. That said, it has little to no bearing on how much playing time a kid gets beyond the minimum. That is determined by the amount of effort and work the player puts in during the week, as well as the flow of a particular game. In other words, can I utilize this players skill set more so in this game than in last weeks game? If so, he will likely see more reps this week.

My goal for the season is to finish the year with ZERO MPR'S! You can't help how they come to you, but you can absolutely help how you leave them! Spend time on the MPR kids and I promise they will make your team exponentially better! Easier to turn a 50 into a 75 than it is to turn a 90 into a 91


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Posts: 4179
August 27, 2020 10:06 am  

We tend to go with big rosters, bucking the trend on youth teams. Mahonz has been doing this a long time and I've been tagging along for awhile myself, so we are usually trusted by our admins to carry more kids. We've been running with around 22 the last few years, which means about a 70% platooning situation. We'll have maybe 4 kids who start both sides of the ball. Bigs are another issue because in our league, they must play on the line. 

Our league MPR rule is 15 per game, which I think is generous. If a kid "only" gets 15 plays in a game, I don't feel bad about it. Having said that, it's rare for any of our players to "only" get 15 plays. The night before a game, Mahonz gets with me, the OC and the DC and we talk about rotations so we have a good idea of which kids we need to keep an eye on. Ironically, some of these kids that we are watching closely end up getting more plays than the player they are replacing sometimes. 

The #1 concern with our admins are parents complaining about playing time. They apparently get flooded with emails and calls. To the best of my knowledge, Mahonz has never gotten a single complaint, despite running with the largest rosters.

We tend to focus on "is he getting it done", rather than "is he the best at that position". I can probably put my best DT in all game, but he's also my best OT, so he's in on ever offensive play. So I put in a kid at DT who isn't as good, but doesn't play offense. Then I watch him like a hawk. If he's not getting it done, I pull him for a play or 2, coach him up and put him back in.

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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ZACH
 ZACH
(@bucksweep58)
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Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 9406
Coach
August 27, 2020 12:09 pm  

I love this topic, simply bc coaches get outed very quickly. 

 

If you have a large roster and play certain players both ways and sit the remaining players when mpp are done , you may not have enough kids to field a team next season. 

 

Are you there to win or teach the game of football.  Are you coaching youth or high school?  

 

On my teams you only get minimum plays if you don't make it to all practices that week.  We try and coach up everyone to contribute. If we lose that's on us as coaches. The more the kids play the better they get, it's about experience. What kindve experience are you giving these kids. 

 

 

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


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 17463
North Carolina
High School
August 27, 2020 12:30 pm  

I know every football season is different, but typically, with a team of 22-25 players, would you have your top players going both ways the entire game, assuming the game is close?

Do you feel as long as the mpr is met, no further playing is required for a non starter?

--In youth ball, I always looked at this as a mathematical equation:  the number of players I had and the number of minimum plays mandated (which differs in Pop Warner and is based on your roster size.  I could have a 6-play MPR, while my opponent has a 10-play MPR).  But at the youth level, where kids don't get fatigued nearly as quickly as high school players, yes I'm generally playing the "top" players both ways.  Offensive linemen (both starters and subs) generally only play the offensive line because I spend so much time and focus on line play, although I've certainly had some exceptions over the years.

Do you feel as long as the mpr is met, no further playing is required for a non starter?

--As long as the MPR has been met, players determine their own playing time.  That's been our approach for many years now.

Do you try to win the game and then give extra playing time once the game is no longer in doubt?

--Again, playing time (extra, or otherwise) is determined by our players, as long as the MPR and Slaughter Rule requirements have been met.  Some players may split time 50/50 at the same position.  Others may get a 6-play minimum and be done.  It's up to them.  Were they at practice all week?  What is their off-field behavior?  Did they get in the drills? ("If you want in, get in.")  Were they the first to jump in when I said, "Gimme 11 on offense!" ??  And more importantly, if someone went to them to claim that spot, how did they handle it?  Defer, or fight?

Or do you work out a rotation with every kid in mind, regardless of the score.

--I know which player has put himself in a position to play, and which one hasn't.  But in youth ball, we have a pre-planned rotation, simply because of the MPR.  Once the MPR has been fulfilled, we also have to concern ourselves with the Slaughter Rule because starters are supposed to have been removed and we hit the Slaughter Rule more than 50% of the time.  Some games we would purposely start non-starters to deal with the MPR and get it out of the way, but if we hit Slaughter, we were forced to remove our starters (which was the 2nd-String) and put in our best players (since they had not started).  The Slaughter Rule asked that you remove "starters," not necessarily your best personnel.  But that is the stupidity of such rules.

and then try to go win the game without breaking up your preplanned rotations?

--We rarely vacillated on the pre-planned rotation.  Our staff, players, as well as the MPR-Counter knew when and where the MPRs were going in.  Once in a while, if the game was still in doubt and our opponent had a 1st & Goal, we would not put in the MPRs if they were scheduled to go in.  But we generally got only 24 offensive plays in a game, because of Slaughter.  And if our MPR rule was 8 plays, we could not go 3-deep at any offensive position, because we couldn't guarantee that we'd get all of our 24 offensive plays in that game.

Do any of you platoon?

--I like platooning, and we did that with our offensive linemen.  And we would try to platoon whenever possible.  I want as many kids playing and getting as much time, as possible.  But when you leave it up to the players (like we do), at the youth level we had some kids demanding all the playing time.  At the high school level, players insist on platooning.  lol

Are you doing the team a disservice if you play a bunch of players above the mpr and the team loses?

--The only time you're doing a disservice to the team and the players is when kids are garnering playing time they did not deserve.  That's why ALL of our players on the team have to go through the same grind.  Even if it's championship week, if Super Stud misses 2 practices, then he will miss one half of the game.  No exceptions.  But let's face it, if you're behind 40 points in the 4th Quarter, why not let the MPRs play it out?  But if my MPR rule is 6 plays, and Little Billy has completed 5 plays and the game is on the line in the last seconds, Little Billy will stay in the game.  I'm not going to cheat the game and use my players as an accomplice in order to win.

--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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Coyote
(@coyote)
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Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 195
3rd - 5th
Coordinator
August 27, 2020 12:54 pm  
Posted by: @spidermac

My League makes it easy for me, each player must have a starting position and play the entire game barring injury or equipment issues...

Same here.   If a kid isn't playing the whole game on one side of ball, he's doing so on the other.   Occasionally we have kids swap sides of the ball at the half.  

Something our league does, is if the numbers get up around 18 or so kids, we'll add a team.  Our Sr. League (5th-6th) did it this yr.  Most seasons we'll have between 3 & 5 kids on the sideline, who will all go in when we switch from O to D.   So teams generally 6-8 kids going two ways. 

FWIW, we have a coach on the field and have a couple water bottles with us.  Mostly kids want water, not a break.  Since we only play 10 minute Quarters, games are pretty short. 

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


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rpatric
(@rpatric)
Bronze
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 194
Maryland
6th - 8th
Head Coach
August 27, 2020 3:18 pm  

@coyote

You're allowed to have a coach on the field at 5th and 6th grade? Man! We lose that after 8u here. 

 


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terrypjohnson
(@terrypjohnson)
Bronze
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 287
United States
Head Coach
August 31, 2020 3:07 pm  

I got my 8U roster today. I have 20 kids and the MPR rule says that everyone has to play at least 16 minutes (one quarter each half) per game.

Here's what I'm planning to do...

1) Everyone will start at least one way. That's always been my policy, but I didn't feel comfortable saying that previously, because I've never had more than 17 players. Now, I'm putting my money where my mouth is.

2) Since all of my RB's will start on defense, I'm going to shuffle them in and out. My goal is to have them push each other in practice for snaps.

3) Although everyone starts, I will have specific packages. So, if it's third and a ton, I'll bring in more speed to replace to replace the DT's and MLB. After I come up with a stop, I'll line up in Beast and let the three kids that came out clobber somebody. Or run a Trojan Sweep and let them give my other big bodies a quick rest for a play or two.

I'll keep everyone posted as I move forward, but wanted to share my thoughts in the event it might help someone!

Coach Terry

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


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terrypjohnson
(@terrypjohnson)
Bronze
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 287
United States
Head Coach
September 3, 2020 11:26 am  

Update: I ended up with 27 kids on my roster. The league wanted me to field one team because they didn't have enough head coaches (but had six assistants). I offered to be the head coach of both teams and to have one of my assistants coach the second team when the two teams meet. The rec liked the idea and now I'm the head coach of two 8U teams that train together. I like this approach because there are a ton of seven year olds that will be fantastic players once they get a little seasoning! To me, getting the kids more time on the gridiron more important that keeping all the talent on one team just to win a few more games this season.

Will keep everyone posted on how the season goes!

Coach Terry

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


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 4179
September 3, 2020 11:51 am  

@terrypjohnson

So one team has 14 and the other 13?

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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terrypjohnson
(@terrypjohnson)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 287
United States
Head Coach
September 3, 2020 12:51 pm  

@gumby_in_co - Yes, sir, that's how it's set for now. I think a few more kids signed up late, so it might end up being 15 / 15 or 15 / 16.

I realize that those numbers seem very low, but our MPP rules are a little different. In our league, everyone has to play eight minutes in the first half and eight minutes in the second half. It only takes one long Beast drive before I have to go to my clipboard and start counting who needs minutes. I'd rather them have all the time they want. Judging from last night's turnout, I'll be shocked if anyone misses very much practice or any games.

 

 

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


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
Platinum
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 4179
September 3, 2020 3:18 pm  

@terrypjohnson

Between a rock and a hard place for sure. 27 is a real challenge with 7 year olds.  However, I've been on both sides of the roster size issues and I'll take "too many" over "too few" any day.  You'll definitely need to set the standard for attendance and commitment early on. Mahonz and I have seen too many opponents try to make it through a season with 15 or fewer and it was always UGLY. 

One Spring, I scouted a team the week before we played them. They fielded 9 kids for the opening kick return and 2 kids came running onto the field from the parking lot. The ref had already blown the "ready for play" whistle, then killed the play when he saw the kids running on the field. The literally ran from the car to a random spot on KR. Their 2 subs showed up 5 and 10 minutes late. 

The next week when they played us, 1 kid was warming up by himself 30 minutes before a 9am kickoff. The first coach showed up 15 minutes before kickoff. At game time, they had 7 players, so we pushed the kick off 15 minutes and I believe they started with 10. It wasn't just them, either. The league ended up making a rule where you had to play 8 man to avoid a forfeit if 1 team was short. We had a roster of over 30 that season, so imagine trying to bet minimum plays playing 8 at a time.

I think the worst, though, was a coach with 15 on his roster. 13 showed up on game day. 2 got ejected and that coach forfeited in the 3rd quarter because he was afraid that any more ejections would end his season. Funny thing is we were scheduled to play him back to back (wonderful league, right?) and he pre-forfeited the 2nd game. We ended up convincing him to play an 8 man game with us that somehow didn't result in any ejections.

99% of those issues are on the coaches, but I really don't know how hard you can push young (I'm 50) parents nowadays. 

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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terrypjohnson
(@terrypjohnson)
Bronze
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 287
United States
Head Coach
September 3, 2020 11:14 pm  

@gumby_in_co - Yes, sir. The same thing happened to me last year. Started with 14, had one quit (literally) five minutes before the first game. In the third game, my top 2 RB's got injured. Then, we had a road game, where two kids decided not to show up. However, thanks to the Killer Bee, we were able to win with 10 players (played without a Mike). When the RB's returned, I still had two sets of parents that were showing up 5 minutes after game time -- even though I told them to be there an hour before game time. It was enough to make a crazy man nuts!

Fortunately, it looks like there's a lot of buy-in this year. I've never seen so many parents at practice and even more of them asking what they could do to help out. I hope this trend continues!!

Coach Terry

 

 

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


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