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quality of coaching in junior high schools in your area  

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8mancoachinOKLAHOMA
(@8mancoachinoklahoma)
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Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 38
September 10, 2014 6:30 am  

Hi coaches, I was wanting to get a feel of the quality of junior high football coaches in your area.  I live in a metropolitan suburban area in a large school district.  For whatever reason, football is not a main sport at the junior high level, ie there is no expectation of winning.  Blocking and tackling are rarely practiced...honestly there's a lot of standing around listening to coaches talk, yell.  In game scheming lacks (to say the least)....our coaches are great guys, ie they teach the boys discipline, character, etc, which is more important in the long run.  My son is the starting qb but he has a private qb coach so he gets his work in but the rest of the team does not....the lack of blocking and tackling is hurting us in games...we won last night 2-0...lol...vs another team from our town that looks similar to ours...the heck of it is, this town has a ton of talent....our team is a 7th grade team and the dads on the 8th grade team warned a couple of us 7th grade dads "be prepared to be frustrated"  lol...anyways, just wanted to know if this is going on anywhere else as well?


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CoachDoc
(@collin)
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Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 340
September 10, 2014 7:42 am  

Junior high ball can be inconsistent from year to year, unless you have a very good and respected high school coach who overseas things to a degree.  Our 6th grade team has 58 players on the roster for one team.  MOST of the kids will go entire games without seeing the field.  They do not teach much fundamentals, but split up the staters and the backups into full team playing (still with 14 or so kids sitting around).  My son is doing fine, but I see these other kids, and feel they are getting a raw deal.  In the 7-8th grade, it is a different story, though.  Kids who may not win a game in 6th grade often win most of their games in 7-8th grade, in which a group works together.  They do cuss a lot, though, which I do not care for, but there are far far worse things to get from a coach.  However, I want to say that the 6th grade coaches are good guys like what you are talking about, but I worry about some kids who have ability, but just don't have the skills due to lack of instruction, quitting. 


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 4144
September 10, 2014 7:45 am  

No middle school sports in Colorado. In Douglas County (south end of Denver Metro area), there is a Middle School league, but I'm not sure about how it's organized. I know there are teams that represent the schools, but I don't know if they are affiliated with the schools or not. The interesting thing is that there is a liability waiver that appears to be an official form from Douglas County Schools.

To answer your question, though, no idea about the quality of coaching. In the youth leagues, coaching tends to be pretty good with a few lemons here and there.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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spidermac
(@spidermac)
Gold
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 2440
September 10, 2014 8:10 am  

Here in North Texas, I would say it is not so good...at least in our school district...but with few mitigating factors...

1. Ratios are horrible, 3 or 4 coaches for a couple of hundred kids (7th and 8th grade).
2. Varying levels of experience from the boys, lots of first time players, who have to be taught how to play safely.
3. Varying levels of coaching experience, these guys are the math teacher or science teacher who were asked to help out, because they needed more whistles.

That said, they are all high character guys, and I think they are great at what they do considering their circumstances. They also are required to come to the 2 a days, to assist the HS program and learn. They also have game day responsibilities for the Varsity games, so they are on the sideline and hopefully learning 🙂

In our ISD, each junior high will feed into one or two High Schools, with one of the HS being the main program, so the JH are required to run the HS program, Offense/Defense, Strength & Conditioning, etc. Even if they do not have the horses to run the schemes at that level.

Essentially, JH ball is to keep the kids engaged, get them in the S&C program, learning the schemes, etc. then when they get to HS, they are familiar with the stuff.

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


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coachmiket
(@coachmiket)
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Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 1371
September 10, 2014 8:11 am  

Our MS seemed to have the same coaches for a few years until this season. This is my son's first season of school ball, 7th grade. They had 3 dads somehow work their way onto the coaching staff.  It would have been 4, but one of them didn't pass the background check.  These guys coached up through the youth ranks winning championships by having the most athletic kids in the backfield and dominating on defense.  Now they are playing tougher competition and everybody (at least the people I've spoken to) is seeing that they just coach their kids in the backfield and seriously neglect the line play.  There's a lot of unorganized moments that could probably be addressed at practice and never happen in games. 

It's the type of team that will defeat equal or lesser teams because of the athleticism of a few players but they probably won't stand a chance against teams with good coaching and motivation across the board.


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coachtut
(@coachtut)
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Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 459
September 10, 2014 8:58 am  

My son is now in middle school and it is a joke.  TONS of standing around.  They happen to be 2-0 right now, no thanks to their cruddy practices or coaching.

Coach Tut


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pogmaster3
(@pogmaster3)
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Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 234
September 10, 2014 9:11 am  

Nearly non-existent around Philly.  Heck, we barely have physical education in some of our high schools...

“It is all too common for caterpillars to become butterflies and then to maintain that in their youth they had been little butterflies. Maturation makes liars of us all.” ― George Vaillant


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8mancoachinOKLAHOMA
(@8mancoachinoklahoma)
Copper
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 38
September 10, 2014 9:17 am  

Id like to say hearing all this makes me feel better knowing im not alone but honestly it makes me feel worse...knowing our kids deserve better but dont have it....we have 4 total coaches for close to 90 kids so I know that part is tough...I know one thing...there is a coach, and I am not him! 🙂


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alanj
(@alanj)
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Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 10
September 19, 2014 8:54 am  

Private school 5th and 6th grade middle school.  Lots of standing around.  Son complains he is getting bored.  8 to 9 players out of 24 never see the field - they are mostly 5th graders - my son included.  The 6th graders move up to the 7th and 8th grade team.  Coach only coaches his back field and claims the reason the others do not play is safety related.  They just need a little confidence from actually being on the field.  He is a great basketball coach - football - not so good.


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coachtut
(@coachtut)
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September 20, 2014 4:24 pm  

My son is now in middle school and it is a joke.  TONS of standing around.  They happen to be 2-0 right now, no thanks to their cruddy practices or coaching.

Here I am, quoting my own quote..... didn't think that would ever happen....

Anyway,  my son's team got crushed in their last two games.  Simply got beaten up by the other teams.

Mind you, my son has completed less than 15 full speed tackles in practice this year, TOTAL. No scrimmaging, no hitting drills, no nothing.

Coach Tut


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dan82564
(@dan82564)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 634
September 21, 2014 5:23 am  

Our MS seemed to have the same coaches for a few years until this season. This is my son's first season of school ball, 7th grade. They had 3 dads somehow work their way onto the coaching staff.  It would have been 4, but one of them didn't pass the background check.  These guys coached up through the youth ranks winning championships by having the most athletic kids in the backfield and dominating on defense.  Now they are playing tougher competition and everybody (at least the people I've spoken to) is seeing that they just coach their kids in the backfield and seriously neglect the line play.  There's a lot of unorganized moments that could probably be addressed at practice and never happen in games. 

It's the type of team that will defeat equal or lesser teams because of the athleticism of a few players but they probably won't stand a chance against teams with good coaching and motivation across the board.

Sounds like a middle school in my area... lol


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Coach E
(@coache)
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Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 1101
September 22, 2014 8:26 am  

Here I am, quoting my own quote..... didn't think that would ever happen....

Anyway,  my son's team got crushed in their last two games.  Simply got beaten up by the other teams.

Mind you, my son has completed less than 15 full speed tackles in practice this year, TOTAL. No scrimmaging, no hitting drills, no nothing.

It all depends upon the coaching in every other aspect of the game. While certainly not in the mainstream of coaching philosophy, John Gagliardi had quite a bit of success without any hitting in practice. None.
http://onlyagame.wbur.org/2012/09/08/john-gagliardi-football

One of his former assistants, Mike Grant, also embraces the same philosophy and has won 9 state championships in 10 tries since 1996.

Granted, that's not how I coach, but I have to respect the success of these guys.

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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Michael
(@michael)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 12890
September 22, 2014 8:54 am  

It all depends upon the coaching in every other aspect of the game. While certainly not in the mainstream of coaching philosophy, John Gagliardi had quite a bit of success without any hitting in practice. None.
http://onlyagame.wbur.org/2012/09/08/john-gagliardi-football

One of his former assistants, Mike Grant, also embraces the same philosophy and has won 9 state championships in 10 tries since 1996.

Granted, that's not how I coach, but I have to respect the success of these guys.

https://sites.google.com/site/coachjohngagliardi/home/list-of-no-s

And this was pretty good:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Sweet-Season-Sportswriter-Rediscovers/dp/0060505842

Michael can not receive PM's, emails or respond to Posts. He passed away in September 2018. To honor his contributions we are leaving his account active. R.I.P - Dumcoach Staff.


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Coach E
(@coache)
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Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 1101
September 22, 2014 9:13 am  

https://sites.google.com/site/coachjohngagliardi/home/list-of-no-s

And this was pretty good:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Sweet-Season-Sportswriter-Rediscovers/dp/0060505842

I remember these, but I never read the book. I just reserved it at the library.
The sad thing about John Gagliardi is he coached the team that was our biggest rivals (I attended St. Thomas) so it was difficult to root for them. Whenever we played St. John's, it always seemed to be with the conference championship on the line. For the three years, one of the coaches I worked with was a Johnnie and we would go back and forth all season. It was a lot of fun.

Here's a good story on Mike Grant. This article was written before the 2013 season. After the season, he won the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year award.
http://www.startribune.com/sports/preps/220069971.html

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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Michael
(@michael)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 12890
September 22, 2014 9:24 am  

I heard a Glazier speaker tell a story about being at a coaching banquet somewhere.  I hope I am remembering it correctly (or, at least, correctly enough).  He said there was an old guy next to him who slept through pretty much the whole thing.  At some point they were giving an award, and the presenter was talking about this fantastic coach with all sort of accomplishments, and then the old guy woke up and went up and got his award.  Turned out it was Gagliardi.

Michael can not receive PM's, emails or respond to Posts. He passed away in September 2018. To honor his contributions we are leaving his account active. R.I.P - Dumcoach Staff.


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