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CaliforniaDreaming605
(@californiadreaming605)
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August 24, 2018 6:49 am  

Newbie 1st time question, long time lurker  :).  I have a son 11u, playing on new team.  Kid is 145 pounds, runs very well and agile, teams top hitter on every team he has every played on, including some ayfl unlimiteds.  Every team I bring him to (4 straight years)  no matter what they say, open competitions, no daddy ball, etc.  he always winds up playing OT and DT because of his size and that's where they "need him".  He's by far a superior athlete and football player than all of the lb's.  He's was training 3x4 times a week out of football season so he could play other defensive positions at his size, and really wanted to play some other offensive positions.  I don't want to question any coaches authority, but this is supposed to be fun, and he really doesn't enjoy playing either position, and now he wants to quit, and rather play fall travel baseball.  Now I've coached plenty of travel baseball teams and some football at this age, where I generally try to play kids where they are comfortable, and I will never put a child in a position or situation  where they do not want to play, although it could diminish their playing time, and I let them know that.  Any advice?

Steve


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C-Rob
(@tso1696)
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Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 1728
August 24, 2018 6:55 am  

Just my humble opinion, but if coaches are playing him where he can best help the team you should encourage that.  I think this a great lesson to learn at this age, but again that is just my opinion. 

On-line Youth Football Coaching Clinicshttp://www.coaches-clinic.com/


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SingleWingGoombah
(@singlewinggoombah)
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Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 2070
August 24, 2018 7:07 am  

You are looking at a 1 piece puzzle. 

Look at it like it is a X piece puzzle where X equals the number of kids on the team. 

Your son is not being a very good team player, and the fact that you seem to hop around from team to team tells me you are enabling it. 


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coachmiket
(@coachmiket)
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Posts: 1371
August 24, 2018 7:19 am  

How do you know he's superior to the other LB's if he himself is not playing LB? 

Does he play football because he likes playing football?  Or does he play football because he wants to play the "glory" positions and be noticed more by playing those?

Also, he's 11?  Wouldn't worry too much about his position at this point.  I'd be more concerned that he's just enjoying things, having fun and making new friends. I played a kid at center when he was in 4th grade because it made the most sense for our team.  He's now a senior in high school and has been a contribution defensive back the past couple years.  Things change. Kids change. Patience and hard work pay off in the long run.


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CaliforniaDreaming605
(@californiadreaming605)
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August 24, 2018 7:45 am  

To answer the questions, he has moved to different teams due to first playing town ball, then pop warner with it's weight issues, then ayfl unlimited.  Does he love football no, I don't think he has ever sat through watching a game on tv, he loves playing football, and he would like to play some new positions. 

In all of the drills, he is faster than the lb's, quicker than the lb's, and they literally won't line up against him in any of the oklahoma drill's etc.  Maybe they are better performers in games, but how would I know, since they've never let him take a snap at lb in a scrimmage. 

In baseball, if I have a stud pitcher who doesn't want to pitch, but plays a great third base, we then have a competition at third base.  We always compete, nothing is ever set.  I'm not going to say to the kid, we'll if you aren't pitching, you aren't welcome, since I'm the coach and I make the decisions.  Sometimes it's for the kid's own development, and I respect that.
 

 

 


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patriotsfatboy1
(@patriotsfatboy1)
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Posts: 3255
August 24, 2018 7:58 am  

I see this in a lot of situations with AYF Unlimited.  You have larger kids and some are pretty athletic.  At those younger ages, 12U and below, the line rules.  If you have a solid line, you will win more games. 

There are some kids who don't like playing the line and it could be for a variety of reasons, but the one that I see is that the coaches are not highlighting the importance of the line.  The other one that I see is that parents don't want their kid to "just play the line".  Are one or both of these factors happening with your son?

Have you ever had a discussion with the coaches to ask what your son could do to play a different position?  Don't ask why they put their son there or can he play a different position.  Ask what your son can do to best contribute to the team in some other area to help keep him engaged.  Most coaches will take an opportunity to find out what other positions your son might want to play and offer up where they perceive his gaps in skill exist for those positions. 


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CaliforniaDreaming605
(@californiadreaming605)
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August 24, 2018 8:14 am  

They sort of take a hard line approach at these questions, it's up to the Head Coach, and was told directly that my son will never play any other position on the team besides the positions he is playing.  Not that shocking my kid wants to play baseball now.

I think they are emphasizing the importance, it's more that he's upset he wasn't given a shot, which is what bothers me as a a dad.  One thing from travel baseball and soccer, I'm very attune to the daddy ball crap, it exists, and is worse in football.  My son doesn't see it, but I do, and this is supposed to be an elite team.


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PSLCOACHROB
(@pslcoachrob)
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August 24, 2018 8:28 am  

Every team I bring him to (4 straight years)  no matter what they say, open competitions, no daddy ball, etc.  he always winds up playing OT and DT because of his size and that's where they "need him". 

So 4 straight teams want him to play ot and dt. I think that the pattern that has developed should be rather telling.

I think good advice was given above. Talk to his coaches about what he can do to play positions he wants. Don't be surprised if the answer is "it isn't about where he wants to play, the team needs him at ot and dt". That would be my answer. If every kid played where they wanted you would have nothing but lbers, qbs and rbs. You can't play the game like that.

Unfortunately many coaches don't give the oline the status and praise they deserve. Hopefully you aren't falling into that trap yourself. I can tell you that one of the best athletes we ever coached played OT and te for us. Not sure he ever caught a pass at te. One of the top 3 athletes on the team 3 years running. He is now committed to U of Miami as a wsde. He is a high 3 star but will most likely be a 4 star recruit by the end of the season. He would of done well at rb. We needed him at ot and he understood that. We won a NC running behind that kid.

Honestly, it sounds as if your son just wants to play baseball. Let him just play baseball for now. The point is that players evolve. Many kids play completely different positions in hs then they did in youth. As he gets older maybe his interest in football is rekindled. Maybe at an older level his value changes into another position. That is a real thing. So if he wants to take a break from football it would allow him to miss the game. If he doesn't end up missing it then you have a baseball player and not a football player and that is alright.

I have to add that of all the positions I ever played, dt was easily my favorite.

I have heard parents ask why their kid was not given a shot. The answer for us was that yes they were and during evals they projected at that position. Unless there is daddy balling going on a coach will never put a kid in any spot other than what they feel is best for the team. If there is daddy balling going on then he is just screwed. There is no chance a daddy baller moves his kid out of one of the more desirable positions.


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Rockets11
(@rockets11)
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August 24, 2018 8:30 am  

How does he block compared to the other players?  If the running backs are all little mice that can't block and your son is a big bulldozer then it makes sense that he is on the offensive line

I have had years where my best player was o line/ d line and have been successful.

Try explaining to him that playing the line is important and try to get him to take pride in getting sacks and pancake blocks.  Also if every team he plays on says he's a lineman, then it is unlikely that all of them have it wrong


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spidermac
(@spidermac)
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August 24, 2018 8:32 am  

Okay, so I am not sure you are reading what is being type Cali 🙂

at 11 years old and 145 pounds he is greater than the 95th percentile in weight...I know, because my son was 152 pounds at 11, and greater than the 95th percentile in weight...kids that are greater than the 95th percentile are bigger than their peers 😛 Look at football at any level, the ones that are big are up front...my son, when he played for me played up front...even though he would have been a wonderful LB and FB for my team, I had other kids who could play LB and FB on my team, not as many who could play G and NT. He whined to me, until I explained it to him...if I move you from G, who do I put there? The light went off...

Now, since he has played for me, he has played, C, G, T, FB, TB, TE, H, Y and deep snapper...on the offensive side of the ball...on the defensive side of the ball, he has play DT, DE, NT, ILB, OLB...

So unless your son can run holes through the wind at 145 pounds, in little kid football, let him play the game...explain to him that just because he is a big here, doesn't always mean he will be a big...explain to him that he should be a football player, let coach decide where he best fits the TEAM, and then make it hard for coach to take him off the field, by being the best DT, DE, FB, LB, etc, etc, etc...

My son, his freshman year in HS was 170 pounds, and wanted to play LB so badly...they had him at DE...coach let him play LB for one game, I don't know why exactly, but he played lights out...15 tackles, two pass defended, opposing coach was shouting 'Is anyone going to block 5 today?"...The kid they had playing DE that day didn't have such a great game...after they loooked at the film after the game, they told my son, you had a great game, you are now playing DE.

This is a team sport...

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


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GP
 GP
(@gpenn44)
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Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 1670
August 24, 2018 8:33 am  

No reputable coach is going to support your son giving his coaches ultimatums or the like. Even as a Dad lurker I'd expect you to understand that.

We tell players & parents from Day 1 positions are non-negotiable and assigned based on ability and team need. If these coaches didn't do the same, shame on them, but if you want to connect w their thought process understand that while Dads are typically thinking about one player (son), coaches are (typically) thinking about the team.

In youth ball, athletic linemen are at a premium and good teams put athletes on the OL. So they prob do "need him there."

I'm realistic enough to realize most O-Linemen want to touch the rock. When a kid busts his hump for us up front, we'll find ways to do that (and do so often bc we win 90% of our games by double digit margin - often 30+ points).

Would NEVER move a kid's position bc he was gonna quit, was pouting, etc. Only the weakest of coaches is going to allow himself to be held hostage like that. And if a kid isn't giving us the effort at the position we put him, we'll bench him and remove him if necessary - not rewarding that behavior in any fashion. Same thing on D.

Also, LBers make tackles - D-Linemen make TFLs, sacks, force fumbles. Our best player almost always plays on the DL and we put as many athletes up there as we can. Watch big time HS ball and you will see teams put absolute studs up front. So the whole thought process that D-Linemen should be inferior athletes to LBers at the youth level is flawed logic.

"Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated." - Lou Holtz


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Rockets11
(@rockets11)
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August 24, 2018 8:42 am  

One thing from travel baseball and soccer, I'm very attune to the daddy ball crap, it exists, and is worse in football.

Everyone is different obviously, but in my experience the daddy ball is far far worse in travel baseball than any other sport.

Dad thinks that little 11 year old billy needs 4 different pairs of Oakley sunglasses or the kid needs to wear different batting gloves against left handed pitchers (serious ).


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SingleWingGoombah
(@singlewinggoombah)
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Joined: 6 years ago
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August 24, 2018 8:49 am  

They sort of take a hard line approach at these questions, it's up to the Head Coach, and was told directly that my son will never play any other position on the team besides the positions he is playing.  Not that shocking my kid wants to play baseball now.

I think they are emphasizing the importance, it's more that he's upset he wasn't given a shot, which is what bothers me as a a dad.  One thing from travel baseball and soccer, I'm very attune to the daddy ball crap, it exists, and is worse in football.  My son doesn't see it, but I do, and this is supposed to be an elite team.

Its just as bad in baseball. 

It could very well be daddy ball.  It is weird to think that a dad thinks their own son might be the best possible choice to be a running back and linebacker isn't it?

This is actually my first year coaching my son in football (12 year overall) and he is my starting fb this week.  Going into the scrimmage he was my back up, but my projected starter crapped the bed.  Now it was an open competition, we did numerous evaluation drills, and ultimately he earned the spot.  Now did your son get a fair shot at the positions you want him at?  No idea.  Is the 11 man offense better with him at tackle?  No idea, you aren't addressing that.

Your son clearly is playing the game for himself, he wants to be center of attention, like when he is at bat.  Not ideal traits to have.  It is very common in kids, probably more common than not.  Football is a great sport to break that type of thought though.  You should be working to foster that behavior, not fostering the selfish behavior.  Position does not mean a thing before puberty. 


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CaliforniaDreaming605
(@californiadreaming605)
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Joined: 2 years ago
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August 24, 2018 9:22 am  

Nobody has made any ultimatums, he is the best offensive linemen they have, he is the best dt they have, however until I see some assistant coaches kids (any of them) playing next to him on the o-line, who are the lb's and their kids who play backup fullback and third string fullback, when the rest of o-line stinks, and basically telling me that he is selfish that he asked if he can compete for another defensive position even as a backup during a blow out?  The "any reputable football coach wouldn't stand for this" is kind of shocking at 11u age, which should be more developmental than trying to win a national championship.  It's very hard for an 11u kid to enter a new team, that is supposedly playing for a championship, with no friends on the team, and then say he is playing for himself.  Of course he is playing for himself.  He is there to develop his skills, so when he plays big boy football, he has a semblance of an idea of what is going on. 


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mahonz
(@mahonz)
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August 24, 2018 9:23 am  

Newbie 1st time question, long time lurker  :).  I have a son 11u, playing on new team.  Kid is 145 pounds, runs very well and agile, teams top hitter on every team he has every played on, including some ayfl unlimiteds.  Every team I bring him to (4 straight years)  no matter what they say, open competitions, no daddy ball, etc.  he always winds up playing OT and DT because of his size and that's where they "need him".  He's by far a superior athlete and football player than all of the lb's.  He's was training 3x4 times a week out of football season so he could play other defensive positions at his size, and really wanted to play some other offensive positions.  I don't want to question any coaches authority, but this is supposed to be fun, and he really doesn't enjoy playing either position, and now he wants to quit, and rather play fall travel baseball.  Now I've coached plenty of travel baseball teams and some football at this age, where I generally try to play kids where they are comfortable, and I will never put a child in a position or situation  where they do not want to play, although it could diminish their playing time, and I let them know that.  Any advice?

Steve

My son played some OL in youth football and QB at a FSB College before injury benched him. 

Gotta teach your son that cooked pudding tastes a whole lot better than instant pudding.

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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