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Coyote
(@coyote)
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April 24, 2020 12:34 pm  

Greetings coaches

Got to wondering, in drafting your team (whether you do or not) where do (would) you start?

Your draft philosophy?

Start with positions, if so which? 

Do you view some units more important than others?

What would you try to stay away from?  [example: we've passed on several good athletes in the past b/c we didn't want to deal with the parent(s)] 

Would your approach to the draft change with different age groups?

Kinda looking to sharpen my edges here.  

Thanx for sharing your thoughts... 

 

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


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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
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April 24, 2020 2:04 pm  

Most important thing in drafting is not getting the top players, it's avoiding the bottom.  Try to minimize your exposure on the minimum play player side -- not as much for the strategic cost in games as for the cost in terms of coaching time.

Assuming you have some sort of pre-draft all-league scouting practices or a combine in which one or more of your coaches can run a station, assign at least one coach to a station where the drill is basically about seeing who pays attention and who doesn't pay attention (or is frankly slow on the uptake).  Make it like you're trying them out on a new technique, but actually you're just seeing if they drift away, fall asleep, cut up with other kids, or whatever.  It's those players who'll be the biggest drag on your practice sessions, so you want as few as possible of them.  One of your coaches give the directions, the other just take notes discreetly.  Simon Says works as a drill for such a station, but it's too obvious; don't let the other scouts know you're (in effect) scoring the players on Simon Says, let them think you're looking for players who can come out of a Cha-Cha step into tackling a dummy.

You could also look for players who seem to pay attention but just don't put out -- but beware!  There are players who'll sandbag the pre-draft drills, either on their own or because someone wants to hide them as sleepers.  They all know that once they've made it to the draft they can't be cut from the league, and are guaranteed a spot somewhere -- at least that's the way it was run where I've been.

When it comes to the actual draft, in most cases you won't really need to draft specifically by position, but you should still keep positions in mind, because it's possible to get cornered where you really need a type that you've been locked out of the market for, if you don't buy yourself a little insurance against such in the early rounds.  What I'm saying is, be flexible enough to give yourself a shot at some better-than-you-expected talent, but make sure you lock up enough who can be at least shoehorned into the positions you need.  In the Bronx Warriors we allowed 1-for-1 trades immediately after the draft, in the presence of everybody else there at the meeting, and it was possible but risky to try to trade for a position player rather than drafting one.

If you're in a league where kicking matters, chances are good some coaches have knowledge of some players' prowess in soccer.  Be one of those coaches.

And then when you get to the late rounds, you'll let the suckers pick those who are difficult to coach while you pick some who are basic non-athletes but coachable -- or at least won't mess up your practice sessions.  One specific tip, though: If there are any girls available on the last couple rounds, draft her or them.  They always do better than most of the other coaches think they'll do, and the girls are never the aforementioned type who get into horseplay and mess up your practice sessions.

This post was modified 7 months ago 2 times by Bob Goodman

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ZACH
 ZACH
(@bucksweep58)
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Joined: 10 years ago
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April 27, 2020 6:32 pm  
Posted by: @coyote

Greetings coaches

Got to wondering, in drafting your team (whether you do or not) where do (would) you start?

Your draft philosophy?

Start with positions, if so which? 

Do you view some units more important than others?

What would you try to stay away from?  [example: we've passed on several good athletes in the past b/c we didn't want to deal with the parent(s)] 

Would your approach to the draft change with different age groups?

Kinda looking to sharpen my edges here.  

Thanx for sharing your thoughts... 

 

 

The term "best available" comes to mind.  1st pick sets the tone, myself ide want a high hit score player a mike lb kinda player.  It's easier to make a running back then it is a mike linebacker.  From there it's best available going for lineman and running backs accordingly. If you think defense first atleast game one you play a good a game on one side of the ball haha

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


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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
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April 27, 2020 7:54 pm  

I wouldn't even think offense/defense when scouting and drafting.  The good players can usually play both about equally, the bad ones about equally bad.


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Coyote
(@coyote)
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April 28, 2020 11:56 am  

Thanx Coaches,

You've corroborated a lot of what we're doing already, I'll be sharing your thoughts with the HC.  

  • Simon Says works as a drill for such a station, 

Hadn't though of this, I like it!

Important points we probably don't pay enough attention to... 

  • let the suckers pick those who are difficult to coach while you pick some who are basic non-athletes but coachable
  • It's easier to make a running back then it is a mike linebacker
  • The good players can usually play both about equally, the bad ones about equally bad.

 

FWIW, ... 3 & 4th grades, we have a combine, kids are grouped up, rotate between the coaching staffs, we pretty much can do whatever we want (no pads, of course, so no hitting), we see each group of kids twice over a 4 day period.  If a kid doesn't show for the combine, he is pulled out of a hat after the draft.    

We emphasize speed over size, versatility and avoiding some parents.   [We're Wing-T buck and belly team, run a 6-4-1 Defense]

The last two rounds are usually the medicated kids.  We've had some doozies, but generally kept them.  Other teams tend to run them off pretty quick.  

Once drafted, the kids remain w/ the team if they don't move up.  Every kid plays, if not on Offense, then on Defense (for the whole game, can't start 'em for one series then sit them, we can move them from one side of the ball to the other at the half)

We have 4 returners from last season, our #2 RB from last season, both OG's (HC is thinking of moving one to FB) and a really fast kid who never played before last season, but was our most improved player as FS had 4 TD saving tackles, one of which really changed momentum back into our favor.  All 4 are solid-to-good.

Thanx again. 

This post was modified 7 months ago 3 times by Coyote

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


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 17466
North Carolina
High School
April 29, 2020 10:31 am  
Posted by: @coyote

Greetings coaches

Got to wondering, in drafting your team (whether you do or not) where do (would) you start?

Your draft philosophy?

Start with positions, if so which? 

Do you view some units more important than others?

What would you try to stay away from?  [example: we've passed on several good athletes in the past b/c we didn't want to deal with the parent(s)] 

Would your approach to the draft change with different age groups?

Kinda looking to sharpen my edges here.  

Thanx for sharing your thoughts... 

I drafted teams for three years (in 2000, 2001 and 2002) because we had two Mitey-Mite teams (ages 7-9).  We held three days of evaluations and picked players at the end of the third day.  

At season's end, I compared my list and order of those I had chosen, to see how each of them impacted our team.  Without fail, in all three seasons my top picks (Rounds 1-4) were not nearly as impactful players as I had hoped, and my lower round players (Rounds 5-end) were my major contributors.  I drafted solely on athleticism.  I was either not a very good judge of athleticism, or not a good judge of what to look for in a player.  In addition, I gave the other header the first pick in each round for all three years because I did NOT want to hear his complaints of "You had 'Johnny So&So' on your team and I didn't get a chance to pick him."  In 2000, we went 8-0 winning the CFF Championship 27-6, while the other team went 4-4.  In 2001, we went 8-0 winning the CFF Championship 40-20, while the other team went 5-3.  In 2002, we went 8-0 winning the CFF Championship 14-0, while the other team went 6-2.

What this showed me was that our drafts really didn't matter.  And while our org was trying to create two teams of equal abilities (and was probably successful at doing so), the teams didn't have equal coaching.

I don't worry about parents.  I had a daddy-coach (and son) who had been banned from 2 other orgs and I never had a problem with either.  Just because he had a bad reputation and experience with others had nothing to do with me.

My draft philosophy?  To draft the best players I can get.  Especially since the better ones will be 2-way players.  However, as I could see from my own picks, who I thought would be good, wasn't often the case.  So I was terrible at picking who I thought would be good, and who wouldn't.  I don't draft for position, and I never have.  I will coach any player to play the position I want him to play.  No units are more important than other units.  A kicker who is great is more important than a ball-carrier who is good, IMO.  What to stay away from?  If the evaluation period can identify those kids who don't want to be there, that would be valuable.  Would my approach change with other age groups?  Not really.  At EWHS, we didn't have offensive linemen.  So we made them.

--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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Bob Goodman
(@bob-goodman)
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New Jersey
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April 29, 2020 1:28 pm  

One important thing I forgot to note is that it makes a difference if you've come in halfway against coaches who've been there for years.  So if in the draft at your level you have mostly players who are veterans from the lower age levels, obviously knowledge of their performance at those levels is as important as anything else in your evaluation trials.  So take seriously the advice of coaches on your team who've been with the organization longer than you.

Also look for players who've been on teams with bad coaches -- you could have a whole team of sleepers there!  Not to say that's a foregone conclusion, but in evaluating players you need to discount for bad coaching.

 


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terrypjohnson
(@terrypjohnson)
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April 29, 2020 4:58 pm  
Posted by: @bob-goodman

...So take seriously the advice of coaches on your team who've been with the organization longer than you...

 

I would respectfully disagree with this line of thinking. It's very similar to saying, "this is the way we've always done it, why change?".

I'm not saying not to listen to other coaches. Listen to any input that anyone is willing to provide, but treat it as a single data point in a series of data points.

When I drafted my first team, I had several returning coaches question the kids I picked. "He can't drive block people that are bigger than him. He won't run between the tackles. He won't play with any fire."

While the coaches points were accurate based on the previous season, I saw enough out of the kids to know that they'd help my team. Yes, the one kid couldn't drive block people, but he was great at down blocking, pulling, and scooping. The kid that wouldn't run between the tackles gained 20 pounds and actually rolled his eyes at the end of the year when I called 18 instead of 14. The third kid didn't play with any fire previously because he was terrified (and with good reason) that his head coach was going to scream at him for making mistakes. When I explained to him that I almost never raise my voice and never get upset about making mistakes at full speed, he started terrorizing opposing running backs. Thanks in large part to these three, we went 6-2 and won our division.

Yet, if I'd listened to what everyone said I should do, I wouldn't have selected any of them.

Bottom line: if you see something in a kid that can help your team, pick him or tell the header why you think he should pick him. Sometimes all it takes is a change of environment and/or philosophy to help a kid succeed.

Coach Terry

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


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Dusty Ol Fart
(@youth-coach)
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April 29, 2020 5:28 pm  

I would also question avoiding players due to Parents and Medicinal reasons.  The only one I am skeptical about is the one who truly does not want to be there.  

Most parental issues can be weeded out at the first parent meeting.  Very rarely have I ever had to readdress things. With regards to kids on meds......The percentages are increasing not decreasing.  They are indeed a challenge.  However, I learned to look at results over technique in a lot of those instances.  Not that I dont continue to review Technique but, if the results are there, why get all hung up on minutiae? 

 

You can spend 20 minutes correcting a lot of awkward, contorted, 3 Point Stances OR  you can spend 5 working on a good 2 point stance and 15 on how to get results.....:)

 

 

 

 

 

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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Bob Goodman
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April 29, 2020 7:50 pm  
Posted by: @terrypjohnson
Posted by: @bob-goodman

...So take seriously the advice of coaches on your team who've been with the organization longer than you...

 

I would respectfully disagree with this line of thinking. It's very similar to saying, "this is the way we've always done it, why change?".

I'm not saying not to listen to other coaches. Listen to any input that anyone is willing to provide, but treat it as a single data point in a series of data points.

When I drafted my first team, I had several returning coaches question the kids I picked. "He can't drive block people that are bigger than him. He won't run between the tackles. He won't play with any fire."

While the coaches points were accurate based on the previous season, I saw enough out of the kids to know that they'd help my team. Yes, the one kid couldn't drive block people, but he was great at down blocking, pulling, and scooping. The kid that wouldn't run between the tackles gained 20 pounds and actually rolled his eyes at the end of the year when I called 18 instead of 14. The third kid didn't play with any fire previously because he was terrified (and with good reason) that his head coach was going to scream at him for making mistakes. When I explained to him that I almost never raise my voice and never get upset about making mistakes at full speed, he started terrorizing opposing running backs. Thanks in large part to these three, we went 6-2 and won our division.

Yet, if I'd listened to what everyone said I should do, I wouldn't have selected any of them.

How did the ones they said to select do?

Consider that just because you hit a few long shots doesn't mean they weren't telling you the right way to bet.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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April 29, 2020 9:41 pm  
Posted by: @terrypjohnson

Sometimes all it takes is a change of environment and/or philosophy to help a kid succeed.

^ T H I S ^

--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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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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North Carolina
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April 29, 2020 9:43 pm  

"You can spend 20 minutes correcting a lot of awkward, contorted, 3 Point Stances OR  you can spend 5 working on a good 2 point stance and 15 on how to get results."

--Yes. 

--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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April 30, 2020 2:06 pm  

Coaches, 

FWIW, our HC is pretty good at drafting.  Over the last 5 seasons, a lot of kids I rated pretty high didn't turn out that good (whether we got them or someone else did).   So, I tend to trust him more than myself.   He's especially good in the mid-rounds.  

The HC avoids some of the kids on account of the parents.  I don't live in the town where most the kids come from (county wide league) and so don't know a lot of the families - he does.  Generally, from listening to the coaches who got them, he's been mostly right about those he chose to pass on due to parents.  [Tho, I have known great kids who came from lousy homes, and some really fine folk, who's kids were a problem.]  The way the HC sees it, life is short and some folk simply bring too much drama with them, even if they are talented.  

The medicated kids...  lot of the time, it's pretty much a guess as to why they are medicated.  I'd say we've split evenly.  Had a couple kids who were a real problem (could tell some interesting stories with those).  Others were just very passive.   One of the kids was really twitchy, but moved from a liability to an asset production-wise.   Only issue I had with him, was he kept demanding the ball on every play.  [2nd season, he played TE, mostly OK as a blocker the kid we initially played there, mostly bounced around looking concerned, so we swapped them out.]  Otherwise, I'm pretty proud of him and told him so on several occasions.  

 

Posted by: @terrypjohnson

When I explained to him that I almost never raise my voice

In our practices, we work hard to 'coach 'em up'.  Not a lot of yelling 'at' / lotsa yelling 'For' - compared to other teams.   Can only think of one cuss word from one of our coaches in 5 seasons.  We accentuate the positive.  Other teams, maybe not so much.

FWIW, I have a naturally loud speaking voice (Dad, Uncle, Grandpa all worked at the same factory when I was a kid, they came home using their 'factory voices' and all us kids developed the same decibel levels as normal) I explain to the kids first practice, that when I'm loud, that's just me talking - I'm not mad or anything / no one is in trouble - that when I want to say something serious, that's when I put an arm around their shoulders and we walk away from the other ears, and I speak softly to them.    When I speak softly, everyone knows someone's in trouble even if they can't hear what I;m saying.  

Appreciate the comments, Thanx

 

This post was modified 7 months ago 2 times by Coyote

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


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
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North Carolina
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April 30, 2020 7:15 pm  
Posted by: @coyote

FWIW, our HC is pretty good at drafting.  Over the last 5 seasons, a lot of kids I rated pretty high didn't turn out that good (whether we got them or someone else did).   So, I tend to trust him more than myself.   He's especially good in the mid-rounds.  

My point was that the draft isn't the be-all and end-all.  Our org tried to create two balanced (i.e., diluted) teams and we not only outshone the other, we ran the table all 3 years we had a draft.  So just give me 20-28 players and we'll figure it out.

--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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terrypjohnson
(@terrypjohnson)
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United States
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May 1, 2020 10:04 am  

@bob-goodman All I can tell you is that none of the kids they asked me to pick made the All-Star team. The three kids I mentioned above did.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying to completely ignore what other coaches are saying. This is especially true if their advice is, "this kid can help us and here's how he fits in our system" (unfortunately, it was all negative feedback in my case). Yet, I feel like it's my job as the head coach to make the tough decisions, even if they're not popular.

 

 

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


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