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So what would you do with this rule?


Vince148
(@vince148)
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So I just read and received confirmation that for the first week of practice there is no contact, no pads, no blocking on opponents or dummies. So essentially this means that I can't teach blocking or tackling fits. I can't run gauntlets. So what would you do during the first week outside of agility drills and position tryouts?


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DL
 DL
(@daniel-lyons)
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The no dummies/no touching whatsoever rule is stupid wherever it is found (lots of places are doing this) and can't be justified by any thinking human being.

I think it is a misinterpretation some people in power have of early non-padded practices that most of country participates in.

The whole point of dummies/mats etc. is to be able to practice safely. 

The first week of basketball there is to be no touching of each other or even a basketball in practice.  The second week of basketball you can play defense and rebound because it will now be safe after a week of running. 


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PSLCOACHROB
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I have been putting up with that since I have been coaching. Oline stuff is easy enough with LEG, chutes, scheme, front rec etc. WR and QBs are real easy with patterns/timing. Defense you can install the entire defense. You can also install the offense. Special teams can also be worked well during a non contact time period.
I agree that it is a misinterpretation of the rule in many instances. We were told one year that we weren't allowed to do any football stuff. It had to be all conditioning. And the board members sat and watched our practices to make sure. They said it was a new conference policy. Well, my header is very good frineds with the conference pres and vp and called their bluff. Apparently they made up a new rule without actually putting it to vote. That was par for the course over there.


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Coach BigMike
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thats tough. you could treat it as Strength and Conditioning and then start setting up plays?... we have 8 conditioning practices first without pads. that's to get kids acclimated to the weather and physical stress. then they go into gear. maybe Helmets first day, then shells, then all gear.  no hitting til second week of pads. just the model we use.

(Las Vegas, NV)


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DL
 DL
(@daniel-lyons)
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The other thing is it is far more dangerous to do it the safer way. 

Much better to start with fits and progressions then to go full go with pads on not having learned those first steps.

Some coaches will be smart enough to still go through the early progressions even with pads, but many will just start banging after a week of running. 

NOT having the pads forces the coaches to be somewhat smart about it and teach the kids without going to the ground or using a mat or lined up dummies to go to ground from a fit. 

Besides who wants to just run for a week?  Sounds like torture to most. 


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DL
 DL
(@daniel-lyons)
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If it isn't an eval period for you where you are choosing teams than I would follow what Big Mike and Rob are saying.

Get some install in, some strength and conditioning (maybe make that into games - is tag okay?), some passing and some fundamentals on air.


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PSLCOACHROB
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The other thing is it is far more dangerous to do it the safer way. 

Much better to start with fits and progressions then to go full go with pads on not having learned those first steps.

Some coaches will be smart enough to still go through the early progressions even with pads, but many will just start banging after a week of running. 

NOT having the pads forces the coaches to be somewhat smart about it and teach the kids without going to the ground or using a mat or lined up dummies to go to ground from a fit. 

Besides who wants to just run for a week?  Sounds like torture to most.

Absolutely better to start with fits and progressions. You would think that experienced people would know this. But remember, these rules are to protect the kids from idiot coaches. God forbid the orgs actually do their job and weed out or train the idiots.


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hharris
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My father was an All American high school football player who went on to play college football and baseball.  He eventually ended up playing professional baseball.  I was talking with him over the fourth of July telling him I had a summer camp on the Tuesday after the 4th that I was running.  He laughed and told me that when he was in high school, you didn't do any football until the season started and no one did camps.  They had a few weeks before the first game.  He said they didn't even get pads until the week of the first game.  He played in the 1950's in New Jersey.  He told me they spent the first week or two just running plays without pads and getting in shape.

Makes you wonder about the evolution of the game.  When I read the original post it made me think back to the conversation with my dad.  He thinks parents and coaches are nuts these days and should just let the kids be kids and play pickup football in the neighborhood in the off season without any parent or coach involvement.  I tend to agree with him.

I also love the story he tells about being a young baseball player.  They had a baseball diamond at the end of his street.  Every spring and summer the town would have baseball in the evenings in a hot stove league.  When the men weren't playing, the boys would get pick up games going.  He told me that when he was little, he had to play right field and bat last because the big kids got all the good spots.  As he got older, he basically had to fight his way into the infield and wasn't able to pitch until he was in his teens.  He also told me how they settled things.  It wasn't with a rule book and it wasn't with a parent around.  It was with their fists and whoever was toughest.  In the fall, they played tackle football with no pads, no rule book, no parents, and no water bottles.

These days, kids are playing organized sports year round.  They go to camps.  They play tons of games.  Parents and coaches control everything.  As my dad would say, maybe its time to just let the kids be kids.  Spend the first week without pads teaching them your offense and defense, do some conditioning and then let them play pickup football  😉 just like they did back in the 50's.


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Bob Goodman
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So I just read and received confirmation that for the first week of practice there is no contact, no pads, no blocking on opponents or dummies. So essentially this means that I can't teach blocking or tackling fits. I can't run gauntlets. So what would you do during the first week outside of agility drills and position tryouts?

I don't think I'd even go for position tryouts under those conditions.  I'd assume everybody's playing every position for that week, and try them doing the non-contact stuff of everything.  You will find your kickers in the course of that week, though.  Also, Deer Hunter is said to be a fun way to find the quickest players.

If it's literally no touching, here are things you can work on:

ball skills (holding the ball as a runner, passing, snapping, handing off, receiving handoffs, recovering a ball on the ground, receiving, kicking, fielding kicks)
pass routes & coverage
steps at the snap (stance, get-off, blocking steps, reacting to snap, unopposed penetration moves)
crab & shoeshine blocking vs. air
signals
huddling & getting in formation
substitution

Most of these things will be less effective when you've no idea who's going to play where, but at least they resemble football, not just gym class.


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mahonz
(@mahonz)
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Flag Football.

Seriously. You will find everything you are looking for and these DUMB ASS rules never consider...flag football.

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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HCScott
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I have been putting up with that since I have been coaching. Oline stuff is easy enough with LEG, chutes, scheme, front rec etc. WR and QBs are real easy with patterns/timing. Defense you can install the entire defense. You can also install the offense. Special teams can also be worked well during a non contact time period.

You are right on the money, IMO. I don't have any of those rules to follow and am free to suit up. Because I have not had my usual summer practices where I used to have 85% of my team in helmets and shoulder pads by now, I will go a couple days in helmets, a couple in shoulder pads and then full gear. Heck, I'll probably be gearing kids up the entire month of August to fill my rosters. That makes it super difficult to get those late boys acclimated to contact.

One idea for you guys. I always bring a large ice chest full of water with a couple big gulp size cups. I teach my boys to dip to fill the cup and pour it over their heads to cool off. I allow my players to run over to the water to cool off whenever they feel the need. I have never had a problem with players going to often and missing their reps, which could be a problem if allowed. They learn to stay cooled and when we get into those first two or three hot games my team has practiced dumping a quart of water over their heads to cool off. We wore all black but still won all of those games. Making your players suffer does not improve their performance!

As we progress into gear I'm teaching our everyday drills. Stances, O Line 1 step, 2 step for everyone. We make a bit of contact in 6 point drill, but then blocking and tackling fits, a little sumo and then I will go over hole numbering, base defense and try out my centers. The center and finding him early is very important.

I always let'em all kick off, punt and place kick to prove to the parents they all got a shot. When I have veterans I am usually working on our first few plays also. By week two they should know our everyday drills, be acclimated to the heat and helmets and begin splatter blocking, tackling and close quarters tackling. Then it is Tackle, Tackle, Tackle...

"The quarterback must go down and he must go down hard"


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DL
 DL
(@daniel-lyons)
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Flag Football.

Seriously. You will find everything you are looking for and these DUMB ASS rules never consider...flag football.

I tried using flags last weekend in a non contact zone read drill.  They slowed the drill down and it looked ugly so I quickly abandoned it and we went to two hand touch the hip instead.

Fingers down slap hip and bring hands up after.  Worked much better and was better for form.  Live and learn.


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CoachOCD
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take this opportunity to install your O focusing on feet, positioning and hands. Run your O, have your D not move, and the O line gets to move body, their own, where you want,  and how you want it. Backfield action, you can hand off the ball pass the ball...IDE WANT 2 WEEKS!
Oh sure its suppose to legally be 10 hours of grass drills and meant to be hell week.


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