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SingleWingGoombah
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We are behind in our defensive install, due to uncertainty in the defensive coordinator position.  Its not an ideal situation for me, but I have plenty of practice  time still, so I am not worried.  Anyways, I was trying to come up with a way to force the kids to start learning how to communicate, and for the leaders to start finding their voice, and for the team to further develop.  So it was our first day in pads yesterday, first day having helmets too.  Here is what I made them do:

I made the entire team line up their helmets in alphabetical order by last name, in a neat line, all facing the same way, with their water bottles on a neat line in front of the helmets.  I gave them no more direction than that and coaches were not allowed to offer any advice.  They had 9 minutes to get it done (which is the length of one quarter) and if the task did not get completed, they had a conditioning exercise to do.

They started off really well, 2 kids kind of took control a bit, one of them started doing it in a similar way that I would have, would have been efficient, but then things broke off, the 2 who tried taking control kind of just stopped leading.  I think they had about 5 or 6 (of 20) kids correct before it all went downhill. 

They will have another chance today, and every day until they figure it out, with the consequence of not achieving success getting harsher each day. 

I am trying to show them what they can accomplish in 9 minutes (one quarter) when they work together as a team.  Yesterday they did not work well as a team, we will see how today improves. 


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mahonz
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G

Interesting exercise.  🙂

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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SingleWingGoombah
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I am very interested to see what day 2 will bring.  I think it will be one of those light bulb drills, could happen today, might take all week, no idea, but I think once they figure it out, they will knock it out the park. 

I am going to cut a minute off today too.  Still plenty of time, but that will be a stressor for them to have to overcome, the thought of losing time. 


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Monster
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A question on things like this where you are essentially working them on team-building; do you tell the players that is what you are trying to do or do you let them figure it out for themselves?

In other words, do you say "you need to be able to figure out who the leaders are, and this drill will help you do this" or "This is how I want it done."?

Mission Statement: To make a genuine effort at every opportunity to help those around me build and maintain a commitment to success.


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SingleWingGoombah
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I was very blunt with what needed to be done, line of helmets in alphabetical order by last name, starting with A on left side, facemasks facing in, water bottle in front, with opening facing in. 

I dropped a few hints when giving them the details on having 9 minutes, I said you will have 9 minutes to do this, which is the same length as one quarter, this will show you what can be done in 9 minutes when you act as a team. 

I did not mention anythign about leadership during this.  It had been discussed with them last week that we are looking for our teams leaders, and how will step up to be a captain. 

The key in my planning of this is to give specific direction as to what the end must look like, but I want them to communicate and work together to get there, that is their job to figure out.  I expected them to fail yesterday.  I wanted them to fail.  I want them to find their own way. 

I also give constant time updates, starting out as Its already been, such as its already been 2 minutes.  That makes it sound like I think they should be farther along.  Then after the halfway point I switched to You only have x minutes left.  This was intential to be a stressor that they were going to have to work through. 


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Monster
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I was very blunt with what needed to be done, line of helmets in alphabetical order by last name, starting with A on left side, facemasks facing in, water bottle in front, with opening facing in. 

I dropped a few hints when giving them the details on having 9 minutes, I said you will have 9 minutes to do this, which is the same length as one quarter, this will show you what can be done in 9 minutes when you act as a team. 

I did not mention anythign about leadership during this.  It had been discussed with them last week that we are looking for our teams leaders, and how will step up to be a captain. 

The key in my planning of this is to give specific direction as to what the end must look like, but I want them to communicate and work together to get there, that is their job to figure out.  I expected them to fail yesterday.  I wanted them to fail.  I want them to find their own way. 

I also give constant time updates, starting out as Its already been, such as its already been 2 minutes.  That makes it sound like I think they should be farther along.  Then after the halfway point I switched to You only have x minutes left.  This was intential to be a stressor that they were going to have to work through.

Got it.

This is the way that I was going to approach this myself, but I want to the water jug drill to be done before practice starts to, and I'm paraphrasing Mahonz here, turn on their football brains.

Here's my twist on this drill:

There first day with helmets (Day two for us) I'm going to grab the first three players I see and tell them how I want the helmets aligned. My version is going to be no more than three helmets across, the middle one goes first, on the hash mark, and the water bottle to the right as you're facing it with the logo out. The second helmet is to the left, the third to the right. Make certain that half the helmets are on this side of the "chute" and the other half are on the other side.

Then we'll do warm-ups and I'll get all agitated because I'm grumpy and they didn't do it right. Then after warmups I'd like to adopt your policy and make a big deal out of the necessary attention to detail and get them to do it right within the time frame.

Thanks for the inspiration coach!

Mission Statement: To make a genuine effort at every opportunity to help those around me build and maintain a commitment to success.


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gumby_in_co
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The last season I coached, I thought I had a brilliant idea. On about our 3rd practice, our dynamic warmup routine was fairly familiar.  HC was former army and I was in the Marines, so we had a regular cadence to our exercises.  I convinced the HC to tell them to warm themselves up.

So he just said, "You all have seen our warmup routine and you're old enough that you don't need us to hold your hand through them. So get warmed up!"

3 kids just started doing their lunges, the vast majority just stood their like sheep. The HC's kid yelled at the 3 mavericks to get back in line, then took over our warmups like a pro. The team followed him like he had a whistle around his neck. We didn't make a big deal out of it, but this is exactly how I expected it to go. On the 2nd day, the 3 mavericks took their turn starting an exercise or two and within a few days, kids started figuring out they could take charge and lead if they felt like it. We paid attention to which kids were followed.

After a week, we were approached by the team mom. She was upset that her precious and unique desert flower wasn't given the chance to lead the warmups. I told her that he was given every chance to lead warmups, lead form tackling, and any number of drills, including getting the team from A to B quickly or whatever. She said, "Well some kids don't feel comfortable jumping up and taking charge. They need to know they have permission to lead first." I told her that she had just proved  my point.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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PSLCOACHROB
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The last season I coached, I thought I had a brilliant idea. On about our 3rd practice, our dynamic warmup routine was fairly familiar.  HC was former army and I was in the Marines, so we had a regular cadence to our exercises.  I convinced the HC to tell them to warm themselves up.

So he just said, "You all have seen our warmup routine and you're old enough that you don't need us to hold your hand through them. So get warmed up!"

3 kids just started doing their lunges, the vast majority just stood their like sheep. The HC's kid yelled at the 3 mavericks to get back in line, then took over our warmups like a pro. The team followed him like he had a whistle around his neck. We didn't make a big deal out of it, but this is exactly how I expected it to go. On the 2nd day, the 3 mavericks took their turn starting an exercise or two and within a few days, kids started figuring out they could take charge and lead if they felt like it. We paid attention to which kids were followed.

After a week, we were approached by the team mom. She was upset that her precious and unique desert flower wasn't given the chance to lead the warmups. I told her that he was given every chance to lead warmups, lead form tackling, and any number of drills, including getting the team from A to B quickly or whatever. She said, "Well some kids don't feel comfortable jumping up and taking charge. They need to know they have permission to lead first." I told her that she had just proved  my point.

And that is exactly why kids need football. To counter moms like that.


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Monster
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The last season I coached, I thought I had a brilliant idea. On about our 3rd practice, our dynamic warmup routine was fairly familiar.  HC was former army and I was in the Marines, so we had a regular cadence to our exercises.  I convinced the HC to tell them to warm themselves up.

So he just said, "You all have seen our warmup routine and you're old enough that you don't need us to hold your hand through them. So get warmed up!"

3 kids just started doing their lunges, the vast majority just stood their like sheep. The HC's kid yelled at the 3 mavericks to get back in line, then took over our warmups like a pro. The team followed him like he had a whistle around his neck. We didn't make a big deal out of it, but this is exactly how I expected it to go. On the 2nd day, the 3 mavericks took their turn starting an exercise or two and within a few days, kids started figuring out they could take charge and lead if they felt like it. We paid attention to which kids were followed.

After a week, we were approached by the team mom. She was upset that her precious and unique desert flower wasn't given the chance to lead the warmups. I told her that he was given every chance to lead warmups, lead form tackling, and any number of drills, including getting the team from A to B quickly or whatever. She said, "Well some kids don't feel comfortable jumping up and taking charge. They need to know they have permission to lead first." I told her that she had just proved  my point.

That's kind of my idea with my warmups this year. I want to get it to the point where the player's themselves are running the warm ups, with the coaches correcting form and such. Good to know that your approach worked.

Mission Statement: To make a genuine effort at every opportunity to help those around me build and maintain a commitment to success.


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PSLCOACHROB
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I want to just do away with them completely. Warm ups that is.


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Monster
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I used to think that way, and I still kinda do, but I agree with Mahonz' point about how a child needs to have a clearly defined point where football begins and ends. I think that by making warmups an "Attention to Detail" item, that helps.

Now, don't get me wrong; I have no intention of spending 15 minutes of every practice getting each and every player lined up just right and lose all of that valuable time, but I do not want there to be any question where playtime ends and football begins.

Mission Statement: To make a genuine effort at every opportunity to help those around me build and maintain a commitment to success.


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mahonz
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About 15 years ago when I first moved back to Denver there was an 8th grade team in my Org that had never lost a game since they started out as second graders.

So Jr and I went and watched them play a game.

The first thing I noticed in pre game was there were no coaches visible. I had to really look around to find them. They never approached the kids for the entire pre game. They ran it all them selves.

Right then I told myself...that is what I want my teams to do. Cant do it with the younger kids but you can certainly do it with the older ones.

Was 21-0 at the end of the first Q....35-0 at the half. I'd seen enough. They were a machine that no longer required coaches. 

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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Monster
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About 15 years ago when I first moved back to Denver there was an 8th grade team in my Org that had never lost a game since they started out as second graders.

So Jr and I went and watched them play a game.

The first thing I noticed in pre game was there were no coaches visible. I had to really look around to find them. They never approached the kids for the entire pre game. They ran it all them selves.

Right then I told myself...that is what I want my teams to do. Cant do it with the younger kids but you can certainly do it with the older ones.

Was 21-0 at the end of the first Q....35-0 at the half. I'd seen enough. They were a machine that no longer required coaches.

This is what I want! I want the players to own their team. To have a completely vested interest in how it works.

Mission Statement: To make a genuine effort at every opportunity to help those around me build and maintain a commitment to success.


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SingleWingGoombah
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Leadership is what happens, when a group is told to get to point A, but not told how to get there.


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mahonz
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I used to think that way, and I still kinda do, but I agree with Mahonz' point about how a child needs to have a clearly defined point where football begins and ends. I think that by making warmups an "Attention to Detail" item, that helps.

Now, don't get me wrong; I have no intention of spending 15 minutes of every practice getting each and every player lined up just right and lose all of that valuable time, but I do not want there to be any question where playtime ends and football begins.

M

I will never stop doing our warm up routine. It has tremendous value even if it has nothing to do with warming up the youth body. It begins the regiment....or is that regimen?

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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