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Coach Kyle's 2021 Journal

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Coach Kyle
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I saw some other people making a journal, and I really like the idea. This year I'm coaching 8/9 year olds. I have done this age once before. I know I need to keep it simple. Most of them are just happy to be there. 

Had first practice tonight. We had 2 camps before this, and I got a good look at each kid there. I'm pliable though, and I think we may have found another quarterback. It rained on us, and we were trying out QB. We are going to need to work at center, but I definitely have a kid with the right mindset. A few others might be better at it.

We have so many kids in the same weight range. Our max weight limit is 130, and all of our kids are below 100. Now we're planning to run the jet, so hopefully this works out. Never done it before. I definitely think it should work out. We're tip toeing through it now, but I can see the confidence building. We'll do 1000 snaps before the first game if that's what it takes. Today we did snapping, receiving the snap, jet sweep hand offs. We taught hole numbering and player numbering. Form tackling. We hit some bags.

I think I learned two things (relearned). We came out flat. Helmets were a big distraction. It would be a great idea to have some sort of "practice" where we just put the helmets on them. Equipment day or something. Forgot to ask them if they did their pushups! I assigned them 10 pushups a night during their time between camp and practice start. Forgot to tell them their daily assignments of sleep, vegetables, and brushing their teeth.

Our energy was much better after the tackling drill. I think tomorrow we should start with some hitting... if we don't do helmets first! Those helmets absolutely sucked some of our energy away.

Captains are emerging already. Gideon is absolutely a leader. Murphy looks like a possibility. 

12 more practices before the first game.

Deaths while walking 4,743Deaths from football 12


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Coach Kyle
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Day 2. Not sure if I will keep this every day... work is supportive, but it's going to be a rough season 🙄 

Went over dive and counter. It looks rough. I took 20 times, and we have a lot of kids who are 4.2 to 4.35. I think we have 6. That's kind of crazy because that's 1/3 of our team that is on the faster side, but that's probably going to happen because we're smaller on average.

We love football drills. We hate learning plays... but maybe that's me. We're almost done with that anyway. Some natural leaders are emerging. We had one kid go down with heat problems. We didn't do much before that too... so hopefully everything is fine.

Deaths while walking 4,743Deaths from football 12


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Coach Kyle
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Day 3 - rained out. Most of Michigan lost power. I was pretty bummed. I guess the portajohn getting knocked over was a key point in the decision.

Day 4 - Picture day... but it was also our last day of non-pad practice. I'm going to push to make picture day one of these days every year. We had to take our pads off and then practice. We taught them GOOD blocking, played some touch. We also got a new kid who is our biggest kid, and he looks pretty dang fast. He seems pretty chill too. He looks like a stud.

Day 5 - We can finally hit! We tackled stand up bags, topple, squeeze drill, target practice, whose ball, twin cannon, Sumo, X factor and tackle baseball. The kids did pretty well. I screamed until I got a headache. I liked that this was on Friday. Fun way to end the week. A lot of kids who looked pretty inattentive were suddenly pretty good. One kid emerged as a stud lineman. One kid was a bit of a bust. They're all pretty tough.

We need to figure out who is going where. We have very few lineman, and most kids could be running back. 

Deaths while walking 4,743Deaths from football 12


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CoachDP
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Posted by: @coach-kyle

We tackled stand up bags, topple, squeeze drill, target practice, whose ball, twin cannon, Sumo, X factor and tackle baseball.

Sounds like you’ve got some pretty good drills there. 😎 

—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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Coach Kyle
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Week 2, Day 1

Bad with a captain B. We have a lopsided team. We have one kid who is a real standout today, and he's a man among boys. All of my other theoretical studs need to up their aggression. The Jet sweep is taking a lot of time out of practice. We've having fumbled snaps and false starts. We're also slow. I don't have a lot of time to watch the lineman, and they're the ones who really need the help. I need to make sure that I'm using our cadence with the same tempo as our QB will when I'm running the lineman drills. One of the kids we will need is going to need some special attention.

That being said, we have 7 more practices and 1 scrimmage until the first game. We have four plays in. That's enough. We just need to learn how to play football. It's GREAT to see the lights go on for some kids.

Some drills we BADLY need is 1 fight club. They're all over the place with where to put their hands. Did the shooter drill, and they loved it... still need lots of work on where to put the hands though.

I tried to get fancy with 3 cone and it was a mistake. These kids are struggling with basic PUSH THEM OVER... so we just need to get there first. If we can figure out when to execute a reach block vs. when to execute a down block, we'll probably score points. If we can hit and drive them back, I'll be happy. So that being said, 3 cone made a lot more sense once we just did the vanilla version. Lesson I'll have to relearn lol. Start at square one with drills.

Our talent is so lopsided this year. We really need to work on lineman. Another drill we need is conga or karate class. I need to see if they get the concept of reach block vs. down block.

We also need bird drill. We ran scrimmage... it was a huge mistake. They're playing paddy cake.

I got really annoyed at a kid. We have a kid who is sighing, booing, and overall being upset at some of the more fun stuff... He's the classic case of doesn't want to be there. Of course if you ask him, he says he does... That type of stuff influences the team very negatively. It's a cancer. And it's super rare to get a kid like this... Typically you have a kid who doesn't want to be there and they cry or cower... they don't complain. I don't even believe he's not interested. It's almost like he's learned to get negative attention by complaining. I'm not going to give up on him, but holy smokes.... annoying.

We also did 2 for 1... It's by far one of my favorite drills. Simple and shows you exactly where everyone is at.

They're also not getting the no line thing. But that happens. They'll figure it out.

Deaths while walking 4,743Deaths from football 12


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Coach Kyle
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Week 2, day 2

Much better day. We switched a few things around. We did Pursuit drill first. That burned off a little energy, and then we did inside run, and I think that combo eased us into a better practice. Forgot the music though. The jet sweep is killing me. I don't think I like it at all. We're going to have to change it up to be a rhythmic cadence. We also need more practice on Just getting the plays down. We did bird dog... and I don't know if I get birddog with the jet because it kinda defeats the purpose. That being said I definitely think we did the best job of identifying the who to block today. Our team seems stacked though... I can't lie. The jet sounds like a perfect offense for us. We're going to have 3 kids who look like stud running backs. We've also got a kid who can throw, and a kid who can catch... and that kid is big. We've got some big lineman who can move people... now we don't have a lot of big lineman who can move people, but we definitely have 3 kids who are big and strong. We have a 4th who is pretty decent, and we have a kid who is about to win the last lineman position because of his attitude.

I also backed off a little on the yelling. I think I was perhaps making them anxious. I did a more thorough explanation of how to get in the drill with no line, and it clicked much better. 

The one kid with a bad attitude sat out today. I had a whole speech I planned to give him... and I totally screwed it up! After forgetting what I was going to say I eventually got to where I was going. I had a whole bit about how Arnold Schwartenzager wouldn't want someone moaning next to him in the gym. I did a little impression, he's say, "Get out of my gym with that bad attitude!" I think it got the point across. From now on I'm going to say "Attitude!" in a Austrian accent.    

Deaths while walking 4,743Deaths from football 12


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Coach Kyle
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Week 2, day 3

Best day so far. The poorly delivered speech worked. We also got some parent intervention. I'm happy to see it. I told the kid that he is a leader, even if he's not the line leader everything he does influences the team. Today he had a great practice and he lead the stretches. This also meant that another kid wanted to practice. I kept hearing about how we had some kids on the sidelines and how "unfair" it is. Every parent who watched knew exactly what was going on. They all said "don't be that". And once we got those kids into the mix it completely changed our attitude. I think we're hitting better now than I've had a team hit at this point before. I also think we're much worse at running plays than we have been at this point. It's a bit scary, but we'll see how it goes.

 

Week 2, day 4

Short Practice today. We had our last kid get through the no pad session, and we introduced him to hitting. He's a scrappy and quick hockey player, so he's a natural. We have our scrimmage tomorrow, and I'm really interested to see how it goes. Something about today looked really crisp... I'm nervous because I feel confident. I think we're going to do poorly at the assignment role of football, but I think we're going to get the general concept better than other teams. That being said, one team practiced a full week earlier than us... no idea why. I'm sure it will show.

Deaths while walking 4,743Deaths from football 12


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Coach Kyle
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Week 2 day 5 (scrimmage)

Decent performance. Our defense (33 stack) did well. I was most impressed with our team's tackling. They really swarmed. They were unafraid of contact. Only one person cried, and he came back in a play later. We also recovered 2 fumbles.

Our alignment and assignment SUCKED. We need to work hard on that. We were down one player... and that was a big issue. Our "receiver" needs to be someone big. I've also clearly made a mistake on our blocking scheme. Way too fancy. Our X/Y are just going to down block while our line reaches and our 3 back blocks first person outside the X/Y. It will work. It might not get us 30 yards a play, but it will probably get us 5 yards a play, and we'll occasionally break one.

LOTS of kids were very confused about alignment and assignment. Need to fix that. Some kids realized that they're not running backs today. I guess that's perhaps a consequence of having a ball carrying drill as a warm up. They're starting to look very good though. I think those ball skills are going to be useful for them no matter what happens in the future. I really like our warm up.

Some of the kids didn't get blitzing. One of the kids is going to be switched from B team to A team because they made the blitz. They actually made a tackle in the backfield from 5 yards deep. That's going to be great.

Also, we need to learn the huddle.

Deaths while walking 4,743Deaths from football 12


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Coach Kyle
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Week 3, day 1

The heat index was very high so we were without pads today! And they cut practice at 7PM... oh and they're doing a pep rally Friday so 5 hours of practice until the first game. It's nuts.

 

We worked on several things. Mostly our X/Y receiver blocking. We talked in depth about reach blocking vs. GOOD blocking. I'm starting to wonder if that's value add... Perhaps we should have just mish mash zone blocked everything.

I'm expecting tomorrow will be a heat index day too... since it's supposed to be hotter and more humid. 

First thing we're doing tomorrow is KO/KR. We can't put that off anymore. They need to know where they're going or it's going to be a nightmare.

They also need to learn how to line up for a huddle... badly. Looked awful. 

Tomorrow I will set the lineman free, and the assistant coaches will drill the lineman on the plays. I don't feel like it's necessarily value add by breaking them up... but we needed to drill this because a lot of kids were confused on the line.

I will take the backs and we will work on the dive hand offs.

Then we will have the base in... maybe we can get the fat offense in. It's a lot... we're going slowly.. who knows what they cancel another practice. They don't really give us the time needed in these first few weeks, but it will get better. After the first game we get 2 weeks before the next game, and the first game doesn't count towards our divisional games, so we can make it to the playoffs without the win. It's still a shame because it feels like we're not going to have an adequate offense. 

 

Deaths while walking 4,743Deaths from football 12


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Coach Kyle
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Week 3, day 2

Damn good practice... I made a specific practice plan, and we stuck to it. Had to start at 7 due to the heat, and we ended early at 8:30. Normally we go 6 to 8. We got in kick off, kick return, huddle, I believe we fixed our dive play. We were allowed to put on pads half an hour in. So then we did sumo, cone drill, and slow Oklahoma. We could only wear shells. Then we did captains speech and letter. Need to remember to copy and file the letter. These 9 year olds are amazingly articulate and they did a great job... 

Our hitting was great. Today we had a new coach start, and he seems like a great guy. I did see a line though when I turned my back... 

The other coaches are requesting to do more scrimmaging. We don't do a lot. The kids looked pretty lost in the scrimmage. I don't think it will help as much as they do, but we do have a lot of stuff to practice. 

Deaths while walking 4,743Deaths from football 12


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gumby_in_co
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Good luck in your first game.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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coachmiket
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Posted by: @coach-kyle

Week 3, day 2

Damn good practice... I made a specific practice plan, and we stuck to it. Had to start at 7 due to the heat, and we ended early at 8:30. Normally we go 6 to 8. We got in kick off, kick return, huddle, I believe we fixed our dive play. We were allowed to put on pads half an hour in. So then we did sumo, cone drill, and slow Oklahoma. We could only wear shells. Then we did captains speech and letter. Need to remember to copy and file the letter. These 9 year olds are amazingly articulate and they did a great job... 

Our hitting was great. Today we had a new coach start, and he seems like a great guy. I did see a line though when I turned my back... 

The other coaches are requesting to do more scrimmaging. We don't do a lot. The kids looked pretty lost in the scrimmage. I don't think it will help as much as they do, but we do have a lot of stuff to practice. 

Just curious your thoughts on why you don't think scrimmaging more will help?


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gumby_in_co
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Posted by: @coachmiket

Just curious your thoughts on why you don't think scrimmaging more will help?

Not to steal Kyle's thunder, but I scaled back our "scrimmaging" this week. We have always been scrimmage-heavy. A review of our last game film (40-0 loss) revealed that we are very close. I believe in our offensive and defensive systems. We just have a few kids who aren't doing their jobs consistently. The talent disparity of our opponent meant that we will pay for our mistakes dearly. Our opponent can afford to be sloppy because of their speed, size and agility. For that reason, I decided that controlled reps are what we need. So the OC and I put our heads together and took a drill from Steve Parker that allows us to simulate what our players need to see on both sides of the ball (backs, receivers, LBs and secondary). I put together some drills for the bigs that accomplishes the same thing.

Scrimmaging can be very productive, but it requires a lot of experienced coaches who are disciplined and can quickly identify and fix problems. I don't really have that this year. 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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soul strife
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Kyle,

How is the 33 treating you? 😇 


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Coach Kyle
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@coachmiket

 

It's a false indicator. Outside of alignment on defense, you're not practicing as much as you think. Plus my assistant coaches are not as engaged as I'd like them to be. If I had 4 guys going around every play and giving feedback, that'd be different. 

Deaths while walking 4,743Deaths from football 12


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