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My first season as a HC - Fall 2021

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gumby_in_co
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Thought I'd keep up with Mahonz' tradition. Plus, this helps to serve as a journal that I can look back on to reflect on what went right, what went wrong and the logic behind some of my decisions.

There are 2 aspects of this that I didn't expect:

1) how much non-football stuff is involved being the HC. Jerseys, rosters, registrations, USAF certs, background checks, player forms, etc, etc, etc. 

2) how absolutely lonely this is. Had a good 2 hour phone call with my OC that helped, but man. It's lonely at the top. Super glad I have the forum.

Had the "draft" this weekend. Not really a draft at all. Showed up a HQ where they handed me my roster.  My dealings with our club (okay, 1 particular board member in our club) have been frustrating, but as long as we get it done, I'll get over it. I could just do without the frustration. 

They also told us the jamboree would be 8/13 and that they are "not as far along with that as they'd like to be". Since I didn't get an invite to it, I think it's a safe bet that no other teams have been invited either. So essentially 3 weeks away and no invites have gone out. If I were involved, alarm bells would be going off. The saving grace might be that I can't find any other jamborees in the area. No matter. We have always been good at finding scrimmage partners.

With a roster of 25, the only way to make this work is to platoon it. I'm actually pretty excited about this. We have had to re-evaluate our coaching strategy, though. Each coach will have to be dedicated to one side of the ball. We have 7 full time coaches and 1 part time. He's a long time coach with us, but is taking a rookie 1st/2nd grade team, so he will help as he can. OC wants 3 coaches for backs, receivers and OL, respectively. My brother in law has been helping me with o-line for 2 seasons plus flex and I feel he's ready. 

First optional practice (league rule) is tomorrow night. This will be our no pads, no contact week, so we can start next week (official start of practices) in full pads. This week will be a lot of learning, initial evaluations and conditioning. I racked my brain trying to figure out a race format to order the kids from fastest to slowest but I think I'll just bust out the stop watches for 27 yard dashes. 3 cone, pro agility never told me squat.  Oh, we also will start looking for a PAT kicker. We don't have goal posts, but I think anyone who can clear the porta potties from 20 yards out is in the running. Still need to throw together an agenda for the week. No idea which kids or coaches will be there, but I'll keep them busy.

Offense will be Empty and Flexbone. The offense formerly known as "Beast" will be quads out of Empty. Why make it harder than it needs to be?

Defense most likely will be Murphy's Swarm 44. The more I learn about it, the more I like it. However, we have a new coach (to us) who played through college and coached at the HS level for several years. Initial conversations with him have been great. I may turn the defense over to him. I'll have a talk with him to see if it's what we both want. If he does take the DC spot, then I'll pick a position group and focus on game day HC stuff.

Special teams: Get very good at onside recovery. Only kick deep if we don't care if they score. ST coach will have freedom to get creative with KR (I'm partial to the starburst). Try to find a PAT kicker as that is the only 2 point conversion in our league. Huge advantage if you've got it. Punt (yuck) out of Beast Empty Quads. PR is focused on getting the ball back. If our PR can field the ball cleanly 9 out of 10 times in practice, we'll let him try to return it. He'll have a code word for "I'm going to catch this and try to return it". If he doesn't make that call, everyone comes to the sideline when the ball is kicked. The only thing I hate more than watching a kid on PR follow the bouncing ball is watching that ball hit him in the leg.

Main focus on the season is to change the team mindset. That's coaches and players. Time for the players to take over and care at least as much as the coaches. Full on MOJO because that's what I do.

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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CoachDP
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co

There are 2 aspects of this that I didn't expect:

1) how much non-football stuff is involved being the HC. Jerseys, rosters, registrations, USAF certs, background checks, player forms, etc, etc, etc. 

--That's easily half of the job, if not most of it.  However, I took all that on myself, for two reasons: 1) I could be assured that it would be done the way I wanted it and done correctly. 2) The ACs were there to coach, not to fill out paperwork.

2) how absolutely lonely this is. Had a good 2 hour phone call with my OC that helped, but man. It's lonely at the top. Super glad I have the forum.

--It can be very lonely.  But I'm a communicator.  And the more time I spent in phone calls, texts, emails and in-person time with my staff, the less lonely I felt.

With a roster of 25, the only way to make this work is to platoon it. I'm actually pretty excited about this. We have had to re-evaluate our coaching strategy, though. Each coach will have to be dedicated to one side of the ball. We have 7 full time coaches and 1 part time.

--25 players and 7 coaches?  You're in high cotton!

The offense formerly known as "Beast" will be quads out of Empty. Why make it harder than it needs to be?

--What makes it "quads?"

--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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gumby_in_co
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Posted by: @coachdp

--What makes it "quads?"

--Dave

 

 

4 eligible receivers on one side:

 

Empty Right:

X                 T  G  C  G  T  Y

            A                            B  C

                           Q

 

Quads Right:

X                 T  G  C  G  T  Y

                                          A B C

                           Q

 

Quads Right Power:

                X  T  G  C  G  T  Y

                                          A B  C

                        Q

 

Quads Right Power Over:

                 X  G  C  G  T  T  Y

                                           A B C

                         Q

look familiar?

And if I find that running with wide sniffers:

Quads Right Beast Power Over:

                 X  G  C  G  T  T  Y

                                    A  B  C

                             Q

aka "Beast Right". So now, Beast won't be taught as a separate offense. It will be part of Empty. Treating Beast as its own offense presented some challenges, mainly because the personnel were different and, we had to flip. We're going to try this without flipping. If we can pull that off, we will be several times more dangerous because we will be truly ambidextrous, we double our counter/counter trap game and we completely crack the "passing out of Beast" issues.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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bdjackson
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Lar (I believe), 

If by the end of this season, we aren't able to write a book between our two season long posts then we must be doing something wrong. lol.

--Brian

Being Capable, first begins with being Confident.


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gumby_in_co
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Posted by: @bdjackson

Lar (I believe), 

If by the end of this season, we aren't able to write a book between our two season long posts then we must be doing something wrong. lol.

--Brian

Between Dumcoach and the old Double Wing forum, I have written War and Peace 3 times over, LOL.

 

[edit]

and yes.  Lar or Larry

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Coyote
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co

1) how much non-football stuff is involved being the HC. Jerseys, rosters, registrations, USAF certs, background checks, player forms, etc, etc, etc.

This is why I avoid the HC role.   My HC loves all this stuff, he is good with parents - our handshake contract says I don't do parents - and has an eye for talent.  I get to do my thing - OC - he set basic strategy, occasionally will want something specific - but for the most part, I'm pretty much turned loose.  We make a good team.   

Lonely at the top?   Find a good coaching partner, My HC and I are partners more than HC and AC.

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


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CoachDP
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Posted by: @coyote

Lonely at the top?   Find a good coaching partner, My HC and I are partners more than HC and AC.

Agree.  My DC and I spent 10 years together at the youth and middle school level.

--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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gumby_in_co
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Posted by: @coyote
Find a good coaching partner, My HC and I are partners more than HC and AC.

I don't like to assume, but I'm pretty sure that partner was me, LOL. One of my ACs is a very experienced coach and we talk a lot. He's a part timer because he's coaching a 1st/2nd grade rookie team. I'm helping him and he's helping me. I go Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. He goes Monday, Wednesday. So I just kissed any days off goodbye.

On the good news front:

We had a kid who was moving to Texas. Broke our hearts. He's the smallest kid on the field, but plays like he's the biggest. He's also a year younger than most of our team. This Spring, he made huge strides in aggression (even though it was touch), maturity, confidence and leadership. Also, his dad was an AC for us and a very promising young coach.  Well, they found out today that the move to Texas has been postponed, so the kid and his dad are back.  Well, I haven't talked to the dad yet, but I'm not accepting "no" for an answer. This really solves a big problem on the coaching front. 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
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First practice as a HC, although it was an optional one. Typed and printed out a fairly detailed practice plan that I never intended on sticking to. The more I do this, the better sense I have for how much time something should take. So I put these plans together mainly to make myself feel better and give me a sense of how far ahead or behind I get.

I always go into a practice with an objective and last nights was to introduce the players to our highly synchronized warm up/plyo routine, then get some conditioning in that doesn't feel like conditioning. I initially had Circle of Iron on the agenda, but I told the parents that these "zero week" optional practices would be loose and fun. I didn't want to go back on my word, so scratched Circle of Iron and went with route running and Deer Hunter instead.

11 out of 26 showed up, which really isn't a bad thing. Again these are 100% optional practices with zero repercussions for not attending. Why would I do that? To satisfy my requirement of having 3 non-contact practices so we can hit the ground running next week. Anyway, 11 guys are not enough to do our highly synchronized warm up routine, plus when I saw that 3 of my 4 rookies were in attendance, I realized that I needed adjust. So the objective changed to introducing the rookies to our culture in a no-pads, zero risk environment. 

Got a late start because the 3 rookie moms had a lot of questions and I was the only coach in attendance. (2 showed up later).

Told the kids that warm ups would be 10x100 and that I would be running them with them. 2 of our kids smoked me. No surprise there. Had a few teaching moments as some of the kids struggled. I was running with the lead group as we passed my nephew going the opposite direction. Nephew announced jokingly, "I QUIT!". Some of the smaller, faster kids started brow-beating him, calling him "Quitter!", yelling at him to finish, etc. In our recovery period, I explained that we need to learn to fill our teammates' emotional gas tanks, not empty them. They cut their recovery short and took off to help him finish his rep.

Made a logistics change. In the past, the gear bags, wagon and water bottles were kept right near the parking lot. I moved them to the middle of the field to a) get away from the parents and b) cut down the distance to water breaks. During our post 10x100 water break, I used my fancy new magnetic whiteboard on a tripod to chalk talk them about "Football 101". Lots of focused, appropriate questions, especially from the rookies. When I got to the defensive part, I told them every time the opponent snaps the ball is an opportunity to take it away. That caused some confused looks and a few questions, so I called an audible and introduced our "Strip the ball, scoop and score" drill that I stole from Murphy. BC jogs/high knees away from the tackler, carrying the ball loose and low. In one station, tackler upper cuts the ball, scoops and scores. In the other, tackler goes "over the top" with the away arm over the non-ball collarbone (securing the RB), then goes over the top with the other hand and rips the ball out, scoops and scores. 1) Kids loved it 2) It looked surprisingly effective. Once they were going on their own, I pulled the other two ACs aside and gave them the "elevator pitch" for "Whose Ball".  Gave them my "what is this" speech (patting myself on the back, I think it was a really good one), then ambushed them with "Whose Ball". We went from zero to 100 in about 3 seconds. After practice 4 kids told me that "Whose Ball" was their favorite drill.

Another water break and quick chalk talk about special teams. 20 minutes left in practice, so I ran Deer Hunter, telling my ACs to look for the athletes among the rookies. All 3 have the goods in shorts/t-shirts, so getting them to embrace MOJO starting next week is priority #1. I bought 5 nerf footballs at the dollar store and soaked them in ice water. "Hunter" could either hit a deer with an "arrow" or tag him. 

Jail break and done.

Super, super weird to be without Mahonz. Also super, super weird to be in charge. Having some minor "impersonator syndrome", but the best way I know to combat that is to continue to study, learn, prepare. Couldn't sleep last night thinking football. Lots going through my mind, but made a decision to scrap the synchronized warm up/plyo routine and replace it with football-related warm up stations. Stations will be available starting 15 minutes before practice officially starts and continue for 15 minutes after. Then our team lap/hit the bag/breakdown and right into special teams. Once I made this decision, I fell sound asleep. Mahonz' reason for the routine was to turn on their football brains, so I will closely monitor that. If I see a drop in focus (not really possible with this group, LOL), I'll adjust. 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Seth54
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Imposter syndrome is normal, but it will quickly pass. You are ready for this, and had a great mentor. In a few weeks that will be behind you


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mahonz
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co
Posted by: @coyote
Find a good coaching partner, My HC and I are partners more than HC and AC.

I don't like to assume, but I'm pretty sure that partner was me, LOL. One of my ACs is a very experienced coach and we talk a lot. He's a part timer because he's coaching a 1st/2nd grade rookie team. I'm helping him and he's helping me. I go Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. He goes Monday, Wednesday. So I just kissed any days off goodbye.

On the good news front:

We had a kid who was moving to Texas. Broke our hearts. He's the smallest kid on the field, but plays like he's the biggest. He's also a year younger than most of our team. This Spring, he made huge strides in aggression (even though it was touch), maturity, confidence and leadership. Also, his dad was an AC for us and a very promising young coach.  Well, they found out today that the move to Texas has been postponed, so the kid and his dad are back.  Well, I haven't talked to the dad yet, but I'm not accepting "no" for an answer. This really solves a big problem on the coaching front. 

Zig Zag is back? That's huge!

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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mahonz
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co

 

Super, super weird to be without Mahonz. Also super, super weird to be in charge. Having some minor "impersonator syndrome", but the best way I know to combat that is to continue to study, learn, prepare. 

Making it your own. 👍 I will catch up with you Friday. Im exhausted. 👍 

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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CoachDP
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Posted by: @mahonz

Making it your own. 👍 I will catch up with you Friday. Im exhausted. 👍 

How can you be exhausted?  You're not even coaching this year! 😉 

--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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mahonz
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Posted by: @coachdp
Posted by: @mahonz

Making it your own. 👍 I will catch up with you Friday. Im exhausted. 👍 

How can you be exhausted?  You're not even coaching this year! 😉 

--Dave

I've had all 6 grandkids for the last week. They are kicking my a$$. 😎 

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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Dusty Ol Fart
(@youth-coach)
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I recently went to visit my two youngest grandkids 2 and 4 weeks old.  They just pee'd on me.  Being a former Header I'm used to it!  LOL

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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