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My first season as a HC - Fall 2021

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gumby_in_co
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2nd optional practice had 8 in attendance. Taught them 1, 2 and 3 routes. Had my 2 returning QBs, plus a kid who wants to play QB slinging the ball around. Gave every non-patch player the chance to throw a few and eliminated all but those 3 from contention. New kid is currently 1lb above patch weight, tall, confident, intelligent and a cannon for an arm. Apparently he is a catcher in baseball, so he's used to being "the guy" and can pick off guys stealing 2nd.  He's also a very athletic and capable receiver. The challenge is to implement MOJO with the kid.

Started introducing our warmup stations. One was a disaster, so I'll change it. Then lightning in the vicinity cut our practice short by about 40 minutes. 

I broke my promise not to yell, but apologized. It was my nephew. I just don't understand why some kids, some times can't follow extremely simple and non-negotiable instructions. I'm a work in progress.

Had our team meeting via Zoom. 3 out of 9 coaches were absent, but I knew that going in. Meeting went well and decided on a few team practices and policies. I suppose the biggest was they convinced me to do a written parent contract. I dusted of Kent's from 2009 and did both a parent and player contract.

Attendance policy: defined excused absences. Excused absence may affect playing time if it interferes with preparation. Unexcused WILL result in reduced playing time using the same practice days to game quarters ratio. Late to practice . . . take Godzilla for a run. If tardiness affects preparation, lose playing time. Arrive at a game after warmups have concluded . . . miss a quarter. Arrive after kickoff . . . enjoy the view from the sideline.

Now toying with the idea of using tackling circuit as our warmup. The more I think about it, the more sense it makes.

To do:

Get access to team bank account from Mahonz

Talk to Mahonz about his donors/sponsors with deep pockets

3/9 coaches completed background checks. Plus team manager

1/9 (me)coaches with USAF cert

3/9 coaches registered as coaches on the org website. Plus team manager

Revamp the practice plan for the 12th time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Coyote
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co

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.

Gotta love those kids.  Couple yrs ago, we had Center who was 4' 0"  but played like he was 4' 5".   A real spark plug for us, fearless and fun to coach.   Still miss him.

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


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gumby_in_co
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First official practice as a HC. Stuck reasonably well to my practice plan. Hit all the main points.

Did my parent meeting that took just over 20 minutes. Brother in law took charge with the warmups. Did a fantastic job.

Made sure everyone had a few reps in our strip/scoop and score drill and jumped right into Whose Ball. AC's had been briefed and did a phenomenal job. 

Made it clear to the players that things are going to be intense and if they need a break, take one. Had plenty of kids taking breaks, then getting back into it. I expect these breaks will become fewer and further between and eventually stop altogether.

Went into "Intro to tackling" progression that I made up on my own and was very surprised and very happy at how well it went.

Did about 15 minutes of Tee Time with very small distances and again, was very pleased with the effort and enthusiasm. ACs kept the energy high and positive. Surprisingly, no one dropped from this drill. 

Cobbled together a quick and dirty Swarm 44 while OC cobbled together a quick and dirty wildcat offense. Put the obvious RBs on defense and the obvious LBs on offense so we could see who else can play those positions. Told position coaches to get a look at as many kids as they could. Purpose was to evaluate players for initial placement. To my great and utter surprise, the Swarm 44 worked 100% as advertised, realizing this is extremely early on. It is just very easy to see what you're trying to accomplish and what players who don't do their jobs stick out like a sore thumb.

Did Circle of Iron for 9 minutes. Great energy from the coaches. 1/2 the team quit. Very pleased with a big boy "H" from last year's Mojo project and "V", our only girl. They lasted until the very last exercise. H was in tears because he wanted to finish. Little disappointed with my brother in law who went to the "drop zone" to tell them he was proud of them. Explicit instructions were to ignore them.

Big surprises:  1) new player who came to us advertised as a tall, athletic "basketball" type, ended up being a mountain of a kid. We are now HUGE on O and D line. 2) rookie new player who had only played flag was dragging both tacklers 10 yards downfield in Tee Time. 

2 excused absences. 1 no show from a new player who was present for 2 optional practices last week. Told the team that anyone who misses a Circle of Iron will have to do them twice per day until they get caught up.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
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Down to 25 players. Got an email from my "no show" from last night. Broken arm. Non-football related. Dad is looking into refund options with the club. I offered that regardless of what our club says, the boy is welcome to join us in a coaching capacity, plus we have a game day ritual that he can do for us. If he agrees, we'll also make him in honorary captain for the season, allowing him to be part of the coin toss at games.

[edit]

Just confirmed with dad that the kid tripped and put his hand down to break his fall. Broke the bone and growth plate near his elbow.

This post was modified 2 months ago by gumby_in_co

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Seth54
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What would your warm up talking circuit consist of?

 

What was your intro to talking? Thanks


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gumby_in_co
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Posted by: @seth54

What would your warm up talking circuit consist of?

4 Stations (we are "Hawk" tackling):

1)  Drive for 5 station

2) Single leg "pile driver" station

3) Gator Roll station

4) 2 on 1 station. 1st tackler drives for 5. Second goes for the ball. Scoop and score.

It being day 2, I told the coaches to start with a 1 step, fit and freeze and progress to 2 yard "put it all together". Once the muscle memory starts manifesting itself, we'll jump right into 2 yard "put it all together".

What was your intro to talking? Thanks

2 long lines making sure everyone has a partner. 

1) "Hit position". On "HIT", everyone assumes the "hit position". Feet outside of knees, knees outside of hips, deep knee bend, chest out, butt out, try to touch the shoulder blades, head up so back of helmet touches top of shoulder pads, hands cocked in the "get your guns" position. Hold that position as coaches make corrections. If a player is good, tap them on the head and say, "relax".

2) 1 step, fit and freeze. One line are dummies. Other line are tacklers. Lines are facing opposite directions. Assume the HIT position. Instruct "Right foot split, Right shoulder hit". On Hit, step with near foot and split the dummy's feet. Near shoulder into the thigh pads, arms locked around the thighs. (we are really going for thigh tackles this year). Freeze until coach checks, corrects and says "relax". Repeat with Tacklers and Dummies trading. No need to move since they are already facing each other. 

3) 1 step, fit, freeze, drive. Have player rotate 180 degrees so that you can go to left foot spit, left shoulder hit. One step, fit and freeze, then yell "DRIVE!" Instruct them to drive for 5 steps and freeze, or until dummy falls down. Dummies and tacklers switch roles.

4) Put it all together. Separate the lines by 2 yards. This time, instruct "Right foot Split, Right Shoulder Hit", with no freeze. 

 

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
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1st HC drama on day 2. Spring Flex QB is unhappy that he has to compete for the QB job. . . or his mom is unhappy. Don't know, don't care. At the end of practice, he asked, "Am I the QB or is Jimmy?". I said, "right now, you're both QB's."  He replied, "Okay, my mom said we drive a long way." I told him to keep working, compete and leave no doubt.

A few minutes later, Mom comes out to me with her son in tow. She asked if I remembered our conversation in the Spring. I told her that I remember it almost verbatim. She said that if she was to commit to driving 45 minutes to play for us, she wanted to know her son would be QB. I promised her that the best QB in the Fall would be our QB. I also reminded her that her son is currently a QB, then asked what the problem is. She said, "It's just at this point in the season, it seems like . . ." I cut her off, "It's day 2, but finish your thought." She said that her son mentioned that there are 3 QBs. I countered that there are actually 4 being evaluated right now. I asked the kid what position he played when the OC was teaching the flexbone mesh. "QB", he replied. I then asked, "Then why are we having this conversation?"

I finished by saying that I am responsible for 25 players and that promising a position to one player based on his drive time would be a disservice to the other 24. That if I were to promise anyone any position, I would either be a liar or a terrible coach. I'm sure I'm not a liar and whether or not I'm a good coach remains to be seen.

Mahonz was present during our Spring conversation. Truth be told, the Empty QB slot is his to lose. He's head and shoulders above the others. I doubt he can last a whole game, let alone a full season as a midline/IV QB. He got dinged and had to take a break after getting tackled once by one of our big guys. Beast is QB by committee. We have yet to run a single play out of Empty.

On a few positive notes:

Going MOJO from day 1 is paying off. The returners are embracing it and the rookies don't know anything else. 

I expected someone to be happy about Circle of Iron. I just didn't expect it on day 2 and absolutely didn't expect it from the "tapped out in a touch football game" kid. 

"H", last year's MOJO project is a very big boy and he finished Circle of Iron today. He tried to quit, but I promised him that if he kept going, it would be totally worth it. (He only had 20 seconds left). Had 2 kids tap out of the Circle. Yesterday, it was about 12. "H" is showing zero signs of the fear, hesitation, insecurity. . . whatever you want to call it . . . from past years. I think he finally decided to leave his football costume at home. Only day 2, though.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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terrypjohnson
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@gumby_in_co You handled this perfectly -- and a lot more diplomatically than I would have. Despite saying at the parents meeting "Everyone will play where they help the team the most, so every position will be open until right before the opening kickoff", there are usually two or three parents that tell me that their kids needs to play somewhere else.

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


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gumby_in_co
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Posted by: @terrypjohnson

"Everyone will play where they help the team the most, so every position will be open until right before the opening kickoff"

That's almost verbatim to what I said in the parent meeting and what is in our parent contract. I still don't know what they want or who really wants it. I suspect our QB is worried about competition, which I suppose is understandable. So this will be a teaching moment. I was going to do my water break chalk talk on the neutral zone, but instead, I'll talk about trust, competition and needs of the team.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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gumby_in_co
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Just heard from another coach in my division that we will have 16 teams in the 5th grade division this year. This is up from 12 last year. This is with 2 orgs folding and a 3rd moving to a different league.

Also, the 3 5th grade teams in my org have 26 players each. Easily enough to field a 4th team, but we painted ourselves into a corner with recruits. So we can't have a 4th team without each of us giving up 6 or 7 players, which has never been done before that I know of.

Mahonz' theory is that the pandemic has made everyone stir crazy and just wants their kids out of the house.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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mahonz
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co

Just heard from another coach in my division that we will have 16 teams in the 5th grade division this year. This is up from 12 last year. This is with 2 orgs folding and a 3rd moving to a different league.

Also, the 3 5th grade teams in my org have 26 players each. Easily enough to field a 4th team, but we painted ourselves into a corner with recruits. So we can't have a 4th team without each of us giving up 6 or 7 players, which has never been done before that I know of.

Mahonz' theory is that the pandemic has made everyone stir crazy and just wants their kids out of the house.

Expect the League to create Divisions. Will be interesting to see if they use 2019 for seeding or 2020. 2020 would be messy due to COVID forfeits. Plus GA and BT that opted out of 2020 are back so they can be seeded as returning teams from 2019. 

Or that's too logical and they pull a rabbit out of a hat. 

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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gumby_in_co
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Week 1 complete. 

Goals:

Evaluate O and D personnel - Complete. Our floor is much higher than I expected. Our 4th grade rookie "puppy" is fearless and has an amazing attitude. Our 3 rookie flag players are already in the top 75% of our team talent wise. They have the potential to be absolute game changing studs. Really hit the lottery with these guys. We were given a recruit by our org pres (friends with the mom) and were told he's a tall, athletic basketball-type. Nope, he's a freaking mountain. My nephew was the biggest kid in the 5th grade division. Our recruit is bigger and he's working out nicely at Center, a position we have been struggling with for the last 3 seasons. A couple of traditional "pretenders" have shown up to play this season. 2 kids have put themselves in a hole. 1 was a constant attendance issue last season. Typically made it to 2/3 practices per week, showed up at half time for 2 games, no showed a 3rd. He "decided" not to come to practice yesterday. He will do a Circle of Iron on Tuesday (assuming he shows up) by himself to make up for the one he missed yesterday. I'm told that he didn't want to play, but Mom is making him. This is odd because she is the one who oversleeps on game days or just can't be bothered to bring him to practice. Either way, I have been very clear about attendance affecting playing time. By not coming to practice, he is telling me that he doesn't care about playing time. I will happily accommodate him in that regard. My commitment to him will be commensurate with his commitment to the team. The other player is a short, heavy kid who struggled in 3rd grade, then sat out 4th grade for COVID. This year, he made it to 1 of 3 optional practices, then went on vacation. He missed this week and will miss the first practice next week. He will be very far behind and will have to adapt quickly as our MOJO is starting to look like it's for real. 

Initial Depth Chart - Complete for Defense. I'll push the OC to make an offensive depth chart this weekend. When I told Mahonz about 2 of my defensive starters, he about crapped his pants. Hell, I'm crapping my pants, but I pledged to come into this season minus past assumptions. In drills, these two kids have made a strong case to start on defense. Then in team (used for evals), they cemented their cases. Yes, they are slow with average size, but for reasons unknown to me, they are super aggressive and physical. Plus, I told Mahonz that I am playing the long game. I want us to be in a championship by 8th grade. That gives me 4 years to turn our "average Joes" into Supermen. On Offense, we found our franchise RB. He's not much to look at, but he has uncanny vision, he's calm, and he's very hard to bring down. OC and I decided to bail on midline option. We'll focus on other areas of offense.

Find PAT kicker - Found 3 strong candidates. Kicking a PAT is worth 2 points in our league. Running or passing a PAT is worth 1. We have shelter/gazebo over our porta potties. The roof is about 12' high. We had 2 kids clear the roof from 18 yards and a third hit the roof. This will be huge if we can hit 50% of our PATs.

So we're ahead of schedule on Defense, Kickoff, KR and most importantly, MOJO. We're not behind schedule on anything.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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CoachDP
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co

This will be huge if we can hit 50% of our PATs.

As I've long said, 50% of your 2-pointers are worth more than 99% of your 1-pointers.

--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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3 no shows last night. Sent an email to the parents of the 3, bcc'ing them to protect their anonymity and so they can't "reply all". Essentially told them that this is unacceptable and that it will affect playing time. We have a 3 game Jamboree next weekend. Anyone with an unexcused absence will miss the first half of the first Jamboree game (1 hour games). The kid with 2 unexcused will miss the entire first Jamboree game. If there is a 3rd, the player will not be allowed to practice until I have a face to face talk with the parent.

Very frustrating because the bulk of our players appear to be all in this year. 

Had a few excused absences as well since we started.

  • One on vacation in Aruba. Flying in today, but will have missed the first 5 practices.
  • One had a death in the family (grandfather)
  • One had a Bible camp that was postponed due to COVID

Then one told me he has a dirt bike race (???) on 8/21, which may conflict with our first game. Schedule isn't out yet, so not sure.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Dusty Ol Fart
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Helping out with another team.  

Observations thus far.

 

"I cant practice at home, I have to practice Basketball then. "

"I've asked and shown you how to open and take a proper drop. Please help me to help you on why we cant seem to connect on how to take 3 simple steps?".  Reply "My chin strap was on backwards. But I fixed it!" 

" I get to be Center!!??  THATS DOPE!" 

"Did they have football when you were a kid?"   (ARGH!)  LOL 

 

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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