Post by GritSnSpeed on Jun 21, 2016 14:16:50 GMT -6
First year as a head coach, oldest son is 6 and playing in a mixed NFL/USA & local YMCA flag football league. Its 4-5-6 age group. Enjoying it so far. Kids have been pretty receptive to all coaching. Of the 10 on the team,7 are solid players who actually listen. Our offense has been stellar, only being stopped on 2 drives the first two games, one if which came on a forced passing situation that we didn't prepare enough for. Defense has been our problem. We gave up a lot of big runs in our last game. It was a shootout lol, 32-38 (2 20 mins running clock halves)
I was thinking of installing an after game reward, sort of like giving out game balls in baseball, but couldn't come up with good ideas. Something that after a hard fought game, win or lose, I could give to the kid that worked the hardest.
You could give out something that they keep for the week and give back. Put their name on it etc. I had a fake skull for the big hit of the week one year and put the name of the opponent and the players name on it. Also had a nerf ball I painted black for the first turnover of the game (we were black and silver.) You could give out something like the game. Paint a nerf ball or crappy rubber ball in your teams color and then use a sharpie on it. Just a thought. Remember it comes back every week and you keep adding to it. At the end of the season it's a decent keepsake for you too.
You could also make a shirt to give them for player of the week and when you get the ball back they get their shirt. Might be 10 shirts to make and that age most of the kids are close to the same size I assume.
Last Edit: Jun 21, 2016 15:28:15 GMT -6 by coachjo14
Post by coachrobpsl on Jun 22, 2016 7:17:16 GMT -6
Pursuit drills that get the whole team going to the runner. Are they scoring on sweeps? I imagine that would be the strategy at that age in flag. I bet teams rarely pass because they just can't. In that case don't even bother playing pass defense. You can teach them how to spill to the sidelines to help use the sideline as that unblockable 12th man.
I agree teaching them to pursue will be helpful. Also working to teach them leverage. Working inside out and pressing the ball to your force player and the sideline. Most kids at that age just run for the edge. At least that's what I remember from being a kid and going to my nephew's flag games some years ago.
At that level, O playbook isn't much more sophisticated than sweep right/left, QB boot right/left and, maybe wedge, depending on league's rules concerning blocking, etc.. Teach your players to look at the RB's waist during pursuit drills. Watching the runner's waist helps keep them from being beat on cut-backs. Force players will really need to be trained to take an angle to be able to pull the outside flag closest to the sideline with their inside arm to cause the aforementioned cut-backs into the teeth of your defense. It will also often impedes the runner's upfield progress.
As for rewards, lollipops (actually, just a big bag cheap, small suckers) work wonders. Announce to the whole team why the player(s) is receiving the lollipop(s). I used to use them in practice and in games. Some of those bobble-heads acted as if they were getting a bronze star pinned on their chests.
Post by GritSnSpeed on Jun 24, 2016 19:09:50 GMT -6
I love the sucker idea. Sweets and sugar are definitely an easy move for kids that age, most of then would probably punch their mothers for it. Lol.
The league doesn't really keep score, but my kids care and want to win. They all ask what the score is everytime somebody takes one in. I emphasize that I won't talk about it until the game is over with. That being said, I'm actually disappointed in myself, right now we are 1-3. Though our 3 combined losses are only a total of 14 points. It seems like we run out of time every week with a chance to tie or win. Lost by 2 points Thursday after being down 20-6 at one time. I was missing the kid who was normally my 2nd RB though, and didn't have a solid option when they keyed in on my best guy. My son was able to take one to the house after halftime so that brightened me up.
I told myself going in that I wouldn't harp on my son about any of this because "it's just flag." But once we're competing I really want to win. He's really impressed me with his improved speed and athleticism from last year(he's a big solid kid, around 75lbs at age 6, he's in my avatar pic) and I've done a good job of not complaining about any of the inconsistencies. Fall league that will change I'm sure. Lol.