When Kids Quit – Part 2

8 Oct

Everything can change with a phone call.

Five minutes of conversation and beliefs I held to be true for years were unraveled.   Probably forever.

The phone call in question came from the President of our association.  He told me that he had reinstated the two players who quit during last Saturday’s game.

His reason, he said, was that they were kids.   12 and 13 year old kids who made a mistake.   A big mistake, for sure, but dismissing them from the team was, in his opinion, an even bigger mistake.

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When Kids Quit…

5 Oct

We lost big time this past Saturday and to a team we should have beaten.

We lost because we played like we practiced: poorly.  We practiced poorly because we were full of ourselves.  The previous Saturday we had
upset a top team in our conference – a team much more talented than us — so that when we came up against our next opponent – a team that hadn’t won a game — we didn’t think we had to work hard.  It would be, we thought, an easy win.

We thought wrong.

Getting beaten is one thing.  That’s when you give your best effort but your opponent is simply a better team or more lucky.  In either case, there is no shame; just disappointment.  Losing badly, though, is something else entirely.  That’s when you don’t prepare to win and you don’t give your best effort and, as a consequence, you’re an embarrassment to yourselves.

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What’s the Most Important Thing You Teach? (Part 1)

29 Sep

In terms of technique, what do you think are the most important things you teach your kids?  I’ll pause to give you time to consider your answer.

Time’s up.

For me, it’s a simple question to answer when I consider that I’m not only preparing my kids for game day but for competition at the next level.  The next level for my kids is high school.  So, in this context, the most important things I teach are the 3-point stance and form tackling.   And, as an O-line coach, I would add one more thing that’s position specific: to finish their blocks.

Why you may ask would I rank the 3-point among my Top 3 things to perfect?  It’s simple:  everything starts with the 3-point.  If it’s wrong, then chances are that everything that follows will be as well.

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Traits of a Good Offensive Lineman

26 Sep

Effective offensive linemen in our program have the following characteristics:

1. Attitude:

A good attitude in an offensive lineman can’t be over-emphasized. A player with a good attitude can be taught what he needs to be successful. A player with a bad attitude will have a negative impact on the entire offense. A player has to be selfless before we can develop unity on the offensive line. Once we develop unity we can create an identity. Once we create an identity, then we can establish tradition. It all starts with attitude. “We work the hardest; we’re known the least. But who cares? For we are the reason.”

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Pre-Snap Movement: An Aid to Offenses; A Curse to Defenses

20 Sep

The thing we don’t see a lot of in youth football at the Senior-level is pre-snap movement which is too bad considering the advantages it creates for offenses.  Maybe coaches feel it’s too much for a 12-14 year old to remember but we disagree.  We think its two things: fun and lethal.

On offense, we want to create the illusion that we’re very complex when in fact we’re very simple. We work our magic by running a few plays from a variety of looks that we create through various pre-snap movements.

We believe that we will be difficult to defend and, at the same time, we won’t overload our offensive linemen or our Quarterback with too much to remember as the teaching remains the same each week.

For us the benefits of pre-snap movements are as follows:

1. Simplifies the defense – It causes defenses to make multiple checks prior to the snap which can force them to play mostly base defense. This helps our O-line.

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Chalk Talk: Power Sweep

17 Sep

In this series of 3 videos, the great Vince Lombardi breaksdown the Power Sweep and its complementary plays.  Good stuff if you’re looking to run outside:

 

 

Understanding Coverages: Cover 0 Man (“Zero Man”)

17 Sep

Cover 0 Man

This coverage is a straight man-to-man with no safety help.  The pre-snap read (PSR) is based on the alignment of the Safeties.

Usually in Man coverage, the Strong Safety (SS) will play head up on the Tight End (TE) and the Free Safety (FS) will play shallow on the weak side. Typically, there is no safety in the middle of the field.

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Video: Inside-Out Pursuit

15 Sep

This is an excellent video on how defenders — not just Linebackers — should pursue a running back from the inside-out and use the sideline as help. 

Understanding Coverages: Cover 1 Man (“Man Free”)

15 Sep

Cover 1 man / Man-to-man with Free Safety help.

This coverage is man-to-man underneath with a Free Safety (FS ) sitting in centerfield to help over the top.

The pre-snap read (PSR) is based on the alignment of the Corners (Cs) and Linebackers (M, W and S) on the receivers. The C’s will be head up or in an outside alignment because they have help from the FS. This allows the C’s to take away the outs.

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Understanding Coverages: Cover 2 Man

12 Sep

Cover 2 Man / Man Under Two-Deep


This coverage is man-to-man with help over the top in the two (2) deep zones. This coverage allows the defense to bracket or double two (2) receivers.

The pre-snap read (PSR) is based on the alignment of the Corners (C) on the wide receivers. If the Safeties give a 2D look (Safeties near the hash marks, aligned deeper than the C’s) and both C’s are up tighter or looking primarily at the receiver instead of the QB, then Man Under Coverage (“MUC”) is confirmed.

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