Favoritism in Youth Football / Sports Podcast

In this first episode of Coaching Youth Football Tips & Talk, Coach Parker discusses Favoritism in Youth Football / Sports.

Podcast Joker and Coach

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Other Posts on Favoritism

  1. https://coachparker.org/2009/08/25/favoritism-in-youth-sports/
  2. https://coachparker.org/2008/05/23/the-head-coachs-son-favoritism/
  3. https://coachparker.org/2008/05/08/minimum-play-players-favoritism-parents/
  4. https://coachparker.org/2014/09/17/how-to-become-the-coachs-favorite/
  5. https://coachparker.org/2012/06/17/coaching-your-own-child-in-youth-sports/
  6. https://coachparker.org/2011/08/16/so-your-child-is-not-a-starter-oh-no/
  7. https://coachparker.org/2017/06/20/coaching-youth-football-to-lose-and-why/
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Youth Football Players Talent vs Coaching in Youth Football

Touchdown Talent vs CoachingThis is the age old argument; Talent vs Coaching.  I just read USA Football’s article In high school football, does good coaching trump talent?  by Stephen Spiewak which got me thinking about talented players in pee wee youth football ages 6 to 12.  How much does talented skills players mean to a youth football team?  Well, a ton.  I think youth football is very similar to basketball where you can have one or two stud players out of 12 on the basketball team and be a force in you’re league.  I think in youth football if you have 5 to 6 studs or on your youth football team then any coach can look pretty good especially if they have the fastest experienced running back in the age group.

I agree that coaching is very important to have a winning program.  And that is what good coaches can do for any organization from pros to youth sports.  Good coaches can almost on average guarantee winning seasons, positive experiences for the players and that the athlete will learn the sport’s fundamentals.  But, at the end of the day you still need talent to win consistently in the Playoffs and Championships.  I know here in Texas, High School coaches get fired for not winning playoff games even with above average winning percentages.

So I agree with the article that Coaching is very important but I recently read You still need the hosses to win.  Great coaching alone will not win games consistently in youth football / sports because at these young age levels one or two really fast experienced running backs can devastate an age group with even just a little coaching.

If you ask me if I want my son to play for the team that has great coaches but have not won a Super Bowl lately but still have winning seasons or for the team that has won the last 4 Super Bowls because they have they have the one man-child running back that is dominating the league sweeping Left and Right all day long and an average coaching staff, I would put my son on the great coaching staff team.

So yes, I love great coaching.  But can great coaching in youth football over come talent in youth football.  Yes and no.  Good coaching can keep teams very competitive and in the hunt, but a dominating tier 1 tailback in youth football is very hard to stop especially with an above average team around that running back.  And that team with the stud running back, will usually win the big game.

Even though I know I am a good coach, I always try to recruit the top players in my age division.  I never try to leave winning up to lady luck.  And that is great coaching; being able to find and recruit the best talent for your team.  So I am greedy and want both.  LOL

What do you think?  Can great coaching overcome talent in youth football?

Remember to Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!

~ Coach Parker

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Tackle Wheel Yoga Ball Tackling Circuit – Youth Football Drill

Tackle Ring DrillWhen the tackle wheels / tackle rings came out I knew I had to have one.  But they were about double / triple what I wanted to pay for one, especially since I am just a youth football coach.  My wife is already on me for buying just about everything else, although equipment under $100 is much easier to explain vs $200 to $300.

So when a friend of mine offered to make me two tackle rings I was stoked.  I really can’t thank Coach Steve Mason enough.  Coach Steve researched how to make the tackle wheels and decided to make 4.  He says he was able to get the parts at reasonable prices off Amazon but the real issue was with sewing and assembly.  When I listened to him talk about the project, I thought it would be easier to buy one.  But you guys might be more crafty like Coach Steve with your sewing skills than I am.  Coach Steve says he will post an instruction video soon and when he does I will link it up.

If you can’t afford the Tackle Rings / Wheels, I found that Yoga / Exercise balls work almost as good.  You can get the yoga balls on Amazon for around $15.  I also added a medicine ball to the mix and you can also get them over on Amazon.

When I was helping Coach Steve with his team earlier this year.  He was doing the tackle wheel drill with the four tackle wheels.  I liked the concept.  It must have worked because his Mustang Panther team beat 2 Southlake teams to win their Super Bowl last Fall.  His team were great tacklers.  He says

Overall, the wheels (last season) turned my:
Great tacklers -> Super Stars
Good tacklers -> Great
Lesser tacklers -> Contributors

Since we were struggling all season this Spring tackling a few weeks ago, I instituted the Tackle Wheel Yoga Ball Tackling Circuit to increase tackling reps and teach proper tackling fundamentals.  Since I am trying to get at least 50 tackling reps each practice per player I did not want to use a live hitting drill for safety / injury reasons.  This drills comes close to live simulation.  Coach Steve calls it batting practice for tacklers.  I must agree.  Our defense and tackling have greatly improved over the last several weeks.

Tackle Ring Tackle Drill Youth Football

Here’s how the drill breaks down.

Purpose: To develop good tackling techniques; break down, stay low, wrap up and drive / roll in a non-hitting session. We will usually do a live angle tackle drill right after this drill.

Set Up: 5 Tackling Lines; 2 Wheels & 3 Yoga Balls Coaches / Helper Dads / Players roll balls wheels as described above. Try to keep lines less than 3 players, to get as many reps for each player. Do at least 3 to 5 sets in a very fast pace.

Coaching Points:

  1. Keep fast pace so everyone is winded
  2. Focus on Breaking Down, staying Low and most importantly wrapping up during the tackle
  3. Make sure players hit bags like its 100% live
  4. They should carry / drive bag 3 steps and roll 2 (wheels)
  5. Players must wrap up with two hands and not let go during the tackle roll
  6. Make sure players are staying aggressive even though this is against bags.

If you dont want to read the drill info here is the video.

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Here is the drill live at one of our practices.

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Next season, I will not wait to implement this drill mid season.  We are starting out with this drill and this will be our main tackling drill.  The drill builds great muscle memory and is also a good conditioning drill if you keep the lines short and go at a fast pace.  I did add the medicine ball in the practice video which I will keep in the drill.

I hope you enjoy the Tackle Wheel Yoga Ball Tackling Circuit youth football tackle drill.  It is working for our team and others and you should consider adding it to your practices.

Remember to Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!

~ Coach Parker
Fort Worth, Texas / Keller

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What does on time mean for Youth Football Games and Practices?

WarHawksAs a youth football coach with over 20 plus pee wee football tackle seasons one of my biggest frustrations is players and parents late, especially to games.  Don’t get me started on late to playoff games or Super Bowls.  A recent USA Football article, Always plan to be 15 minutes early’ is true for players and parents by Jon Buzby prompted me to write this article along with my experience from my last playoff game.

Jon is right in his article about being 15 minutes early.  Hall of Fame Coach and Football Legend, Vince Lombardi was very big on the 15 minute rule, If you are five minutes early, you are already ten minutes late. On time is 15 minutes early so you are ready to go when the meeting or practice starts.  I am a little time sensitive anyway, so every season in my parent meetings I talk about Lombardi time and being 15 minutes early.  Almost every coach that knows me, calls it Parker time now.

Why does every coach want their players to meetings, practices and games early?  So we can take roll of our players and make sure we have time to adjust if there is a player absence or someone is sick or injured.  We also know we can start warm-ups on time and get practice started quickly without waiting for key players to show up.  It is very frustrating when your starting Center, QB and or Running Backs are late or no shows for practice.  Its very courteous in this modern age of cell phones to let the coaches know that you will not be on time, so we can move on and adjust our thoughts to prepare for the practice or game.  I cannot tell you the stress and nerves before the game when players are late.  We are already nervous about the games and the tardiness just adds to our stress.  And really its so simple to help us, be on time.  You can easily support your youth sports team by just being early to every practice and game.  The coaches will notice and greatly appreciate your support, dedication and dependability as Jason Witten recently spoke about.

The Lombardi rules also is also great to use in real life not just in sports.  In over 40 years of my professional career in IT / Internet Services, I’ve met only one manger that did not like people showing up early to meetings.  And that was because he said usually everybody was 15 minutes late and it was a wasted 15 minutes.  Wasted if you did not bring other work to work on while you waited for the selfish employees that decided to be late.  I’ve learned in my 54 years there are people that do not care about being on time unless its their meeting and then maybe its an issue.  I know that sometimes everyone is very busy but a short text to let everyone know your on your way is a simple courteous extra appreciated step.  But maybe you’re too busy already.

On a youth sports team and especially one of my teams, since I communicated that being 15 minutes early is actually on time, I expect our players to be early.  If you are one of these people that are late all the time, just know everyone is waiting on you to get started and we all talk about you behind your back.  LOL  All kidding aside, be courteous.  Be early.  Be on time.  Your coaches will love you for it.

Remember to Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!

~ Coach Parker

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