Category Archives: coaching youth football

Holiday Gift Guide for Football Coaches 2018

Football Santa Happy HolidaysMy wife and her family are always asking me what do I want for Christmas and my birthday since my birthday is close to the holidays.  As a youth football coach, I always need certain football supplies each season and things I would not ordinarily buy myself although I love Amazon Prime.  Esther, my wife says I celebrate Christmas just about everyday with a new package at the door every other afternoon.

Since I celebrate Christmas just about everyday and really big during the Holiday season, below is my 2018 Holiday Gift Guide for youth football coaches. (I will be adding to the list just about everyday through November and December.)  Enjoy.

Coaches Gifts around $10

  1. Fox 40 Pearl Safety Whistle
  2. Tactical Flashlight Super Bright
  3. Clipboard Dry Erase Surface
  4. Cool Towels
  5. Nite Ize S-Biner Dual Spring Gate Carabiners
  6. Pro Down Universal Kicking Tee
  7. Super Man Helmet Award Stickers

Coaches Gifts around $25

  1. Gerber Suspension Multi-Plier
  2. Lifeline Team Sport First Aid and Safety Kit
  3. Trideer Exercise Ball Extra Thick Yoga Ball
  4. Coleman Portable Camping Quad Chair with 4-Can Cooler
  5. Mcdavid Lace up Ankle Brace

Coaches Gifts around $50

  1. JanSport Big Student Backpack
  2. Mac Sports WTC-111 Outdoor Utility Wagon
  3. Gatorade Hydration Pack 6 Gatorade G Bottles and a Gatorade Carrier
  4. APEMAN Action Camera 4K 20MP
  5. Blocking Shield

Coaches Gifts over $100

  1. SafeTackle Pro Football Tackle Ring
  2. Fisher Half Round Football Dummy
  3. Canon PowerShot SX740 Digital Camera w/40x Optical Zoom
  4. Pro-Down Step-Over Dummies 8″ High
  5. King Crab Sled

 

And just as an FYI, I own most of this stuff (or similar) or have at one time.  🙂

I am sure you can find a special gift for your youth football coach or sports coach from my holiday gift guide above.  But if you want to find more ideas head over to my store.  Happy Holidays!


I hope everyone has a great Holiday season.

~ Coach Parker

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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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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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Playing Multiple Sports but not During Same Season

Arvada Pirates Youth Football Team

Arvada Pirates 2006

I am so surprised each season, when parents come up to our coaching staff and explain why their child will not make practice for half the season and miss some games because they are playing another sport which overlaps with our Football season. The parent will let us know that when they signed up their child they were taking a chance and knew this might happen but want us to help them work through the issue as their child misses more than one third practices and games to focus on another Sport. This is the last thing a coach of any Sport wants to hear; “My child will miss practice.” We hate hearing that sentence come out of any parent’s mouth. Your child learns how to play the Sport during Practice not during the game.

I am a big believer in playing multiple sports if the seasons do not overlap by more than a few weeks as one sport winds down their season. I played Football for 10 years as a young athlete and multiple other sports like Baseball, Swimming, Basketball and Racquetball during Pee Wee, Middle School and High School. I know my Football coaches were not very happy with me when I played Basketball my Freshman year in HS during the football off-season but my 40-time improved the next season. My 40 time really improved as I started to play Tournament Racquetball while in High School. In College, I wound up playing Racquetball and Handball for Club Teams.

Most student athletes will not play professional sports. So, making a 10-year-old, only play Baseball or Soccer for 12 months is a little overkill. Plus, there have been so many arm injuries lately that I am not sold on year-round Baseball. I am not trying to give Baseball a bad rap, but playing any sport 12 months out of the year is too much in my opinion. Yes, I coach Football in the Fall and Spring, but I do not get mad at players that want to play Basketball and Baseball in those traditional seasons and Football in the Fall. As a matter of fact, I think it’s good for them to play multiple sports.

I also think young athletes should try multiple sports to see what they like best not just what their parents like. My youngest son took off a football season when he was 9 to play Select Soccer. After that season, he decided to focus on Football even after I tried to get him to continue to play Soccer in the Football off-seasons. He loved Football more and wanted to stick with Football. He now runs Cross Country in High School after playing Football and Weight Lifting his Freshman year.

What is frustrating to Coaches and myself about our players participating in multiple sports are players that play multiple sports at the same time during a season. I completely agree that young athletes should play multiple sports but not one or two sports during the same season especially if one or both sports is a Select sport which requires massive amount of practice and travel time. Playing two Sports during the same season is unfair to both teams. A player cannot focus on two sports and give 110% to each. It just doesn’t work that way.

When a parent signs up their child to play two sports during the same season, you are hurting both Teams not just your child. Your decision to play two sports has effected about 30 to 40 other children not just your child. Parents need to understand that being selfish does not work in Team sports. Team sports require Teamwork and missing practices and games does not benefit the Team only your child.

I agree playing multiple sports is a great way to have fun and cross train. I did it and my two sons did it. Just do not play two or more sports in the same season and expect your child to play more than a few plays on my Teams if they consistently miss practices and games. If the Team cannot count on you as a teammate then you are not part of the Team.

How do you feel about this subject? Would love to hear from Coaches and Parents.

Remember to Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!

Thanks
Coach Parker
Fort Worth, Texas
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Filed under coaching youth football, Youth Coaching