Tag Archives: coach parker

Youth Football League Organization Comparisons

playerjerseyA few of my readers asked me to discuss youth football league organization and my thoughts on what works and might not work.  I’ll try to do my best and review league organization based on leagues that I have coached within both in Select  / Recreation youth football and some youth baseball and basketball leagues.

First let’s talk about Select vs Recreational leagues and Teams.

  • Club Select Teams Paying Fee to Join Select League
    • Club / Team Managed Completely Independent of Youth League
    • Player Recruiting independent of youth football league
    • Pays Team Fee to join a Select League
    • Might play in different Select League each season
    • Usually a tournament team too
    • Roster size might be game / league specific
    • No minimum play rules
  • League with Select Teams
    • Coaches and Teams part of youth football league
    • League Promotes and Advertises League and Teams
    • Player evals Recruiting done by Coaches / Teams and might also be assisted by League
    • League may control roster size
    • Coaches may leave but Team stays within the League
    • No minimum play rules
  • League with Hybrid Select / Recreational Teams
    • Coaches and Teams Part of Youth Football League
    • League is primary recruiting vehicle for Teams and Coaches
    • League Allocates base set of players to Team but allows some recruiting by Coaches each season
    • Majority of Team’s players allowed to stay intact from season to season
    • Some Minimum Play Rules
    • Teams, Coaches, and Rosters controlled by Youth Football League
  • Recreational Youth Football League
    • Youth Football League Allocates most if not all players to each Team
    • Youth Football League Assigns Coaches to teams
    • Minimum Play Rules – Usually 8 to 20 plays per game
      Team Rosters usually 15 to 30 players per teams
    • Teams rosters reallocated by league each season with possible 0 to 8 freezes (players returning) each season.
    • Teams, Coaches, and Rosters controlled by Youth League

I actually prefer the Hybrid Select / Rec youth football league.  I do not have time to go out and recruit players, worry about team size and do all the recruiting that is necessary to manage a successful Select youth football team.  And in my old age I do not like all the parent politics involved in recruiting top youth football players.  I also like coaching up some of the newer players and seeing them turn into Select players.

Age Divisions

Many youth football leagues are organized based on the following:

  • Age Divisions
  • Grade Divisions
  • Weight / Size Divisions
  • Select Players vs Recreational Players
  • Experience Level
  • Combination of Above

I’ve noticed lately youth football has moved to a standard age division set up similar to US Soccer.  This might have to do with more youth football tournaments around the country.  But the 7U, 8U, 9U, 10U, 11U, 12U age divisions have become very popular in Texas.

Division Size

League Size and Number of Teams in a Division is always a hot topic. A youth football trophy
Division size under 4 teams is to me not worth the effort.  I like Divisions with at least 6 teams so you are not playing the same teams each week.  An 8 team division is my favorite.  I have played in a youth football league with an age Division of 2 conferences of 6 teams and 8 teams and then top teams went through playoffs to Super Bowls.  I loved this set up.  It was a County run league with teams from community partnered leagues that adhered to the County league rules.

Roster Size

Team size and roster size is also another area which is an important are organizing a youth football league.  I hear about team rosters reaching 30 players in some areas.  Wow, now that must be really hard to get players into the games.  I know from talking to these coaches parents are not very happy with these large teams.  I know that my wife would be very upset if our son was on a 30 person youth football team.  Some of the best leagues I’ve coached in keep rosters size below 24.  I prefer a roster size around 18.  The current league I coach in keeps their rosters between 15 and 20 and try to keep them around 16. I prefer less than 20 players on a roster when you have minimum play rules otherwise a 30 player roster with a 10 play MPP rules is very difficult for coaches to manager.

Minimum Play Rules

There is a lot of controversy surrounding play time and minimum play rules in youth football.  First let me say that managing play times can be difficult especially when rosters are over 18 and the MPP rule is over 10 plays per game.  There are only about 60 plays in a youth football game.  We usually have one or two people in charge of subbing and taking care of MPP rules.  Many recreational youth football leagues require 5 to 20 plays per game per player.  My current league requires 5 plays from scrimmage per half.  Special Team plays, penalties and do not count toward the 5 plays.  Select leagues usually do not have MPP rules.  I have found that even with MPP rules, parents still want their child to play about one quarter a game or more.

Player Allocation to Teams

  • Recruiting and Try Outs by Club / Team and Coaches independent of League.
    • League might have game roster / player maximum
  • Recruiting and Try Outs by League and Team’s Coaches with League oversight
  • Players Registered through League and allocated to Teams:
    • Randomly Assigned
    • Try Outs / Player Evals / Questions
      • League Grade and Team Assignments
      • Coaches Grade and Coaches Draft Players (NFL Type)

To be honest, I think my favorite part of the youth football season is evaluating and trying out new players and then drafting the players to my team.  I am not a very good player recruiter but I am very good at evaluating talent.  I’ve had other coaches around me that really knew how to recruit which has been a blessing.  I’ve been in two youth recreational youth football leagues that allowed player try outs and then hosted a formal draft.  One league held a standard drills try out for 2 days and the other league ran the 40 and then released the groups of 10 players to the teams for 30 minute rotating  try out sessions.  I loved the 30 minute try out sessions.  We were able to out the players through our tests vs just having to settle on standard tests.  I prefer my own testing.

Returning Players to Teams

  • Club Select Teams New Recruiting and Try Outs Each Season based on needs
  • League Allows Teams to Stay Together Each Season
  • League Might Allow New Recruited Players Up to #XX
  • League Might Assign Players to meet #XX Roster Size
  • League might to Combo of Above
  • League Reallocates Teams Each Season
    • Random Assignments
    • 0 to 8 players allowed to return to team based on coach and parent approval
    • Player Evals Draft via Coaches or League Officials to allocate to teams

Like I said earlier I prefer the hybrid recreational select youth football league.  I really like to keep my teams together and recruit as needed to fill certain needs.  The current league I coach in lets new coaches bring 3 players with them into the league and returning coaches may hold onto 0 to 6 players from the last Fall and Spring seasons.  Many coaches wind up keep 3 to 4 “freezes” and draft almost a whole new team.  It’s fun and certainly changes up the teams but I know many players and parents would love to stay on certain teams.  Well, the ones that win.  🙂

Issues with Youth Football Leagues

  • Pure Select League
    • Roster / Birth Certificate Manipulation
  • Allowing Coaches to Draft Players
    • Most Rookie Coaches are not good at the player eval and draft process
  • League Random Player Assignments
    • Teams are unequal
  • League Evals and Grades Players and Assigns to Teams
    • Coaches think league is stacking favorite teams
  • Team Size
    • Rosters over 24 are difficult to manage with MPP Rules

Every youth football league that I have coached in has issues.  No one is happy.  So if you are a league commissioner / official, you must realize that 80% of the organization is happy, 15% is ready for a change but silent and 5 % are the difficult vocal ones.  Plus you can never please everyone.  Try to limit the big mistakes and make sure everyone is treated fairly.

helmetThe biggest issue I have seen with youth football leagues is that when the player numbers are low and or the profits are low league officials will stretch the rules for certain teams and or players to allow them on a team to fill out a Division or meet a teams roster size etc and then someone gets upset because rules were broken and then everyone decides cheating is ok and tries to manipulate the system.  If you are in that situation make sure to communicate with all the coaches about why this is happening so no one is surprised by the stud 13 year old that is playing in the 12U division.  Yes, I’ve seen it happen.

Well, I hope I answered a few of your questions about youth football leagues.   I am sure I have left some items off.  If you see a glaring issue or would like to leave a comment or questions please do so below in the comments.

Remember to Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!

Thanks
Coach Parker
DFW Texas

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under coaching youth football, Youth Coaching

Christmas Gift Ideas for Youth Football Coaches

Speed Agility RingsMy wife always seems to have a hard time finding me Christmas gifts or other holiday / birthday gifts or letting her relatives and mine know want I would like for a gift.  So, I’ve put together a quick list of gifts under $50 that every youth football coach would be happy to receive. Well in my opinion I guess.  :)

 

Great Christmas Gift Ideas under $50

  1. Fox 40 Pearl Safety Whistle
  2. Stanley 84-519K 12-in-1 Multi Tool
  3. World Sport Disc Agility Cone Set
  4. World Sport Speed Agility Rings
  5. JanSport Right Pack Originals Backpack
  6.  SuperBand® Instant Cold Pack – Pack of 6
  7. Lifeline Team Sports Trainer First Aid Kit
  8. Swiss+Tech SUtility Key Multitool 
  9. Champion Men’s Jersey Short With Pockets
  10. PUMA Socks Men’s Quarter Cut Socks (Pack of 6)
  11. Dry Erase Board, 11 x 14 Inches
  12. Expo Low-Odor Dry Erase Markers
  13. Ultra Bright Flashlight
  14. Amazon Gift Card
  15. Champion  Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt
  16. Sharpie Permanent Marker Set of 4
  17. Digital Stopwatch
  18. Baden Dry Erase Football Game Board with Clipboard and Pen
  19. Youth Scrimmage Team Practice Nylon Mesh Jerseys
  20. Heavy-Duty Mesh Equipment Bag
  21. Masonite Clipboards
  22. Coleman Oversized Quad Chair with Cooler
  23. Schutt Ultimate Football Hardware Kit
  24. Champion Sports Heavy Duty Nylon Lanyard
  25. Super Heavyweight Sheet Protectors

This is a pretty good gift list.  If you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments below.  Maybe Santa Clause or the Tooth Fairy will find your grid iron.

Indulge me with a little self promotion during the holidays, I have two youth football ebooks out which also make great gifts too.

  1. 62 Multi 8 Youth Football Defense by Coach Parker
  2. Power Wing Beast Offense for Youth Football by Coach Parker

I hope this Christmas list is helpful for you and your youth football coach over the holiday season.

Thanks,
Coach Parker


 

Leave a comment

Filed under Youth Coaching

Game Simulation Walk Thru Drill

Spice up your boring walk thrus with the Game Simulation Walk Thru Drill and keep your youth football players engaged.  Everyone does walk thrus on the practice before the game. I was doing them the same old way up until 2007 when I decided to spice it up a bit.  Why not make the walk thrus just like game day with coin toss, special teams, penalties, sideline action, and scoring?  The kids loved it.  They were more interested in running walk thrus if there was a purpose.

I call this drill, Game Simulation Walk Thru Drill.  We basically simulate game day even setting up on the home or visitor sideline.  We chose our Captains which makes it easy for the actual game day because they stay the same.  We do a coin toss and either kick off or run a kick return and then go to either offense or defense for play simulations.  Missed assignments or alignments are penalties and perfect plays equal yardage and points.

Check out the video below for more on one my my favorite youth football drills; the Game Simulation Walk Thru Drill.

youth football drills - game simulation walk thrus

This drill is great for younger 5, 6, 7 and 8 year old teams to get used to game day, especially early in the season.  It also is great for coaches to work out the kinks.  Weve found wrist coach errors and blocking call issues along with hand signal problems running the Game Simulation Drill.

For a direct link follow – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkvB89yCHGI

For more pee wee football drills for players 6 to 13 years old, please visit my page on youth football drills.

Stay tuned as I develop more free youth football coaching videos for drills, offense and defense.  You can check out my YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/c/stephenparker

Please let me know what you think about this pee wee football drill and like, comment, share and or subscribe to this youth football coaching post / video. I appreciate your continued support as I bring more free content to the little league tackle football coaching community.

If you liked this video blog post, check out my two youth football coaching books.

  1. Power Wing Beast Offense for Youth Football
  2. 62 Multi 8 Youth Football Defense

Play for Fun and Winning is Funner,
Coach Parker
Keller, Texas / DFW TX


 

Leave a comment

Filed under Football Drills, Youth Coaching

Installing the Power Wing Beast Youth Football Offense

This free coaching video reviews Installing the Power Wing Beast Offense for Youth Football by Coach Parker. The Beast offense is easy to install and has its Base 8 youth football plays to install from the Power Wing Beast Offense playbook.

The Power Wing Beast Offense is a power running offensive system based on the Single Wing Beast formation that was run by Yale in the early days of football.  It is a great youth football power running formation.  The Base 8 Plays are Beast formation plays.

Installation Process

  • Review Stance – LM and RBs ( 2pt and 3pt)
  • Hole Numbers and Back Numbers
  • Formations – Beast First
    • Pie, Spy, Angle, Trig
    • Tight, Split End, Slot, Wing, Wide Receiver, Nasty TE
  • Blocking Calls – Larry / Roger, Jaw, GOD, GOOP, Wedge and Big and Even
  • Walk Thrus with RBs with Rings
  • Everyone walk thrus blocking calls
  • Team Walk Thrus
    • Formation Shifts RBs
    • Huddle
    • Stance / Alignments / Splits
  • Base 8 Beast Plays

Check out the video below for more detail on how to install the Power Wing Beast Offense for pee wee football teams.

Direct video link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcI9mMCG1N8

For more free youth football coaching videos by Coach Parker go to his YouTube Channel at http://youtube.com/c/stephenparker

Stay tuned as I develop more free coaching videos on the Power Wing Beast Youth Football Offense from my pee wee youth football playbook.  Many of these power running plays are run by the top little league tackle teams across the Country in some of the best youth football associations. Subscribe to my blog or YouTube channel to find out more about the Beast Offensive Formation and coaching youth football in little league tackle leagues across the US.

You can purchase the Power Wing Beast Offense playbook here…..

Play for Fun and Winning is Funner,
Coach Parker
Keller, TX / DFW Metro Area, Texas


Buy my Playbooks

Leave a comment

Filed under Offense, Youth Coaching