Tag Archives: coaching youth football

Youth Football Spring 2018 at KYA

IMG_2234I am starting an in-season journal for the KYA Football Spring 2018 youth football season.  This is a continuation / expansion of my autopsy review of last season.  Hopefully by writing this in-season journal along with some of my notes, practice plans and games plans, I can better reflect on this season when its over in May.  Some of my journal posts will be over at DumCoach Forum.  I will try to summarize them as I’ve done below from time to time on this blog.

Feb 16  Coach Whit and I met last night to run through some mock drafts based on our rankings from our Monday night coaches meeting.  We both feel pretty good about the draft.  We are hoping everyone has their own favorites so we can pick up our top ranked picks, but who knows.  There are 60 players in draft and a huge drop off after the 25th rank.  Its either going to be a great draft or well a long season.  Lady luck come on baby.

The Bantam draft is tomorrow at 9:30 am.  I need to review and organize docs tonight and get to bed early so I am ready to go.  I’m not really a morning person so I need to be up around 6 am-ish am to feel real alert by 9 am. Maybe breakfast with Coach Whit in the morning?

It looks like it is still raining all next week so this should be fun trying to get practice in with light and fields closed.  I hope the league has the practice fields and lights worked out tomorrow so we can pick practice times.  I was hoping to have this done already.  Have my parent email and letter almost ready to go.

I am getting impatient about waiting today for the draft. I am ready to go now.

~ Parker

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The entries below are also over at DumCoach Forum

Feb 2  Our KYA Football Spring 2018 try outs start tomorrow. So I guess for the coaches, the season officially starts today with try out prep. I am reviewing the sign ups and getting my eval sheet ready for the Bantam 8U age Division. Coaching again with Coach Whit. We just missed the big game last season and came in 3rd in our age group. We froze two coming into the Spring hoping to draft a tier 1 Tailback or Fullback and then start picking up our returning players. This should be interesting since we took a gamble on the freezes to try and get a fast running back to go with our other backs. I kinda wanted to freeze the full 6 but we do need the extra speed in the backfield. I really want a good shotgun Center too, since I am trying out some new Wildcat Spread formations that compliment my Power Wing Beast Offense. Oh well, hopefully skill and lady luck are with us the next three weeks as we go through try outs and then draft.

Stay tuned…. ~ Parker

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Feb 3  Pretty good day at KYA Football grass drills and try outs for the Bantam 8U age Division today in Keller, TX just N of Fort Worth. We had about 30 8U players come through to be evaluated. I have my heart set on 3 players that will fit into our system very well and another 7 which would be nice additions. Of course 4 or 5 other teams might be fighting over these same players. Not a bad day. I still think we might have been better off freezing our 6 players rather than 2 and gambling on picks. We will see how this drama ends in a few weeks on Draft day.

Helped out the league and a National Guard friend /coach eval the JR division which there were about 60 players. Good group of players in the Juniors this Spring. Not enough QBs. They must all be playing 7on7 or pitching baseball. Couple of good looking linemen with good feet.

We also had a Speed consultant come out and she ran our 40 timing with an NFL caliber timing system. She could tell who was sandbagging their 40’s. I actually caught one stud sandbagging and made him rerun. She told me I had a good eye. Player admitted to trying to dump his 40 time to get on a certain team. Crazy coaches and kids…..

Hopefully next week my dream Tailback will appear along with the Purple Unicorns. More to come….

Cheers,
Parker

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Feb 9   Scrambling a little today for our KYA Football League. They ask me to possibly fill in for a coach being deployed overseas. There is about a 25% shot I will be coaching two teams this Spring. I had to scramble to get all player try out notes from last week, scout try out film, set up new coaching staff and have a quick coaches meeting tonight. Tomorrow will be interesting looking at over 100 players in try outs for two different age groups. This is going to be fun. I really hope he does not get deployed because there a few power house teams in this 9-10 age group and its really tough coaching two teams as I get older. Need to check my ego and just help out the league and hope to be competitive. I’ve done this step in and coach at last minute three times before and it is not for the faint of heart.

More drama to come I am sure…. Stay tuned

~ Parker

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Feb 14    It was very cold for N Texas last Saturday at 35 degrees with a lite mist. The boys were freezing at Try Outs / Grass Drills. 40 times were slower. I interviewed the 100 players in both Bantam and Junior. Was happy about the evals. I heard that I would not have to step into Junior to coach to help the league out which I am very happy about. Two teams is a lot now that I am 54.

Coach Whit and I ranked our 60 players for Bantam and feel pretty good about our possible picks. Draft is this Saturday. I am ready to go now. It is suppose to rain all next week which will hurt the first week of practices if fields close. Maybe looking for an indoor facility but those are $200 for two hours here in Keller. Not sure I want to drop $200 for a rental field just yet. Maybe do a parent meeting at a church or community room or something. We will see Saturday or Sunday.

I am ready for our first practice!

More to come….

~ Coach Parker

 

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100 Names for Linebackers on a Youth Football Defense

Rover LinebackerI guess I was a little bored today and started looking at linebacker position names like Mike, Sam and Will.  We’ve all heard of these names for LBs but I decided to dig a little deeper and see what other names have been used over the last 100 years of football.  I made up a few of my own too as to complete the 112 name list of linebackers.

I have tried to separate the names out into the various linebacker responsibilities but don’t hold me at 100% correctness.  You should use this as a tool to come up with your own linebacker names for your youth football team’s defense.

Here we go naming linebackers…..

Mike, Sam and Will

Strong / Field Middle L-backer Weak / Boundary
SLB MLB WLB
Sam Mike BLB
Stub Mack Will
Sara Meg Buck
Strike Mo Wanda
Zack More Whip
Spear Mace Dick
Snake Mickey Bob
Otto Ace Nick
Flacker Moose West
Saw Missle Bear
Frank Ogre Wolf
Fox Dart Barb
Saber Headhunter Beast

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Outside Linebackers and Inside Linebackers

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Left OLB Rt OLB Inside LB
LOLB ROLB ILB
Leo Roy Ted
Jack Charlie Zip
Lee Rebel Zack
Lance Rex Plugger
Lion Rod Ike
Lotto Rush Axe
Lola Ram Bull
Lefty / LT Rhino Pike
Ox Ray Butkus
Owl Rolo Hammer
East Ralph Chuck
Lakeside Arty / RT Charlie
Lynx Ranger Victor

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Hybrid Linebackers

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OLB Def End SS/DB OLB
JLB Rover
Joker Monster
Jack Dagger
Dave Gunner
Ted Stinger
Devil Nickel
Elephant Raider
Dog Moneybacker
Bandit Lobo
Viper Robber
Tiger Star
Ollie Spur
Elle Lurker
Predator Pirate

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This list is over 100 linebacker names and most of them have been actually used by College and NFL football teams in the past.  I hope you enjoyed this list of LB names.  If you have any names that you have used in the past please leave them in the comments below.

Remember to Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!

Coach Parker
Fort Worth, Texas

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Filed under Defense, Youth Coaching

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

Coaching Youth Football to Lose and Why?

Coaching Youth FootballOver the last 10 years, I have coached three different youth football teams through the 7U to 12U age divisions.  During those many Spring and Fall football tackle seasons, our teams consistently beat a few teams that we played each season as our team aged.  I always think about why our Teams won versus other teams in our Division.  This morning was no exception, since I am planning to begin coaching another 7U/8U team this Fall 2017.  I started writing down the team names we played over the years and why I thought we beat these teams season to season.  Here is a summary of what I thought about this morning….

Why Teams Lost Summary

  1. Son played QB; “Daddy Ball”
  2. Shotgun snaps inconsistent or QB / Center Exchange
  3. Too many pass plays and low completion rate
  4. Play calling strategy; did not run best plays, wanted to be too fancy or pass
  5. Did not focus on Blocking
  6. Defense was a reading Defense, and did not attack Offense

Yes, my two sons have played quarterback over the years but if I had a better QB, my sons played other positions.  As a Coach, you must be able to play the best player at a position, not start your son or someone you like better due to parent politics or a pre-season promise.  You must do what is best for the team, not what is best for you and your family.

Each season, I see so many teams force a shotgun snap because they want to run the Spread or Pistol offense.  If your Center cannot shotgun snap 14/15 times consistently then you will turn over the football at least twice during the football game.  These turnovers will lose games.  I see it in youth football and at the Junior High and High School levels.  You can run these offenses under Center, maybe not as effective but more effective than fumbling the QB / Center exchange.  This area of offense must be focused on and practice at every practice.  Even I get lazy and lose focus on this QB Center exchange and then it bites me in the bootocky.

Look if your team cannot complete more than 50% of your passes then do not focus on the offensive passing game. If you want to focus on your passing game, then play 7on7 and practice there.  But forcing the passing game to learn how to pass for a whole season while you consistently lose more than half your games is no fun for you, your players, parents and fans.  Sorry but many youth football QBs will not start as high school QBs. Running the football at the youth level will increase your chances to win games.  But hey, if you have the legit passing QB, receiver, blocking etc than pass the crap out of the football.  Out of my 20+ season coaching youth football, I’ve seen more teams win by running than passing.

Many coaches, want to over complicate youth football offenses.  I know I do sometimes.  Remember to keep it simple.  Do not force an offense on your talent. Let the Talent tell you what they can do.   If you’re trying to run a fancy offense and getting penalties every series or unable to shotgun snap then maybe that offense is not working for your talent.  If your offense play calling strategy is all over the place and you keep calling pass plays that do not work or Jet Sweeps that are losing big yards, or throwing 2 interceptions a game, maybe you should run that Stud TB down the 5 or 6 hole behind your super large offensive tackle and maybe move to an unbalanced line and just run it down everyone’s throat.  The stats say your averaging 5 yards a carry on that play.  I don’t know how many times, I’ve looked over at my Co-Head coach and said thank god they keep passing and not running #20 down our throats.  But hey, keep passing from a shotgun formation and turning the football over on interceptions, downs or bad snaps and give me the win.  I’ll take it.

It took me a few years to learn to really focus on blocking.  Many youth football coaches focus on the running backs and just tell the lineman just block any man in front of you.  Yes, you can win doing that if you have really good running backs.  But if you do not have tier 1 running backs then you need to learn to block.  You might have a pretty good passing QB, but if you cannot protect him from my 6 very determined pass rushers then it will be a very long day.  If your guards are not blocking the inside gap and letting my A gappers crush your QB then it’s hard to hand off.  Your linemen will usually be 50% or more of your players on your football team.  Coach them up on blocking fundamentals to be the reason you’re the best offense in the league.  Your players and parents will be happy you focused on all players not just your top 5 running backs.

Defense wins Championships.  I see too many coaches running a 5-3 or 4-4 split defense or even running a 6-2 defense but with reading linebackers and reading defensive ends on the edges in tight to the formation with the Corner Backs set back in a cover three with the Free Safety and losing a ton of games.  I see too many “reading” linebacker centric defenses get stomped on by heavy running offenses.  If most of your youth football defensive players are linebackers and defensive backs reading plays then most experienced offensive coordinators will shred your defense for 4 to 5 yards a carry each play.  It has been my experience that youth football players do not read offensive keys, players, plays, formations very well.  These defensive players will wait for the running back to hit them and not attack the offensive player on his key move from the backfield.  Youth football defenses must attack.  I use a 5-3 defense or 5-2 Monster as my pass defense in youth football not my main run defense.  If you have legit linebackers that attack then maybe you can run a successful linebacker centric defense at the youth football level.  Make sure to scout opposing offenses and focus on Defense.  Offense is pretty and wins a few games, but your Defense will get you to the playoffs and maybe a chance in the big show.

I know my opinions are a little brash, but this has been my experience over the last 20+ seasons coaching youth football in Texas and Colorado.  Let me know your thoughts.  I would love to hear your opinions.

Below is why I thought we beat each team consistently over the years…..

Team 1

  1. Coach played his son at QB, who was not a QB
  2. Too many pass plays and low completion rate
  3. Offense was too easy to Defend, not enough variety
  4. Players not assigned to proper positions
  5. Shotgun snaps inconsistent

Team 2

  1. Ran same play that did not work too many times a game
  2. Coach played his son at QB
  3. Too many pass plays and low completion rate
  4. Did not focus on blocking
  5. Did not adjust Defense to Offensive alignments

Team 3

  1. Coach played his son at QB
  2. Ran wrong offense based on team talent
  3. Shotgun snaps inconsistent
  4. Too many pass plays and low completion rate
  5. Offensive play calling strategy suspect

Team 4

  1. Did not Draft/Recruit well; Poor Planning
  2. Switch Offense week to Week
  3. Switched Players around week to week
  4. Did not listen to other Coaches trying to help
  5. Shotgun snaps inconsistent

Team 5

  1. Promised players positions on Team; QB
  2. Did not play better players at QB
  3. Recruited players they liked vs best players
  4. Did not put players in proper positions
  5. Offensive play calling strategy suspect

Team 6

  1. Over complicated offensive shifts pre-snap
  2. Good motivator but lacked tactical focus
  3. Shotgun snaps inconsistent
  4. Did not run best plays, wanted to be too fancy
  5. Did not adjust Defense to counter Offense alignments

Team 7

  1. Ran too many LBs and did not attack on Defense
  2. Relied on only 1 main RB
  3. Did not focus on blocking
  4. Too many coaches / voices
  5. Easy Offense to Defend

Team 8

  1. Coach played his son at QB
  2. Too many pass plays and low completion rate
  3. Did not run his stud RB more
  4. Defense did not attack Offense
  5. Offensive play calling strategy suspect

I hope this will help you understand the dynamics of winning and losing youth football games.

Thanks
Coach Parker
Fort Worth, Texas

 

 

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