Tag Archives: pee wee football

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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Youth Football Craziest Play at KYA Pee Wee Football Spring 2018

This is one of the craziest youth football plays I have seen in my 20 plus years coaching youth football / sports. Watch closely as the Tigers’ Center snaps the football over his head hitting an opposing player on the helmet and then bouncing back into the hands of the not so surprised Tigers’ running back who scores a touchdown. This crazy play from March 2018 maybe one of the wildest pee wee football plays ever at KYA Football in Keller, Texas.  What is even crazier is the running back and opposing player involved are cousins.

This funny play is from a 8U KYA Football game; Mustangs vs Tigers. The Mustangs went on to win the pee wee football game but the Bantam Tigers have a lifetime memory.

The play might be illegal but I doubt the referees actually saw which helmet the football bounced off of in all the chaos.  I know the Tiger’s running back had seen this crazy snap many times before.  My team scrimmaged the Tigers and the Tiger’s center had problems a few times and snapped the football over his head.  But give it up the the quick thinking Tigers’ running back for grabbing the football and then scoring on a 50 yard run.

Congrats to both teams on a fun game.

I hope you enjoyed the video.  Thanks to KYA Football and Game Tape Productions.

Remember to Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!
Coach Parker
Keller, TX

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Filed under Offense, Youth Coaching

Youth Football Defensive Player Analysis

I’ve been writing a Spread Offense book over the last several months, The Wildcat Multi Spread Offense; A Youth Football Running Spread Playbook.  During my research I keep thinking about how to attack the outside and Spread the Defenses, since the Sweep and Sweep Option Pass are the main plays in the original TCU Spread playbook by Coach Dutch Meyer.

I started drawing up Defenses and looked over my defense the 62 Multi 8 Youth Football Defense and started analyzing where youth football coaches hide their weakest talent and put their stud defensive players.  I then started asking other youth football coaches and the chart below is what I developed to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of a typical youth football defense.  And yes, this is somewhat biased to a more recreational youth football league vs Select league.  But, I do find running left is very successful with most pee wee football Offenses; Select or Rec.

Yes, I understand better and more experienced little league youth football coaches will adjust to your offense via their scouting report, but you will be surprised how many teams will not adjust via scouting report or during the actual game.  Don’t say NO before you try it.  I win a ton of games running left and attacking weaker areas.

Youth Football Defense Player Review

So what I found is that pee wee defenses are usually manned by mostly stud defensive players at the inside linebacker positions and defensive ends / OLBs.  On the chart above you can see these players in Red.  One of the linebackers might be just average and or definitely weaker than the other ILB, so I have one in Yellow.  These linebacker type player positions are usually the best tacklers on the team. You must find a way to block these studs or run away from them and or use misdirection to catch them over pursuing which they will do at younger ages.  These guys usually want to hit on each play so misdirection works on them more than average.

I personally like my DTs to be studs since many teams love to run off-tackle plays so these big tackles are usually pretty good players.  I personally like to find big basketball players for DTs.  I have one Red and one Yellow in the chart above.  Many youth football coaching books suggest putting weaker players in the A Gaps.  So you will see many teams put their Minimum Play Players / MPPs in the A Gaps, especially early in the game to get their plays out of the way.  I also do this a lot but try to always have one good player there too.   For this example I have two weak players there that are Green which I find most teams will do in the first and third quarters.

The defensive backs can be a bit tricky.  Many times the 2 cornerbacks will be weak since you have Stud OLBs/DEs playing contain.  The CBs are just out there for a backup contain man hoping to scare the RB to the inside.  I really do not block most youth football cornerbacks and tell my running backs you must beat the CBs.  Every now and then you will find a stud CB and that can be a tougher game.  Many teams will also hide a MPP or weaker player at Safety so there is little threat there.  Most younger teams do not pass so sometimes this player turns into a Rover / Monster Defender but many times still below average talent.  So in the chart above I made 2 DBs Green and one Yellow.

So many times on a youth football defense, especially in rec,  you will get 4 studs and 3  or 4 average players and 3 or 4 weak players if not more.  Many times coaches will stack the right side of the offense and or the wide side of the field with their top players.  You can use this to your advantage.  Many times we find the left side is weaker or possibly the short boundary side depending on the team’s defensive philosophy.

Here is a video I published on Youtube that goes over more in depth info for common youth football defenses like the 62 Wide Tackle, 5-3, 70 Diamond and Gap 8 Defense.

I hope this Defensive player position analysis will help your Offense get more first downs, score more TDs and ultimately more wins.  Let me know what you see regarding youth football Defenses.  I would love to hear your feedback.  Please use comment field below.

Remember, Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!

Thanks,
Coach Parker
Keller, Texas

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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