Making a Winner In Youth Football, Analyzing Your Previous


Making Changes In Systems in Youth Football

After every season most good youth football coaches try to figure out ways to improve their teams or coaching methods. Most take time to reflect a bit at this time of year on the past season.

Most of us ask ourselves;

Did I do a good job?

Did my team do as well as they should have?

Did we meet our goals as defined before the season started?

Where are areas we didn’t do very well in?

What could I have done differently?

Should I be making any changes?

Once that is done, we figure out where our deficiencies were, prioritize the deficiencies as they relate to reaching our goals and then search out solutions to address said deficiencies. I’m not talking about adding in additional football plays, I’m talking about doing an assessment and review of the season.

Here are some things we are doing in 2008:

Changes We Made In The Past

Back in the 90’s I coached the only way I had ever known, “I” formation power and option football. We picked up a small shotgun spread package as an augment to our “I” and we ran a simple base 5-3 on defense. We ran the same offense and all the same drills I had run as a youth football player in the late 60’s and in the 70’s as a High School player. We even did a few of my old College drills for good measure. Unfortunately, our offensive production was always tied directly to the levels of talent we had and often the size of our offensive line.

When we had great talent and some size, we won and won often. When we didn’t, we were average or worse. On defense when we started our best 11 on defense and didn’t sub on defense, we were usually in most games. But when we did sub to get some of those two way starters a breather or get our weaker kids some snaps, we would struggle. Of course when we played the best teams, we wouldn’t do very well.

Insanity

You know what they say about people that do the same thing over and over again, but expect different results don’t you? That is often the classical definition of the word “insanity.” Unfortunately it seems is if many of our fellow youth football coaches suffer from this player decimating affliction. They keep doing the same old thing year after year while ending up with same frustrating poor or choppy results. In my first few years of coaching youth football, I went through the above post season assessment. My answer was always that I needed better football players as the solution to my problem. My thoughts were that all I needed was a better x player, better y player, kids with more motivation, more size etc etc. It was always the kids fault, I just needed a “good team” and we would do well.

What turned my head away from that “lottery” mindset was that in the league I coached in then, the same teams with the same coaches won year in and year out. Some years these teams had talent, but often the talent levels they had were very average. Within the organizations that were consistently winning, there were specific head coaches within those organizations that always won, no matter what team they took. Humbly, I came to the conclusion that coaching and scheme really mattered in youth football and I needed to make some changes.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”. Wise and humble people make changes to what they do if what they are doing is not yielding the results they want. One would hope that goes for those coaching youth football as well. ยูฟ่าเบท

Changes We Are Going to Make in 2008

I’m now in the process of doing research to fix areas of deficiency in our program. I’m working to develop better methods of communicating with my coaching staffs. I feel we are not leveraging the talents of each coach as well as we could or utilizing the unique skill set each of our coaches innately has as a human being. I’m looking for answers everywhere; from great coaching legends to the captains and innovators of American Industry. We are also leaning too much on our coordinators to do all the basic reads, adjustments and game planning. There has to be a more effective and efficient way of doing things than we are doing today.

As our organization has matured, we now have a few guys that have some experience under their belts and we are getting a few knowledgeable new guys into the program. We want to use their input where it makes sense while making sure that all our kids are “maxing out” on the unique skill set each of us coaches bring to the table. This is a big change from when we first started and had a lot of skeptical rookie “daddy” coaches. While we probably do a better job of this than most youth football teams, we want to be the best at it, that is our standard. One of the great benefits of speaking at all the Nike and Mega Clinics is I get to sit in on other speakers sessions. I get to see (research) how various successful High School and College teams do things. I’ve been fortunate to hear coaches like Bobby Bowden, Pete Carroll, Jim Tedford and Les Miles as well as top High School and Lower Division College coaches. Maybe more importantly I get to talk to thousands of youth coaches at these clinics and of course through e-mail as well.