RPO Special

RPO Special

$51.24 value for $34.99 through 12/31

 

RPOs are the biggest thing in football today. Since installing RPOs into the Spartan Spread System in 2011 the Rocori Spartans led by Coach Mike Rowe have average 400 yards and scored 28 points per game. The Spartans have also made 4 state football appearances (2011, 2014, 2015, and 2016). RPOs manipulate defensive players and put them in constant conflict.

What’s included:

– RPOs in the Spread Offense eBook with over 50 plays and explanations on how to create conflict for the Defense.

eBook Preview

Fullscreen Mode

 

– 1 year access to over 1500+ video clips of RPOs.

Video Library Preview

 

– 1 year access to RPOs in the Spartan Spread eClinic.

eClinic Preview



 

Note: When downloading the eBook you will also receive instructions on how to access the eClinic.  Shortly after purchase you will receive an email with instructions on how to access the RPO library.

Teaching Skills

Teaching Skills

4 things you should NEVER do

By Greg Robinson

Program Setup Coordinator I Youth Football

 

Skills Training1.  Make a player feel bad about not successfully executing the drill/activity:

I wish I could give you a penny for every time a coach gets negative on kids. Have you heard these: “Come on Tommy! You’re killin us!” “We can’t win if you don’t catch the ball.” “You took your eyes off the ball!”

Remember, you are dealing with very fragile egos and confidence levels. Always be the encourager!

2.  Don’t assume the drill you are running is age or skill appropriate:

As an example, let’s say you are having the kids try to catch the ball before going out of bounds. This a very athletic task. If your players are only catching the ball 70-80% of the time just standing there, the success rate of trying to catch the ball heading out of bounds is going to be less than 50%. If you continue to permit this dropped pass rate at your practices, soon your players won’t even want to TRY to catch.

3.  Don’t worry about the details:

Yes, I think that is a double negative but you NEED to worry about the details. How do you get better at something? “Practice!” But make sure you are practicing the correct things. If you want your players to catch the ball at higher percentages, you must break down what happens when the player actually drops it. Are his hands or elbows too wide? What is he looking at when the ball comes to him? Are his pinkies or thumbs together? Is his confidence so low he is turning his head?

Do not continue to let your players fail at the drill without analyzing why they are failing. Break it down into small parts.

4.  Treat every player the same:

Shouldn’t I treat every player the same? Not in skill training. Every group you teach will be different. Very rarely will all of your players be at the same level. Do not make other players feel bad about their skills at the expense of trying to improve your best players. However, your goal should be to challenge every player, at his individual skill level. You can do this by splitting the group or making a drill more challenging for skilled players.

There is nothing wrong with telling your players that once you get good at this part of the drill (whatever that may be), you can graduate to more difficult steps/levels in the drill. Examples of making a football catching drill more difficult would be things like: catching with one hand, running a difficult route before making the catch, or doing pushups before the catch.

Coaching Addiction

Warning!

Prolonged Exposure to Coaching can become Addictive

 

Danger SignThis past weekend I had the pleasure of traveling to Minnesota to meet with Coach Mike Rowe and in the process, see his Rocori Spartans play in the State High School 4A Semifinals in US Bank Stadium.  The Spartans quickly found themselves down 14 points early in the 1st quarter.  With so many things going wrong they continued to fight to the point that they held the lead until the final 1:21 of the 4th quarter.   Having gotten to know Coach Rowe over the last 4 years, I have no doubt his team’s resiliency in large part was a byproduct of his Character Program.  The Spartans ultimately ended up losing and in defeat Coach Rowe perfectly summed up how I feel as a youth coach after a tough season ending loss.

“So proud of these young men and how they handle adversity. Came up short today, but the loss is not why I am sad. All I ever want is one more day to coach these kids and hangout with my coaching peers.”

Getting a chance to watch our young players grow, become more confident, and to learn to fight through adversity are some of the most rewarding parts of being a youth coach.  Adding in the opportunity to build relationships with other coaches coaching can become quite addictive.

Youth Basketball Practice Plan – Part 2

Youth Basketball Practice Plan – Part 2

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

Basketball PracticeWith the new basketball season upon us we thought we should expand on one of our previous posts concerning Youth Basketball Practice Planning and provide details on how we build our practice plans.  First, we determine what areas we want to focus on in every practice.  Like many Youth Basketball teams, we have limited practice and gym time so we know we can’t be great at everything.  Thus, we narrow our focus to 3 areas. For our teams that means attacking the basket off the break, defense, and rebounding.  If we do nothing else in a practice, we are going to work on those 3 areas.  Next we like to prioritize what other areas we want to focus on.  For example, half-court offense, out of bounds plays, press break, etc.  We then build our schedule in 5 – 10 minute segments.  It is worth noting that at times when we are introducing a concept or drill, we may go longer than 5 or 10 minutes, but we strive to go no longer than 20 minutes.  Below is a sample of the format we have used that has worked well for us over the years:

Wall Time Duration Drill Notes Drill Example Coach
7:30 PM 5 Defensive Closeout (No Ball) Coaching Points https://youtu.be/6iHZPCNR6Ac Coach

Wall Time

We include Wall Time help us keep on schedule.  As much as we plan and try to stay on plan, there are times where we might get off script.  When this happens and we want to get back on schedule we use Wall Time to simply determine where in practice we need to be.

Duration

Duration is simply the number of minutes we are planning for that portion of the practice.  Again, we strive to keep these in 5 to 10 minute segments wherever possible.

Drill

The name we use to refer to the Drill.

Notes

We use the Notes section for any Coaching Points we may want to emphasize for that Drill.

Drill Example

Video link showing an example of the Drill.

Coach

Coach assigned to running the Drill.

 

To further illustrate we have included a complete Sample of one of our early season practice plans:

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If you are curious to learn more about the system we use, we encourage you take a look at our Attack the Tin System. If you need more drill ideas, we recommend you visit our library of youth basketball drills.

Special Teams In Youth Football

Special Teams in Youth Football

 

For many Youth Football Coaches Special Teams are one of the more challenging phases of the game to coach.  In our post below we share some of the strategies and tips that we have acquired and used.

Kickoff

Unless we have a commanding lead, we prefer to utilize onside kicks to keep the ball away from the opposing team’s best players in space.  Below is the “A” option of our version of the “ABC” kickoff which is combination of an onside kick we learned from winningyouthfootball.com and Ted Seay’s “ABC” kickoff.

For additional details, check out our ABC Kickoff – Onside Kick Strategies blog post.

 

Kickoff Return

Over the years we have used a couple of different Kickoff Returns, but the one we favor is the Trap Return from Coach Cisar at winningyouthfootball.com.  Below is an example of one of our teams running this return.  You may notice that there is a flag on the play that was due to an unnecessary hold.

Another return that we’ve had some success with is John T. Reed’s Off-Tackle Return.

Punt Return

For us a good Punt Return has always been a little difficult to get setup, but one that has worked best for us has been the Wall Return.  We have used it both when basing out of the Wide Tackle Six and the Gregory 6-3 defenses.  Below is an example of the Wall Return out of a 6-3 alignment.

Wall Return

 

Punt Block

Our Punt Block attempts to attack every gap in hopes that one of our players is able to have a free run to the Punter.  Below is an example of our Punt Block when basing out of the Gregory 6-3.

Punt Block

If your league observes ball carrier weight restrictions, but allows players over that limit to punt but not advance the ball, we like the following Punt Block.

Punt Block 2

 

Punt

Much like our Kickoff Return, we do not want to kick the ball to one our opponent’s best player in space.  For that reason, when we are in situations where we absolutely have to punt we instruct the punter to angle the punt to a sideline to cut the field in half and lessen the amount of space that has to be defended.

 

Punt Fake

Because we like utilizing Wedge Blocking, we also like to leverage it as part of our Punt Fake.  Below is an example of a Punt Fake that we employ that we acquired from winningyouthfootball.com.

 

PAT Block

Our PAT Block looks very similar to our Punt Block when the Punter is over the ball carrier weight with the exception that we move our Mike inside the DE and CB on the Kicker’s plant foot side.

PAT Block

Our logic is that since many leagues award 2 points for a kick verses 1 for a run or pass, the chances for a fake are very slim.

If you are searching for additional help with your Special Teams, we encourage you to take a look at our Special Teams (Long Snapping, Punting, EP/FG) clinic, as well as Coach Parker’s site.

Helmet Award System for Youth Football

Helmet Award System for Youth Football

 

Helmet Award SystemAs a youth football player, I loved receiving recognition in the way of helmet stickers.  What I didn’t like as a lineman was the disparity between awards for “unskilled” verses “skilled” positions.  One of my most vivid memories as a youth football player was our Quarterback receiving 7 stickers for scoring 7 touchdowns in one game and all I received for blocking for him on each of those scores was 1.  Because of this experience we came up with the following Helmet Award System to be more team focused and recognize the contributions of all players:

Offense

Team

  • Score on the First Series of the game.
  • Score on the First Series of the second half.
  • Score 21 points or more.
  • No Turnovers
  • Victory

Lineman

  • Every wedge play that goes for 10 yards or more.

Individual

  • Center

    • Perfect Snaps
  • Receiver/Running Back

    • Pass Catch
  • Running Back

    • Pass Completion
    • Tackled while carrying out fake.
  • ALL

    • Defender legally blocked to the ground.

Defense

Team

  • Only allow 7 points or less.

Individual

  • Force a fumble
  • Fumble recovery
  • Interception
  • Tackle behind the line of scrimmage.

Special Teams

Team

  • Punt Block
  • Extra Point Block
  • Kickoff return for a Touchdown.
  • Punt return for a Touchdown.

Individual

  • Force a fumble
  • Fumble recovery

If you like us love to give out Awards to your team and are looking for high quality Helmet Stickers, we highly suggest you visit our friends at SportsLiveDecals.com.

Minimum Play Tips and Tricks

Minimum Play Tips for Youth Football

 

Minimum PlayersWith the new season just around the corner and as a follow-up to our recent blog post concerning Minimum Play Goals in Youth Football, we thought it might be valuable to share some of the Minimum Play strategies we have picked up through the years.  Please keep in mind that the intent of each of these strategies is to maximize player involvement while still being competitive and may or may not apply to your particular situation.

Time Management

Assuming a typical youth football game has around 60 plays and you have 2 Minimum Play (MMP) type players on the field for each play, that gives you a total of 120 (60 x 2) plays to meet your Minimum Play requirements.  If you are like us and want everyone to get their plays in prior to the 4th quarter, you really only have 90 plays to work with.  Since you can’t put more time on the clock, what can you do to increase the number of plays?

Tip #1

Consider going No Huddle with your Offense.  Think about the amount of time used during a game just huddling.  There are many advantages going No Huddle and one of those is the ability to run more plays than a huddling team.  If you just increase the number of plays run during the course of a typical game by 10%, you have added an additional 9 (90 x .10) plays that can be used to satisfy your play requirements.

Tip #2

Use your timeouts at the end of the first half to stretch out the game and create more play opportunities.  At the higher levels of football, it is a sound strategy when having the ball late in the first half without much chance of scoring to run out the clock so that you don’t give your opponent an opportunity for a big play.   Unlike the higher levels, we as youth coaches are concerned with getting plays for all of our players.  For more detail concerning this tip, we suggest you take a look at Coach Dave Cisar’s Creatively Managing the Minimum Play Issue in Youth Football blog post.

Offense

Tip #3

Leverage formations to help your weaker players.  Some examples:

  • Use an unbalanced line and place your weaker players on the “Quick Side”.Unbalanced Line
  • Split a Receiver or Running Back out wide.  This will typically move a Cornerback out away from the point of attack to cover that player for fear of a pass.  Split Formation

Tip #4

If you prefer a balanced line, consider flipping your offensive line and having a strong/wall side and weak/quick side placing your weaker players on the “Weak Side”.

Flipping O-line

For more detail concerning flipping your offensive line, we suggest you take a look at our Flipping Offensive Lineman blog post.

Tip #5

Consider creating a Beast or Wedge team made up primarily of MMP players.  This is especially an effective strategy when coupled with Tip #2.

Defense

Tip #6

Consider utilizing the Cisar Wide Tackle 6 or Gregory 6-3 where you can utilize the two Defensive Guard positions to rotate players in.  If you prefer an odd fronted defense instead, we suggest you take a look at the 73 Bandit and 7-Diamond Defenses.

Tip #7

Designate boundary and field Cornerbacks.  This strategy allows you to rotate players at the Cornerback position when the ball is either on the left or right hash where they don’t have to defend as much space.

Special Teams

Tip #8

Utilize onside kicks on kickoffs.  We suggest taking a look at our version of the “ABC” kickoff where three spots can be utilized for MMP players.

Tip #9

On kickoff return utilize the two positions on the front line nearest the sidelines for your MMP players.

Kickoff Return

As youth football coaches, it is our job to try and find places where all of our players can add value and find success.  Though each of these tips will cause more work for your coaching staff, in the end they will hopefully help make it a more enjoyable experience for your players.

Minimum Play Goals

Minimum Play Goals in Youth Football

 

If you have visited our site before, you know something that we feel strongly about in Youth Football is getting all our players on the field. We also strongly believe that whether your Youth Football league mandates minimum play rules or not each team should have minimum play goals.  Below is a guide that we have used based on our roster size:

Number of Players Number of Plays
31+ 8
23 – 30 10
18 – 22 12
17 and fewer 14

If you are looking for minimum play strategies, we recommend that you take a look at one or our past twitter chats where coaches shared various ways they keep all of their players engaged, as well as one of our past blog posts covering Flipping Offensive Lineman.  If you are looking for help tracking minimum plays, we suggest that you visit youth-football-plays-and-formations.com and check out their Minimum Play Planning Worksheet.

More Fun with Youth Football Formations

More Fun with Youth Football Formations

(Using Formations and Adjustments in Youth Football)

 

If you have visited our site before you know we like playing around with Youth Football Alignment Rules and Nuances, as well as Formation Adjustments to try and gain an advantage over the defense.  You will also know that we are big believers in understanding the advantages a formation or adjustment gives you while maintaining the ability to run much of your base offense.  In this blog posts we are going to explore a Single Wing formation adjustment that we stumbled upon when watching Ishpeming High School in Michigan a few years back that we believe will give youth football defenses fits.

Ishpeming

If you are a fan of Single Wing football, you might notice that this formation looks very similar to Coach Dave Cisar’s Double Formation with the Quarterback/Blocking Back moved onto the line of scrimmage.

Formation Advantages

Besides having some of the inherent advantages of the Single Wing Formation/Offense, we believe the formation gives you these additional benefits:

  1. Is it Balanced or Unbalanced?  Many youth football defenses struggle to recognize unbalanced formations and we believe this further adds to alignment recognition challenges.
  2. There is now an additional gap to be defended between Q and the left (E)nd position.
  3. For leagues where the end man on the line of scrimmage must be under a certain weight limit (ball carrier weight), we can get a larger player at the left (E)nd position since we are covering them with Q.  This allows us to get a little more push on (F)ullback Powers or ISOs than we would get otherwise.  More about ISOs later.

Ishpeming

Formation Disadvantages

When using a formation to gain a certain advantage you typically also introduce some disadvantages:

  1. Because Q is covering the left (E)nd position they are no longer an eligible receiver.
  2. Because Q is typically a blocker on strong side plays in our base formation, we are losing a blocker at the point of attack.

Ishpeming Power

Run to the Bubble

So we’ve seen some of the advantages and disadvantages of this formation, but how Ishpeming School appeared to use this formation is what really intrigued us.  What Ishpeming seemed to do with a great deal of success was have the (T)ailback and (F)ullback look for bubbles in the defense and run ISO to those gaps with either F leading for T or vice versa.

ISO

For those teams already running No Huddle with a Single Wing Offense/System this looks be a simple yet powerful add.

If you are looking for more information concerning the Single Wing, we highly recommend that you visit winningyouthfootball.com.  In our opinion there is no better or more complete Single Wing system for youth football than you will find there.  We also suggest that you take a look at our Single Wing Clinic recordings.

If you are interested in checking out some of our past posts concerning youth football formations, see the links below:

 

 

 

Youth Football Drills

Youth Football Drills

drillsIt’s that time of year that many of us youth football coaches are deep into planning for our upcoming season by working on our practice plans and thinking about what drills we will use.  Over the last several years we have been able to compile a list of quality football drills.  Our list includes drills for Offense, Defense, and Special Teams.  We have even included some Flag Football drills.

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