Dumcoach Clinic

Dumcoach.com Clinic

Series of Youth Football Clinics

 

Our Dumcoach.com Online Clinic on Saturday, 6/3 was a great success and we have now made the clinic recordings available for viewing.  This is a great opportunity to learn from several great coaches from the comfort of your home.  The cost for the clinic series is just $12.49.  If you are a youth coach and are not familiar with Clark Wilkins and the Dumcoach Forum, we highly recommend that you visit the site and look around.  We feel it is one of the best resources for youth football.  Be careful though it can become addicting!  Below is our Coach and Topic lineup:

Coach Topic
Bruce Eien Simple Passing Concepts
Clint Schumacher Managing the Parents
Dave Potter Turnovers by Design
Keith Magee Non-Contact Drills for the Offseason
Mike Rowe Installing Tempo at all Levels
Tito Correa Formational Designation

Click Here to Register:

Dumcoach.com Clinic

 

Youth Football Playbook

Youth Football Playbook

(Must have Youth Football Plays)

 

If you are a frequent visitor to our site you may have seen our article about Essential Youth Football Plays where we described both the Power and Counter plays and why we believe they should be a part of any youth football playbook.   We later followed that article up with a post describing ways to use formations to get more Power in the Power Running Play.  Recently we watched as several coaches shared their favorite Power and Counter plays on Twitter and we thought it might be worthwhile to gather all their tweets in one place and share with other coaches.

If you are interested in learning more about the Power and Counter concepts, you should take a look at our Multiple Ways to Run the Power Concept and Counter in the Youth Game clinics.

Tackling Circuit

Tackling Circuit

(Improving Your Youth Football Defense)

 

We believe that many of us would agree that the best defense in youth football is one that can tackle.  After getting the fundamentals of tackling down, we think that a tackling circuit is a great addition to any practice plan.  It allows you to get a maximum number of reps in a relative short period of time by splitting up into small groups and running multiple drills at the same time.  Concerning groups, we suggest that you create them with size and abilities in mind. Also, to save time and possibly even frustration we suggest that you know what the groups will be prior to your practice so that you don’t have to waste time splitting your players up.

If you are looking for drills to incorporate in your circuit, we recommend that you take a look at the following links:

Coachsomebody.com Every Day Drills
Glazier Clinics Tackling Circuit
Coaches-Clinic.com Tackling Drills Library
CLYFL Youth Football Drill Book
Winningyouthfootball.com

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:

Fullscreen Mode

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.

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