Telltale Signs of Poorly Coached Youth Football Teams
How can you tell if a youth football team is poorly coached versus a team that just has no players?
That is a very good question, other than the obvious organizational signs (poor practice priorities), there is one simple sign that always tells me if a team has talent or not. How is the team doing on defense? Are they losing every game 50-0 or are the losses 20-6, 12-0, 18-6? Is the team getting shut out a lot?
If a youth football team is losing every game by 50 points they may be in one of those 100-1 �perfect storm� situations, a rarity akin to a Bigfoot sighting in Kansas. But if they are doing “ok” on defense in spurts, it means the team has a few athletes, but has no offense. How then can a youth football team with a few athletes on defense and can hold their own there in spurts, score so few points on offense? POOR FOOTBALL COACHING Usually lots of “grab bagging” little of this, little of that and very little scoring too.
The head coach is responsible for choosing the offensive scheme, teaching it and in most cases, calling the football plays. There are plenty of offenses designed for even small and slow teams. There is no reason why every youth football team in America shouldn�t be averaging at least 20 points a game, even poor teams. If your head coach or organizations teams consistently average less than 20 points a game, the offensive scheme is either poor, or it doesn�t fit the kids.
By the way, the kids aren�t having any fun if they are getting shut out 4 of 9 games, kids want to score touchdowns. The head coach chooses the scheme, he is 100% responsible for his choice, hence if his system fails to consistently score points it was a poor choice and his decision making skills should come into question. What more is good youth football coaching other than the summation of well made decisions? If the coaches ego is so tied to the existing way of doing things that he will not make changes that will benefit the kids, what does this say about the coach? Is he in this for himself or the kids?
If you are stuck coaching or playing on a team like this, please ask yourself or the head coach; “What exact changes are going to happen this year that are going to insure that the team will score more points than the previous season?” “What exactly, specifically is going to change this year that is different from last year?”
If the answer is �Gee I hope we get a better �X� player�, Houston there is a problem. Putting your hope in the football fairies to drop the next Barry Sanders in your lap is not sound youth football coaching and is the mantra of the excuse maker coach that wants to make the game 100% about who has the most talent, a lottery of sorts. That�s why I don�t recruit stud players, if the local stud baseball, wrestler or basketball player wants to play for us, great we will make sure everyone on his wrestling, baseball and basketball team has one of our flyers. But I could care less if the stud shows or not, we are going to do well with whatever group of misfit toys santa drops on our doorstep.
That’s why I’m a bit leery of the “super recruiter” youth coach that puts so much of his effort into recruiting players. My preference is to have a less talented youth football team, it�s more fun and more rewarding winning with them than a team loaded with size and talent. If you are stuck with a coach like the �Barry Sanders� wisher and can�t convince him to change to an offense that is not talent dependent or he will not admit he has a problem and needs to make some changes, look for another team or organization to play in. Life is too short to waste your time with such head in the sand incompetents, it is not worth the frustration.
Back in 1999 we were losing lots of 18-6, 12-0 games. I admitted we had a problem and were going to fix it, not by doing the same thing over and over and over again or putting in a few new football plays and hoping for different results or waiting 10 years for that one in a million player to be dropped on our laps. We investigated other offenses and practice methodologies, switched to the Single Wing Offense and in our first year out of the gate we averaged about 35 points a game and won a league championship. Last year 13 different kids scored touchdowns on my personal team as we averaged about 40 points per contest. In 1999 I had 3 different kids score touchdowns, which team do you think had more fun? Larry Lourcey of Plano, Texas had a youth football team that scored 4 TDs in 2005, in 2006 they switched to the Single Wing Offense with the same exact team and scored 44 TDs with 11 different players scoring and went 10-0, now that�s fun.
Getting shut out isn�t fun,ask your players. There are hundreds of stories just like these, but they aren�t coming from teams run by Mr Ostrich. Show Mr Head in the Sand some video of his team and then a well coached Youth Football teams DVD that averages 40 points a game and let him decide for himself. If all he wants to do is pray for Mr Superstud to land in his lap or he has two new football plays, change teams. Coaching Youth Football should be fun, it won�t be if you have to coach with him.
Funny how even in 100% totaly blind “draft leagues, that the same coaches win year after year. Coaching youth football is not a lottery, don’t let anyone feed you that line.