Empowering Coaches Step-By-Step

Our Practices #13 and # 14

Practices 13 and 14

Last week we cut our younger teams practice times down to 90 minutes and left the older team at 2 hours. Since I�m coaching both teams it helps me get more face time with both teams. We stagger some of the special teams walk throughs so I can work the offense and defense with each team separately, while still combining both teams offensive lines with me during group breakouts.

Here is a breakdown of last weeks practices:

Monday, young kids by themselves. We split backs and line and worked areas we needed the most improvement.

This was primarily and offensive day. The line worked our wedge with our backups getting in for a rep, rotating every single play. Some of our real weak backups are starting to come around and we feel pretty good about rotating several in now, rather than just having them bearcrawl on defense. We worked our double team blocks, as our kids are getting satisfied with a stalemate on the power football plays we run with their double team blocks, rather than getting a push to the linebacker level. We paired kids up with who they do their double team blocks with and went first on tall bags, then live against our best defensive tackles. We held the kids accountable to a 7 second block by whistle.

The backs worked the open field blocking drill detailed here on the blog as well as the chaser drill detailed on this blog as well. We are still having some issues with our backs whiffing on blocks in space. The chaser drill is helping our backs get over the hump of hitting the hole at full speed instead of dancing around, a very effective drill.

When we bring the kids together, we review the existing football plays we have in by running plays on air with coaches holding dummies at the point of attack. This age 7-9 all rookie team has about 9 plays in and we added our 10th play today. The new football play is a play off of our �Mouse� tailback half spin series. Since each of our football plays build upon each other, it took just 10 minutes to put in and we ran it for a TD in the game on Sunday.

This is also the time of season where we cross train the kids some. Our 2 back is playing some 3 back and our 4 back is playing some 2 back and our backups are getting more reps. We will start a former bearcrawler at left offensive guard this week for the first time. On air we are running about 3 plays per minute as we are now subbing 1-3 kids in about every rep we do now.

This group had a solid practice so we let them do 15 minutes of game time, with the deer hunter game at the end of football practice.

The older group practiced on Tuesday alone. I worked the line, we keep chopping wood on our wedge as we are still working it 15 minutes nearly every first practice day of the week. We did the tennis ball drill detailed here in the blog to help improve our offensive line quickness. We worked the crab blocking drills on tall bags and even did a little bit of live double team blocking before we moved to team.

The backs got a chance to work pass catching drills again, our above the waist, below the waist and pattern catching drills in traffic. We are working to get our receivers to accelerate off their cuts. We have our �Quarterback� rolling and throwing lots of reps here as he has a landmark (cones) of how deep and wide the roll needs to be and that he has the proper mechanics of throwing the ball on the run as detailed in the book.

During team we worked our base plays on air with coaches holding dummies at the point of attack. We ran our football plays out of all our formations (running base, double, nasty, mesh and war) and with all the base adjustments; with this team we are only need 3 adjustments.

We wrapped things up with work on our punting and punt receiving teams.

Thursday was an all defense and special teams day for both teams. Both teams needed work getting their defensive tackles to pinch down from the outside shoulder. They were tending to go deeper and wider than they should. It worked on Sunday as our defensive tackles for both teams dominated, one for the older team had 4 sacks.

We worked both teams a lot on open field tackling drills with the backs and defensive ends and reviewed the corner keys. If he sees his tight end block down, he has to come hard up the field, same rule for him is he has a wing to his side. These also payed dividends on Sunday as the older team held our opponent to negative yards. Since we have played this team in years past we know some of the things to expect. Lots of trips and double twins at the younger levels with bubble screens, and lots of bootlegs. At the older level, some Power I and play action passes. We ran scout defenses with coaches at running back for both teams to get the kids familiar with the base football plays we expected to see that weekend. If we don�t know what a team runs, we just run off-tackle, sweep, reverse, play action passes, drop back passes, bootlegs and dives.

Both teams looked pretty sharp with the older team still needing some work on their kicking game. The younger team spent 10 minutes on the kicking game, while the older kids spent nearly an hour on it. I expected both teams would be making some big improvements, especially on defense and neither team disappointed. However the younger team did lose the ball on a pefectly executed onside kick. We were able to execute one of our own later in the game, but we hate to lose possession of the ball just the same.

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