For those youth football coaches following the reality television show Friday Night Tykes, this is my take on Episode 6. The goal is to help youth football coaches understand the good and not so good things they see on the show and how they might apply it to their own teams. I was a panelist for the wrap up show.
Once again the Predators focus on “being physical” in practice during the week. We see lots of one on one tackling drills from long distance. These aren’t even open field tackling drills where tacklers can learn how to break down, pursue and track, these are mindless hitting drills where the runner has to run straight ahead from 7-10 yards right at the tackler. What a waste of a youth football practice.
The Predators lose to a much better Yoakum team. The Predators play Yoakum close in the first half, but fall apart in the second half after a bit of adversity comes their way. The game day coaching from the Predators non instructions instructions are “hit em, get em, hit someone”, the mantra of all poorly coached youth football teams. The coaching staff is laying the blame for their ineptness at poor officiating, other teams cheating and kids “not wanting it enough.” The usual suspects for poorly coached teams.
Yoakum continues to practice well, but like I’ve said before, they are setting themselves up to fail. I really like how they practice. Lots of technique progressions, fast pace, lots of thud, efficient multi skill development drills and non-contact technique work. They have the size and athleticism to go really far in this youth football league.
Unfortunately the arrogance and immaturity of their coaching staff is setting this team up to fail. They don’t like the officiating and have adopted this poor ol me against the world mindset. The coaches feel since they are new to the league, are from a rural area and they are winning most of their games big, that the referees are conspiring against them.
I’m not sure that’s the case. In this weeks game #74 the big athletic 180 lb Yoakum player gets called for unnecessary roughness twice and threatened with getting tossed out. The problem is he WAS tackling in a way that deserved the penalty and the Yoakum coaching staff refused to coach the player up to tackle properly or to take responsibility for the penalty. All they wanted to do was rant, rave and argue with the officials. The rule states ““No player or non-player shall make any contact with an opponent, including a defenseless player, which is deemed unnecessary or excessive and which incites roughness.” The Yoakum player was called on this because he would grab the Running Back by the bottom part of his jersey, then WWE style slam them to the ground using the momentum and torque generated by using the jersey and catapulting the Back to the ground. This isn’t how tackling should be taught, it isn’t safe and it isn’t how they will be able to tackle when they face better competition.
This isn’t a proper tackle, it’s dangerous and by rule is unnecessary. The officials did a great job of controlling this game and coaching the player up to tackle safely. You can hear them calmly instruct him and warn him, then congratulate him when he finally makes a proper tackle. Well done refs, that’s how you referee a youth football game. Instead the Yoakum coaches stomp up and down the sidelines and even their kids have picked up on it. One of the players says” Are the refs getting paid by the other team?”
Shame on the Yoakum staff all they do is complain and get more indignant instead of listening and learning from the referees. Instead of coaching their kids up, they tell them to “keep slamming them down.” That type of attitude never gets you anywhere with the refs and just ends up hurting your own attitude and your team. The Yoakum staff kind of panics a bit in their first kind of close game- expect them to blow it once they face good competition. They are all over the field on any call they don’t like, they are setting themselves up to fail. I like the way they coach practice, I really dislike the way they coach on game days. Their arrogance and immaturity will catch up to them, just watch.
The Snoop League Outlaws get into a dogfight and barely come out on top, thanks to a well executed 4th quarter onside kick recovery. The Outlaws have a beast of a Back in Myzell Miller, but their line play is atrocious. Miller is carrying the ball 75% of the snaps and he’s making most of the yardage and big plays almost single handedly. He’s breaking 3-4 tackles on most plays, cutting against the grain and outrunning defenders. There aren’t many holes and defenders are consistently playing on the Outlaws side of the line of scrimmage.
This Outlaws team isn’t as talented as the teams they’ve had in the past. How far can the Outlaws ride on Millers back? He’s a one man show at this point. While he is an amazing player, few one man teams can lead a team to a championship in high competition leagues. You have to ask yourself, where would the Outlaws be without Miller on offense and defense? Not in the picture.
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