Friday Night Tykes Season Review
A number of youth football coaches I know are following the reality television show Friday Night Tykes, this is my take on the season. 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.
The Outlaws– It’s been all about their first season in the Snoop League. Snoop Dog the rap star has small leagues in Southern California and Texas. Their league in Chicago went belly up and the league they started in Denver looks to be on life support or finished. In real life there is no real “National Champion” in a league that is in just two states.
Hats off to Snoop filling a need in California and now Texas, but to be a true “National Champion” you have to have representation from all over the US. Great experience for those Texas kids traveling to play in California, but there are lots of National Tournaments that accomplish similar things with much bigger crowds.
The Outlaws were a much different team this year, with many of their players opting out of the extensive travel. Without a true spread Quarterback, they relied almost exclusively on Myziel Miller to carry the team on his back at Running Back. He is a beast and he did a great job, however great teams aren’t one man armys. There was improvement on the offensive line and like Outlaw teams in the past, they tackle well.
A pat on the back goes to Outlaw offensive coordinator Marecus Goodlowe. The starting Quarterback had missed an entire week of practice so like most of us would do, he wasn’t starting the first game back in California. The able, but less talented second teamer was promised the start by Marecus. Just before game time, the Head coach overruled Marecus and required Goodlowe to start the absent player. That sends the wrong message to this youth football team- missing practice has no consequences. Winning this game obviously meant more than teaching life lessons.
The very talented Yoakum Outlawz stumbled against a youth football team they were better than, just as I predicted they would. Several fumbles, poorly executed plays, poor run fits and a team completely unprepared for adversity were the reasons their season ended early. This team that practiced the most effectively, efficiently and had the most fun. Unfortunately their coaching staff was arrogant and poorly prepared for a tight game. All those blowout wins and blaming any deficiencies on the referees set this team up for a big fall. A grab bag guessing approach with no counts, keys or spotters when calling plays didn’t help either.
The RGV Mustangs won their very first TYFA Championship. We didn’t get to see much of how they practiced their fundamentals, probably due to the editing of the show. However they did some nice things in team from a pace, execution and quality control perspective. I liked some of their jet sweep cross fire action running plays that got the ball into the hands of their playmaker at QB. Those are very good youth football plays for any teams age 9 and up, we use many of those same concepts. Some of their play calling was spot on. Unfortunately we also saw lots of very negative coaching.
For those of you who think how the Mustang and Outlaw players and coaches curse is “normal” for youth football, you are 100% wrong. Carpet bombs of F- words are not the norm and are not tolerated by 90+% of the youth teams across America. More on that later this week.
Seahawks and Predators
The Seahawks had a terrible season. But bless that head coach for picking up all those kids and getting them back and forth to practice. He even takes one player in from a willing mom who had to move and get back under her feet. If you’ve coached in the inner-city you know this isn’t a rare occurrence. Had this coach been able to work under and mentored with an open mind by someone who knew what he was doing, he could have been a great coach.
The Predators as predicted continued to fall off and limped to the finish line. You can’t do as much full contact and conditioning work as they did without hurting the team in the long run. Those kids were glad the season came to an end and who could blame them. Again a coach with possibly good intentions who just doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. Probably a know it all coaching staff that has never even attended a coaching clinic in the last 10 years. That team practiced like they were in the 1970s or 80s.
The Broncos had a much better season this year. An influx of new talent and some descent coaching helped. I liked quite a bit out of the non-contact, form and team concepts they were using. Unfortunately a parent power play darkened my opinion on the coaching staff. More on that in a post of it’s own next week. The short version- the star quarterbacks parent’s broke the rules. A very loyal and HEAVY time invested parent volunteer intervened just like the rules say to do. The star parents then forced the loyal volunteer family out in a it’s us or them scenario. Since the volunteers son wasn’t a star or even a starter, they were shown the door. Again winning over life lessons and integrity, a sad day for the Broncos.
Thanks for following along, we have had quite a few back and forths on this show on Twitter and Facebook. This show isn’t representative of youth football nationwide, but it does show some of the good and bad you find in many youth football programs. Stay tuned to our reviews on Friday Night Tykes new show shot in Western Pennsylvania. For more on the Friday Night Tykes season go here: Friday Night Tykes Posts Entire Season