Concussions Statistics Over The Years For Football In High School Coaching Youth Football – Statistics That Really Matter

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Coaching Youth Football – Statistics That Really Matter

What are the “good” football plays when you are coaching youth football?

There are many ways to define a “good” football game, but many players, parents and youth football coaches have it all wrong.

Many youth football coaches do not bother to analyze their football plays. They have a general “feel” for what’s working and what’s not, and rely on that “feel” to decide which plays they should continue or stop running.

Step 1- The State Guy

The first season we had a movie and an actual stat person, I was shocked at how different my perception was from the movie and the results on our stat chart. Many times our internal biases or emotions get in the way of accurately analyzing what is actually happening on the field.

We now use a very simple manual “Easy Scout” method which is detailed in my book. Our stat person knows ahead of time what games we will play. We are a no-huddle team and our stat person, like all of our players and coaches, has a wrist band and knows the codes we use to call plays. This lets our stat guy know what plays we’re running before we run them. Its accurate statistics then give us an unbiased and non-intrusive “realtime” data collection of our plays ready for all of us to see.

Easy scout

Using “Easy Scout” we determine our strategy during each defensive possession and adjustments for the upcoming series. But how do you do that for your team? Many coaches only use the average yards per carry stat to determine if a play was successful.

A real world example

Let’s take an example, 43 reverse play. Let’s say your team gets the following yards when you run 5 times: -5, 0, -7, 1, 80. The average yards per carry would have been about 14, right?

On the other hand let’s take a 16 power play, say you have 6,1,7,5,2,6,10,0,5,6 for an average gain of 4.8 yards. If you average yards per carry, it looks like 43 reverses is a pretty good play, doesn’t it? You have 4.8 yards compared to 14, sounds like a no-brainer, but hold your horses.

How to define “success”.

The way we judge whether a play is successful is whether it achieves its objective in the play. However, not all football plays are created equal, each play has its own unique goal. We don’t run the 43 reverse very often, we only run it when we see the backside linebacker drift toward the QB’s initial stream. Our yardage target on 43 reverses is 14 yards. Using the average yards per carry stat, is this a successful play in the game above? Let’s take a closer look.

The 16 power is one of our basic plays that we will try and establish, with the goal of over-shifting the defense or over-reacting on said play, which opens up many other options from the same backfield action. We’re looking for 5 yards every time to call the play a successful play. In the above example, if we look at the average yards per carry status of 4.8 yards we did not achieve that goal.

Useful statistics

But how accurate is the average yards per carry stat? 43 In the opposite example we had one big play and four was pretty bad. In the 16 power example we were fairly consistent but averaged below our goal. But do you really? In the 43 reverse example we hit our goal of 14 yards, just 1 of 5 attempts, for a 20% average. Our 16 Powers on the other hand gained 5 yards on 7 of 10 attempts for a 70% average.

This new statistic tells us which football plays are actually working and which aren’t. Don’t let a big play or a missed tackle skew your stats and give you a false sense of how the play is going. What you’re looking for is consistency and execution, and average yards per carry doesn’t do it for you. I look at the number of times we hit our goal rather than the average yards per carry. We are looking to meet or exceed the yardage goal for the play on 70% of our snaps. When we do that, our team executes well and our playcalling is effective and efficient.

Statistics can be a very powerful tool when used correctly. One of the best youth coaches I know (Eric See) is a professional statistician and has been using variations of this model for years. His teams have done very well. But you don’t need to be a stat genius like Eric to use statistics effectively. It’s very easy to do and requires little effort, a clipboard, a wristwatch, planning and a stat guy who doesn’t just look after his own child.

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