Did Um Put Logo On Football Field In Wrong Place Why the Mighty Teams Fail at the Pop Warner and AYF National Championships

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Why the Mighty Teams Fail at the Pop Warner and AYF National Championships

Stumbling gorillas

The AYF and Pop Warner National Championships feature several good youth football teams that have dominated their opponents throughout the season. Many of the coaches I spoke with cited impressive records and point totals that border on absurdity. One coach was 15-0 with a 510-6 overall mark, while another was 14-0 with a 456-14 mark.

While this rule was not required, there were many teams that for whatever reason ruled their place with an iron fist and experienced very little adversity prior to the tournament. Many coaches told me they didn’t punt all season, many others said they punted 2 or less. At least 30 coaches said they didn’t fall behind in a game all year. I like to call these teams “gorilla” teams, they rule the jungle and there is no legitimate threat to their control of the jungle. They dominate their competition and often face teams that are mentally defeated before they even get on the field due to the appearance of gorilla teams or the reputation of gorilla teams.

However, when most of the gorilla teams go to Florida, they find that other gorillas are just as talented as themselves who are not too afraid to face other gorillas. I saw a Gorilla Pee Wee team at the Pop Warner Tournament, well coached on both offense and defense and with very good players, struggling to move the ball against another Gorilla team. On their first punt, they narrowly missed it and went only 12 yards, giving their opponent very good field position. On their next punting situation- 4th and 6 from their own 40, they decided to go for it and couldn’t. He kicked 14 yards on the next possession on 4th and 7. On the second possession, they had 4th and 9 and faked a punt, it was a terrible attempt, the kicker and the player they were short for were both only a yard short, it didn’t fool anyone and the snap was bad, the other team recovered and went for the score. . On their last punting position, it was 4th and 11 from their own 20 yard line. They punted so poorly and their fakes were just as bad, they decided to go for it and sealed their fate.

A kicking game

Due to poor punting by one team and good punting by the opponent, the game was played on one side of the field for the entire game. The opposing team was consistently gaining 30 yards on their punt or fourth down because of the field position they had. The winning team was able to take a few more chances thanks to field position, while the losing team was unable to dig too deep into their playbook. In the end the punting game was the deciding factor in this game which was decided by one touchdown.

Neither team moved the ball well, but one team gained 20 yards or more of field position on each exchange, which ultimately won them the game. It was very clear that the losing team had not hit much in their season. They didn’t need it, but they had clearly failed to complete it for the day they would need it.

The same is true of some blocking scheme adjustments. Like any youth football league with about 100 teams, our league has very good teams, good teams, average teams and bad teams, coaching runs the gamut. Depending on the schedule, we can have a lot of teams where we can run our base 12-14 plays with our regular blocking rules and schemes and win easily if we execute well and our players’ technique and effort are close. However there are always teams that are bigger, faster and better than us on the schedule, if not during the regular season then in the playoffs or when we play out of conference in tournaments. Against teams you bully, things like traps, impact plays, pull fakes, misdirection, key breaker plays or screens may not be effective. When you play teams whose players are not aggressive or well coached, these types of plays or tactics often fail, because those players will react and play differently than well coached or aggressive players. The danger is that once you play a pull or key breaker incorrectly and it doesn’t work well against a weak team, the coaching staff and players lose confidence in the play or adjustment and it’s either put on the backburner or tossed altogether. .

rule problem

In most leagues, rules prevent you from developing your teams for title runs. Many leagues’ lenient rules prevent you from working on and developing aspects of your game that you’ll need once you’re playing on the big stage. There are very few teams that are winning national championships without a legitimate pass threat or great special teams. I’m not talking about going Air Raid and throwing 70% of the time, I’m talking about threatening the field with the potential for a completed pass of 20 yards or more. In most leagues once you are up by 3-4 touchdowns you are not allowed to throw the football. These mercy rules are well-intentioned and necessary in many areas where coaches have no control, but they can hinder team development.

what to do If you think your team can be a league or national title contender, you need to perfect parts of the game that you won’t need until you face another gorilla. You must perfect those parts of the game that do not require beating a weak or average opponent, which means time for practice. If you have a championship youth football team, you may need to play a game within the game. To work on your punting game, after leading by 3-4 scores, go ahead and punt on third down to practice. In games where you believe your team has the upper hand, start throwing the ball earlier than you normally would, or you don’t throw the ball at all. Even if your base play is working extremely well, use your influence or false pull/false route. Remember the end goal which is not just defeating your opponent today but winning the last game against another gorilla. If you’re controlling the game on offense, put your weaker players first on defense to keep the score tight enough to avoid the mercy rule so you can work on your offense and special teams. I don’t get caught up in the final score, I could care less about shut outs, my goal is to prepare the team to its full potential and win the final big game.

Coaching

To win on the big stage, in most cases you will need all the tricks in your bag to defeat the other gorillas in the jungle. Don’t get caught up in the moment and excitement of that day’s game, before taking a few moments away from everything to think about your ultimate goals before each game. Write down some of the things you need to work on on your play sheet to remind you. My game three sheet said: punt, foul, burst 43g, buck, smoke pass, all the things we need in the postseason. There were spots in that game where I was able to work in all five of those points of emphasis. When you get to that final match you’ll be glad you took the time to fully prepare for that opponent, often the difference maker.

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