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Thread: The youth sports thread

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
    Here's a kind-of-follow-up question. At what point in coaching youth sports do you start treating the kids unequally in terms of playing time and positions? I coach my 2 sons' baseball teams, and my oldest is in a league of 6 and 7 year olds, in which we don't keep score. Thus far, I have set up a chart at the beginning of the year that makes sure every kid plays every position completely equally, and bats in every lineup position equally. Next year, I'll be coaching a team of primarily 8-year-olds, with a few 9-year-olds, too. In that league, they do keep score and keep track of wins and losses. I'm not saying I would play the worst kids only in RF the whole game or something like that, but at what point would you start playing the better kids more at the premium positions? Thanks.

    It's not fair or right at some point to treat kids the same. Some are better. At school, we put the smart kids in accelerated classes. Plus at some point, you put a kid who is a bad athlete at pitcher or catcher and he looks terrible. And it's your fault because you set him up to fail.

    I remember having a parent on one of my little league football teams complain about his kid not getting the chance to play running back. The kid was terrible. I was afraid he was going to get hurt. I finally relented and gave the kid a chance to run the ball. He got drilled by a couple of big defensive linemen. He had to be helped off the field, crying. Hope his dad learned a valuable lesson.

    I'd say 8 or 9 is when you can start treating the kids differently.

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Two Utes View Post
    It's not fair or right at some point to treat kids the same. Some are better. At school, we put the smart kids in accelerated classes. Plus at some point, you put a kid who is a bad athlete at pitcher or catcher and he looks terrible. And it's your fault because you set him up to fail.

    I remember having a parent on one of my little league football teams complain about his kid not getting the chance to play running back. The kid was terrible. I was afraid he was going to get hurt. I finally relented and gave the kid a chance to run the ball. He got drilled by a couple of big defensive linemen. He had to be helped off the field, crying. Hope his dad learned a valuable lesson.

    I'd say 8 or 9 is when you can start treating the kids differently.
    Agreed, it also depends on what kind of league you are in. If you are in a competitive league, then yeah of course. If you are just a rec league, you can start to place kids at their strengths, but also give other kids a shot and PT.

  3. #33
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FMCoug View Post
    I've always wondered. Were the leather helmets a lot more comfortable than the modern ones?
    I don't remember.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
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    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
    Here's a kind-of-follow-up question. At what point in coaching youth sports do you start treating the kids unequally in terms of playing time and positions? I coach my 2 sons' baseball teams, and my oldest is in a league of 6 and 7 year olds, in which we don't keep score. Thus far, I have set up a chart at the beginning of the year that makes sure every kid plays every position completely equally, and bats in every lineup position equally. Next year, I'll be coaching a team of primarily 8-year-olds, with a few 9-year-olds, too. In that league, they do keep score and keep track of wins and losses. I'm not saying I would play the worst kids only in RF the whole game or something like that, but at what point would you start playing the better kids more at the premium positions? Thanks.
    When I was coaching 8/9 year olds I tried to give every child equal playing time, but the better players spent the bulk of their time in the infield. All of this is dependent on punctuality and attendance though. I don't care how good a kid is; if they miss practices without notifying me or are continuously late to practices and/or games, they sit. Every parent has my cell #, and email so there's no excuse for not shooting me a text or email if they're not gonna make it. It might sound silly to some, but I'm trying to instill the discipline that will be necessary to be successful later on.

    I'm currently coaching 9-12 year olds, and making things fair is next to impossible. The talent level is so much higher overall that it's very difficult to give equal playing time to everybody. I have eight girls on my team that I can confidently put in the infield at just about any position (besides catcher and pitcher). My "starters" actually don't come in until the second inning. I reserve the first inning for my second string players. In our league they cap the first inning at six runs for each team. I figure that if there's any inning to have some errors, the first is ideal. I also typically have my best pitcher starting and closing the game (with a one or two inning break in between) so the chance of any real damage being done in the first inning is minimal. I actually think my system is just about as fair as possible, and we win a lot of games, but we still get shit from the helicopter parents. I've given up trying to make all the parents happy all the time as it's a futile effort.

    I will add this: if a child shows a willingness to learn, and is on time to practices and attentive, I will work with them as much as possible, and try to give them chances to play whatever position they are passionate about. At this age there are still some girls who have not had the ability to properly develop due to never playing before, or just having coaches who didn't bother with them. I hate to see these girls try so hard, and not get a fair shake, and I've found a diamond in the rough more than once. Of course all of this is in regards to rec league ball. Club ball is a whole different animal. Hope this was helpful.
    Last edited by 480ute; 04-10-2013 at 11:32 PM.

  5. #35
    I think that there is an element of safety that you cannot ignore. There are players that are just not capable of fielding a soft hit groundball, let alone a ball hit right on the screws. In that situation it is a safety hazzard to have that child at an infield position. Many times the reason that a player is in right field, is that it the position that they are the least likely to see a sharply hit ball that could hurt them and ruin the game for them in the future.
    “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
    André Gide

  6. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Jarid in Cedar View Post
    I think that there is an element of safety that you cannot ignore. There are players that are just not capable of fielding a soft hit groundball, let alone a ball hit right on the screws. In that situation it is a safety hazzard to have that child at an infield position. Many times the reason that a player is in right field, is that it the position that they are the least likely to see a sharply hit ball that could hurt them and ruin the game for them in the future.
    This is true for baseball. In softball it isn't as much of an issue. Balls are not typically hit very hard by 8/9 year old girls, and a softball is not near as dense as a hardball (baseball). Either way, your weaker players tend to find their way to the outfield so injuries are rare.
    Last edited by 480ute; 04-10-2013 at 11:43 PM.

  7. #37

    Are you ready for some football!

    Here, we play little league (house league) football in the spring. My 13 year old and I will pick up his equipment this Saturday. I have coached for the past several years starting with my two older sons. Once upon a time I shared my playbook on another message board. UtahDan poo poo'd it, saying it was too complicated. Four championships later and the rest of the league now running variations of my scheme suggest Dan was mistaken. Considering I only get a week of practice before the first game to teach the kids, many of which have never played football before, says something

    Here's my 12 year old, playing with Bantam age boys ranging from 12 - 15 maintaining outside contain. He's a good athlete. Sturdy on his feet and certainly not afraid to hit. This year he's older and bigger; should be a fun season for him.

    Z1.jpg

    Z2.jpg

    Z3.jpg
    Last edited by tooblue; 04-11-2013 at 10:17 AM.

  8. #38
    Uniform Fashion Expert HuskyFreeNorthwest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
    Here's a kind-of-follow-up question. At what point in coaching youth sports do you start treating the kids unequally in terms of playing time and positions? I coach my 2 sons' baseball teams, and my oldest is in a league of 6 and 7 year olds, in which we don't keep score. Thus far, I have set up a chart at the beginning of the year that makes sure every kid plays every position completely equally, and bats in every lineup position equally. Next year, I'll be coaching a team of primarily 8-year-olds, with a few 9-year-olds, too. In that league, they do keep score and keep track of wins and losses. I'm not saying I would play the worst kids only in RF the whole game or something like that, but at what point would you start playing the better kids more at the premium positions? Thanks.
    I coached 5th grade basketball and football this year, playing time was equal regardless of skill or attention. Carrying the ball, being point guard, etc was based on skill and effort in practice.

  9. #39
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  10. #40
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    What kind of league was this?

    She said the incident that eventually cost her father his life was the third incidence of violence he had experienced as a soccer referee during the past decade. Previously, he suffered broken ribs and a broken leg following incidents of violence from irate players while officiating games.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  11. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    What kind of league was this?
    City rec league.
    “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
    André Gide

  12. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by tooblue View Post
    Here, we play little league (house league) football in the spring. My 13 year old and I will pick up his equipment this Saturday. I have coached for the past several years starting with my two older sons. Once upon a time I shared my playbook on another message board. UtahDan poo poo'd it, saying it was too complicated. Four championships later and the rest of the league now running variations of my scheme suggest Dan was mistaken. Considering I only get a week of practice before the first game to teach the kids, many of which have never played football before, says something

    Here's my 12 year old, playing with Bantam age boys ranging from 12 - 15 maintaining outside contain. He's a good athlete. Sturdy on his feet and certainly not afraid to hit. This year he's older and bigger; should be a fun season for him.

    Z1.jpg

    Z2.jpg

    Z3.jpg
    TooBlue,

    ANy update on how your boy's season has gone? That is a fun age to watch football.
    “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
    André Gide

  13. #43
    We have three boys playing Little Leauge in three different age divisions. Our 10 year old, UteBoy3 is on a good team that is competing for the league crown. Our 14 year old, Uteboy1, season is really just underway, but his team will be competitive.

    Our 12 year old,Uteboy2, plays on the team that will likely pull up the rear. We were 5 games into the season, 0-5 and had only scored 9 runs all season long. Last night, they were able make a big breakthrough. We scored 7 runs in the first inning to take an early lead, but were unable to score again for the next serveral innings. The other team was able to chip away until they eventually went ahead in the top of the 6th to take a 8-7 lead. But his team finally turned a corner tying it up at 8 to force extra innings. They gave up a run in the top half of the 7th. Uteboy2 led off the inning with a double and stole 3rd on the next pitch. He scored the tying run on a passed ball, and the runner behind him was able to score after a single on the next pitch to win the game. The coaches and the boys acted like they had won the 7th game of the world series. It was fun to watch them jumping around and smiling. They really played a solid game from beginning to end, and tied up the game in 2 consecutive do or die innings along the way. UB2 played his best game of the year and is probably still grinning about it as I type this.
    “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
    André Gide

  14. #44
    We've spent the summer with my 14 year old on the road, hotel to hotel, playing baseball tournaments. I did the same with my oldest girl who played softball.

    We've missed a lot of church, but, I contend it is well worth it. I know things like FHE and PPI's are encouraged as programs that will save the family, but, where else can you spend 6 hours on the road, one on one with your kid bonding over something that you both love. Let's face it, it takes time to really connect with your kids. A 30 minute PPI once a week won't get you very far. For that reason, I'll promote competitive, travel sports to anyone that has a child who has a passion, and has the skills and ability to compete. First, the lessons learned playing at the highest level are invaluable. But, second, and more importantly, for the chance to spend a lot of one on one time with your child in a comfortable environment.

    We have 2 more tournaments, then make the cross country trip to our new home in Salt Lake. Nervous for the changes that will surely come.
    “Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.” -- Harry S. Truman

    "You never soar so high as when you stoop down to help a child or an animal." -- Jewish Proverb

    "Three-time Pro Bowler Eric Weddle the most versatile, and maybe most intelligent, safety in the game." -- SI, 9/7/15, p. 107.

  15. #45
    August 1 little league football starts so remember when you take your knee that the helmet is not a chair (pee were football is the best!)

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    "Be a philosopher. A man can compromise to gain a point. It has become apparent that a man can, within limits, follow his inclinations within the arms of the Church if he does so discreetly." - The Walking Drum

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  16. #46
    I will coach my daughter's 6 year old soccer team this Fall. Any advice on coaching little people? I'm not an expert at all. I have made it clear to the parents that I'm not trying to raise the next round of women's soccer stars and that I just want the girls to have fun.

  17. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    I'm not trying to raise the next round of women's soccer stars and that I just want the girls to have fun.
    That's your first mistake. Remember winning and winning big is fun. You need to find two kids with anger management problems, preferably a year or two older than the other kids and build from there.

    Be less concerned about all kids getting their turn as they'll just be happy to be riding the coat tails of winners. Also don't be afraid to tell parents that if their kid hasn't connected by now with excelling at the sport the odds are non-existent for them ever being on a team, professionally or otherwise.

    Trust me, I've stood in rainstorms through soccer games and the path has been set long before 6 and every parent there knows it.

    Also, remember, no bunching.






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  18. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    Trust me, I've stood in rainstorms through soccer games and the path has been set long before 6 and every parent there knows it.

    Also, remember, no bunching.
    Did anyone else see the footage of Ledecky swimming at age 5? It was incredible.

    Bunching is my main plan. It's 4 on 4 with no goalies. The other teams will all be trying to play positions, which they are totally not ready for, and we will swarm them into submission.

  19. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    Did anyone else see the footage of Ledecky swimming at age 5? It was incredible.

    Bunching is my main plan. It's 4 on 4 with no goalies. The other teams will all be trying to play positions, which they are totally not ready for, and we will swarm them into submission.
    So for reals at that age the kid who can kick and run after the ball and direct it towards a goal is light years ahead of most of the kids on the field. (Kids that age like to kick the ball, watch where it goes and then run after it). Teaching kids to kick the ball towards the goal and then keep chasing it is 95% of the battle. Get a few kids who can do that and you'll dominate.


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  20. #50
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Your biggest hurdle is making sure the kids know which direction to go. Once they have that figured out, you are home free.

    Just make it fun. When the kids make a mistake (like an own goal) just laugh with them and give them a high five for effort.

    The next hardest thing will be when you have mismatched talent. You may have a kid who is light years ahead just because he knows what they are doing and dominate the ball. That's where you may want to take them aside and teach them higher concepts about spacing and passing.

    If then other team has such a player, you or the kids may get frustrated if the score gets really imbalanced. Just try to keep it light and fun.

    Source: coaching my kids in little league soccer for about 6 years now. My youngest turns 7 this year.

  21. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by U-Ute View Post
    Your biggest hurdle is making sure the kids know which direction to go. Once they have that figured out, you are home free.
    Just got back from the first practice. I figured a group of 6 year old girls would get silly, but I underestimated the degree of silliness. I pretty sure they will have fun, which is my primary goal. I'm not certain they will learn anything about soccer, but that's just a secondary goal.

  22. #52
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    Just got back from the first practice. I figured a group of 6 year old girls would get silly, but I underestimated the degree of silliness. I pretty sure they will have fun, which is my primary goal. I'm not certain they will learn anything about soccer, but that's just a secondary goal.
    One thing to consider: I've had some kids not know that the white lines mean "out of bounds" and just dribble all over the field.

    So some of the basics you may need to cover:

    - Go "that" way.
    - Kick it into "that" goal.
    - White lines are out of bounds.

    Beyond that, let them have fun. I had one kid that when he was in, he'd just run like an airplane all over the field as if there wasn't even a game going on. I'd try to get him involved, let him have his time and substitute him out when it was his turn.

    Oh yeah, depending on how many kids you have on game day, you may want to determine your rotation before the game starts. Just figure a time interval that works (usually every 4-6 minutes) and rotate the kids. If you only have 1 or 2 subs, it's pretty easy. When you get to 3 or 4 you may want to have a list of groups on your phone before the game starts. Then I just set a timer on my phone for whatever time works with the length of the halves just to make sure every kid gets roughly the same amount of time.

  23. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by U-Ute View Post
    One thing to consider: I've had some kids not know that the white lines mean "out of bounds" and just dribble all over the field.

    So some of the basics you may need to cover:

    - Go "that" way.
    - Kick it into "that" goal.
    - White lines are out of bounds.

    Beyond that, let them have fun. I had one kid that when he was in, he'd just run like an airplane all over the field as if there wasn't even a game going on. I'd try to get him involved, let him have his time and substitute him out when it was his turn.

    Oh yeah, depending on how many kids you have on game day, you may want to determine your rotation before the game starts. Just figure a time interval that works (usually every 4-6 minutes) and rotate the kids. If you only have 1 or 2 subs, it's pretty easy. When you get to 3 or 4 you may want to have a list of groups on your phone before the game starts. Then I just set a timer on my phone for whatever time works with the length of the halves just to make sure every kid gets roughly the same amount of time.

    And explain the rotations to the parents so they know how you are doing it and that everything is equal.

  24. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
    And explain the rotations to the parents so they know how you are doing it and that everything is equal.
    All good stuff... Since I've established pretending like I'm a jerk coach, one thing is to consider balance on rotation too. My daughter is on a 6yo team right now with 8 kids and I believe you get 4 kids and no goalie. We try to put the better kids with the kids who think they are airplanes so there is some consistent strength. Our old coach didn't do that and so he'd have 4 kids being airplanes and it became a bloodbath.

    Also, you can tell it is a bloodbath when the parents stop clapping for goals.

    Kids are awesome.


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  25. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocker Ute View Post
    All good stuff... Since I've established pretending like I'm a jerk coach, one thing is to consider balance on rotation too. My daughter is on a 6yo team right now with 8 kids and I believe you get 4 kids and no goalie. We try to put the better kids with the kids who think they are airplanes so there is some consistent strength. Our old coach didn't do that and so he'd have 4 kids being airplanes and it became a bloodbath.

    Also, you can tell it is a bloodbath when the parents stop clapping for goals.

    Kids are awesome.


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    True. You may not know it right away, but as the season goes on you'll get an idea for who the heroes are and who the dandelion pickers are. You don't want too many dandelion pickers on the field at the same time.

  26. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by U-Ute View Post
    True. You may not know it right away, but as the season goes on you'll get an idea for who the heroes are and who the dandelion pickers are. You don't want too many dandelion pickers on the field at the same time.
    That all depends on how weedy your field is.


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  27. #57
    I really do love football. However, Little league pep rallies when its hot enough to be on the surface of the sun make me want to shoot people

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    "Be a philosopher. A man can compromise to gain a point. It has become apparent that a man can, within limits, follow his inclinations within the arms of the Church if he does so discreetly." - The Walking Drum

    "And here’s what life comes down to—not how many years you live, but how many of those years are filled with bullshit that doesn’t amount to anything to satisfy the requirements of some dickhead you’ll never get the pleasure of punching in the face." – Adam Carolla

  28. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by tooblue View Post
    Here, we play little league (house league) football in the spring. My 13 year old and I will pick up his equipment this Saturday. I have coached for the past several years starting with my two older sons. Once upon a time I shared my playbook on another message board. UtahDan poo poo'd it, saying it was too complicated. Four championships later and the rest of the league now running variations of my scheme suggest Dan was mistaken. Considering I only get a week of practice before the first game to teach the kids, many of which have never played football before, says something

    Here's my 12 year old, playing with Bantam age boys ranging from 12 - 15 maintaining outside contain. He's a good athlete. Sturdy on his feet and certainly not afraid to hit. This year he's older and bigger; should be a fun season for him.

    Z1.jpg

    Z2.jpg

    Z3.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by Jarid in Cedar View Post
    Lost 10-2. So he finished the season 16-8, 2nd place state finish.


    Hey you two its been almost 4 years. Did your pride and joy(s) continue to do great things or have they moved on to other things. How about an update?
    “Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.” -- Harry S. Truman

    "You never soar so high as when you stoop down to help a child or an animal." -- Jewish Proverb

    "Three-time Pro Bowler Eric Weddle the most versatile, and maybe most intelligent, safety in the game." -- SI, 9/7/15, p. 107.

  29. #59
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Keep this in mind if your son continues want to play football.


  30. #60
    A question for any of you that might be neck deep into competitive baseball with your child -- Other than the Marshalls and the Bucks, which programs in the area (between Weber & Utah counties) enjoy a strong reputation for 15-17 year olds?
    “Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.” -- Harry S. Truman

    "You never soar so high as when you stoop down to help a child or an animal." -- Jewish Proverb

    "Three-time Pro Bowler Eric Weddle the most versatile, and maybe most intelligent, safety in the game." -- SI, 9/7/15, p. 107.

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