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Marysville Youth Football

This week I’ve probably had more conversations with youth football coaches than in any previous week of my life. I did a huge clinic in Cincinnati and been flooded with e-mails, but a flood of questions this week came from coaches ordering the materials over the phone. Invariably they will ask; “Why have you been so successful?”

The answer I think really surprises many. We have been so successful because of 3 factors: Setting Proper Priorities, Practice Methodology and our Schemes both offense, defense and special teams.

Proper Priorities means prioritizing the critical success factors of creating a great youth football team. We have determined over time and study of other successful and failing programs of what those priorities should be and how much weight and time each should be given. Without proper priorities a team flounders like a fish on hot pavement. You have to understand what your goals are and what constraints you live under to develop the right priorities to meet your goals. During my study, I found the priorities of the consistently great teams and the consistently poor teams were on different sides of the Grand Canyon, very far apart. When you are planning your practices, ask yourself; How is this activity going to specifically help my team meet its goals? How is it helping me achieve goals that are my critical success factors? Are their better activities that would be wiser uses of our valuable practice time?

Practice Methodology: We have a very unique practice methodology that takes the above weighted priorities and implements a step by step plan for developing a very sound and competitive team. The methodology was built on the premise that youth football coaches have very limited time to practice and often very limited attention spans to deal with. It was built to accommodate all levels of players and coaching ability while trying when possible to make the practices fast paced, simple to understand and fun. Our practices have been described by many as fitting a weeks worth of practice into one day, kind of like the ultra concentrated bottles of Roundup you buy at the Garden Center. A little bit goes a long way.Keep your drills small, focused, football specific and with minimal standing around. Our practice pace is just below panic level.

Schemes: Don't let anyone tell you schemes aren't important, they are. A good youth football scheme is integrated and allows for the playing of not so great players at certan positions. They aren't the 20 best plays the coach saw on TV or that cool stunt the Patriots used last week. Remember, most youth teams don't cut and are of limited size, you have to make due with what you have.

Our schemes are technically and fundamentally sound and are fully integrated. Every football play and defensive stunt builds upon itself to set up complementary plays, within the series. Everything we do is like that, no one trick ponies found here. The schemes are talent independent, meaning you do not have to have great talent to succeed with them. Some offenses and defenses require that you have a great player at position X or maybe 3 positions. The problem is many youth football teams don’t have that type of player every year.

When a coach tells you the game is all about the Jimmies and Joes, not the X’s and O’s, he is usually a guy whose team loses often and is looking to sooth his own ego. Youth Football games are often won by the team with less talent, it happens every week in our league and in most leagues throughout the country. The better coached youth football teams that have proper priorities, a sound and consistent practice methodology and talent independent integrated schemes, often consistently win no matter what team the coach is coaching.

Our schemes succeed because we don’t have to rely on getting great players every year, as with most teams our talent levels fluctuate. When we have talent, the system has the flexibility to allow them to excel, but we excel even when we don’t have talent. The system also allows for the playing of lesser skilled players often referred to as “minimum play players”. In youth football you can have the greatest scheme in the world, but if the scheme does not allow you to play weaker kids and put them in situations where they can not add value to the snap, it is not a great youth football scheme.

When we talk scheme, we are talking about our defense and special teams as well as our prolific offense, all are equally important.

All three of these factors have been very important to our success. There is no “magic bullet” football play that is going to make your season, it takes all three ( Priorties, Practice Methodology and Scheme) to succeed. If you are “building your own” you have to address all three factors in order to succeed.

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Copyright 2007 Cisar Management and republishing this article are parts of it without including this paragraph is copyright infringement.

Dave Cisar-

Dave has a passion for developing youth coaches so they can in turn develop teams that are competitive and well organized. He is a Nike "Coach of the Year" Designate and speaks nationwide at Coaches Clinics. His book “Winning Youth Football a Step by Step Plan” was endorsed by Tom Osborne and Dave Rimington.

With over 15 years of hands-on experience as a youth coach, Dave has developed a detailed systematic approach to developing youth players and teams. His personal teams to using this system to date have won 97% of their games in 5 Different Leagues.His web site is: Football Plays