We continue to comment on the Friday Night Tykes show. If you aren’t familiar with it, it is a reality style show that focuses on the TYFA youth football league in Texas. It isn’t a youth football coaching show, it’s about the drama of youth sports. TYFA is a huge league that bills itself as the biggest and most competitive league in the state, with about 15,000 players. Last year I appeared on the shows wrap up along with Mike Martz.
This week’s drama started with a protest over a chain measurement during the Colts- Steelers game. On a fourth down measurement, it was thought a Colts coach had touched the chains in a manner which made the Steelers come up short. The protest was eventually denied when all the facts came in.
In youth football, protests rarely If ever end up being upheld, once a game is done it’s done unless there is some type of eligibility issue that can be documented. The Steeler coaches and parents didn’t help their case by going Jerry Springer on the referees and Colts coaches. The net result, the Steelers looked like poor sports and their coaches were suspended for the season. No matter the perceived issue, you never help your team or are the role model kids want to emulate by losing your cool with the referees or opposing coaches.
The Lobos are a new team the show is covering and there is a lot of trouble brewing on this team. In the practice leading up to the Colts game, it appeared they were changing a large part of their offense. The kids looked confused in practice and they were more confused during the game. They aligned in a double tight T formation and couldn’t even execute a base handoff. I see lots of standing around at their practices.
Their offense was all over the place and the Offensive Coordinator, who is from Lincoln, Nebraska looks to be favoring his son Justice. The show features this family and son and they all seem to have a very high opinion of his abilities. I didn’t hear much about the team when they talked, it was all about their son. Justice is pretty athletic, not dominant and small. The Offensive Coordinator and Head Coach aren’t seeing eye to eye on Justice’s playing time. The OC keeps slipping his son in at Quarterback and when his boy is in at Running Back, he’s getting the ball.
I just don’t know about this OC, when he was demonstrating a tackling technique, he showed it with his head down. I saw little sound fundamental coaching in the clips they showed of the Lobos and the pace was very slow. They just didn’t seem like they even knew their own system. This team has TEN coaches on its coaching staff and according to the Head Coach, they all have a say in things. At halftime of the game, the Head Coach didn’t even know what the score was. My prediction is this team will blow up, disintegrate and not do very well. A head coach who isn’t in charge and can’t manage playing time or starting lineups, isn’t much of a leader. It’s a shame because I see some talent on this team.
The Colts end up blowing out the Lobos. Marecus, the Colt’s head coach is letting some of the off the field issues affect him. I don’t think he has the team he had last year and Tavion hasn’t gotten any bigger, so he won’t be able to carry the team. Last year Marecus was restricted from coaching in the spring due to his language in front of the players, he continues to struggle with that, as do several of his assistants. That has no place when you are coaching youth football. If you can’t consistently be disciplined about what comes out of your mouth, how can you expect your players to be disciplined?
The Spartans are another featured team that I predict is going to struggle. Their head coach and a number of the assistants are in the military and they are conducting practices like they are preparing kids for a PT test, not a football game. I see lots of time wasted on jumping jacks, pushups, sit ups, burpees and set aside running. I get it, that’s what they know, but that isn’t going to win them championships. They don’t have enough talent to overcome the poor coaching.
The Outlaws, the leagues bully continues to dominate. They blow out what was supposed to be a good Austin Ducks team that featured a very good running back “McCutcheon.” The Duck coach proclaimed him to be the best in the league. I haven’t seen the entire league play, but he wasn’t in the same solar system as Outlaw Quarterback “Daibo” who is easily 6” taller than McCutcheon. Daibo is also about 35 lbs heavier, faster, more physical and has much better body control. The Outlaws also had a more athletic, more physical and more fundamentally sound team.
The Outlaw offense does appear to be a bit one dimensional now. Daibo had a part in all 5 touchdowns they showed on the show. Some very good blocking up front, but on his scores he is breaking 3-4 tackles against kids that all look 9-12 inches shorter than him and 30-50 lbs less than him. He stands nose to nose with all the coaches and is in the above picture. No wonder Coach Fred drives across town to bring him to practice every day. I like how the Outlaws rep their base power play live in skeletons and this team plays with a lot of confidence.
While many of the Outlaw staff probably have good intentions, their language and posturing show them off in a very bad light. Their fans aren’t any better, they grandstand and harass their opponents. Yes the Outlaws have a very talented team, they play hard and are physical, but is all the posturing and bravado necessary? You’re the bully, everyone gets that, just play football and let your play do the talking. The rest just makes you look bad. The Outlaw kids and Ducks were great at the end of the game, showing great sportsmanship, it would be great to see the same from their coaching staff and fans.
Can you learn from the show? Absolutely, copy the good and refrain copying the bad examples, just like anything else. For past episode recaps go here: http://www.winningyouthfootball.com/wp-blog/?cat=549