Friday Night Tykes Episode 3
If you are following the “reality” youth football show Friday Night Tykes or have heard of it, we do a review of each episode. Our goal is to point out what makes sense and what doesn’t and maybe some work arounds for some of the mistakes these coaches make.
This weeks episode focused on the Seahawks, Storm, Outlaws and Yoakum. Again before we start let me say from the experience I had of being filmed for an entire season in my “Worst to First” Worst to First Season television pilot show, that being on camera 24X7 is TOUGH. The producers can have a narrative that is just partially true and focus what they show to support that narrow narrative. Let’s be fair to the producers too, it’s only a one hour show every week, they can’t show everyones life story.
The Seahawks, like I predicted are going down the tube. It’s a shame because I kind of like this Head Coach and I’m rooting for him. He has good intentions, he wants the kids to have a good experience, he wants them to grow up to be productive young men. Unfortunately his good intentions get sidetracked by his anger and negativity.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for letting a team know they aren’t paying attention or efforting for a quick reboot. BUT, you can’t do it every day or it loses it’s effectiveness. Coach has lost this team, they are tuning him out and just going through the motions at this point. There are no smiles, no fun, no progress and little encouragement at these practices.
You get what you coach and their base fundamentals and execution of the basics, ball get offs, blocking, tacking, even the snaps are horrific. I didn’t see anyone working on coaching up the snap/gather or any set aside reps being devoted to that. Nothing happens if the snap isn’t perfect. The Center and QB should have been working on that together before and after practice and EVERY drill the Center does in O-line fundamentals should have a snap component added to HIS rep.
I like that Coach had a get together Madden tournament the night before the game at someones home to try and rebuild some relationships and insert some fun into his team. On game day, Coach makes a huge mistake of getting the kids food just 15 minutes before the game. Hats off on his intentions. When I coached in the inner-city I would pick up 8-9 kids to take to the game. Even when I picked them up at 11:00, many hadn’t had anything to eat for the day and this was for a 1:00 game. Some had just woken up. It is what it is, I fed them all, but we would go through the drive through and eat on the way to the field 80-90 minutes before the game, not 15 minutes before game time.
Some of the kids got sick, as you might expect. Again, good intentions, poor execution. The Seahawks lose to the Storm, another bottom dweller and fall to 0-4. The playcalling is sporadic, with several coaches calling plays which is little more than slapping slop against the wall and hoping something sticks. There are no keys being watched, no if-thens being gone through, it’s all guesswork. Coach loses his cool and unravels during the game. He needs to be an assistant coach to someone that will reel him in every time he starts to go off the tracks.
The feared San Antonio Outlaws lose their first game in the new Snoop League 24-0 to a HUGE and very athletic select team from Houston. They play on a real sketchy field in a league that probably has a very short lifespan.
It looks like many of the Outlaws players decided not to follow them over to the new league. Not everyone wants to have to travel 2-3-4 hours one way every weekend to play games and then play in a league with just 4-5 teams per age bracket and have to play the same teams twice. If they win, then the parents are on the hook for traveling expenses to play in California. Very few people want to sign up for that equation.
The Outlaws were never a huge team size wise, but now they are small compared to their competitors. They obviously lost some linemen. When you play select teams, they are going to be huge, the Outlaws aren’t. They can’t even get out of their own backfield, their line is small and poorly coached. They are bad at both how AND who. You don’t have to be big to consistently win in youth football, BUT when you are playing select teams every week, it’s tough to compete if you are outsized to the degree the Outlaws are.
The Outlaws have gone away from their bully ball Power I and gone to Marecous Goodlowes spread. That might make sense, the Outlaws have a bunch of very athletic backs and small linemen. They arent going to be able to just pound it with up the middle football plays every down. Unfortunately no youth football offense or youth football playbook is going to work without well coached offensive linemen. Their base execution, the snap and even the simple hitch screen are disasters.
I still can’t get over how much these Outlaw coaches curse in front of their players and the parents let them get away with it. This isn’t a I hit my thumb with a hammer slip up, these are continuous, deliberate cursing including lots of F words, continuously put into sentences for effect. There is no need and no place for this type of language, especially for 11 year olds.
Junior Rockets, Junior Broncos and Predators
Nothing on any of these teams this week. I’m curious what happened to Tadion Lott, maybe the show isn’t going to focus on the Junior Rockets this season?
What hits you when you watch Yoakum practice the one day they do every week? The kids are smiling, the kids are having fun and they don’t do a bunch of full contact to the ground work. You see lots of indy and group drills, lots of fit and thud work. Sound familiar if you’ve followed my blog and book?
They are efficient, they have fun and I like most of the technique and drills I see. What I don’t like, the coaches are arrogant and proud to admit it. They know what they are doing, they run good practices and they have size and some athleticism, but the arrogance may be what trips them up in the end. The four coaches are buddies, get along well, but they seem to all be the same guy. A great coaching staff has variety or guys, these guys are carbon copies of each other. More on a post of it’s own later this week.
The Storm finally get a win this week thanks to playing the Seahawks, the bottom team in the league. The Storm’s featured player is the program heads son, the Quarterback. He is small and fairly athletic, so nearly all of his pass plays come off roll outs or run pass options to the edge. This would be a very simple team to defend and their offensive line play continues to be poor. The Storm will have a tough time beating any competently coached team.
After the win all mom and dad can talk about is how well their son played, it’s all about him. Little to nothing about the team is discussed. Again, great that they love their son, but youth football is a team sport and as coaches we need to be there for all the kids, not just our own.
Hopefully for those watching, they don’t think that this is how all youth football teams are coached or worse yet- that this is what youth football coaching should look like. For more information on what effective youth football coaching should look like go here. How to Consistently Win the RIGHT Way in Youth Football