Monday, October 22, 2012

Flag Football Playoff Weekend - Part 1

Our local flag football team made it through 2 games this weekend to move into the next round of play-offs next week.

Our first game went really well we got off to a 19-0 start and ultimately ended winning 19-15 after giving up a late score in the last 5 minutes.   The good thing about this is, it was a very tough team that we had previous had lost to.

Our second game was a sloppy affair and we managed to win 25-19 despite mistake riddled play.    Historically my teams have all played incredibly poorly on late Sunday afternoons for some reason.  In fact our last loss was way back in September, and it was a Sunday aftertnoon game that was scheduled as make up game due to the fields flooding during a rain storm on the previous Wednesday.

I decided not to dwelll on it, after-all win is a win.  We will practice this week, and correct our mistakes and come out next Saturday and play great football.

If you want to see the drills and plays we use Youth Flag Football HQ is a great resource.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Coaches' Playbook: Trips End Around

Youth Flag Football HQ has posted my newest youth flag football play writeup. 

The Trips End Around is a really useful play but requires a good amount of practice to get it right.   Our team has scored many touch downs and first downs off this play with both running or throwing.   Make sure the runner executing the end around has some decent throwing ability too.   Once my players are comfortable with this play I let the receiver make the read to throw a pass or run.   Often the defense will move forward to pull the runners flag leaving the deep sideline uncovered.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Culture of Snacks - Part 2

In my previous post I discussed whether or not it was necessary to offer snacks to children in youth sports.  Assuming we all agree for the moment that there is no harm to offering our kids a snack at the end of play, then this begs the question of what kind of snacks should we offer?

One parent, who has a background in nutrition and athletic training, suggested avoiding sugary and processed foods in favor of healthy snacks.  This parent was particularly concerned about the link between processed foods and the rates of obesity, cancer, and other diseases.

I felt a bit remiss as a parent and a coach that I had never thought of this before.   It also made me wonder why the concept was not more prevalent in youth sports?   I was also surprised when the idea was met with disinterest and in one case out right resistance.

Obesity is a rising crisis in the country.  The USA now has one of the highest rates of obesity among all developed nations. Childhood obesity in particular is something we as parents and coaches should be concerned with.   Information of the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website states that:

"Obesity now affects 17% of all children and adolescents in the United States - triple the rate from just one generation ago."

The CDC also makes the following suggestions for parents to help fight childhood obesity:
  • Provide more fruits and vegetables, limit foods high in fat and sugar, and prepare healthier foods at family meals.
  • Serve water instead of sugar drinks.
  • Encourage physical activity every day.
    It therefore seems counterproductive to give our players unhealthy snacks at the end of an athletic event, considering we are actually trying to promote staying active to encourage our kids to stay fit and healthy.   Also if we are going to prepare healthier options for our family meals, why not at game time too?

    Choosing to offer healthy alternatives to processed foods gets kids into healthy habits at a young age.  In doing so we help curb bad habits now, and provide our children healthy nutritional habits that will stay with them as they develop into young adults.