What role should the HS Head Coach play in the Youth Football League/Feeder Program?

  1. #1
    ChiefSmoke's Avatar
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    What role should the HS Head Coach play in the Youth Football League/Feeder Program?

    My thoughts:


    Inseason- Attend games as able and encourage assistants to do so as well. If there are any issues in regards to player safety or poor treatment of youth players, through the director of youth football, the HS head coach needs to address those concerns in season.

    Out of season- help to establish guidelines for youth football to encourage participation and ensure safety is a priority in regards to teaching, fundamentals, planning practice, & equipment. Be accessible to youth football staff so that as much as possible the HS system is the one that the guys learn from the beginning. But, the priority is placed on good fundamentals, especially in regards to blocking and tackling.

    If there are equipment or facility needs for the youth program, the HS head coach needs to help them meet those needs the best he can assist.

    There needs to be a balance between what the overall community wants and what the current head coach wants.... comes from some very good conversations with Leatherneck.

    The best case scenario, the guy running the feeder programs is on the same page and supportive of the HS head coach and vice versa. We were fortunate to have that at Mason and we have that at Mercer as well.

    The feeder program is very important, but the HS head coach must spend most of his time out of season getting things in place. In season, it is very difficult to be heavily involved other than to attend games and being as accessible as possible to the youth staff for questions and needed support.

    Inseason & offseason, if the HS head coach can get in the elementary school & middle school buildings during the day to see the kids, that is a plus. A summer youth camp is another way the HS program can help the youth program. The camp is an opportunity to generate interest & to help get all coaches from the feeder program thru HS on the same page in regards to the system, drills, & teaching fundamentals.

    For the long range success of the HS program, the feeder program is a very big piece. Therefore, the HS head coach needs to be as involved as he possibly can to ensure the presence of a quality feeder program.

    What are your thoughts?
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    Chief - This is one of the toughest issues I am working at currently here in Franklin. Without getting into to many details I can tell you that many of the things you have listed are things we attempt to do. Seems like many of our youth coaches coach all the other sports so it becomes very difficult to get them out of season. Just curious if your youth play each other only or do they play other counties?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach Preston View Post
    Chief - This is one of the toughest issues I am working at currently here in Franklin. Without getting into to many details I can tell you that many of the things you have listed are things we attempt to do. Seems like many of our youth coaches coach all the other sports so it becomes very difficult to get them out of season. Just curious if your youth play each other only or do they play other counties?

    We are transitioning to only playing each other. We want to develop more kids and include as many kids as possible. Travel is a barrier for some kids and we can focus more on player development instead of winning that particular game.

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    You should have a hand in it. However some places need micro managing and some do not.

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    I don't think high school coaches should have anything to do with youth football leagues unless they are associated with the school (i.e. they are paying for equipment and so forth).

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    If the HS team in connected to the youth program (i.e. middle school team) then the HS program should do their best to try to get the middle school team to be as close as the HS team in terms of plays and terminology.

    If it's a youth program then no connection to the HS then the HS coaches can attend games and such, but input to the youth program should be limited.

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    I like Chief's approach. Be involved where you can. In our area, some leagues prefer to let the dad's run things with no input from the HS. Huge mistake IMO.

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    I think a HS coaches involvement depends on a few things. What age group is it? Who's running the league/program? Is that league/program designed as a direct pipeline into your program, or does it benefit multiple high schools?

    High school coaches should be supportive of the program. Attending games when they can, talking to but not instructing the players after the game. Talking with and getting to know the parents. Administrative, offering guidance and help when needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by That One Guy View Post
    I think a HS coaches involvement depends on a few things. What age group is it? Who's running the league/program? Is that league/program designed as a direct pipeline into your program, or does it benefit multiple high schools?

    High school coaches should be supportive of the program. Attending games when they can, talking to but not instructing the players after the game. Talking with and getting to know the parents. Administrative, offering guidance and help when needed.
    My original post was the scenario when the feeder program feeds one high school, like Mason and Mercer. I should have made that clear.

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    I'm a basketball guy, not a football guy, but I think the exact same situation applies. I personally think the youth programs should have the high school coaches' fingerprints all over it. I have always thought, in addition to what was mentioned above by @ChiefSmoke, that the head coach should hold some sort of camp every year for all the youth coaches and anyone involved in running the league (I'm thinking more here rec leagues, pop warner, etc., I think middle school is a given). In this camp, maybe all day Saturday and half day Sunday, things like safety, proper tackling, basic rules, general info can be discussed. Then the youth coaches can be shown/learn some basic offensive plays and defensive sets the head coach would like all the coaches to know and teach the kids and use during the season. This prepares the kids as they move up the ladder.

    Of course, as mentioned above, this scenario really only works in areas where you have one feeder program, such as where I live in Anderson Co. Living in an area where a youth league might feed 3-4 different schools, not sure how that would work without an extreme amount of cooperation.

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    I played for the Dixie Youth Raiders in the early 80"s coached by dads and most of my team broke up into 4 schools, Cov Cath, SK, Dixie, and Scott. The majority ended up at Cov Cath say 60% and they won a state championship. I think it has more to do with the quality of players than it does the program itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NKY Bandit View Post
    I like Chief's approach. Be involved where you can. In our area, some leagues prefer to let the dad's run things with no input from the HS. Huge mistake IMO.
    Marksberry has had input on South Kenton.

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    In my opinion, the head coaches at the high school and middle school should be involved on the "PR" side first. These coaches should be aware of the talent on the field but just as important, they should be out meeting parents and making acquaintances. The parents are going to be your help/boosters/support system and they need to feel like they are part and belong. No reason they shouldn't spend a little time doing that as time permits.

    But most importantly, they should have a working knowledge of how the league is functioning and how the coaches are doing to prepare the kids for the next level.

    Here in Somerset, if your kid goes to one of the county schools, they play for a very large league but they do things well. Most of the kids at the independent school at Somerset play for a different league which is good if you don't mind the travel.

    Too bad the schools here can't put aside differences and just play each other, but that's a whole other thread that if I start, it'd be a battle.

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    This is another example of where MS has hurt football, from a numbers standpoint.

    I would say that a head coach needs to try and develop quality coaching at the youth level & be visible to players/parents during games/practices, when possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by uk#1fan View Post
    Marksberry has had input on South Kenton.
    If there's a well defined youth/development program in place then the HS HC should be involved to ensure that each level of the program is running a similar offense/defense. South Kenton kids should come through the league running the spread with a 3/5 defense and it just doesn't happen. Watch their league games- playing 6/2 defense and two tights with a full back is not following the guidance of an SK coaching staff member.

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