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This popped into my head while reading a post from another thread.  (Highlands coaching search)  Maybe I'm one of the few but I really like watching practice almost as much as a game.  I mean if the practice is a good practice by a good team or program.  My dad actually preferred to watch practice over a game.  He also would have toured any factory that would have let him to watch or see how different things were made, so I guess that's why he liked practices more.  To figure out or to see how the game day conclusions are arrived at.  I guess I get it from him.  Anybody else out there really like watching practices?  I would watch a different team for a couple of days each week if my schedule and the coaches would allow. 

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If I could, I would watch practices. My schedule does not allow that though. Ironically as a varsity coach myself I would prefer closed practices. Kids are too easily distracted by their parents or other observers. Unfortunately our practices are held in a public facility so it’s almost impossible to make that happen. 

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There was a time at HHS when every early morning practice during the summer there would be 10-15 dads who would have their morning coffee and watch practice before heading off to work. There was also a huge amount of parents who would come to the Thursday night practices. Now, a lot of this was simply a social thing; however, from a purely football perspective if you really want to see why coaches do certain things and why some players might play and others not, viewing practice is the best way to do that. I guess you could say it is how you see the "method to the madness". 

I think it would be beneficial for parents to watch more of their kids' practices. Especially, if you are a parent who is concerned/frustrated with your sons' playing time. A lot of times, it is pretty easy to see why Jimmy isn't playing over Johnny when you see them in practice. Not to mention it shows your son that you are taking an interest in something they care about. 

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21 minutes ago, Kenny Powers said:

There was a time at HHS when every early morning practice during the summer there would be 10-15 dads who would have their morning coffee and watch practice before heading off to work. There was also a huge amount of parents who would come to the Thursday night practices. Now, a lot of this was simply a social thing; however, from a purely football perspective if you really want to see why coaches do certain things and why some players might play and others not, viewing practice is the best way to do that. I guess you could say it is how you see the "method to the madness". 

I think it would be beneficial for parents to watch more of their kids' practices. Especially, if you are a parent who is concerned/frustrated with your sons' playing time. A lot of times, it is pretty easy to see why Jimmy isn't playing over Johnny when you see them in practice. Not to mention it shows your son that you are taking an interest in something they care about

I agree with your post and to the bold they are memories of a lifetime. 

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My Dad always wanted to get to UK games early to watch pregame. 

I like watching practice of really good programs to see how they work and what they do.

If you are watching practice just because you want to watch your child, great. But, anything in regards to PT... not a fan. 

If there is a PT issue, your son needs to have a conversation with his position coach.... "what do I need to do to improve and get playing time?"

 My three kids have had some pretty ridiculous adults to deal with over the past 23 years.  As much as I possibly can, I let my kids handle it.  And, when my kids are dealing with those adults, they still know I have their back and I can step in if things escalate beyond an acceptable level. Yeah... it has been tough some times for them. But, they will be much stronger as adults.

My oldest son had just started his job as a financial adviser when the Pandemic hit and the market was crashing. I couldn't be there to handle the crisis for him.  It was a tough time and he had to fight through it. His Dad was not there to make it all better.

I can't call the Stock Market and say... 'Hey, this is my son's first year on the job.... can you make the market average a 50 point gain the next 6 months so he can get off to a good start? He is a really good boy and deserves (entitled) it. "

Everyday... I think about my kids and what their life will be like when I am dead. I have to get them ready for that.  If I fight their battles for them, I am making them weaker adults. 

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1 hour ago, ChiefSmoke said:

My Dad always wanted to get to UK games early to watch pregame. 

I like watching practice of really good programs to see how they work and what they do.

If you are watching practice just because you want to watch your child, great. But, anything in regards to PT... not a fan. 

If there is a PT issue, your son needs to have a conversation with his position coach.... "what do I need to do to improve and get playing time?"

 My three kids have had some pretty ridiculous adults to deal with over the past 23 years.  As much as I possibly can, I let my kids handle it.  And, when my kids are dealing with those adults, they still know I have their back and I can step in if things escalate beyond an acceptable level. Yeah... it has been tough some times for them. But, they will be much stronger as adults.

My oldest son had just started his job as a financial adviser when the Pandemic hit and the market was crashing. I couldn't be there to handle the crisis for him.  It was a tough time and he had to fight through it. His Dad was not there to make it all better.

I can't call the Stock Market and say... 'Hey, this is my son's first year on the job.... can you make the market average a 50 point gain the next 6 months so he can get off to a good start? He is a really good boy and deserves (entitled) it. "

Everyday... I think about my kids and what their life will be like when I am dead. I have to get them ready for that.  If I fight their battles for them, I am making them weaker adults. 

I think you might be misinterpreting what I was saying. I was saying that if parents watched their kid at practice they would better understand why they are not getting the playing time the parent/player wants. Then the parent should/could tell their kid that they need to get it together, work harder, and do what their coach wants in order to improve and overcome their shortcomings rather than complaining. 

I 100% agree that parents shouldn't fight their kid's battles for them; kids learn nothing from that other than to run away from their problems. I wish more parents in our current culture understood that. 

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Back to the original thread... One of my favorite things to watch are really good position coaches work their craft and teach technique; especially for players who lack the stereotypical desired size and strength of their position. A major theme that I have always found, not matter what position, is that everything comes back to your feet. If you have good feet you can overcome other deficiencies. 

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7 hours ago, ChiefSmoke said:

My Dad always wanted to get to UK games early to watch pregame. 

I like watching practice of really good programs to see how they work and what they do.

If you are watching practice just because you want to watch your child, great. But, anything in regards to PT... not a fan. 

If there is a PT issue, your son needs to have a conversation with his position coach.... "what do I need to do to improve and get playing time?"

 My three kids have had some pretty ridiculous adults to deal with over the past 23 years.  As much as I possibly can, I let my kids handle it.  And, when my kids are dealing with those adults, they still know I have their back and I can step in if things escalate beyond an acceptable level. Yeah... it has been tough some times for them. But, they will be much stronger as adults.

My oldest son had just started his job as a financial adviser when the Pandemic hit and the market was crashing. I couldn't be there to handle the crisis for him.  It was a tough time and he had to fight through it. His Dad was not there to make it all better.

I can't call the Stock Market and say... 'Hey, this is my son's first year on the job.... can you make the market average a 50 point gain the next 6 months so he can get off to a good start? He is a really good boy and deserves (entitled) it. "

Everyday... I think about my kids and what their life will be like when I am dead. I have to get them ready for that.  If I fight their battles for them, I am making them weaker adults. 

I didn't mention playing time.  Has nothing to do with what I was trying to share. 

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As a young(er) parent and someone with a child who will be playing football in the next few years, this is the stuff I really like insight into. I did not play organized football through high school only backyard football with friends. But there are things you don't see as an outsider looking in and these are some really good perspectives on watching practices.  

I'm sure this is different with every program, but:

How much time is spent on installing plays? 

How much time is spent on conditioning?

Does the structure change from summer to fall as the season goes deeper?

What are you looking for when you watch practice?

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25 minutes ago, InsideSlant said:

As a young(er) parent and someone with a child who will be playing football in the next few years, this is the stuff I really like insight into. I did not play organized football through high school only backyard football with friends. But there are things you don't see as an outsider looking in and these are some really good perspectives on watching practices.  

I'm sure this is different with every program, but:

How much time is spent on installing plays? 

How much time is spent on conditioning?

Does the structure change from summer to fall as the season goes deeper?

What are you looking for when you watch practice?

As you said, a lot of this will vary depending on the program. I won’t go into specific drills because again that will vary depending on the coach.  But in terms of “themes” I like to see when watching practices are constant competition in everything the players are doing and thoughtful skill development.

First, for the constant competition. I believe that everyone gets better from having to compete day in and day out; it brings everyone up so that even your 3rd string player is still able to contribute to the team because they compete in the same drills. Also, the competition in practice makes the players “bring it” everyday rather than going through the motions where they will not improve. A former coach of mine used to say that you should want to drink water better than your opponents, put on your pants better than your opponents, etc. 

Secondly, and most importantly in my opinion, is skill development. It sound so simple, but a lot of times I see practices (especially at younger levels) where teams just play the game during practice (5 on 5 the whole time during a basketball practice, or 11 on 11 the whole time during football) rather than sharpening and developing the skills needed to be successful during actual competition. Drills need to be done to replicate the demands of the actual competition. I believe that this is where you build a program also. Kids standing around watching the starters or playing scout team all the time does not develop depth and make average players good player and good players great players - that is only done through skill development. 

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