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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

CHANGE OF DIRECTION/AGILITY FOR JUNIORS


Last week I ran some strength and conditioning stuff for my DFS session focusing on change of direction.

Change of direction has a huge technical component to it if you want to be able to get from cone A to cone B the fastest to win the ball or get to the opposition with the ball.

It NEVER gets taught and is assumed that simply running around things will be suffice but that's wishful thinking at it's worse.

Here's what I ran with them in the 20mins I had with each group.

DRILL #1...

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Monday, February 17, 2020

6 GROUP 1-2 TRAINING DRILL


This training drill can be used directly after your physical warm up to get the balls moving and also to get your players zoned in.

It is also a great training to layer, meaning you can start it small and easily make it longer to suit both handballing and kicking without having to alter the drill too much and have your players stop for too long and have them tune out mid drill.

Here's a video of the very basic set up of the drill and how the player and ball movement looks:...

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Sunday, February 16, 2020

FIXING JUNIOR FOOTBALL - IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT FOOTBALL


The problems with junior sport participation, including football, are very real.

And let's not think it's just "juniors" either, we're talking pre-teen and teenage participation numbers as well.

1 very crucial thing we must all remember when there is a change in how football is run at club or league level, is that it is highly likely aimed at a different age group as far as implications are concerned.

So a change at under 8 level is usually some forward thinking about under 10 - 12 level and the trickle down affect of that change on players 3 - 4 years into the future.

A change is only as good as it can improve the future, not the now.

Every month it seems that there is an issue brought up in the media about junior sport and I'd like to highlight 2 particular Twitter feeds from the last week isolating some comments and talking about them a little.

I've got a 9 year old son who started Auskick at 4 years old, 1 year younger that is allowed to register.

In our 4yrs at the team I play for now I was involved with the training every single night and in the last 2 or so years ran every Friday night, including introducing the Auskick 2.0 concept developed by
the AFL in 2018/19.

We moved from inner Melbourne to the western suburbs and found a new team for him of which he played his first year for last year.

He loves the training nights but not so much the games because "everybody is trying to get the ball".

I will keep him in footy for as long as I possibly can because having grown up in a footy club from a young age (8yrs old), I feel the life lessons you can get are huge as well as having other role models in your life besides your parents.

My dad left the family home when I was 5/6yrs old but we still saw him everyday pretty much with his task being to take 5 kids to after school sport weekdays and weekends, but he never really got out there and played with us.

He played footy when he was young but got kicked by a cow on the farm which caved his knee in and he never played again.

I had football hero's from the VFL as it was back then (CAPPERRRR!), but I also idolised the footballers from my local club in Warrnambool just as much, including into my early to late teens.

My football club was known as tough and uncomprising, bordering on thuggish at times but that instilled a sense of pride in whatever club I play for regardless of the results, and to not be intimidated by anyone, especially on the football field.

Footy isn't as rough and tough as it used to be, and for good reason, but at 41 and still playing senior/reserve grade football, by watching me play you would definitely class me as an old school type footballer.

I learnt to lose and lose often, being the youngest of 4 boys and being the smallest by a long shot.
In my first senior game at 16 I probably topped the scales at 55kgs at 167cms - the farm boy club we played against barely even noticed me, 1 bloke simply brushing me aside with his arm the very first time I got near the ball.

I saw many, many, many different coaches go through that club over the years, learning a lot about the methods they used both physically and tactically, and how they communicated with their players - another thing that you can take through life with you.

I can teach Archie these lessons myself but learning is best attained when you own the process and can learn your own lessons, what they mean and how they can improve you as a player and a person.

A lot of the lessons I learnt back in the 80's and 90's aren't the same lessons kids learn today - we know that, or should know that.

The world is completely different and we as people are completely different.

In grade 5 I was threatened with not being allowed to play school footy if I didn't behave better in class (my class teacher was the school's footy coach) and that straightened me up pretty quick.

Why?

In the 80's you played sport after school or pretty much did nothing.

We only had 2 TV channels so chances were nothing good was on either so sitting around was just plain boring.

Plus all your mates were playing sport anyway.

Can you use that same threat now with all the technology based entertainment kids have at their disposal, and love more then their own mothers?

No way.

Different time, different people.

Move with the times or get left behind.

OK onto these threads with the first one being AFL based:

https://twitter.com/3AW693/status/1226706809286610944

A child psychologist asks Gill where's the evidence that scoring can negatively affect kids participation in sport.

"...KIDS KNOW THE SCORE ANYWAY..."

Yes they do but they still play hard so does the score really matter either way?

If it doesn't then who really wants to keep score then, the parents, the coaches or the kids?

Who are we focusing on in this scenario then and are we focusing on the right one's?

"...HOW ABOUT TEACHING KIDS RESILIENCE, REWARD FOR EFFORT AND HOW TO BE HUMBLE IN VICTORY AND GRACIOUS IN DEFEAT..."

Yes sport can teach you all of those things as I mentioned it did for me when I was young but if you're a parent saying this then you better be teaching these lessons at home long before they start junior footy, instead of lumping them onto a coach/club and expecting them to do it all for you.

I'm not afraid to say that there's some parents who use sport as a babysitting service more than anything else which is fine if your child enjoy's the sport but that's what they're for - enjoyment - above all else.

No child says "Dad I want to learn about reiliency, can take me down to the local footy club?"

And you know what?

Leagues are simply saying at u8-10 level that scoring isn't important (which it isn't) and it's not that they'll never score and learn those types of things, it's just maybe they don't HAVE to at such a young age when a lot of them, especially boys, don't have the emotional maturity to do so.

I was a prime example, a shocking loser when I was pre-teen continuing well into my teens.

"...WE DIDN'T HAVE SCORING UNTIL AFTER U11'S IN OUR COMP 30YRS AGO - NOTHING HAS CHANGED. IT'S THE PARENTS THAT WANT SCORING, THE KIDS COULDN'T GIVE A SHIT..."

This bloke gets it.

https://twitter.com/nathanpeats9/status/1226471773253693440

The 2nd thread is about Rugby League eliminating tackling from u6/7 games and also not having finals until u12's or older but it touches on a lot of the same issues as we have in junior AFL.

"...IF PARENTS DON'T WANT THEM TACKLING THAN THEY WOULD PUT THEM IN OZ TAG/TOUCH FOOTY..."

What if the child loves every single other aspect about Rugby except the tackling at 6 years of age.

By taking them out of the game now they will more than likely never return.

Ever.

Like I'm doing with Archie, by keeping them in the game for as long as you can they will eventually be OK with being tackled and giving tackles but is it the end of the world if for a 7yr old that's not today?

Can't they play a modified version?

The kids that do like tackling will still play the tag version if that's what parents prepare them for - they won't know any different until they reach tackling age.

And again they'll start tackling sooner or later regardless.

Always remember the #1 rule for any coach of any team is to keep your players in the game, and at your club, for as long as you possibly can.

Then develop them as athletes.

Then develop them as players to the specific sport.

Then develop them to win.

Not the other way around.

"...JUST GIVE EVERYONE A TROPHY.."

That is the complete oppsoite of what is happening here, no one gets a trophy and that's the point.

Coaches/parents need to take on this line of thinking so more time and effort is put into develping players relative to their current playing level, and have this at the top of the list, not winning games in u7's, which is pointless now as there's no ladder.

If Kobe Bryant can see this, the most competitive and precise athlete that ever lived, then so can you.

"...NZ IS LIKE THIS TOO NOW BUT I GUESS 9YR OLDS CAN BE BUILT LIKE 15YR OLDS AND PARENTS ARE SCARED KIDS WILL GET HURT AGAINST BIGGER KIDS AND THE BETTER OPTION WOULD BE WEIGHT DIVISIONS..."

An extremely valid point and a particiption limiter for sure in all sports whether it's size or ability.

I'm not for the weight division option but there is a thing called bio-banding in sports, where you grade each player like you do teams, to see what playing group they would best thrive in.

So instead of 5 of your best 25 junior players getting all the kicks, they would play with kids on their own level, and you're kid would be playing against those more on their own level, giving every single a player to have the best experience and to have the most opportunities they can.

I really like this idea and it would be hard to implenent initially but it definitely has legs if worked on for mine.

"...CREATING A GENERATION OF ENTITLEMENT..."

2 age groups altering their structure a little?

In 1 specific sport?

A whole generation?

Language matters, it matters a lot.

"...NO FINALS UNTIL U13'S? YOU'RE ROBBING THE KIDS OF CHILDHOOD MEMORIES WITH THEIR MATES..."

Not sold on this one either.

We've all been kids and we all know what we remember - things we enjoyed - not neccesarily what we were good at or what we won.

"...THE BIGEST PROBLEM WITH COMPETITVE GAMES IS NOT THE KIDS ON THE FIELD, IT'S THE ADULTS ON THE SIDELINES..."

This bloke also gets it and it feeds my statement from above on who actually wants/needs scoring.

"...AS A KID YOU LIVED FOR TRAINING/GAME DAYS BUT 1 SESSION/WEEK AND NO FINALS U12'S IS RIDICULOUS..."

I agree with the first bit as that was me to a tee but I can see why training is being scaled back from a long term athletic dcevelopment point of view as research shows that doing too much of 1 sport from such a young age usually results in injury or drop out, far before senior ranks are reached.

And again, it's only for u6's to u12's who are dedicated to their Ipad's far more then team sports these days so if codes can decrease the committment slightly in order to keep them in the sport longer, then

I'm all for it.

Senior footballers train twice a week for about 2 - 3hrs total time so kids shouldn't need even 25% of that surely.

Less time on each sport also provides more time to take up other sports which increases your child's athletic range, resulting in far less injuires and decreases specific sport burnout dramatically.

"...RUGBY LEAGUE ISN'T FOR EVERYONE AND TRYING TO MAKE IT APPEAL TO EVERYONE IS JUST BRINGING IT DOWN OVERALL..."

Again we're talking changes to junior levels here, not all levels.

If coaches can't teach players all they need to know from age 12, with or without past experience, then they need to be better coaches or give it away all together.

There is still plenty of time for players to learn the game otherwise clubs wouldn't take any new players in to their club's under the age of 6.

"...PUT YOUR KIDS IN SOCCER OR SOMETHING..."

That's exactly what soccer wants you to do and by not moving woith the times that's what will happen and you're game will be virtually nothing in the future.

Yep great suggestion!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

GAME PLAN VIDEO PART 4 - BACKLINE + TRANSITION OFFENSE


Part 1 looked at starting positioning.

Part 2 looked at what the mids and wingers do at the stoppage clearance.

Part 3 looked at how your forwards position and move based off how we want to move the ball out of the stoppage.

Part 4 here looks at what happens if we don't win the ball based on the set up we've used for in the previous videos.

Having smart players in around the ball in this specific example if crucial as they will need to make exceptionally quick decisons whether to go offense or defense depending on what happens at the clearance.

The difference of 1 - 2m in your positioning can determine a potential score against or not so you'll want to train this scenario a fair bit to train this specifically.

Let me know your quqestions on nay of these videos and don't be afriad to take bits oif it to fit what you want to do, it definitely doesn't have to be used as it is here but it does show you how your game plan needs to involve your entire team at the 1 time and that you need to show each player, or line of players what their positioning and movements are meant to look like.

If you would like acees to this game plan then register for the training drills option at https://aussierulestraining.com/membership-account/membership-levels/.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

GAME PLAN VIDEO PART 3 - FORWARDS


Part 1 looked at starting positioning.

Part 2 looked at what the mids and wingers do at the stoppage clearance.

Part 3 right here will look at how your forwards position and move based off how we want to move the ball out of the stoppage.

If you go back to video 1 and 2 there is an outnumber for us at the contest meaning we are outnumbered in the forward line so creating chaos for the defense through movement is crucial to getting the ball deep and dangerous.

Leading options, most that will won't result in getting the ball and creating space behind you is what makes this works.

After your initial lead then your job isn't done either - you need to double back towards your goal to commence your forward half defensive model as well as trying to get that outnumber evened up as best as you can.

Again if you have any questions or can poke some holes in this then hit me up.

To access this game plan register for the training drills option at https://aussierulestraining.com/membership-account/membership-levels/.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

GAME PLAN VIDEO PART 2 - MIDS/WINGS STOPPAGE CLEARANCE


Game Plan Video Part 1 looked at the starting positions to run this specific game plan from a stoppage.

As stated in that post, if all players are not in the correct starting positions then there will be holes in your player and ball movement, and a turnover in a dangerous position might be on the horizon.

Part 2 will look at what we would like to happen at the actual stoppage itself as far as our midfielders and wingman are concerned.

Let me know your questions or any any holes you can poke in this!

To access this game plan register for the training drills option at https://aussierulestraining.com/membership-account/membership-levels/.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

GAME PLAN VIDEO PART 1 - STARTING POSITIONING


I made this up late last year based on a specific but popular ball movement option of using the quarterback position at the stoppage.

Utilising the quarterback player/s efficiently and effectively is a team strategy over individual, as it requires great discipline to initially set it up then also to hold your position, create the space required and then to time your player movement in time with the ball movement.

The quarterback play on it's own isn't of much use and is why you might not see a lot of it at lower levels of footy as it's a possession method of football where a lot of lower teams still go the territory route, not that's either is right or wrong.

What I've put together here is a 6 video, 3 part series on how this can work, showing the requirments of all 18 players on the ground.

Usually teams would organise the quarterback then an outlet kick but not plan any further then that, severly short changing the benefits of what playing the quarterback model can provide and the options it can open up for you and your team.

Here's the structure for the week:

Monday - Starting Positioning (made available in the coaching/training articles option with the other posts being available in the coaching drills option)

Wednesday - Midfielders at the Stoppage

Thursday - Offense from Stoppage

Friday - Defense from Stoppage + Transition Offense

Today's video is on starting positioning which is crucial for this to be able to work.

If players don't assume the correct positioning early enough then the space or player availability required to carry this out might not be there and you'll be playing a 18 man game plan with 14 players, leaving holes in your game plan.

At local/amateur level I understand that the senior coach is often in charge of everything and taking time to break these tactical aspects down might not seem to be as effective as "training" but you can never assume players know what you're talking about exactly because there's 4 parts to any message:

1 - What you said

2 - What the player thought you said

3 - What you think the player understands from what you said

4 - What the player actually understood from what you said

Looking at that you can easily see how miscommunication can occur so my suggestion is to have a quick theory session on this at the end of the first training session of the week while also making it available in a group chat/video to all players.

Then in the 2nd taining session of the week you start off with the theory again and go straight out to practice it at a very basic level where you might have 1 coach or senior player in charge of a line each (mids/backs/forwards), and they run each line as the ball moves around at half pace.

As players pick up the game plan you can move the ball quicker.

Once it has become predictable to each player and everyone knows what their movement needs to be and at what time, you can add defenders in.

Initially I would place defenders in 1 line only starting from the midfield, to our forward line and then the backline.

The backline could even be trained seperately with some mids as you want train a high ball coming in and then spreading off the intercept mark.

Once all lines can do what's required in specific situations then you go to a full ground variation at full pace with defenders.

Again I'd scatter a smaller number of defenders in each line initially (3 - 4 should be fine first up) then I'd go 1on1 in the lines so the mids would each have an opponent with the backs and forwards unopposed, theb move the defenders around lines.

If you've got the numbers then 18v15 - 18 is the last step.

Yes it's a bit of micro-managing as your detailing what each player is to do that will take time and seem hard when you start out, but the benefits you'll see later in games during the year can be dramatic with all players in tune with each other.

My senior team ran a loose version of this last year and resulted in a premiership in a division 4 competition showing how this can tear lower level teams up if your team be discplined enough to do it.

We really started to nail it about 6 weeks into the season and won 11 in a row or something blowing the other 2 contending teams out of the water in that time.

Going back to 1 of the Kobe posts from last week, productive creativity is born out of structure so once players al know the game plan, where players will be and so on, then your most creative players have a chance to really impact games, not just do 1 good thing every game and that's it.

If you've got any questions on any of these videos then please send them through and I'm happy to chat about this if you want something more in-depth.

Here's video #1:

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