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As Summer comes to a close...


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As another football summer is drawing to an end - something that has been on my mind that I don't really know where to address it - but wanted to get it out there - I thought I'd share something that I've noticed that has been a troubling trend that I've observed throughout the last couple summers.

These 11 on 11 "scrimmages" or whatever it is you want to call them.

While they CAN be a great tool for self-evaluations - I've been a little "taken aback" or "put off" by some of the antics by fellow coaches that are supposedly there to coach up their own teams - but yet it turns into a "macho/chest bumping/screaming/hollering" antics after a given play or whatever it is. 

I get the competitive nature of these things - but in June/July there are no championships won or trophies given out...can't we just cool it with all of that? 

I know I sound like an old "get off my lawn" type - but it seems it has just gotten increasingly worse as the summers have gone on. 

I'm now into my 16th year coaching (where does the time go?) - but I find it hard to believe that "back in the day" (if these things were allowed) - some of my ol ball coaches going crazy after a play trying to drum up excitement. 

I've seen it escalate into chippyness - and kids take after their leaders - so what do you expect? 

As a coaching community - we can and should do better. 

That is all.  

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1 hour ago, jets said:

As another football summer is drawing to an end - something that has been on my mind that I don't really know where to address it - but wanted to get it out there - I thought I'd share something that I've noticed that has been a troubling trend that I've observed throughout the last couple summers.

These 11 on 11 "scrimmages" or whatever it is you want to call them.

While they CAN be a great tool for self-evaluations - I've been a little "taken aback" or "put off" by some of the antics by fellow coaches that are supposedly there to coach up their own teams - but yet it turns into a "macho/chest bumping/screaming/hollering" antics after a given play or whatever it is. 

I get the competitive nature of these things - but in June/July there are no championships won or trophies given out...can't we just cool it with all of that? 

I know I sound like an old "get off my lawn" type - but it seems it has just gotten increasingly worse as the summers have gone on. 

I'm now into my 16th year coaching (where does the time go?) - but I find it hard to believe that "back in the day" (if these things were allowed) - some of my ol ball coaches going crazy after a play trying to drum up excitement. 

I've seen it escalate into chippyness - and kids take after their leaders - so what do you expect? 

As a coaching community - we can and should do better. 

That is all.  

ON POINT!! 

I have serious trepidations on the current "AAU" attitude that we've allowed to creep into pre-season 'scrimmages'.  

It (IMO) has all the makings of starting seasons with attitudes that officials will have to deal with that aren't obvious or on the surface due to unforeseen circumstances that may have arisen from these 'scrimmages'.  aka: Chippiness or outright Unsporting behavior(s).  

Honestly, I am not even certain that as an official, I have any ability to report/sanction anyone in these contests.  Are they even governed via the IHSAA?  

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I agree that you never win a state title or even a sectional in June and July.  Some summer rules are good and some summer rules re not so good.  I start my 35th season in 2022.  Back in the day you would see high D 1 recruits at Bishop Dullaghan Camp and the North South game was a "Whose Who" of Indiana HS Football.   As far as BD Camp goes you could go to Franklin and see Roncalli, Carmel, Seymour, Perry Meridian, and others battling each other.  Go to Anderson and it would be Ben Davis, Lawrence Central, and Fort Wayne Homestead. The Belden Line Camp was  a great builder of character and you "found out" how good you were and what you needed to work on.    Ultimately it now falls on the coaches and players to hold their own summer scrimmages, 7 on 7s and practices.  Everyone has to do it because everyone is doing it.  (That makes a lot of sense)  I think that is why we lose a lot of young coaches.  Back in the day you could build decks, swimming pools, or run a lawn business.  Work a summer job if you will.  Those days are gone.  You practice/work at football in the summer just as much as you do in the season.  There are many positives as the game has gotten better.  I just feel for the kids and staffs who pour their heart and soul into the game only to win a game or two year in and year out.  Still Nothing like Friday Night!

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I feel like the biggest issues come from the 7 on 7 tournament or 11 on 11 camps where you go against teams you don't know. Was at a 7 on 7 tournament earlier this year where players started getting chippy, which is expected, but then coaches got involved and it only escalated from there. Luckily one of the coaches called it early or it could have resulted in something worse.

I feel like a big amplifier of these issues are social media posts. We see it all the time at these prospect camps where players do something unrealistically stupid (my favorite is the totally like a real football game unpadded 1 on 1 pass rush where the Offensive Lineman grabs and sumo throws the Defensive Linemen) followed by what I think some have referenced as a "bro coach" coming up to that player to give them some flying chest bump. You can blame it on a lot of things, social media, bro coaches, poor influence from the NFL but it's something that just makes me eye roll every time I see it.

In my opinion these summer scrimmages are best served when the opposing coaches have a relationship and can police their players, letting them know nobody is winning anything today. If that is not the overall theme then things like what have been described are going to happen almost every time. 

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I will admit, that as coaches we do need to do better, I myself, need to do better as I was giving an official way more business than he truly needed. At the time, i let my own frustrations get the better of me, and after the scrimmage, had an incredible self realization that my focus was on the wrong thing. My focus during these scrimmages needs to be more inward towards our own team and making them better and not outward to things that are out of my control. I will make an effort to do better in the future. We need officials, and people that act like I did that day, are the reason officials stop officiating.

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Why can't we let kids be kids? I can see participation numbers becoming a problem in the future. I can also see multi sport athletes feeling pinched and becoming individualized athletes. Both trends that aren't needed. When do kids have time to be with friends or make $ to save up for a car? I can see having some team workouts and lifting. However the 7 on 7s and 11 on 11s seem to be overkill. As has been mentioned, no one wins anything of importance and it doesn't equate to postseason awards all the time. This is something the IHSAA needs to limit or just eradicate in my opinion.

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I saw this at a recent 11 on 11 event.  It was almost like both teams were actually trying to out celebrate each other after a "good" not even great play.  This one one-upsmanship through cheering and running around, high fiving, screaming like monkeys etc. just takes away from time for quality reps.  The Coaches and kids who are mentally weak enough to participate are just disappointing in my view.  What about acting like you have had some success before or trying to maximize your time for quality reps.  This is about discipline and we have very little in very few places as a society any more.

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2 hours ago, Basementbias said:

Why can't we let kids be kids? I can see participation numbers becoming a problem in the future. I can also see multi sport athletes feeling pinched and becoming individualized athletes. Both trends that aren't needed. When do kids have time to be with friends or make $ to save up for a car? I can see having some team workouts and lifting. However the 7 on 7s and 11 on 11s seem to be overkill. As has been mentioned, no one wins anything of importance and it doesn't equate to postseason awards all the time. This is something the IHSAA needs to limit or just eradicate in my opinion.

Excellent points.  When I was in HS, we would get together June/July on Saturday's and play barnyard football (touch, not tackle).  Let the linemen go out for passes now & then, change things up a bit.  It was fun and we got used to playing in the heat.  A fair amount of our players lived on farms and didn't have the time to go to camps/OTA's throughout the summer, but they could talk dad into letting them go for a few hours once a week, to maintain some fitness for 2-a-days.  Lots of us also had jobs, and it's easier to schedule one day off than multiple.  If I wanted to have/maintain a vehicle, I had to provide the funds myself - for the most part, and so did most of the kids in my class.  But it was the 80's and we weren't a super strong football program back then, so there's that.

I agree it's beginning to get out of control.

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So if you have these celebrations after a "good" or "great" play,  is there the expected apology or penance after a mistake?

The wisdom of Lou Holtz concerning 'showboating' comes to mind:

 

Quote

Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz said a few weeks ago that he would allow his players to remove their helmets for catches or touchdowns.

In return, when his players fumble, drop a pass, or miss a tackle, they also remove their helmet so fans can recognize the offending culprit.

 

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7 hours ago, Old Man High Pants said:

In my opinion these summer scrimmages are best served when the opposing coaches have a relationship and can police their players, letting them know nobody is winning anything today. If that is not the overall theme then things like what have been described are going to happen almost every time. 

I would agree with this idea. I think that probably is the best way to handle it. 
 

I will point out that there have been fights/skirmishes at NFL joint practices.  So even at the highest levels, chippyness can get out of hand. 
 

 

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23 minutes ago, oldtimeqb said:

I would agree with this idea. I think that probably is the best way to handle it. 
 

I will point out that there have been fights/skirmishes at NFL joint practices.  So even at the highest levels, chippyness can get out of hand. 
 

 

Correct - that's the competitive nature of the beast - I understand all that. 

HOWEVER- the original point of my post was to point out how often it seems to be "antagonized" or...I don't know the correct word to use - but sure isn't helped by celebrating/chest thumping coaches. 

Again, as a coaching community, we should be better. 

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As an old school coach, I have mixed feelings about these scrimmages, but ultimately I believe they are necessary in today's world.  It is difficult for us to ask our kids to show up to practice all summer long while never competing against another school until the middle of August.  We live in a society of instant gratification and I think the competition and seeing those other teams is a huge moral boost for our kids. 

 

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1 hour ago, CoachGalyan said:

As an old school coach, I have mixed feelings about these scrimmages, but ultimately I believe they are necessary in today's world.  It is difficult for us to ask our kids to show up to practice all summer long while never competing against another school until the middle of August.  We live in a society of instant gratification and I think the competition and seeing those other teams is a huge moral boost for our kids. 

 

I think they are good thing from a competitive standpoint....but the celebration culture needs to stop.

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10 hours ago, Basementbias said:

Why can't we let kids be kids? I can see participation numbers becoming a problem in the future. I can also see multi sport athletes feeling pinched and becoming individualized athletes. Both trends that aren't needed. When do kids have time to be with friends or make $ to save up for a car? I can see having some team workouts and lifting. However the 7 on 7s and 11 on 11s seem to be overkill. As has been mentioned, no one wins anything of importance and it doesn't equate to postseason awards all the time. This is something the IHSAA needs to limit or just eradicate in my opinion.

Felt that squeeze this summer for wrestling. Had very little participation from the high schoolers so they “wouldn’t be sore” for a 7 on 7 they would have in 3 days. As a fan, it gives me something to follow waiting for football to start up. But some of these kids are getting caught up and cocky scoring a few times with no tackling or no lines and shirking any other summer activity for football. 

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I'm not a coach. I never have been and never will be. But here is my perspective from the outside looking in. If you're willing to chest bump after a sack or a touchdown, you should probably be willing to do the same after getting an A on a test. An education, whether college or self, will take 99.9% of all high school athletes further than their 40 time. Life success is long term, whereas football success is not. Being the star and captain of your football team is a fantastic accomplishment, but being a successful CEO of your own life is an even better one. 

Chest bump all you want, show swagger, and have fun. But do the same in the classroom (players) and with your family (coaches) or it's all for naught. 

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