Friday, April 23, 2010

Coaching Questionnaire, Just for Fun

Before being selected to be a coach in FCCJC, a prospect is interviewed by the area director. The recommended questions, and my tongue-in-cheek answers below:

Q: Why do you want to volunteer to coach?
A: Volunteer? I'm not paid??

Q: How much of your time can you afford to give to coaching?
A: Well, as long as it doesn't interfere with KU football. Or soccer. Or business trips. Or family time. Or weekends at the lake. I'm good with that.

Q: What is your coaching philosophy?
A: Know the minimum playing-time requirements.

Q: What is your coaching style?
A: If the kids don't get it, yell louder.

Q: What do you want the kids to gain from having you as their coach?
A: 20 pounds each, fear of failure, and coach-induced asthma

Q: What do want to gain personally from the coaching experience?
A: A trophy (wife).

Q: Do you have any experience working with groups of children?
A: Just in Internet chat rooms. Why? Is something wrong with that?

Q: What are your disciplinary techniques?
A: A rolled up newspaper works sometimes. Other times I grab kids by the handlebar - I mean face mask - and I really get their attention.

Q: What do you consider your strengths?
A: I'm a great referee from the sideline - never miss a call.

Q: What do you consider your weaknesses?
A: You're kidding, right?

Q: Are you familiar with the rules of the sport?
A: Here's my golden rule #1: It ain't cheatin' if you don't get caught

Q: Are you familiar with how to teach the basic fundamentals of the sport?
A: Yes. I gather them together at the very first practice, and I look them each right in the eye, and I say "MEN - we've got one job here, and one job only, that working together we WILL accomplish - make ME look good."

Monday, April 19, 2010

News From College Football

College fans take note - this is a big week for the Big Ten, and therefore all of college football.

Tony Barnhart of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution points out that Wednesday may be the day of reckoning. Yesterday Big 10 commissioner Jim Delaney met with some of his presidents at an academic association meeting, where he reportedly was to have had some expansion discussions.  Tuesday Delaney will be in a meeting with all 11 BCS conference commissioners, where he could give them a previously promised notification if the Big 10 plans on pursuing any of their members.

If the Big 10 attempts to get to 16, that means five new teams. My guess for five that would fit: Rutgers, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Texas, and Notre Dame.

But it won't quite happen. The Texas legislature just won't stand for UT going where Baylor and A&M can't, and Notre Dame isn't ready to concede conference necessity just yet. So while Delaney will pursue Texas and talk to Missouri, the MU talk is a red herring to improve the play for Texas. If the Longhorns and Irish sit tight, the Big Twelve will emerge unscathed, and the Big Ten will take on a Big East flavor with three new teams.

If by some miracle Notre Dame jumps and Texas isn't permitted, then Mizzou might be in play for balance - but then the Big Ten might just choose to add two Big East schools, and still end up with just three additions. Bottom line - I think the odds are long that Missouri goes, however much they'd prefer it.

Monday, April 12, 2010

ONW Ravens 2018 Football Club

Here we grow again.

For the second off-season in a row, your coaches have been planning for the addition of new players. We've also had discussions with Cedar Creek coaches Wes Swinford and Darius Lechtenberger about their team participating in our club, and they will be present for you to meet at our information meeting next month.

Last year the ONW Black and ONW Blue teams each had 19 players. The Cedar Creek team carried 16 players. Of the 54 players on our combined teams, 38 were brand new to tackle football.

How many players will we have in 2010?

Will we add 38 new football players again this year? We don't think so. But if we add just eight new players (we lost Andrew C from ONW Blue - his family has moved to Alabama) then we will have four teams playing in the club. Here's a table showing the possibilities:

Net New
Number of
7 - 21 4
22 - 36 5
37 + 6

The crystal ball says that we should net 10 to 15 new players, and have about 16 or 17 players on each of four different teams. But that's anybody's guess really, and the meeting we will have in May will help inform us of what to expect.

What's the right size for a team?

We never want to turn away players. But we also don't want so many kids on one team that playing time becomes a difficult issue. We believe that an appropriate size for a team 15 to 18 players, provided the team has scrimmage partner teams practicing at the same time.

We believe that each team should have at least four coaches. (We were a little bit short of that last year on the FCCJC side, with six dads covering the two teams. )

Why is there a club now? Is it different than last year?

We're forming a club because we want to enjoy the economies of scale that a large group can provide. We can share sponsorship, equipment, coaching expertise, events, marketing, correspondence, uniforms. All the little off-the-field details that are both time-consuming and necessary for every team can be coordinated.

It is somewhat different than last year for all of us because we will all be part of a larger group. Coaching responsibilities will be adjusted a little. The FCCJC league won't allow one coach to handle three teams, and only by exception will  they allow one coach to handle two teams. We're still working out the details of all that, and should know more at the meeting.

We will practice in a different location - fifth graders use the practice field that is just east of the track at Olathe Northwest. We are working hard to be able to light the practice field later in the fall, to avoid starting practice at such an early time in the waning weeks of the season.

Our vision is that each 5th grader playing football next fall, whether in FCCJC or Blue Valley, be a member of the ONW Ravens 2018 Football Club.

When do we sign up? Where do we sign up?

The available FCCJC sign-ups are May 22nd, June 12th, June 26th, July 10th, and July 24th at the FCCJC complex at 162nd and Pflumm. The Blue Valley League signups can be handled by the team or individually. We will be sending E-Mails in advance of each sign up.

If you played for one of the three ONW teams last year, we encourage you to sign up again in the same league for this year. If you prefer to change leagues, that is always a prerogative. But know that as coaches we are committed to growing the club, not the individual teams, so we are just as happy having you involved with any one of our teams as with any other.

How many teams will there be in each league?

We don't know the answer to that yet. It will depend on the signups. If we had to guess today, we would guess three teams in FCCJC, and one team in the Blue Valley league. But no one knows for sure.

Who will coach the teams?

Coach Adam will coach at least one, and perhaps two FCCJC teams. The third FCCJC head coach is TBD. We expect Coach Swinford to again be the head coach again of a Blue Valley league team. For games, only FCCJC coaches will coach in FCCJC leagues, and BV coaches in the BV leauge. Both sets of coaches are subject to league rules that limit their participation to teams in their own league.

In FCCJC Paulo Koch and Steve McGavran have agreed to help coach, which brings us to eight. That is still a little light for three teams, but we're working on it.

Will the FCCJC teams have a placement period again?

It will depend on the signup numbers, and how many new players we have. But it seems likely that we will. The first couple of weeks of practice will help us get everybody on the right team. Non-contact begins Monday, July 26th!

Where can we get more information?

We are having a meeting on Tuesday May 4th at 7 p.m. in the Prairie Trail auditorium. Everyone interested in football this fall is encouraged to come. You can meet the coaches, other parents, other players, etc. You can learn about volunteer opportunities and what tackle football is all about. We will talk about camps that are available, our philosophy as coaches, calendar dates upcoming, and answer all your football questions. And we will cast our vision of a football club, talk about what it means and what we hope to accomplish in the coming years. We hope that you will join us, and we look forward to meeting with each of you.