I could use some advice. I assistant-coach a 10-12 year old youth football team. We were 0-3 with two tough losses going into yesterday, and got PMITA Prison'ed 27-0. How bad was it? Try this on for size:
-They ran 42 plays, we ran 13 and got one first down, on our very last drive.
-The opposition onside-kicked to start the second half, our tight end on the KOR team just watched it bounce in front of him as they recovered.
-They converted lots of 3rd and 4th downs from long range (8+ yards).
-We had arm tackling and standing around on D.
-Our safeties never ever were the deepest men, even though that's their primary job on defense, and our LBs never covered the flat.
-Our opponent is historically terrible and played with no hustle or attention to detail. There was no unstoppable player; they got 5 yards on every play if not less than that.
We're not really sure what the answers are. Unlike previous games, our guys played with absolutely no urgency or desire. They gave us a lot of blank stares on the sideline and weren't focused when in the game.
We got beat pretty bad last weekend by a good team, which was understandable; but everything changed when our QB threw a pick-six to open the second half of that game. Is it possible the team just packed it in at that point? We changed around some schemes this week but nothing too radical and the basic blocking and tackling principles have stayed the same.
In any event, I could use some thoughts on how to approach practice, how to adjust and how to get the kids motivated because a lot of them just don't seem to care. I coach in a tony suburb that has a deserved reputation for soft kids and lots of our players have come from sport environments where full-team accountability doesn't exist (i.e. soccer) and, basically, failure is tolerated. I don't care about winning the game per se, but lame-ass performances build bad life habits and I'm not going to let the kids think that's OK.