How to go undefeated in flag football

I started coaching flag football two years ago and currently haven't lost a game. Not stating that to brag or impress you but to impress upon you some credibility in this article.

I made the decision to start coaching youth football after I realized I wasn't doing anything to reach my goal of becoming a head coach. I googled youth sports leagues and volunteered for the first one I found. I forgot I applied for it until I got an email one day saying I was selected to be the head coach at a rec center nearby.

I have played sports all my life, but I didn't know the first thing about coaching flag football, but the first tip I can give you is fake it till you make it.

Some coaches I have watched run practices, and they would tell the team they didn't have anything planned or the general vibe was disorganized. If that is the case, then at least pretend like you know what you are doing.

They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Realize you are the leader, and attitude is the reflection of leadership. I make a point to remember each person's name by the end of the 1st practice. Practices should be fun with everyone getting involved. I bring a lot of energy. Laser tag after the year end banquet is a blast and we are going to a Hornets game in April.

The best way to show you care is by being prepared. I didn't know what I was doing, but I researched (thanks Google/Youtube) and planned out practices. I email the practice agenda to the parents, so they know what to expect and have a good grasp on what their child is learning. Practices are always focused around what we felt was exploited during the previous game. For example, after our first game, we realized our players were losing their man in man-to-man coverage. The next practice we ran man-to-man drills, and it wasn't a problem for the rest of the year.

Communicate not only with your players, but with the parents. I send 2 emails/week minimum. I send the aforementioned pre-practice email usually the day before practice, and the day before gameday, I will send a last minute email with a checklist, game time, and location. Is this the best system? Can't say for sure, but each year we have had 100% attendance outside of kids that had prearranged scheduling conflicts. They are on time, and have everything they need to participate. Part of being prepared is preparing the team for battle.

It's important to set expectations, especially with younger players. We had a player that would get upset every time another player made a play on him. He would go into full blown temper tantrums, and it was not only embarrassing but disruptive. He was only 7 and a really good player, but we had to tell him we couldn't have him representing the team that way. Seems harsh, but at the beginning of the season, first meet and greet, we go over our expectations. We don't have a lot, but they are non-negotiable. Our first expectation is that players have a positive attitude. Let them know the other team will make plays and even score. When that happens, how you respond is everything, and it's the same in life. In a rec league, practices are usually only 1 hour/week, and every disruption or time we have to take "disciplining", takes quality time away from teaching and learning, so ask players not to come if they can't follow expectations. We have never had a player not come, and even the "temper tantrum" player really improved as the season progressed.

Overcommunicate when you explain things and have patience. Sometimes we forget that they are kids because they do tasks so well. It is important to