FNF Coaches Talk — Basic Zone Blitzes, Sports Parents Behaving Badly, Calling Parents of Captains

Happy Friday, Coaches. Good luck in your games tonight!

1. Basic Zone Blitzes for the Under Front Defense (FNF Coaches)

As part of our partnership with USA Football, we are able to share Playbook features written by coaches from all across the country. Here’s a good one about basic zone blitzes for the under front defense, written by Jerry Gordon.

The zone blitz can be called on run and pass downs. There will be a mechanism to bring the zone blitz from the field, up the middle and from the boundary.
To create consistency, zone blitzes are run with the Sam set to the field. The Will always sets the front away from the Sam.

Of course, with any blitz call, a coach needs to make sure his coverage in the secondary is organized.

Although the under defense is always three under and three deep, a different name is given to each coverage based on which three defenders are responsible for the deep thirds. For us, those are:
  • Rain
  • Fog
  • Freeze

What is your favorite blitz call when you need your defense to make a play?

2. Why Sports Parents Sometimes Behave So Badly (New York Times)

Here’s one that falls in line with our most recent cover theme: Refs vs. Coaches. Through our reporting, we found that refs actually believe the abuse they receive from parents is far more unpleasant than what they receive from coaches.

Youth sports organizations are increasingly reporting scenarios in which parents yell, threaten or physically assault coaches, referees, players or other parents. A 2017 study from the National Association of Sports Officials, which represents youth, amateur, college and professional sports, found that 40 percent of officials named parents as the source of unsportsmanlike behavior.

Sports psychologists are now trying to better understand why a growing number of parents are becoming increasingly emotionally overinvested in their children’s athletics. They cite several reasons some parents take their child’s swim meet or soccer match very seriously.

Money is a top reason. Parents spend a lot of time and financial resources on youth sports, which can prompt some to want a payoff greater than watching their children perform well or enjoy themselves. Some expect a significant return on their investment, perhaps through a college scholarship or professional sports contract.

Parents reported spending an average of $1,583.89 a year on their child’s sports participation, though that ranged widely, with some reporting they spent more than 10 percent of the family’s gross annual household income on their children’s athletic activities. Families tended to spend more on their sons than daughters.

But spending more on the sport didn’t predict a child’s enjoyment of that sport. Rather, children who perceived their parents as investing heavily in their sport tended to report a greater sense of parental pressure and a reduced sense of enjoyment.

Why do you think parents lose their composure so frequently when watching their kids play sports?

3. WATCH: Texas HC Tom Herman calls parents of newly-elected team captains (Burnt Orange Nation)

Earlier this week, the Texas Longhorns’ 2019 team captains were named, with junior quarterback Sam Ehlinger, senior center Zach Shackelford, senior receiver Collin Johnson, senior safety Brandon Jones, and senior defensive end Malcolm Roach voted by their peers to representing the Horns in that role for the upcoming season.

But a simple social media post highlighting the feat wasn’t enough, as Texas head coach Tom Herman elected to call the parents of each newly-minted team captain to congratulate, as well as thank them.

“Zach has been elected a team captain for the 2019 season,” Herman told Shackelford’s father, Lyle. “So, I wanted to call you and thank you and Mrs. Shannon for raising an unbelievable, awesome young man.”

What more can you be doing to share good news with parents throughout the season?

What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk!