A follow up to a blog post in the Spring when we announced that our 2018 Gatorade Player of the Year, Jake Cady, elected to create a 3rd & 4th grade Flag Football Program with the $1,000 donation Gatorade provided in his name. Our town already has a very strong tackle program for grades 5-8, but we were looking for a non-contact entry point to football for the younger grades.
We created our Flag program following USA Football’s Development Model, instilling solid fundamentals, developing better players, providing multiple entry points, and game options creating developmentally appropriate skill instruction.
Jake’s generous donation allowed us to purchase all of the equipment needed to start the program. The next step was to see if we had interested players. We offered the program through our recreation department and had 36 kids sign up. Now we had to find a field and coaches.
When we brought the idea to the Palmieri Family, who run our youth tackle program, head coach Tony Palmieri said that they were already planning on giving his players and coaches off on Wednesdays so his field and possibly his coaches could be available. In the spirit of volunteerism and giving back to the game, all of his coaches decided not to take off Wednesday, but rather spend that night developing the future players in our community. As an added bonus their players followed suit by also coming in on their night off to demonstrate the drills and skills to the next generation.
Now, every Wednesday in the Fall, 36 3rd & 4th graders are being taught the game in a fun and engaging way while focusing on players’ developmental needs consistent with their individual stages of growth and development. All under the supervision of the coaches who will lead them through the next four years of development before sending them to us at the Academy.
Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at firstname.lastname@example.org and share http://www.olineskills.com with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for supporting this blog and joining our conversations, and as always, thanks for your time!