Upward Flag Football Coach Training Conference

Becoming an Upward Flag Football Coach
The coach is the key component to fulfilling the mission of Upward Sports. This entire mission is in the hands of you, the coach, at practices and games. In Upward Flag Football, your success as a coach is not based on wins and losses. Your success is characterized by how you stress the values of sportsmanship, teamwork, integrity and respect. That is the Upward Experience.

The following responsibilities are associated with fulfilling the purpose of this ministry: .Responsibilities of an Upward Flag Football Coach As an Upward Flag Football Coach. you have an incredible positive impact in the lives of opportunity to make a _________ your players and their families.

Find ways to encourage and show each Help recognize the __________ player that he or she is valued through Jesus Christ. Be prepared not only to teach flag football skills but also look for ways to instill confidence. and share Christ with your players. Upward Flag Football is designed to teach the Teach the ______________ fundamental skills of the sport. Prepare for practices and games. referee Support the ___________ with positive comments. The game day stars should be distributed at the end of each game and the practice stars should be distributed at the end of each practice. • . “winner” in every child. Your lead will promote respect for authority and create a positive atmosphere for all who participate or watch. Choose to start the Circle of Affirmation. fundamentals of flag football. Distribute Upward Flag Football Stars. You may provide the only opportunity a child has to hear about and know Jesus.Responsibilities of an Upward Flag Football Coach • • • • • Share the love of Jesus Christ with each player. These stars play an important role in building the self-esteem of your players. boost self-esteem.

Communicating with Children Being an effective coach means being an effective communicator. specific reasons why each child has earned a particular When distributing stars. focus on 1 or 2 skills at a time. • • When teaching flag football fundamentals. Greet players and tell them you are glad they are there. • . level In all your interactions. talk to the child on his or her _______. Here are a few guidelines about communicating with your players: • Create a positive environment by speaking to each player as he or she arrives at practice each week. give __________ _________ star. Remember that too much information at one time won’t be retained.

You can impact a child in your weekly five.to eight-minute devotion. • Pray for each player by name throughout the season. both in group prayer and in your ______ own prayer time. especially as the truths presented are reinforced by what you do and say.Communicating with Children • Personalize each devotion. . • Allow time for each player to participate and respond during devotions. Be confident and remember that God is working through you.

. • Look for parents to help run practices.Communicating with Parents • • Get to know the parents and family members of your players. • Look for ways outside of flag football to connect with the players’ parents. Include parents in the first team meeting Share your excitement about the season Here are some ideas to increase family involvement: • Give each family a copy of the team roster. • Ask one parent to put together a schedule to rotate bringing snacks to the game.

Practice Basics • Each practice lasts for one hour. use the last half of practice to scrimmage against another team in the same division. It is ___________ important to start and end each practice on time. • Coaches will lead a five. . • If possible. • __________ Practice gives you the greatest opportunity to build relationships with your players.to eight-minute __________ devotion time with their team at every practice.

. and meaningful. You will want to be able to rank their skills before the first game for the game day substitution forms. At your first practice it’s important to evaluate your players’ skill level by using evaluation scores and observation. A detailed practice outline and practice devotion will enable your practice session to be focused. efficient.Preparing for Practice As a coach it’s essential that you come prepared for practice.

skills/drills as well as the specific practice devotion.org/upwardcoach .Upward. skills focus. warm-up activities.The Coach’s Sideline The Coach’s Sideline is a complete practice guide that is customized to the age division that you coach. In it you will find team meeting topics. These practice plans are available at: www.

football. Pre-Practice Huddle (3-5 minutes) Teach and ________ review rules of the sport throughout the season. 2.Practice Format 1. •_______ • Teach and review the proper techniques for each skill involved in flag two skills per practice. Practice skills through drills (20 minutes) – Implement drills that will reinforce two learning of the skills taught in the team meeting. or _______ . Introduce no more that _____ 3. Follow-up each skill with _____ three drills. Warm-up activity (3-5 minutes) – Have players participate in an activity to get warmed up while waiting for others to arrive.

the spiritual impact will be much deeper.devotion 4. • Review the devotion prior to practice – Become familiar with the devotion.Upward. a 5-8 minute _________ will be shared and can be found in the coach playbook and online at www. • Prepare for object lessons – Some devotions require you to bring an object to add emphasis to the devotion.org/upwardcoach. • Review Scripture learning – Become familiar with the Scripture learning verse that will be shared at practice. . • Prepare a personal story – When players hear a personal faith story from a coach. Mid-Practice Huddle (5-8 minutes) – During this time.

Stop play to teach when the opportunity presents itself. Review the skills learned and instruct players to practice those skills at home. Make any necessary announcements. After practice is a great time to engage in conversation with the players’ parents. . Remind players about the TeamUpward. 6. This also gives you time to coach technique and strategy.Practice Format 5.com unlock code and take-home drills on the practice card. Post-practice Huddle (5 minutes) – Distribute green practice stars and practice cards. Scrimmage (15-20 minutes) – Game situations are a great way for players to practice skills they have been taught in practice.

you will lead a five. . The devotions are separated according to age group.Mid-Practice Huddle At the midpoint of every practice. Every biblical foundation a child needs to know cannot be covered in 8 to 10 practices.Upward.org/upwardcoach . Upward Sports’ desire is to plant the seeds of truth in every child and coach who participates in Upward Flag Football. Use the age-appropriate devotion guide found in the coach playbook and online at www.to eight-minute devotion during the mid-practice huddle time.

the devotion at the _________ . children are not Scripture learning takes place as a _______ required to recite the verse individually at practice. learning Upward Sports’ desire is to place more emphasis on the __________of Scripture than on memorization of it. Each child participating in Scripture learning will receive a green practice star at the end of practice. Players will have the opportunity to learn a Scripture that corresponds with the biblical principle or topic taught in the devotion. Scripture learning verses and the rewarding of practice stars begin with second practice.Scripture Learning group activity. These sticker stars are found in the back portion of the coach playbook.

you will find 10 packs of practice cards. This card will include the Scripture verse that will be learned at home.Scripture Learning In the Team Box. you will distribute the first practice card to each player. . Each pack contains 10 cards. During the post-practice huddle of your first practice. This verse will be focus of the next practice devotion.

• The Upward Sports Gospel Tool will be used during this time. Players should be encouraged to wear the bracelet as a reminder of the gospel message they heard. you will share the gospel with your team. which is a star bracelet that will assist in sharing the story of salvation. . The bracelet will be distributed to your players as you share the message of Jesus Christ.Gospel Presentation • At the seventh practice.

It serves as a visual aid of the gospel message that was presented.Gospel Presentation • Also during this practice. distribute the Upward Sports Gospel Card during the postpractice huddle. . Both the star bracelets and gospel cards are found in the Team Box.

. On the bottom of each player’s practice card there is a secret code that is entered into the site to unlock new material each week. On this site.com TeamUpward. players can watch skill videos. play interactive games and learn more about the Scripture verses you share with them at practices.TeamUpward. As you distribute practice cards. encourage players to plug in each secret code to view new videos and play new games.com is a fun and exciting website created specifically for you players.

First Practice The first practice may be the most important event of the season. etc. parents the _________ – Communicate practice guidelines like: always try your best. – If needed. It is important to make every player feel welcomed and encouraged. . – Introduce yourself (give parents your contact information) and get to know players and their _________. Players are meeting their coaches and teammates for the first time. always hustle. Here are some details to consider: • Begin practice with a pre-practice huddle (including parents). find additional volunteers to assist you during the season (team parent or assistant coach). treat others with respect.

________ • Share the first devotion. – Inform players and parents when the next practice is scheduled. – Distribute player items from your Team Box. . league __________ director has ready (team – Pass out any information that your _________ roster and/or game schedule). • End practice with the post-practice huddle (include parents).First Practice • Spend the majority of practice time running the team through several drills as you evaluate players in action. Do not pass out coach items such as practice cards or star bracelets/gospel cards.

• Suggested drills to help develop player’s flag football skills.Resources Coach Playbook/DVD The coach playbook has been provided for you to use in the following areas: • Explanation of a variety of offensive plays and tactics. • ___________ Devotions to share at each practice. • Scripture learning verses to learn as a team for each practice. • Suggested skills to teach with a detailed description of how to properly perform each skill. .

Upward.Resources Coach Website (www.org/upwardcoach) The coach website is your complete resource to enable you to carry out the mission of delivering the Upward Experience. Here you will find specific information on: • • • • • • What it means to be an Upward Flag Football Coach Skills and Drills The Coach’s Sideline (individual practice plans) Weekly devotions Rules unique to Upward Flag Football Substitutions • Upward Flag Football Stars – Game day recognition • Player/Coach Items located in the Team Box .


Game Day Attitude One of the key points in becoming an effective Upward Flag Football Coach is choosing the right game day attitude. The Circle of Criticism and the Circle of Affirmation are simple diagrams that illustrate the results of a coach giving a referee either negative or positive feedback. . Actions and reactions on the field will have a lasting effect that either opens or closes the door to ministry.

Game Day Attitude Circle of Criticism .

Game Day Attitude Circle of Affirmation .

5 hour block. • Gather your players together as they arrive for a pre-game meeting.Game Day Game Day Basics • Each game will begin and end in a _____ 1. This gives you the opportunity to: practice to the game – Discuss transitioning the skills learned in __________ – Discuss game strategies and starting lineup Christlikeness as the focus on the field – Encourage ________________ – Line players up for player introductions .

. Reference learning we have done through the year.Game Day Game Day Basics • Teams will meet at midfield for a pre-game meeting with the referees. game day This is when the ______________ stars are awarded to each player. Referees will set the tone of the game with words of encouragement. focus on everything positive you can. prayer • At halftime. Make sure they are having fun. • After the game. talk about what great things they did and reflect God’s Love for them. teams will move off the field for the post-game meeting. warning and leading both teams in ________.

.Field Diagram and Rules The offensive team is awarded a first down when it crosses the midfield line. The lines 5 yards from each end zone and on both sides of the midfield line are no-run zones. The offensive team begins the game and second half by taking possession of the ball at its 5-yard line. No-run zones do not apply to the K5 division.

End Zone No run zone No run zone No run zone No run zone End Zone .

Down Format K and 1st Grades The offensive team has four plays to gain a first down by crossing midfield. it has four plays to score a touchdown. Once a team crosses midfield. the other team takes possession on its own 5-yard line. . If the team fails to cross midfield in four downs or score a touchdown.

it has four plays to score a touchdown. the ball will be placed on the opposing team’s 5-yard line.  A team may “punt” as its fourth-down play by notifying the referee.  A team may attempt to gain a first down or a touchdown. Once a team crosses midfield. and there will be a change of possession. If a team fails to convert on fourth down.Down Format 2nd – 8th Grades The offensive team has four plays to gain a first down by crossing midfield. On fourth down. In this case. a team has two options. . either by scoring or picking up a first down. the ball changes possession at the no-run zone going into the first down.

End Zone Change of possession 4th down Fails to convert End Zone .

End Zone 4th down Fails to convert Change of possession End Zone .

End Zone Change of possession 4th down – Punt is declared End Zone .

The game clock stops briefly at the end of every quarter for predetermined substitutions. Each team has one 30-second timeout per half. A 30-second play clock begins after the referee spots the ball as ready for play. . The clock will stop during the timeout.Clock Format Games consist of four 9-minute quarters with an 8-minute halftime. Unused timeouts do not carry over to the second half.

Clock Format • The clock will stop in the final minute of the first half and the final minute of the game in the following situations: – After an incomplete pass – After the ball carrier goes out of bounds – After a touchdown – During an extra-point attempt – For an official’s timeout – After an interception – During a called timeout until the ball is snapped – On a change of possession .

• Teams will switch ends of the field at the half. not after each quarter. . • Because the end of a quarter does not signal a change of possession. the team with possession at the end of the quarter will retain possession after substitutions take place. • The visiting team (wearing the lighter-colored jerseys) calls the coin toss. The team that wins the coin toss may choose to play offense or defense first or choose which goal to defend. The team that plays defense first will play offense first to start the second half.Game Format • Referees lead both teams in prayer at midfield before every game. The other team has the choice (possession or end to defend) not made by the team winning the toss.

• Coaches are allowed to walk the sidelines and encourage their players without stepping in the playing area. Such standings add unnecessary pressure and intensity. • Each team will have six players on the field at a time.Game Format Continued • Score will not be kept in the K .1st grade division • Standings are not kept in any division. .

.1st grade division.Game Format Continued • In the 2nd – 8th grade divisions. In the K . • Teams will use the Upward Flag Football substitution system. each team can put one coach in the huddle throughout the season. each team can put one coach in the huddle for the first two games of the season.

• Every child will start on either offense or defense in each game.Substitutions This substitution system is designed to provide every player an equal opportunity for improvement. . • Coaches do not have to monitor playing time for each player. • Playing time for all players is virtually even over the course of the season. • Every child plays offense and defense in every game. The substitution system ensures that: • No child sits out more than one possession at a time. each child will play against someone of equal ability. • Coaches are not able to make unfair substitutions or to be accused of doing so. • In most cases.

The second group will play the opposite side of the ball for the entire quarter. • In each quarter. and this group will change in each quarter according to the substitution rotation. • The coin toss will determine if the first group will play offense or defense first. .Substitutions Continued Implementing the System Here are a few basics of the substitution system: • Each team fields six players at a time. each team will have an offensive and defensive group.

. Players should not be aware of this system or their rankings. These slots are the designated passer slots and were created to ensure that the team has a passer in the game at all times. place your two best passers in slots 1 and 7 (in that order) on the substitution form. each team will have two groups: one for offense and one for defense. After filling in the passer slots. Using the team roster. Each quarter. fill in the rest of the substitution form with your players’ names according to their ability levels.Implementing the System Coach commissioners should supply each coach with a team roster that includes each player’s evaluation score.

they will be the designated passers. Chris. Because Tommy and Marc are numbers 1 and 7. we will create a 10-member team called the Hurricanes. and Tim. Chris has the highest score and is assigned number 2. That means the starting players for Game 1 are: Tommy. Felix. This will be the first group on the field. The lineup on the first game day starts with player 1. and Derek are ranked players 1-10. . 2. Julio. The coach will circle DEF (defense) at the top of the first section of his/her substitution form. The coin toss will determine whether they are playing offense or defense. and they selected to play defense first. Gregg.Implementing the System To provide an example. the toss was won by the Hurricanes. Derek is assigned number 10 because he has the most room for improvement. Tommy. Jerome. so the first group will begin on defense. Shane. Chris. In our example. 5. Tim. 3. 4. Julio. Excluding the two passers. Players 1. Shane. and 6 are group one and start the first quarter. Marc. Jerome.

1 2 3 4 1 2 1 2 3 4 . 7. 8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 Felix 10. Tommy Chris Julio Shane 4. 9. Jerome Tim Marc Gregg 6.GAME 1 Player’s Name FIRST HALF 1st Quarter Off / Def Off / Def SECOND HALF 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter 2nd Quarter Off / Def Off / Def Off / Def Off / Def Off / Def Off / Def 1. 5. 2. 12. Derek 11. 3.

the lineup begins with player 2.Implementing the System On the second game day.) . Players 2-7 are group one. (See following slide for example. Lets say that week two’s coin toss was won by the Hurricanes and they elected to go on offense first.

Derek 11. 4. 5. 9. 1 2 3 1 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 . 7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 2 3 4 5 6 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 Gregg Felix 10. 8. 2. 12.GAME 2 Player’s Name 1. FIRST HALF 1st Quarter Off / Def Off / Def SECOND HALF 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter 2nd Quarter Off / Def Off / Def Off / Def Off / Def Off / Def Off / Def Tommy Chris Julio Shane Jerome Tim Marc 3. 6.

Implementing the System Substitutions on the third game day will start with player 3. This rotation continues throughout the season. If a team has 11 or 12 players. with 6 on the field and 5 or 6 off the field at all times. . Additional examples and blank substitution forms are located in the back of the Coach and Referee Playbook. Players 3-8 are group one. the offense/defense responsibility switches each quarter.

Scoring Touchdown: 6 points Extra point: 1 point (played from the 5-yard line with a pass) or 2 points (played from the 10-yard line with a run or pass) Safety: 2 points. The scoring team will also receive possession on its own 5-yard line .

the quarterback must have complete possession of the ball. • Only one player can be in motion when the ball is snapped. the ball must be snapped between the legs to begin play. K5 and 1st-2nd grade players may use the side snap.Offensive Basics • A minimum of three players must be on the line of scrimmage at every snap. • A low-profile field cone or beanbag may be used to mark the line of scrimmage. . • Before handing off or passing. • In the 3rd-6th grade division.

Running the Football • The quarterback cannot run the ball across the line of scrimmage. . hand-off the ball (behind the line of scrimmage) or pass the ball (halfback pass). • The person who receives the snap from the center (under-center or shot-gun) is considered the quarterback and cannot run the ball across the line of scrimmage. • Once the pitch is received. the ball carrier can run the ball. • A pitch from the quarterback can be executed immediately after the snap or on a delay (similar to the option play without the quarterback being able to advance the football). The pitch can occur at anytime while behind the line of scrimmage. • The quarterback is the only player who can make the pitch.

Running the Football Continued • Direct handoffs behind the line of scrimmage are legal. • A ball carrier may not dive. After the ball crosses the line of scrimmage. handoffs and laterals are not permitted. not the location of the football. • The 5 yards leading toward the goal line and the 5 yards leading to the midfield first-down line are no-run zones. A dive will result in a penalty. • A player receiving a handoff or immediate pitch can pass the ball (halfback pass) from behind the line of scrimmage. • The ball carrier’s feet determine the spot of the football when a flag is pulled. . The no-run zones do not apply to the K5 division. Multiple handoffs may be used. Plays beginning in the no-run zones must have a forward pass beyond the line of scrimmage.

(The quarterback becomes eligible after a handoff or pitch. • If a player catches a pass with his knee(s) on the ground.Receiving the Football • All six players are eligible to receive passes. . the play is dead and the ball is spotted at the point of the completion.) • A completion consists of a receiver gaining control of the football while having at least one foot in bounds.

A handoff or pitch will end the 7-second pass count. If a pass is not thrown within 7 seconds. . all forward passes must be completed beyond the line of scrimmage. it is treated as an incomplete pass (loss of down). Only one forward pass can be completed per play. Once the ball leaves the quarterback’s hand. The defender must avoid contact with the receiver. • The quarterback has 7 seconds to throw a pass.Passing the Football • All forward passes can be completed behind or beyond the line of scrimmage. while in the no-run zones. However. the defender can make a play on the ball.

• The ball carrier’s knee hits the ground. the play is rules dead and the ball is spotted at the point of the fumble (treated like a sack).Dead Balls Play is ruled dead when one of the following occurs: • The ball carrier’s flag is pulled or falls out. • A pass falls incomplete. If a snap is mishandled. the quarterback (and ONLY the quarterback) may pick up the ball and continue play. If a defender gets to the ball before the quarterback. • The ball carrier steps out of bounds. • The ball hits the ground as a fumble. . One exception to this rule is with the center/quarterback exchange. The ball will be spotted at the point of the fumble. • At the point of an interception. • A touchdown or safety is scored.

Defensive Basics
• Teams may run man-to-man , zone defenses or combination of both. • Interceptions may not be returned. Change of possession will be awarded at the point of the interception. • Interceptions made in the end zone will result in a touchback and the ball will be spotted at the 5-yard line.

Rushing the Passer
• All players who are rushing the quarterback must begin 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Before each snap, the referee will designate the 7yard rush line. • With the 3rd through 6th grade division, any number of players may rush the quarterback. The 1st and 2nd grade division may only rush one defender.

• Defenders not rushing the quarterback may line up on or off the line of scrimmage. In the K5 division, three defenders must line up 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage. • Once the ball is handed off or pitched, the 7-yard rule is no longer in effect, and all defenders may cross the line of scrimmage to pursue the ball carrier.

Referees will call all penalties. • If a penalty happens near the end zone where the penalty yardage would place the ball in the end zone, then the penalty will be half the distance to the goal.

. • Illegal contact (pulling the jersey.Penalties Defense • Encroachment: The penalty is 5 yards from the line of scrimmage and replay of down. • Interference: The penalty is 10 yards from the line of scrimmage and an automatic first down. • Illegal rushing (enforced when players start rushing from inside the 7yard rush line): The penalty is 5 yards from the line of scrimmage and replay of down. pushing): The penalty is 10 yards from the spot of the foul and an automatic first down. blocking. • Illegal flag pull (before the receiver catches the football): The penalty is 10 yards from the line of scrimmage and an automatic first down. holding.

• Delay of game: The penalty is 5 yards from the line of scrimmage and replay of down. .Penalties Continued Offense • Illegal motion (more than one person moving): The penalty is 5 yards from the line of scrimmage and replay of down. • Illegal pass (a pass thrown after the ball carrier has crossed the line of scrimmage): The penalty is 5 yards from the line of scrimmage and a loss of down. • Illegal formation (not enough men on the line of scrimmage): The penalty is 5 yards from the line of scrimmage and replay of down.

• Intentional grounding: The penalty is 5 yards from the line of scrimmage and a loss of down. pushing a defender): The penalty is 10 yards from the line of scrimmage and a loss of down. • Illegal run (a running play in the no-run zone or a quarterback crossing the line of scrimmage): The penalty is 5 yards from the line of scrimmage and replay of down.Penalties Continued Offense Continued • Shielding (a non-contact block that impedes a defender from making a tackle): The penalty is 5 yards from the spot of the foul and loss of down. . • Offensive pass interference (illegal pick play.

• Illegal use of the hands (stiff-arming. . • Diving (diving toward the end zone or first down): The penalty is 10 yards from the spot of the foul and a loss of down. blocking): The penalty is 10 yards from the spot of the foul and a loss of down.Penalties Continued Offense Continued • Flag guarding (intentional or unintentional use of the arm to prevent the flag from being pulled): The penalty is 5 yards from the spot of the foul and a loss of down.

Your actions and reactions on the field can have a lasting effect that opens or closes the door for ministry Actions speak louder than words. you will be tempted to challenge the referee about a call. At some point in the season. coaches and referees work __________ team. do than they do about what you say.Coach and Referee Interaction together as a In Upward Flag Football. more about what you ____ . As a coach. it is important to support the referee with words of encouragement. People care a whole lot __________.

Game-Day Recognition every player will be awarded In order to build self-esteem and team spirit. Use the Star Distribution Form in your coach playbook to track which players have received which stars. Make this an intentional time to point specific reasons why each player receives a particular star. __________ _________ Encourage parents and family members to be a part of these presentations and to cheer for players as the stars are awarded. . _______ a game day star after each game.

This is a tremendous opportunity for you to communicate your love and support to the most important people in the league—the children. You should plan to attend this wonderful time of fun and fellowship and encourage players and their family members to do the same. At the celebration each child will receive an end-of-season award. . This award will serve as a reminder of the Christlike attitudes and characteristics each child has learned and experienced throughout the season.Post Season Awards Celebration The awards celebration is the highlight of the entire season.

should the opportunity arise. Be sensitive to their needs. When children make decisions for Christ. communicate the information to your follow-up commissioner. If you’re a head coach. .Follow-Up Opportunities with your team Coaches should work to develop relationships with players and their families as the season progresses. be prepared to lead a child to Christ at any practice or game.

Upward Flag Football Coach Training Conference .

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