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Coaching Youth Sports: Successful Seasons





Last Build Date: Sun, 05 Oct 2014 05:52:27 +0000

 



3 Keys to a Successful Youth Football Practice

Thu, 01 Oct 2009 21:16:00 +0000

Managing kids can be a challenge, add in teaching them athletic skills - sometimes can be next to impossible. Some adults can jump right in and gain the respect and devotion of the kids, while others have great intentions - but should really stick with being the supportive spectator on the sidelines. There are 3 key components to every practice for youth football: conditioning, drills, and scrimmaging. Incorporating these components will ensure a successful practice every time.

Conditioning is most important in the beginning of the season. The best conditioned your team is the more endurance they will have during a game - and the 4th quarter won't seem so long winded. Muscle wrap-ups, sprints and resistance training are all important to optimizing the body's performance. Drills are essential for teaching the basics of any sport, especially football. Repetitious drills can create muscle memory and be the difference between good players and great players. Scrimmaging allows the players to demonstrate their newly acquired skills to the coaches and show areas that need improvement. Scrimmages should be run with comments (good or bad) after each play; this gives the players immediate feedback and allows them to process their actions.

Practices should not be equally divided into conditioning, skills and scrimmages. The levels of the players and where you are at during the season should dictate how much time is spent on each area. For example, you would spend more time on conditioning at the beginning of the season and less on scrimmaging; and towards the end of the season it would be reversed.

Practices are meant to condition the athlete for endurance during games, build on their techniques through various drills, and allow them to put the pieces together before the big game during a scrimmage. Practice is essential for a successful season.




Youth Football Coaching Tips

Sun, 30 Aug 2009 04:55:00 +0000

A friend of mine was just "volunteered" to coach his son's youth football team - he came to me for advice. This was way cool for me - because I'm a GIRL! But wait - he's a smart man. He knows that I grew up around football my entire life. My dad coached middle school and high school football for 20+ years and my brother is a high school coach now and I would probably be coaching with him now if we still lived in the same town. So back to my friend, he got chosen to coach his son's 4th-5th grade team and he is totally clueless on how to coach and what to coach.

So I started to explain how to develop a youth football practice plan using the three P's of coaching youth football: practices, players and parents.
  • Practices need to be efficient and fun for the kids - keep 'em moving.
  • Players need to be motivated and engaged during practice and games.
  • Parents need to be on board with your coaching philosophy and be respectful of your directions to the players and your time - you are volunteering after all.

I told him having a football practice plan, you will keep him sane will during the next 8-10 weeks of football season and lower player/parent headaches too. There are lots of resources available online - I directed him to FootballTools for more resources because of the great football coaching videos and football coaching software. I also told him that I would be glad to come and help him out on the field - I just hope I don't make all those boys cry!



Youth Football Speed Drills: Sprinting Exercises

Wed, 26 Aug 2009 09:54:00 +0000

Increase your teams overall quickness and dominate the competition for the first snap of the game. Using a few simple drills, you can achieve this at the beginning of the season. Players must want to work hard to improve their speed. Coaches must pair them up. Don't allow the kids to move around in line so they run against slower kids or their buddies. Pair them up at the beginning of practice and make sure that you rotate them around with equally skilled kids during the week.

Using these sprinting drills, there is no need to buy expensive equipment. Using a few things from home can save a ton of money and create some super fast players!

  • Pack on the pounds: fill backpacks with small sand bags a third or half full and fill the rest of the empty space with a towel to keep it from bouncing around - don't weight them down too much, just a couple of extra pounds is all they need.
  • Get an old tire, tie a rope around it about 7 feet long and fasten to your players with a belt and have them run with the tire behind them flat on the ground (longer grass works better).
  • Pair up players of equal size and have them stand face-to-face. One player is running the other is pushing on their shoulders for resistance and moving backwards.
Please note: These simple drills are meant to be done in short running bursts of less than 30 yards at a time with a short rest period in between.



Players Responsibility to Practice

Sun, 26 Jul 2009 21:59:00 +0000

Players should:

- Know your expectations of their behavior during practice
- Come to practice prepared and ready to perform
- Listen and learn from their coach
- Understand that coaches coach, parents don't
- Know that football IS a contact sport - expect to be hit



Coaches Responsiblity to Practice

Sun, 26 Jul 2009 21:58:00 +0000

Coaches should:

- Come prepared for practice with a schedule of drills
- Make sure players know football terminology - that you are coaching
- Give everyone an opportunity to perform at their best
- Inform the parents of your expectations of their children on and off the field
- Stress the importance of arriving on-time and staying for the entire practice/games



Youth Football Lineman Drills

Sun, 26 Jul 2009 21:56:00 +0000

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Lineman Drills - Football

They are your "big guys" on the team. Some of them long to run the football and get all of the touchdown glory. But they soon realize that they are usually too big and slow to reach their end-zone dreams. What is a coach to do to keep these guys happy and motivated on the field? Simple...let them hit something REALLY hard! Lineman drills are essential for effective pass blocking on both sides of the ball.

Get the Coaches Guide to help you plan your practices and skills to teach your players with fun drills.



Beginning Practice

Sun, 26 Jul 2009 21:53:00 +0000

The first two weeks of practice are critical for a successful season. The key to a successful season is organization and understanding what is suitable for the youth level. Too many coaches have unorganized practices, don't properly teach the necessary skills, and install complicated offensives and defenses that youth players cannot execute. Youth players can only absorb so much, make sure they are learning the right skills to succeed on game day. Don't make the most common mistakes and be labeled as the coach who doesn't know what he is doing. The season is not the time to get up to speed, you need to be prepared the first day of practice.