Empowering Coaches Step-By-Step

Evaluating Youth Football Players

One of the most important tasks in coaching youth football is evaluating players.
If your organization does a “draft”, where you choose your team from an aggregated group, evaluating players correctly can be a huge advantage if done right.

Even if you don’t have a draft, you have to determine within your teams, which players play which positions. We always use evaluations to help us make these important coaching decisions.
Some quick youth football player Evaluation Tips:

1) Make sure and have written position description requirements for each position on your youth football team. The coaches need first understand what it is they are looking for. Position descriptions include; requirements for athleticism, speed, physical maturity,mental maturity and temperment.
2) Stay away from timed 40 yard dashes, most youth football plays are made in 10 or at most 20 yard increments.
3) Measuring Times and repetitions of various tests takes a lot of time and requires lots of standing around time by your football players, a practice killer. Try and stay away from this method as much as possible.
4) Observe the players doing football type movements in competitive situations. Examples of this are games like “deer hunter” or “towel game” where there are winners and losers. Another way to play these games is to do it in ‘king of the hill’ format to determine the stronger players.
5) Do evaluation games that measure for speed, quickness, strength and desire.
6) Keep it fun and get some “hidden conditioning” done during these games.
7) Keep a clipboard handy with all players names on it and use a simple numbered grading method to score each youth football player.
8) Keep players of similar ability together by grouping the games into goupings of 10. If you have 50 players, you would have 5 groups. Lets say we are doing a Sumo game that measures strength and determination and have 5 groups numbered 1-5. If a player in group 5 loses his match he goes to group 4, if he loses again he goes to group 3. If a player in group 2 wins he goes to group 3 etc etc. Obviously, in the end all your better players will be in group 5 and your weaker players in group 1. At the end, just take roll of each player in each group and score it accordingly. Remember it’s not important what score any player has or what time he has, it matters how the players compare against one another. You are going to have to cobble together a team from the group, no matter what times or scores they have.

You can measure kids for the skills you are looking for, have fun, teach technique and get some conditioning in all at the same time.

We have detailed postion descriptions for each offensive and defensive position in the book “Winning Youth Football a Step by Step Plan” . All of our fun and competitive evaluation games and drills are described in painstaking detail including pictures in Chapter 4 and in the Practice Organization DVD as well. There is also a detailed evaluation scoring martrix in the book that we use sometimes when we have to evaluate large groups of youth football players.
This has been another post into Dave Cisar’s Winning Youth Football Site
Copyright 2007 Cisar Mangement Services

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