We are in our first year of doing some off-season player development. The program is called FASST and it stands for Fun Acceleration, Speed and Skills Training
In past Springs we played in a 9 on 9 full contact flag youth football league. We practiced just 1 day a week and played a very short 6 game schedule. We started everyone, the goal was pure football player development, not wins and loses. We experimented with kids in different positions and with different football plays in the Spring. We started right after wrestling and basketball and before baseball and it was not mandatory in any way. We think kids should participate in a variety of youth sports and extracurricular activiites at this age, we aren’t sure it makes sense to specialize.
The reason we went away from flag football was that while it did a nice job of building some basic youth football skills in our players and helped us get into our playbook and get proficient at our football plays, the league was getting away from it’s original goal of player ratehr than team development. We think development should always be the goal but we look to maximize our teams competitive potential in the Fall, not the Spring. While we never lost a game in this league in the 2 years we played, we felt that with the teams filming us and not playing all their players etc it had gotten away from the intentions of the founders ( me and another person). Now in the fall that is a different story.
The goal of the FASST was to help build some team chemistry along with some basic football skills, develop some football speed, develop confidence as well as give us a head start on player evaluations.
We go just one night per week for 8 weeks, the practice lasts just 90 minutes.
1/3 Is speed and form development using modern plyometrics.
1/3 Is basic football position specific skills training.
1/3 Are fun goofy team building games.
This years football teams are going to be made up of a ton of rookie players. The league just moved from a 3-5th and 6-7th grade formatt to a 3-4th and 5-6th grade formatt. So we have 17 brand new new 2nd graders that wil be in 3rd next year in the program now. I kind of forgot what it’s like having so many brand new super young youth football players around. Doing the flag football program probably would have helped us more, getting some base football plays down would have been a big boost, but I felt convicted to move us over to this. It’s going to be a coaching challenge this fall.
We had a football coaches clinic at my home last week for all the new coaches, we went over the footbal drills we will be using as well as all the plyometric drills we will be doing and games etc. This wil help us to get know each other better as well.
We realize the kids will not gain a tremendous amount of football speed from this but we can correct some form problems. We know a handful of the kids may go on to do some of this on their own and all will leave with a sample program they can use if they so choose. We will do an “open house” the last night to show mom and dad where we are at and give them coaching points if they want to follow up in the summer on their own.
This has been another post into Dave Cisar’s Winning Youth Football Site
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