Football Camps For Youth Football Players
Many youth football coaches arrange multi day football camps for their players in the summer. Many do it to familiarize themselves with the talent levels of their squads so they can better prepare their schemes to fit the talent levels on their teams. Others use the time to develop some base fundamental football skills in their players and to get the players familiar with some of the base drills the kids will use once the season starts in August. Still others use the time to condition players.
We do a one day camp in June or July. We have done week long and three day camps but now just do one day camps. Our goals for these pre-season camps are just to get a peek at what we have talent wise, get the kids to understand how they are to interact with the coaching staff and to have fun. We have an entire month to prepare for our first game, we can get any conditioning we need during regular football practice.
Conditioning this far out from the first practice and for such a short duration is counterproductive to what we are trying to accomplish during the camp. We feel very strongly that with the very narrowly defined football practice priorities we adhere to, we can get our evaluations, base skills and schemes put in during the one month of football practices prior to that first game. We found much of what the kids learned in these football camps was forgotten once we started in August and often the kids were playing different positions, once the teams were optimized. We don’t put in any of our football plays or playbook in during these camps.
We found anything longer than 2 hours in one day was counterproductive, even for the older kids. We rarely got much out of the kids once we hit that 2 hour brick wall,especially if it was hot. We don’t go over 1 � hours for the kids under age 8.
We always bring in at least one NFL player in to do a little talk at the end of the Football Camp. We have also called the Nebraska Cornhuskers and got players to attend from their FCA group, most University teams are happy to accommodate you, all you have to do is ask. The NFL guys can often get NFL money to pay for caps, t-shirts and food, every time we invited a local NFL guy they did this for us. All they ask you to do is to organize the camp, get the kids there and do a press release to get the media there.
Our format has changed quite a bit, but this is the one we use now:
Group Dynamic Warm Ups
Group Stance and Starts/Cadence
Mini Group Fun Competitions/Evaluations: This is where we do all of our fun team evaluation games/drills detailed starting on page 69 of the book. This gets the kids pumped up and enthused about being at your camp and playing for your team and tells us what we have and where most of the kids will play.
Skill Development Stations (No conditioning or frappy agility drills)
Team Hawaiian Rules Football- On page 80 of the book.
When finished with the clinic the kids understand how they are required to interact with the coaches. As coaches we have a real good idea of the athleticism of our team in general and where 80-90% of our starters will be playing. The kids have fun and get a clear understanding that playing football for us can be both fun and rewarding if they follow a few simple directions that we will hold them accountable to. We often get more kids to join our program after the camp as parents and kids get very enthusiastic about how fun and well organized our practices are and often invite their friends to play for us.
Our youth football league has no restrictions on these type of activities, check your league for any restrictions and abide by them.
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