First Football Practice of the Season
Quick look at our first football practice of the 2007 Season. As many of you know, I am coaching both a 3rd-4th Grade team this year and a 5th-6th Grade team this year.
As normal, we started out with a mandatory 30 minute parents meeting, where we clearly laid out the goals of our program and for my teams. We clearly stated out practice requirements, grade requirements, position and playing time philosphies and our rigid sportsmanship standard for players, parents and coaches.
We were not in equipment for this practice, just shorts and cleats. With 90 minutes left for the day we quickly organized into two long lines facing each other to do our dynamic warm-ups as detailed in the book and Practice DVD. Within 5 minutes we were into our stance and cadence and we learned our first play �No Play� within 10 minutes of our very first football practice. It took us 2-3 times to get it down perfectly, but not bad considering all the rookie and young kids we have this year. We then split into several small groups and did our fit and freeze angle form tackling. That went extremely well at the end of 10-15 minutes nearly everyone was proficient at this drill from both sides.
We divided up into 5 groups of similar age and sized boys. We had six stations set up, with the goal being to evaluate the players we had for specific skills that are needed for specific positions and help determine where to play everyone. We also wanted the kids to have some fun, get excited about being at football practice and to start to teach some fundamental skills.
Our Stations were:
Towel Game– To determine heart, leverage and strength
Splatter Tackling Drill– Dummy Drill with matt, to teach form tackle and ease players into contact
Snap Progression Drill– To evaluate speed and teach proper stance and ball seating
Pass Catching Station– Teaching proper hand placement on above the waist and below the waist catches as well as proper ball seating. Helping to evaluate hand eye coordination.
Sumo Game– To help us evaluate strength, leverage and heart as well as teach low hand and shoulder placement and continuous leg drive.
We used our break time to review the differences between offense and defense and used our �Ready Focus�� method to get complete attention from the kids. I was real pleased at how well they got into a groove and listened.
We then split into 2 large groups and set up 30 yard square boundaries to play several sessions of �Deer Hunter�. This game quickly and overtly shows us who has good body control, quickness and speed and who doesn�t . It also does quite a bit of �hidden conditioning� in as most of the kids were breathing very heavily at the end and sweating profusely. However, unlike gassers, the kids were begging for more, yes begging to be conditioned because they didn�t know we were conditioning them or figuring out exactly what positions we will be putting them into after the second practice.
We ended about 5 minutes early due to a visible lightning flash.
Tomorrows I post will detail our second practice. More football stuff goes in as we progress toward our goal of being ready for a real game in 3 weeks.
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