Empowering Coaches Step-By-Step

Our 11th Youth Football Practice of the Season

Our 11th Youth Football Practice

After our first real games of the season I am now splitting up the age 7-9 teams practices to Monday and Thursday for 2 hours and the age 10-11 to Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours. This will help me get more one on one time with each team.

Here is how our first practice of the week went:

The younger team lost a squeaker due to some basic alignment and technique issues that were difficult to address due to no team wanting to scrimmage us. These are easily fixed and we got right to it on Monday.

After or normal 10 minute dynamic warm up and angle form tackling we go to it.

We started with basic technique work on defense, bearcrawling drills for the bearcrawlers, swim and bullrush drills for the defensive tackles, open field tackling drills for our defensive backs, linebackers and defensive ends. The backs also worked some defensive back drills as well. We also did some tackling circuit drills per the book and saw most of our kids �graduate� past �Splatter� and close quarter tackling drills to 3 slot challenge and open field tackling drills.

We then went into team fit and freeze defense with a lot of concentration on working contain and landmarks with our defensive ends. We are adding a player to that spot that has shown slow but steady progress as a backup at another position. We ran some base football plays at them with coaches in the backfield, sweeps, reverses, bootlegs, powers, dives and a few passes. We did this of course in fit and freeze mode and even had helmets and shoulder pads off for this segment.

The tone was upbeat and positive as we ended practice with a game of �Deer Hunter Tag�. Our backs are playing both ways so they need to get some conditioning in. We bounded a 20 yard by 20 yard area with cones, stuck 3 backs in the middle with footballs in the crook of their elbows and had them play tag with the remaining 16 kids. Once you�re tagged you get a drink. Some very spirited games ensued as the kids were winded, sweaty and all smiles.

The older team worked a similar format the next day, but with more individual work. Now is the time we are cross training a lot of kids to other positions. Defensive ends are being cross trained as linebackers and one as a defensive tackle. My corners are learning linebacker and my linebackers are learning how to play corner. One bearcrawler is being trained as a corner and another as a defensive tackle. We maxed out all of our stunts on defense using fit and freeze reps, rotating everyone in including the kids learning new positions. This cross training is a have-to with smaller number teams like ours (19) as well as positioning the kids and team for the future. In youth football you never know when that kid will be sidelined by an injury, illness or even grade or home discipline issues.

We worked about 40 minutes on special teams, punt, punt return, kick-off and kick return as well as field goals. I�ve been very busy, but will catch up with multiple posts this weekend. Coaching youth football is not my sole duty, just like most youth football coaches.

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