Empowering Coaches Step-By-Step

Our Last Practice Before Game 1

Youth Football Practice Number 9

This is our last practice before our first game, a walk though practice more or less without hitting or helmets on.  Our league moved up the first game to just 3 weeks after the first practice.

While many of the teams we play have been practicing 5 days a week, we have kept ours at 3 per week. We feel while we would like to practice more, our goal of developing players who have a love and appreciation of the game and can play safely and effectively can be accomplished in 3 days a week with the right priorities and pace.

We usually do not have contact at this practice and even have the helmets off for a good part of it.  Since the game consists of offense, defense and special teams, we divide this practice time up evenly on this practice schedule.

One third of the time is spent on special teams. We always work the special teams groups in from the sidelines and even get some conditioning in my running the teams on and off the field in both directions a bunch. Special teams is an area many youth teams fail to put enough time into and it costs them ballgames, especially early in the season.

Defensively we rep our scheme on air versus most of the offenses we plan to see, the wishbone, “I”, Power I, Spread, Pro etc. When doing this we are always subbing in new players each and every play FROM THE SIDELINES. We also run some fit and freeze reps versus the coaches with plenty of bootlegs, play action passes, sweeps, reverses, off-tackle runs and split flow plays thrown in.

Offensively we rep plays on air, again subbing players each and every snap from the sidelines. We prepare the kids for the base techniques and strategies we typically see from teams in our league. We not only rep the base plays, but the base adjustments we like to use on said plays.

We do not have a jamboree in our league and we don’t know which coaches have been assigned to which teams in the community teams we play, so we go in fairly blind.

We wrap things up by explaining that every player will have a few butterflys in their stomachs before their first game, that is 100% normal and it goes away after the first snap. We ask each player to eat a well balanced breakfast with some good protein and carbohydrates as well as plenty of water.  

 We hope these day by day descriptions help you understand what can and can’t be done in youth football and help you gage where your teams should or could be after 9 football practices.

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