This Weeks Youth Football Practice
As the season progresses while we continue to stress fundamentals, we do move ahead each week with more advanced concepts. What is important when coaching youth football is to pay attention to the coming game but plan for the end goal. You have to plan to have in place what the kids need to play to their true potential.
This week we added in a few new drills or at least twists on existing drills. Having all 3 of my youth football teams practicing on the same field has been a huge benefit. With all 3 teams we have no running backs even remotely close to being close to the “striper” weight and 2 of the 3 teams have just 1 striper. So when we do drills or even scrimmage in our highly competitive “compete” drills, we aren’t practicing against the size kids we will face in real games. In fact when we have our first team defense in “compete” against the remainders, the running backs are not only about 30-60 pounds less than what we often face in games, they don’t have near the speed or athleticism of the kids we are trying to emulate. Meanwhile getting pummeled by the first team does little for the backups as well.
This week we went to having the “compete” session set up so that the age 10-11 backups defense went against the starters for the age 7-9 team while the age 10-11 starters ran offense against the age 12-13 backups. In both cases the matchups were very even and gave us quality reps while building the confidence of all involved. While none of the teams dominated the other, the idea of being able to compete gave confidence to all involved. While this “compete” session was going on, the age 7-9 backups were doing tackling circuits and the age 12-13 starters were running team offense on air.
As the season progresses, it’s important to mix things up a bit and challenge your players to prepare them for the post season or a big game. Often you can’t do that by doing the same old same old against a scout team of backups. Make sure and do not over match your teams or put them into a dangerous situation, The matchups we made were just enough of stretch to be a big benefit for all 4 squads.
We also worked our 2 minute drill a bunch this week. We have had the “spike” play in a practiced it along with, hurry up, out of bounds etc. but we have had to use it just 1 time so far in 18 games. It’s something you never know if you will ever need, but by this time in the season you need to have down. If you get into a situation in a real game where you need it, who will the parents be blaming if you don’t have a 2 minute system in place?
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