This Week In Our Youth Football Practices:
As we move into the last third of our season, the kids start to get a little restless. While we are still getting prefect attendance on most nights, you can see some kids getting a little lax on some things they have been perfect on for the last 9 weeks or so. The worst thing that can happen to a youth football player is for him to do something that is technically wrong, but still have success, This often happens when you play that midseason cream puff on your schedule, that no matter what you run or what technique your kids use, the other team is so awful that everything works. When your players use improper technique against teams like this and still have success, your players will often revert to that poor technique.
This is the time of the year where even coaches let up and let poor habits creep back into the drills they do. Youth coaches often get to this time of year, “knowing” their players can do a specific task, the kids have been taught it, the kids have repped it and the kids have done well with it in games, So in practice many coaches will “let it go”, because they have seen the kids perform the task well in games etc. These are dangerous waters, You have to stay vigilant with the standards you have set, as it is normal for kids to push and test the boundaries. While you may be letting up in some areas, never let up on holding the kids to perfect alignment, effort and technique standards. I constantly have to push even my coaches to ratchet up the pace and make certain the little things are still being concentrated on.
While as the season progresses, we do continue to add more advanced techniques, we never totally move past some of the things that have made us competitive teams to this point. We are still doing the wedge progression fits we did in week one, to make sure our wedges are tight etc etc While things like splatter blocking and tackling drills make little sense at this point in the game, ( splatter drill goals are to get kids over their fear of full contact) don’t ever abandon those critical success factors that have gotten you this far. We will however, add a few twists to a few of our existing drills to keep the kids attention.
This week we worked the basics a lot including base double team blocking, down blocking, open field blocking, wedge fits and crab blocking. We did an unusually high amount of tackling this week including lots of shed and tackle and various open field tackling drills. Since we did so much full contact in individuals this week including lots of 3 level Oklahoma drills, we only had one 10 minute intense team “compete” session.
We continued to refine some of the finer points of the game with plenty of 2 minute offense drills. We also heavily worked our special teams and “last play” football plays. Each team also added their own “trick play”. I’m not talking about any type of deceptive illegal type football plays, but something like “Statue of Liberty Throw Back” . Something we most likely will NEVER run in a game, but again tweaks the players attention at this last date.
When coaching youth football, we think that’s part of our mission, to finish strong with the kids still wanting more.
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