At this time of year some youth football practices become a bit stale. Now is the time to shorten practices a bit. We went from 2 hours to 1:45. We are now at 1:30 now that it is getting darker, we go 15 minutes later on Character Development lesson nights. Continue to develop fundamental skills, but your tempo should be fast enough now and mistakes less frequent to the point you can reduce practice time.
I like to add in a trick play in this time of year to help keep the kids interests. Even if you don’t plan on ever running it in a game, a wall return, lonesome polecat play or something of that like can help keep the kids excited about attending practice. We always leave that carrot out there that if we have a perfect effort practice with no walking on the field and no coaches repeating themselves, the kids get 10 minutes at the end to play deer hunter, sharks and minnows, towel game or Hawaiian ruled football.
So far on a team of 19 kids we have had 7 absences, 6 kids missed school due to being sick and one was at a family reunion 1,000 miles away. We did have one players parents drive all night from Pennsylvania to make a practice and another cut short a bear hunting trip to Canada. We had a player break an arm in week 2 and another get his elbow cast this week, none of those kids have missed a practice. So we are doing something right with about 2/3 of the kids with perfect attendance so far.
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