Prepping Your Youth Football Team for Distractions
When you’ve coached youth football for over 20 years and done over 150 coaching clinics like I have, you’ve experienced some wild things and seemingly heard it all.
How about losing a game because of a siren or horn?
Yes, SOME youth football venues you play at have an automated horn or siren built into the scoreboard that goes off at the end of the quarter, half and game. The first time my kids played at a high school stadium with this feature and heard the siren, our kids stopped playing.
They heard the horn and somehow got it in their heads that they were supposed to stop playing football. Fortunately for us, at least 1 of our kids, our safety, didn’t stop playing and he made a shoestring tackle to save what would have been an uncontested touchdown. Mind you this was a group of 7-9 year olds and it was only their second game, but I’ve heard of much older kids doing the very same thing and teams LOSING late season games because of it.
When you go out of town to play in tournaments, playoffs or bowl type games, expect the unexpected. If you can, go to a game on the field you are going to play on and find out for yourself if there are any nuances, like buzzers or sirens. Then make sure to alert your players and coaches and PRACTICE it. Simulate the buzzer or siren with an air horn or at the least, 4-5 coaches blowing a whistle in the middle of the play.
During the game, remind your players when there is less than 1:00 in the quarter that the siren is going to go off and to make sure and play past the siren. Coaching youth football well means you put your players in a position to be successful, that means making sure they understand the nuances of the end of quarters and play accordingly. Don’t be “the guy” that gets beat by the siren, you don’t want to be remembered like that and your kids deserve better.
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