Yes, anyone that has coached High School football long enough has said that at one time or another. When you struggle to connect with the youth teams that feed into your program, you are at the mercy of the youth coaches. How so? If the kids they are coaching don’t have a good experience or are getting beat 40-6 every week, a good number of them will move on to something else.
So do you barge in and do a hostile takeover and run things yourself? Most of us don’t have time for that and many youth programs are deeply entrenched. The last thing you want to do is create a hostile environment and alienate some of your stakeholders.
What Doesn’t Work:
Forcing them to run your scheme
Ignoring the youth program
What Does Work:
Voluntary Coaching Clinic- focused on fundamentals
Making them feel they are part of your program
Youth Football Night- free admission at a home game. Recognize them at the half
Ball Boy of the Week- 1 player from youth team is allowed to help on sidelines that week
Scrimmage Night- When you have your big team scrimmage- let the youth team scrimmage during a break or after your scrimmage. Make a big deal about it
Dropping in on one of their practices or games
Designating a Varsity Youth Game Day- 2-3 of your varsity player attend each of the youth teams games with their uniform on and are on the sidelines.
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