Empowering Coaches Step-By-Step

Week 3 Youth Football Practice- Worst to First- The Turnaround Show

sparks practice field





This is the continuing story of my “Worst to First” youth football coaching experience in Reno, Nevada this year. I took an 8th grade team that had won about 6 games in the last 6 years to the Semi-Finals in the largest and most competitive league in the Reno/North Nevada area. This was filmed for an upcoming reality television show “Worst to First.”

In games where you win, but don’t play to potential, how do you communicate that to your team? Smile, tell them about the good things they did and let them enjoy the win. Also hint that there are some things they will need to improve upon in practice the coming week. Short and sweet is probably the best way to go.

After watching the film of the two scrimmage games and posting it on Hudl, it was obvious we had a lot of things to work on fundamentally and scheme wise. Hudl is a great teaching and accountability tool, that is a must for anyone taking this even half seriously. For more info on Hudl, go here:  //winningyouthfootball.com/Hudl-editing-youth-football.php


hudl xs and os








This team had never filmed and posted their game film. So when Monday rolled around and I logged into Hudl- the account told me that only 4-5 of our players had even bothered to watch the film. A coach can tell a player how they played, but seeing it for yourself is so much more powerful. Unfortunately 3-4 of our kids didn’t have internet access and the kids that did, didn’t bother watching.

So how do you handle a team that is overconfident after two measly scrimmage game wins? You break them down, are critical and have a tough week of practice. Before moving on to anything new, we had to shore up the fundamentals we had already taught. We had gotten overconfident and sloppy in the second game. To encourage the kids to stay on point, we laid out goals for them to hit. When they hit those goals, they could move on to something new. The goals included number of perfect group reps in a row, pace of drills and overall consistent mastery of what we had already worked on.

When you are adding scheme, you have to take a look at the skills required to be successful and teach those skills prior to installation. If you put the cart before the horse and the group struggles, they lose confidence in the scheme, the coaching staff, themselves and the team. That’s why I’m so against early season scrimmage games. So we had 5 plays  in on offense, the sweep and power strong, wedge in the middle, counter weak and a run pass option play strong. We also had the hard count “no play” which we were able to successfully run in the second scrimmage game.  More on what we added in week 3 in the next post.

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  1. Pingback: Week 3 Youth Football Practice- Worst to First- The Turnaround Show | Pennsylvania Youth Sports

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