Empowering Coaches Step-By-Step

The Gable Method to Coaching Youth Football- Learning From an All-Time Great

Dan Gable








As a youth football coach or in business, most successful people take the time to learn from other people who have succeeded doing a similar task. That makes total sense, find someone who has done what you would like to do and copy them. The problem is many times we walk right by people who might be great at a task that is very similar to yours but might be an aisle over. Dan Gable the greatest wrestling coach of all time would fit that bill.

Let’s take a look at Gables Record:

181-1 as a High School and Collegiate Wrestler

Olympic Gold Medalist

355-21-5 As a Coach at the University of Iowa

15 NCAA National Championships

25 Consecutive Big 10 League Championships

I’ve studied this man, just like I’ve studied guys like John Wooden, Tom Osborne, John Calipari, John Cook and Augie Garrido. What is Gable’s “secret”? Very simple and he tells this to anyone that asks. Gables “secret” is. “If it is important, do it every day. If it’s not important, don’t do it at all.”

Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? The problem is most youth football coaches either don’t know that it is that is really important, they think everything is important or they don’t bother to stick to the script over the long haul.

What do you think are the three things every youth football teams need to do well in order to consistently win?

Of me it is:



Ball Security

Once you get set on what is important, then you have to make sure that your COACHES and PLAYERs understand it and that you commit to and practice it every day. Does this mean you have to do the same monotonous drills every day? Yes and no.

All the great coaches I’ve studied understood the critical success factors in their respective sports. They then became masters or teaching to those critical success factors. There’s a reason all the all-time greats did EDDs- every day drills, because they were important to the players and teams success.

The key for the youth coach is do you really know how to teach these skills? Most think they do, some do. But do you really understand how to intricacies of effectively, then efficiently teaching those skills to 9 year old kids? Do you know how to break down the macro skills needed to succeed, then teach those skills? How about the actual applied skills? Can you trouble shoot when a kid is struggling? How about addressing an issue when kids are too heavy or have little body control or are very slight?

Then if you get to the point where you can effectively teach, can you do it efficiently? Can you maximize the learning in the kids who are making progress without leaving the kids in the middle or back of the pack behind- and in most youth football leagues, those kids will be required to play and impact the game at some point.

At the end of the day, coaching youth football is a competition between coaches. Whoever is the most effective and efficient teacher, over the long haul will consistently win. My next post will go in greater detail about how to vary Every Day Drills so the kids won’t get bored.

For more information on how to effectively and efficiently coach youth football and what and how you should be focusing on including daily minute by minute practice plans and teaching methods, go to : //winningyouthfootball.com/youthfootballcoachingbook.phpWYF Book Picture

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