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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Specialty Teams

A wise old coach once told me years ago "you can't cheat on special teams". He was absolutely right!

For youth football ,its important that you invest at least 15 minutes per practice into a specialty team. A lot of teams now will have a pre-practice specialties listed in their practice plan. Its as important as your football systems! Coaches expect their specialty players to be up on the field 10-15 minute prior to practice working on specialty fundamentals. Long and short snappers snapping for punt and field goal, holders holding,kickers kicking, and punt returners catching balls. With some programs limited to a 90 minute practice this pre-practice specialty time is invaluable and the return( no pun intended) will be noticed on game days.

Some youth coaches view specialties as a time to get some of your younger players on the field and give them a chance to play. They are making a mistake and setting these players up for failure. As special teams are such a big part of the game you need to have your best athletes on the field. Usually in real close games special teams will determine the difference.
Having your younger players out there sets them up for failure as most teams put out their best. You'd be asking them to do something their not ready to do yet, and set them up for some physical punishment. Like the old coach said " don't cheat on special teams".

Like all football systems, special teams have their individual assignments as well. Evaluate and choose your players wisely. Don't be afraid to shuffle the deck until you get the look you want! Make sure they know their assignments and hold them accountable to them.


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