Winning Youth Football

Coaching Youth Fooball - Football Plays

Monday, May 31, 2010

Youth Football Spring Camp Analysis

Spring camp is over and now comes the time to evaluate your players, playbooks, and practice plans. Hopefully you were able to get everything in that you wanted to get in including an exhibition scrimmage or inter-sqaud game so that you now can evaluate your program prior to the start of your training camp in 3 months.

Nows the time to evaluate your players within the depth chart and perhaps you've realized that the player slated for that offensive guard position might be better on the defensive side of the ball or that new fangled offence is just not going to cut it with your present group of players or your athletic running back is not what you think, and might be used elsewhere.

Whatever it is, evaluate, make your decisions, and move on to your fall camp planning. The worst think that you can do is to get into your fall camp and wonder about plays, players, and practices and be spinning your wheels trying to decide on stuff with a game on the horizon. Its easier to do that now in the spring.

Make your decisions now based on what you have seen in your spring football camp, make yout adjustments and relax now for the summer!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Youth Football Controlled Scrimmage

One of the best coaching tools is to organize a controlled scrimmage with one or more of your opponents. Ideally, organize it as part of your spring football program or have one before your first exhibition game. It allows the coaches to be right on the field during the play and enables the coach to instruct, adjust, and assist their specific groups.

It is a good way to develope a younger team that is inexperienced and tenative. Having the coaches on the field gives them confidence and allows the coaches a birds eye view of how the players are responding fundamenatally and they can immediately be coached up on mistakes and miscues.

Again, its a great coaching resource.

Usually, special teams are not factored in a controlled scrimmage and there are quick whistles on the ball carriers and quarterbacks so that nobody gets tee'd up. The terms of the controlled scrimmage are set by the oppossing head coaches whether it be timed quarters or a specific number of offensive plays each.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Youth Football Linebackers: Read the Offensive Guards

Did you ever consider training your inside linebackers to read the offensive guard that they play over? By learning how to read the guard your linebacker will make quicker decisions, and react better to the ball.
Lets face it , at times its easy to lose sight of the football and mis-direction can play havoc with your linebacker. The key? Train your backers on how to read the guard and take the guessing out of their game all together!

Hows it done?

Well, its not too difficult. Basically you read whether or not its pass or run by he way the guard moves on the snap of the ball. Most of the time the guard is in a three point stance. On a run play he will cross the line of scrimmage and block and on pass he will not cross the line of scrimmage and pass block On a pitch he will usaully pull to the play side and on a trap play he will pull to play side. When he down blocks expect a run to that side as well as another linemen downblocking on the middle linebacker.

By training your linebackers to read the guards it just gives them another tool in the chest towards effective linebacker play.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Youth Football Fundamentals

While participating in a youth football camp last week I heard an interesting comment from a youth coach while he was running offensive plays with his players. " You fellows have to learn how to tackle". I stopped what I was doing at the time and watched a bit of this group and the phrase" You guys gotta learn how to tackle" has been with me since.

Spending time on football fundamentals such as blocking,tackling, and footwork will pay dividends with your football team. Runnning plays with players who have poor fundamentals will be frustrating, sloppy, and ineffective come game time regardless of whether or not you play offence or defence.

You will not be successful!

Once again as I watched them try and run plays I noticed that the coach was spending as much time correcting stances as he was running plays. He would have been better off just canning the offensive plays for the day and work on their stances and first step, then a session on basic blocking. Once his players had basic fundamentals his offensive plays would have been a lot smoother and his players would not have struggled so bad.

A lot of youth coaches jump the gun too quick and try to implement their systems with players that have poor fundamentals. One thing I've learned is that they will never get it unless they are fundamentally sound. Again, it comes down to implementing a solid practice plan. Training camp is the ideal time to begin to develope football fundamentals and as they progress, introduce slowly some of your basic schemes and do not move on until they get it. If the stances are poor or the blocking is brutal, then schedule in stance and blocking segments in your next practice. Sometimes its necessary to take a step back in order to gain two steps forward.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Football Footwork Fundamentals

If you don't implement solid footwork drills and fundamentals as part of your practice plan then you are selling your players short in their football developement. A lot of minor coaches overlook this part of their practice elements but the reality is that they have to be able to move in order to be effectice football players. How many times have you seen a big lineman that looks impressive but cannot move their feet therefore are slow and ineffective. The same can be applied to your athletic wide reciever who cannot plant or cut and unless he is running straight down field is ineffective or covered easily as a result of his poor footwork.

Footwork drills are simple to run and can be implemented very easily in your practice plan. You can do either team footwork drills right after your warm-up or implement your footwork drills as part of your group team work. It does'nt take long maybe 10 minutes per practice. All you need is some cones and some bags.

Always start them off in their stance and on your signal get them moving.

There are lots of drills to choose from when practicing footwork fundamentals. Choose drills by position. For example, your defensive backs would focus a lot on back-peddling with change of direction. Your offensive linemen would focus their footwork fundamentals geared around their first step left, right, angle, etc . Work on your footwork each and every practice and watch your players improve.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Football Group Team Work

This part of your practice plan is committed towards playing segments of the offence against segments of the defence using small groups. For example, the OL and DL can practice with each other on run blocking, pass blocking, or block shedding while the QB, RBs, TE, WRs can be working with the LBs and DBs on a passing or tackling drill.

Usually, you schedule this combined group immediately after your individual group work and you mange your time effectively by working on specific game skills that involves offence against defence.

This is the ideal time to get reps in with your players. Begin by running drills at half speed and later in the season, when your players have solid fundamentals, you can run these drills full speed with light tackling.