Winning Youth Football

Coaching Youth Fooball - Football Plays

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Team Goals

Now that you have your system in place, its time to set up some team goals with your players. Team goals are basically minimum standards that you set as the coach in order to challenge your players to play and compete at a high level at all times. Team goals could be the number of shots you have on goal or the number of shots you give up on your own goal. It could be the number of penalties, the number of yards gained per run or given up or even the percentage of power play opportunities that you capitalize on in your games. It could be the percentage of points scored from the foul line or even the number of wins you need to make the play-offs or to secure first place overall.

Whatever it is, they are set by you as the coach and set the bar as far as how you want your team to compete each and every game.

For the most part, if you meet your team goals every game, chances are that you have had a good day. As well, team goals can be motivation for your players and a great coaching tool. It can keep them focused and motivated to play within the system and not take plays "off" which can happen frequently at the youth level.

It builds a sense of pride within the team to meet the challenge of the team goals. The main thing is not to set the standards too high or unrealistic, otherwise it can back-fire on you.

In other words don't ask your players to do something that their not capable of doing.


Groom Your Role Players

Within your system you will have players that are naturally stronger or more talented than the others. They seem to play the game with ease, have good athletic ability, and contribute offensively without missing a beat. The game is easy for them to play. This group would be identified as your core players and you will rely on them to carry a lot of the load during the games. Most teams have their core players and the more core players you have the more depth you have on your bench. Usually the larger programs have more core players as a result of the higher numbers.

Does this mean that the smaller programs will not be able to compete?

Not at all! Every team will have their core group. What's important for the smaller programs with less depth is to surround your core players with solid role players and give them assignments that they must do within the system. For example, the less offensively talented players will be assigned a defensive role whereby each and every time they are engaged in play their role is to play tough defensively, be physical and pressure the opposing team into creating turn-overs and make mistakes that could possibly generate a score. They would have a primarily defensive role and when they get their time on the floor, field, or ice surface, they know their role which is to be defensive first, be tough in their own end and not give up any points. This would be just as important to the team as scoring and if they fulfill their assignment each and every time, they will limit the scoring of the opposing teams core players.

These role players are important to have on any team and usually play against the top core players. For the most part if your role players are stronger than the opposing team, than chances are you will have a good day. My experience with the role players is that once you explain to them their specific assignment within the system that they thrive within it, and become confident and key contributors. Remember, in the tightest of games it's usually the role players that determine the outcome.