Winning Youth Football

Coaching Youth Fooball - Football Plays

Friday, February 19, 2010

Benching Your Players

  Sooner or later, you'll come to your wits end, after endless reinforcement, after endless practices, after endless conversations, after endless pleading, you'll be forced to bench one of your players. Depending on the age group, the "benching" is a message being sent by you, to the player, to basically "smarten up" and "do your job assignment".

With younger youth players, probably missing a shift would suffice and give them a moment to reflect on your message without disrupting too much. The older players probably need to sit a little longer. The most important thing is that they get the message and they understand the benching. Probably, they already know. But sometimes you need to communicate the reason. Don't make a scene when you do it, quietly inform the player of your decision.

Chances are they already knew it was coming.

The benching time is entirely up to you. Bottom line, be fair, but be firm. They have to get the message! The downside is that they could get emotional and make comments. Ignore them and discuss the comments after the game or before the next practice. For the most part consider the benching like a "time-out". Tell the player to reflect on his responsibilities and assignments. Let them think about it awhile. Then, pat them on the back and send them out to try it again.

That's about all you can do.


Be Cool Under Fire Coach!

Let's face it, we're only human. We can get fired up as easily as our athletes.

One problem though.

When we get ourselves fired up, we  tend to get caught up in our emotions, and like our athletes make bad decisions and hurt the team. So as coaches we need to train ourselves to be cool under fire.
We have to be rock solid when we face big challenges, game time decisions, poor officiating, and anything that can throw our team off their game. Our players will look to us for leadership and if we lose it, chances are they will as well.

It's important we are solid!

A good tip would be to discuss with your coaching staff all the possibilities of what could go wrong and how you as a coaching staff will handle it. Play it out before it happens. That way it makes it easier on you when the situations develop and you can make the right call. The point is you've already discussed the scenario from the comforts of your office under no pressure and made the decision. It makes it a lot easier!
Discuss the same possibilities with your players and tell them how you expect them to react.

Play through it or even better coach through it!

Oh yea! Chew lots of gum during the game. It really helps!