Winning Youth Football

Coaching Youth Fooball - Football Plays

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The NFL Combine Results

This week I had the chance to tune into the NFL combine. I was quite taken by the testing and drills that each player did individually and it became even more clear to me  the importance of having good football fundamentals. Each drill and test seemed to isolate a specific fundamental. No doubt all the players looked ripped and in shape ,but in the end ,the testing certainly separated the good from the great. The players that were fundamentally stonger scored higher.

I noticed that the majority of the drills emphasized stance, step, speed with a sudden change in direction. Some players did it with ease while others struggled ,or slipped, or made a poor plant, a bad cut, all which emphasize the importance of good footwork and good form that we must do on a regular basis fundamentally as part of our youth football practices. You can be fast but if you cannot move your feet your in trouble at any level especially in the NFL!

Then there was testing that isolated explosiveness such as the standing long jump and the vertical leap. Both tests seemed to focus on hip rotation and leg explosion which is something we emphasize every practice in our blocking and tackling.

Anyway, it certainly brought home to me once again the utmost importance in teaching fundamentals to our young football players and reinforced once again that in the end good fundamentals will separate the good from the great!


Play Action plays in your Football Offence

Most youth football offensive co-coordinators implement some sort of play-action passes as part of their offensive football system. Basically, a play-action pass is a passing play disguised initially as a running play, or set up with a specific running play.

Most football offensive co-coordinators will run a specific running play many times through-out the game, all the time watching your linebackers come up hard and fast and making the tackle. Then, they'll run the same play once again, the running back will charge up to the line like he had been doing all along, the linebackers will charge hard as well, the quarterback will set to hand-off the ball and it appears to all that the play will be stuffed again, but this time the quarterback has kept the ball and is now throwing a pass to wide-open receiver who has curled in behind the vacated linebackers.

A lot of youth coaches do well in a play action football system where defenders read and react hard to the ball. Most times you'll see a play action pass along the goal line in order to take advantage of aggressive linebackers and safeties. Most times it works!

Running play-action will usually keep the opposing linebackers "honest" within their football system and they'll stay home a little longer which creates a little more time and space for your running back.