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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Coaching Youth Football: Player Selections and Football Systems

Well its time. The try-outs and training camp are over and you've selected your football team. Now, as a youth football coach the work comes to shape and mould the team in your image. Remember you picked the team and it will be a reflection of you and ultimately you will be the face of the team, accepting all the good praise as well as criticism that comes with the job of being coach.

As football coaches, we all have our favourite systems and philosophies in how we want our team to play. However, all things aside your player selections will dictate what kind of football team you will have. The worst thing you can do at this point is to implement a football system that your team doesn't have the tools to execute. You need to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your team and develop a system based on these traits. For instance, maybe you have good size and good football fundamentals but lack team speed, or maybe your undersized but have good speed and football skill. Ideally, you would like to have a combination of both types of football players; however, the reality is that this is not always going to be the case.

The other point to consider is that you might be strong defensively, but lack the scoring in the offensive zone or vice versa. The whole point of this is to evaluate your football team and come up with the system that reflects their abilities and strengths. Maybe your football team will be one that plays ball control and grinds it out or perhaps you will be very skilled and explosive. The point being select a system that reflects your team's strengths. One of the biggest problems in youth football is that we select a system that our players are not capable of performing. This creates problems as far as player frustration as well as chews up football practice time. Bottom line, don't ask then to do something they are not capable of doing and for the most part keep it simple, and do it well!