Winning Youth Football

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Football Pre-Game Preparation

Football Player Pre-Game Routine

Every football player should have a pre-game routine. When a player consistently gets nervous in front of a crowd or gets psyched out after making a mistake, a solid pre-game routine might be the start of getting their head space right prior to the game.

Pre-game preparation should be a routine that the player chooses that helps them focus and calm themselves before a game. For some players, this could be listening to music or meditating. For some, it involves warm-up drills or mental visualization. For some just chilling out or just plain quiet time. Whatever it is, encourage your players to get into a pre-game routine that gets them prepared, focused, and confident and most importantly relaxed.

Mistakes are going to happen during any football game. The players that have a plan for getting back on track are more likely to bounce back and succeed. The players that don't will dwell on their mistake lose confidence and play poorly. It's important that as a football coach preparing your football team to compete that they know that mistakes will happen through-out the football game, that it just the nature of any sport. The point you want to make as a youth football coach is to limit their mistakes as much as possible. You want them to play aggressive, not passive, as if they are afraid to make a mistake. You want them to compete hard at a high level at all times and sometimes during the heat of battle, a mistake will be made. So be it! Personally, I'd want my team competing hard making a few mistakes than not competing and making no mistakes!

Finally, help players avoid the stress of competition by taking steps to eliminate the unknown. Explain what players should expect during every game. Talk about it leading into the game and how they should handle it. Nerves are a natural part of competition, but those players who learn to control those butterflies in the stomach are the ones who come out as winners. When players tell you that they are nervous, turn it around and tell them they're not nervous they're just excited about playing the game of football!