There are many factors that go into a successful Youth Football season and coaching youth football success starts with your practices. You must have an organized practice plan on a daily, weekly and seasonal basis. You will of course need to make adjustments to the plan throughout the year, but a basic plan to start with is neede for sure.
Managing kids can be a challenge, add in teaching them athletic skills – sometimes can be next to impossible. Some adults can jump right in and gain the respect and devotion of the kids, while others have great intentions – but should really stick with being the supportive spectator on the sidelines.
There are 3 key components to every practice for youth football: conditioning, drills, and scrimmaging. Incorporating these components will ensure a successful practice every time.
Conditioning is most important in the beginning of the season. The best conditioned your team is the more endurance they will have during a game – and the 4th quarter won’t seem so long winded. Muscle wrap-ups, sprints and resistance training are all important to optimizing the body’s performance. Drills are essential for teaching the basics of any sport, especially football. Repetitious drills can create muscle memory and be the difference between good players and great players. Scrimmaging allows the players to demonstrate their newly acquired skills to the coaches and show areas that need improvement. Scrimmages should be run with comments (good or bad) after each play; this gives the players immediate feedback and allows them to process their actions.
Practices should not be equally divided into conditioning, skills and scrimmages. The levels of the players and where you are at during the season should dictate how much time is spent on each area. For example, you would spend more time on conditioning at the beginning of the season and less on scrimmaging; and towards the end of the season it would be reversed.