How much weight is a safe amount for a youth football player to lose for the upcoming season? If you want to compete against the better teams that you will be facing, during the upcoming football season,then you will need to have the oldest, best players from the age group you are coaching. Common sense tells us that the team with the oldest, largest and fastest players will have an extreme advantage over their opponents. Therefore, it is in your best interest to have as many of these type of players on your roster as possible.
Now there is a right way and a wrong way to accomplish this goal. I cannot make a blanket statement of “use your common sense” since over the years I have watched complete idiots think the can sweat twenty pounds out of a kid in a month. Any coach found promoting this kind of behavior should be banned from coaching for life. Every coach needs to have the best interests, and safety, of the players as their top priority.
I would never recommend any player be asked to lose more than ten pounds or ten percent of his body weight, whichever is the lesser amount. That means only players over 100 pounds can even be considered as a candidate to lose the ten pounds. I do not care if the kid weighs two hundred pounds, ten is the maximum I will allow. The next criteria, and this one is important,is the individual situation for the player. By losing 4 or 5 pounds will he now be able to play with his own age group, or carry the ball? These are positive reasons for a player to try and lose weight.
The next big hurdle is the attitude and mindset of both the individual player and especially the parents. if the player and the parents are not “on board” forget about it. Many parents do not want their child to lose any weight under any circumstances. You must respect their wishes and move on.
In conclusion, you want to try to keep as many of the older faster kids on your squad, but only be using realistic methods and the blessings of all involved.