Coaching Youth Football (Part 1) | Keys to Success by Katherine Keleher
In your role as a youth football coach, you will profoundly affect the lives of your players. By your approach to education, you can show your players how to handle all of the many challenges they will see throughout their lives.
You have to coach for the correct reasons. You should concentrate on the lessons that will show your players proper morals. Important standards to teach are respect for authority, work ethic, competitiveness, and teamwork. A good youth football coach will also stress setting reachable goals and developing a plan of how to reach those goals. If you go into coaching for the wrong reasons, like seeking fame or an ego-boost, your players will know and they will not respect you as much.
Your key reason for instruction should be to assist kids in maturing into well-developed adults. Of course winning is important, but if it really is the only thing you care about, you won't be able to find any satisfaction when you do win the big games. You have to give yourself a chance to enjoy the game, along with making it fun for your student athletes.
All great athletes have had a great coach behind them who was patient enough to teach them the necessary skills for their sport. Patience is not something everyone is born with, but it can be learned with time and experience. Many times a talented player will not develop until they finally get that one bit of coaching advice that makes everything click for them. As a coach, you must make sure to be patient with all of your players so that you will be there when their talent explodes.
You can't get everything done that you will want to unless you have a solid, regimented schedule. Most NFL coaches are famous for their attention to detail and organization, so you should pattern yourself after the top of the profession. Make the most out of your limited practice time each day. Know what you need to get done that day before you begin practice. Discuss any key issues with your assistant coaches before setting your schedule so that there are no surprises once the players are on the field and ready to go.
Run an Efficient, Fast-Paced Practice
Do not waste precious practice time on conditioning and low-importance drills. Many coaches, especially at youth football levels, will make the mistake of grinding their players through useless drills just to impart toughness. Toughness and conditioning will both benefit more from a quick, well-organized practice with quality drills. Focus on drills that develop the skills your individual players are lacking. Of course, all fundamentals need to be refreshed from time to time, but you shouldn't waste excessive time on the things they already do well. Minimize "standing around" time in your practices.
Many youth football coaches spend too much time teaching by talking instead of active teaching.It is much more effective to limit your explanation to short bursts after each player has run through the drill. Quickly show them what they did wrong or right during the drill and start the next player. You can continue talking while the players are in motion, but many coaches will bring the entire team's practice to a standstill. Attention span can be a problem for kids, especially at the younger levels, so more information will be retained if you keep them moving and focused on the practice.
Keeping these basic ideas in mind will help any coach with their youth football team, no matter what the level or age-group. Enthusiasm, patience, and efficiency are the keys to success in winning and developing great youth football players. More tips will be available in future parts to this series.
About the Author
This article courtesy of www.clovisfootball.com, the source for Clovis football information. The author also runs www.fresnostatefan.com, a site dedicated to the Fresno State Bulldog football team.