When it comes to youth in football, you can never replace a teaching environment that is hands on. Of course, if you are like most coaches, you likely feel that you never have enough time to maximize the potential of your players implementing strategies. Fortunately, there’s a way you can teach skills needed in 15 minutes. Following the plan laid out below will help to see major improvements on your team and increase productivity.
When you start practice, spend your first five minutes working on tackling. Tackling is one of the most important skills needing to be developed in youth football. As you show your players how to tackle effectively, you are also spending time teaching them how to do it safely. Use your practice footage to go through your previous games and identify key plays that help you teach proper tackling. There are several points you need to spend time on with tackling such as the player keeping their head up, following through with the tackle, and learning how to wrap up the tackle.
The second five minutes of your practice should be working on blocking. Many youth players do not understand how their blocks benefit or hurt the team on particular plays. In fact, blocking can often be a stumbling point of the offense in youth football. To help with the blocking game, show your players how their pre-snap alignment looks by using drawings. It can also be helpful to watch videos that highlights how a play fell apart because of a missed block. You can also reinforce this by highlighting plays that were successful. You want your players to understand the cause and effect of blocking.
The last five minutes of practice should be focused on recognition. Positive reinforcement is crucial at the youth level, so you need to celebrate your team’s best moments. You can do this through video or through conversation. You will be amazed at how your team can improve with a little extra encouragement.
By breaking up your practice into these five-minute increments, you can maximize your time and practice and help your players continue to improve.