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#1 rushbuster70

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 12:20 PM

So how do you coaches run your practice?

Do you break it up in defense & offense? Then team drills? Scrimmage?

For my teams we usually do team drills such as flag pulling usually. Break up into offense & defense and run through what we plan on doing for the game coming up. Then we go into a scrimmage.

Any suggestions for anything else I could try. What other team drills do you guys do besides flag pulling? I would like to change it up a little because it seems to work but I think we could get a little more out of it. But I'm unsure of other things we could do in practice besides what we already do.

Orange & Coach Rob Help me out here lol...Thanks

Coach AJ
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#2 Johnp2

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 04:33 PM

I'm happy to share what I do, and I'm certain each situation is different.

I have 6-8 year olds. First, we have three practices per week (1 to 1.5 hours each). I script what I want to cover the night before.

We have 12 players on the team, with eight on the field during the game. I don't have any assistant coaches (although I encourage parents to help if they want---but they rarely do). This is fine, however.

I try to stress "team dynamics" so we usually start in circle, where we lightly toss the ball around, and just talk about whatever is on our mind. As an example, in tomorrow's "circle" I want to talk to my team about congratulating each other when we make a great play (I want to see high-fives everywhere) and helping players (on both teams) get up in a game when one falls down. We did not do a good job at either in our first game.

I incorporate a "Player of the Week" award, which goes to the player who worked the hardest in practice, listened the best, and left everything he had on the field both in practice that week and in the game. Not necessarily who played the best, but who played the hardest. This player gets to wear a special jersey that I had designed during practice that week. He also gets to "autograph" the jersey, and will be our team captain for the week. Thus in the first practice of the week, we congratulate our POW.

Next I'll run some quick drills (Jingle Jangle, Mini-End Zones, etc). Something to get their juices flowing.

Next I'll line up all the kids and we go over the passing tree. The kids know all the routes now, so it only take 3-5 minutes.

Then we will begin going though our plays. Here is where it gets tricky. As mentioned we have 12 players and eight on the field. So I take eight of them, and we run plays, (with the remainder on defense) then I sub in and out. We do this for about 30 minutes.

We will then do another drill or two, and then go over plays again.

We end practice playing "sharks and minnows". This is where we start with one person on the field (the shark) with the other kids (the minnows) having to run past the shark without having their flag pulled. Whichever minnow(s) get their flagged pulled become sharks and we keep going. If you have not tried it you ought to, it is a lot of fun.

I then end practice with a quick pep-talk and we do our team cheer. I guess it sounds boring, but the kids (and I) really have fun at practice. As you know, it's merely a balancing act of teaching while keeping it fun.

I've tried to reach out to the different coaches in the league to scrimmage with us, but have not had any takers. One coach said he would, but then when I told him I had 6-8 year olds he changed his mind (he has 11-13 year olds). I told him we could "hang" with the big-boys, but he still declined.

I hope this helps some. If you want specifics on the drills I do, I am happy to send them to you. I have about seven or eight (but we don't do them each practice). I'm curious as to how you other coaches handle your practices.

Thanks

#3 Vegas Coach

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 08:00 AM

Last Fall I started coaching for the first time on my sons team which is the 8-9 year old NFL Flag League here locally which is 5-5. Anyhow, from the beginning of the season until the end I tweeked my practices accordingly to what I felt was working and what not. Usually our practices ran 1.25 - 1.5 hours two times a week.

I devoted the first 15-20 min to general training to help develop the kids speed. power and coordination over the season. We would run the 4 corner agility box, doing sprints, shuffle steps and back peddles to warm them up. Would move on to things like Bear Crawls, Crab Walks, Leg Lunges, mix in a few Push Ups and run short 15 yard sprints, although I had my kids start from different starting positions for these sprints to put emphasis on acceleration and pushing off of the ground (such as kneeling on 1 knee, on both knees, in push up position ect). We also did alot of Deceleration work where I tried my best to get the kids moving in all directions (Lateral, Linear and Angular) getting them used to stopping and changing directions.

After about 15-20 min, we moved on to Football stuff which usually left us about an hour for drills and such. We would move right into running some drills.... would set up a flag box for flag pulling, do some QB/Center exchange drills along with handoff drills to work on ball handling. Then we practiced running routes and passing. (I tried my best to incorporate route running, but I actually found I didnt have enough time to really spend the time needed on teaching catching and running routes right). This year I'll work running routes in better.

After a few drills I split us up to defense and offense, then ran some of our plays. At this time My defensive coach taught our defenders their assignments relative to their positions on the field, while I tried my best to perfect the 3-5 plays we were running to be run perfect by each kid. Once we ran the plays we went to a all out scrimmage to end things. After the scrimmage we ran "King of the Ring" which was start with 1 kid in the middle while all other kids would run past middle guy to other side avoiding flag being pulled. As each kids flag was pulled they were now in the middle until one kid was left standing. Once we played that game about 2 times (depending on time), all the kids came together and we did a light stretch (stretching is best to be done at the end of practices especially at this age) to help settle all the muscles the kids just worked. At that time we also talked about different things such as how practice went, the game this week ect, ect.....

Thats a quick rundown of what we did, again my practices usually went 1.25 - 1.5 hours two times a week! I really look forward to hearing how you all ran yours, because I am always looking for more ideas, especially more flag pulling drills! Also I want to add not ALL my practices were the exact same by the end of the season. I found that by running the exact same drills, same exercises every practice (like I did the first half of the season) the kids would get complacent and just kind of go through the motions. By the end of the season every practice was a little different, thus switching it up keeping the kids interest in it! Thats enough rambling from me..... lets hear all your practice routines

#4 Orange

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 08:24 AM

We ran one practice a week, usually 1.5 hour. I'd practice until the mothers would start to complain that they had to go or it got too dark.

This is a typical practice schedule:

5-10 minutes warmups, coordination skills. one group.
10+ minutes flag pulling, one group.
5-10 minutes defensive lesson, one group.
5-10 minutes route running. one or two groups.
10 minutes routes with passing and catching. 2-3 groups. this was like sections of my plays. Get in lots of reps and work on proper catching and throwing techniques.
10 minutes plays w/ no defense or limited scrimmage. 2 groups.
rest of practice full scrimmage and/ or fun game (usually ultimate football).

#5 Johnp2

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 11:52 AM

After the scrimmage we ran "King of the Ring" which was start with 1 kid in the middle while all other kids would run past middle guy to other side avoiding flag being pulled. As each kids flag was pulled they were now in the middle until one kid was left standing.


I agree this is an awesome (fun) drill--we call it Sharks and Minnows. Have you tried allowing the 'last player standing' man up and go against everyone to see if he can make it to the other side? That's a little twist I like to add. ;-)

#6 Vegas Coach

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Posted 16 April 2008 - 06:57 AM

After the scrimmage we ran "King of the Ring" which was start with 1 kid in the middle while all other kids would run past middle guy to other side avoiding flag being pulled. As each kids flag was pulled they were now in the middle until one kid was left standing.


I agree this is an awesome (fun) drill--we call it Sharks and Minnows. Have you tried allowing the 'last player standing' man up and go against everyone to see if he can make it to the other side? That's a little twist I like to add. ;-)



Actually no, we usually stop the drill at that point and declare a winner! Thats a pretty good idea and I'll give it a go next season though......

#7 Coach Rob

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 12:56 AM

For me, flag football comes down to pulling flags and running plays. I understand there are many parts that make up those two components, however, with a 1 hour practice right before our game, I tend to focus on those two areas. Here are a few drills we run off and on.

For pulling flags we use some of these drills:

1) a five yard channel with two defenders one up front, one in back. runner blows through as fast as they can, defenders have to pull flag. (5-10 min)

2) a version of sharks/minnows - imo, this is one of the best drills for flag pulling. kids like to play it, drill goes quickly, lots of movement and most importantly tons of repetition for flag pulling. best way to get better at pulling flags is pull them often. (10 min)

3) we cover pursuit angles, rushing, pass defense. (10 min)

4) swarm drill. coach has ball, acts like qb. goes left kids go left, goes right kids go right, comes forward kids drop back, drops back kids move forward. when the coach yells swarm, all the kids run after the coach. coach can wear several flag belts or just allow kids to reach him at some point. got this one from orange. point is to teach the kids not to assume their teammate will pull the flag, help out.


For running plays:

1) have the kids pair up and see who can throw the most consecutive passes with out dropping one. seems boring, but the repetition of throwing back and forth, focusing on watching the ball into your hands helps build their confidence. (5 min max on this drill)

2) run pass routes, qb throws, sometimes i will throw if i want to kick up the pace. usually have an assistant coach out as a defender. (10 min)

3) play leap frog with center/qb. teams have to get from point a to point b by snapping ball, then switching places each time the ball is snapped. center becomes qb, qb becomes ctr, etc. if the ball is mishandled and dropped, that team as to start over. (5 min)

4) teach kids to blow by the defender when running. kids at this age like to "dance and juke", which usually ends up with the other team pulling a flag. we try and teach our kids to run full speed, don't look back, don't look down to see if someone pulled your flag and don't stop until you hear a whistle. we incorporate this drill with some end arounds, pitches or straight hand offs. usually a coach will be out as a defender and brush the runners flag to see if they stop or delay.

We'll decide before practice which drills to use, split our team in two groups, one works on defense drills, one on offense. We switch after 15 minutes. So we'll get about 30 minutes of total drills. I'll take the next 15-20 min to run through plays, switching the teams after 10 minutes.

The last 10 minutes we play ultimate football, another Orange suggestion. Kids love it.

Sometimes I'm rigid on the drills and time frames, other times I might feel like we need more scrimmage time, so we shorten the drills and do a more full blown scrimmage. At the end of our season (which happens in all the sports we play together as a team) our last practice has at least 30 min of parents vs the kids. The kids absolutely love this and seem to win every stinkin' time.

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#8 Orange

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 07:21 AM

I'm going to add my description of ultimate football since its so much fun and in my opinion adds some great skills. The kids would play it for hours on end if I let them. We coaches even join in sometimes.

Same rules as ultimate Frisbee but you use a football.

We begin the game by "kicking off" which means one team throws it to the other or punts it. The field we use is wide and roughly defined. I purposely did it that way because I want the kids to learn a little about playing pick up games old school. That soccer goal is one end zone, that trash can is the other, you get the idea. The game is fluid and continuous, there are no time outs or plays. When you begin possession you pick up the ball. The person who has the ball cannot move. He has to pass it to a teammate. The teammates run all around trying to get open. If you make a catch you have to stop where you are. If your team drops it then the other team get the ball. They can pick it up as quickly as they want and advance down the field. We have them cover man-to-man and the person covering the guy with the ball has to give him a yard cushion to make a throw. Once you catch a ball in the endzone you kickoff to the other team.

If you have any questions let me know.

#9 HornFan

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 03:07 PM

4) teach kids to blow by the defender when running. kids at this age like to "dance and juke", which usually ends up with the other team pulling a flag. we try and teach our kids to run full speed, don't look back, don't look down to see if someone pulled your flag and don't stop until you hear a whistle. we incorporate this drill with some end arounds, pitches or straight hand offs. usually a coach will be out as a defender and brush the runners flag to see if they stop or delay.


I have 3 players that do this. How do I teach them to stop. I tell them to go full speed, don't stop, but they always stop, trying to trick the defender.

I've also noted that it's the same players that get tricked while defending. My son is one of them and I want him to understand how to not get tricked and pull flags better. (as well as make the occaisional TD!)

Any advice is appreciated.

#10 Coach Rob

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Posted 24 April 2008 - 11:52 PM

I've used several of these drills and added my own twist:

http://www.canoe.ca/...rills/home.html

CRob
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#11 rushbuster70

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 10:03 AM

I've used several of these drills and added my own twist:

http://www.canoe.ca/...rills/home.html

CRob


I saw this a couple weeks agaon and plan to use some of these in the following season since our last practice was yesterday

Wish me luck for our i9 tournament this weekend...
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#12 Orange

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 02:25 PM

I've used several of these drills and added my own twist:

http://www.canoe.ca/...rills/home.html

CRob


I saw this a couple weeks agaon and plan to use some of these in the following season since our last practice was yesterday

Wish me luck for our i9 tournament this weekend...

Good luck!

#13 rushbuster70

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 05:55 PM

Thanks.........


We won our i9 tournament this weekend.The first game was definitely the best one.They had a big physical kid who could go up and get it and could truck down the field.They were ok and had some lazy kids so we ended up winning the 2nd half and winning the game.

The 2nd game was a blowout...The kids came out ready to play and just stepped up big.We rolled down the field easily to a nice win.I was proud of them.They of course threw water all over me once that game was over lol but it was great to win it all.
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#14 Johnp2

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 08:42 AM

Congrats on winning your tournament! I am excited about ours, which is in June. We have eight teams in our league (and four of them are INCREDIBLY good). We are definitely the underdogs in our league---this is the first year of football for 90% of my team--but look forward to getting a rematch to see how much we've progressed. Our last game we lost 20-0, but the team that beat us won their first game 52-0, and they won yesterday 43-0, so hopefully we can "hang" come tourney time. I expect us to as we are outworking any other team--this much I know.

#15 Coach Rob

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 09:45 PM

Thanks.........We won our i9 tournament this weekend.

Nice. Congrats rush!
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