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Coaching Youth Fooball - Football Plays
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#1 RobCarter



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Posted 10 October 2011 - 02:59 PM

Hello All,

I'm Rob Carter, I'm coaching a 5-on-5 8-9yr old flag league. I've never coached football before I got into for my nephew and his dad is my assistant coach. I've been studying up and I've got a good core for a playbook, nothing too difficult but still not too simple either. I'm just concerned because our practice time is only for a half hour before games on saturdays. So my question would be

What drills should I focus on the most? Do I need to focus on defense more during that time or should I just let them play with instinct and worry about offense? I don't know how much balance I can actually do in a half hour.



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Posted 10 October 2011 - 03:47 PM

They really dont allow for much practice time huh.

I'd work on plays and try to coach defense in the game if you are stuck in that 30 miute pre game practice format. In my expierence everyone runs the same basic plays, some like me run more misdirection (reverses, reverse passes) and some run more basic heads up plays, in the end it comes down kids learning and executing their plays and there is no substitution for reps.

I'd briefly cover defensive allignment, tell them to follow the ball not the players and the rest can be covered in game, correcting and coaching defense up on the fly as you go.

#3 Coach Rob

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 04:12 PM

Wow?!?! 30 minutes for practice? That's unreasonable if the league wants their players to enjoy the game and learn the fundamentals correctly.

Unless the league rules strictly prohibit you from having another practice, I'd see if the parents were cool with doing an hour practice at a park on Saturday and skip the 1/2 hour before the game practice. Or try to squeeze in another practice during the week at a park. If you're stuck with the 30 min deal, I'd at least ask parents if they were cool showing up 15 min early the first few games.

If you end up with the 30 minutes period, you'll definitely need to come prepared to practice and be ready to move through the drills.

I'd probably do something like this:

5 min-Pair up kids opposite of each other and have them throwing, catching with their hands and looking the ball into their hands.

5 min-Two lines facing each other about 5 yards apart. One line starts with a ball and they run towards each other giving and receiving handoffs. They go to the back of the opposite line after handing off. Stress proper form, inside hand up allowing enough room for handoff. Should go quickly.

You could work on running plays for 10 and defense formation/flag pulling for 10 or just scrimmage for 20 minutes while emphasizing key points during the scrimmage.

You'll have to pick some key points and just emphasize those so the kids don't get overloaded in 20 min. Maybe, where to look when pulling flags, swarming, not letting someone outside. On offense, run until you hear the whistle, what a good fake looks like, don't look down to see if someone pulled your flag.

In the end, flag football comes down to running plays and pulling flags. If all you do is practice that, you'll at least be simulating what a game will look like.

#4 RobCarter



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Posted 11 October 2011 - 09:19 AM

well, luckily about 5 of the kids that will be on my team live in my nephew's neighborhood and I've been playing football with them for a couple weeks now, so I've been able to show them the basics of what type of offense I'd like to have. I've been trying to make sure I keep my mind open because the type of offense I want to have and the type of offense my team is able to produce might not be the same.

The league is an Arena Flag Football league, we live in Ohio so winter leagues aren't too practical unless it's played indoors. I'm hoping the kids will get a chance to understand the fundamentals of plays. I like the points you gave me to focus on, I've never played flag football and growing up my coaches always focused on being physical, not exactly something you can do in Flag football.

I've seen some of the games they recommend for flag football (Sharks and Minnows, Bull in the Ring) do you think this would be a waste of time with such little practice time?