2 Proven Conditioning Drills For Youth Football
Even at the youth football level, it’s critical to incorporate conditioning drills into your practice. Below are 2 proven exercises which will build the speed, agility, and stamina of your players.
Carioca Quick Feet
Purpose: This is an agility drill that will help players with their balance and their overall agility.
How it’s Run: This drill builds on the carioca drill. Players will perform the Carioca but they will do so with quick choppy steps.
Players will form 6 lines and face the coach. The coach will be 20 yards downfield. The first player in each line will turn to the side. Their shoulders should be parallel to the sideline.
On the whistle the players will carioca 20 yards downfield (to they are even with the coach) and then 20 yards back to their starting spot. They will then go to the end of the line and the next player will step up and wait for the whistle.
Players should always keep their upper body square with the sideline. Their hips should rotate as they run sideways placing left foot over right and then left foot behind right. Their steps should be quick and choppy.
Each player should go through the line at least twice.
Result: Coaches should look to make sure all players are performing the drill properly. Body position and proper footwork is more important than speed. However, the more the drill is done the faster the players should be able to complete the drill. Coaches should especially focus on each player using quick and choppy steps.
Purpose: This drill is meant to help players with their footwork. It will also help players with their overall agility and conditioning. Finally, it will help players stay low during a play.
How it’s Run: Players will form 6 lines and face the coach. The coach will be 10-20 yards downfield. The first player in each line will step up a couple steps.
On the whistle the players will begin to run in place with short choppy steps. All players should stay low.
When the coach signals in one direction the players will quickly turn their hips in that direction. Only their hips should turn, their shoulders should remain parallel to the coach. Their feet should continue to run in place and their hips should turn back to the front right away. Then the coach will signal in another direction and the players will turn their hips in that direction.
After the coach signals to the right and the left a few times, he will give the signal for the players to go. Then the players will sprint 20 yards downfield. After 20 yards they’ll jog back to the end of their line and wait to run the drill again.
Each player should go through the line at least three or four times.
Result: Coaches should make sure all players are keeping their upper bodies square while rotating their hips. Coaches should also make sure all players are using the proper footwork. Finally, all players should stay low and explode forward when the coach gives the signal for the players to sprint.
Next step: for more valuable coaching tips, check out these free football drills video