Youth Football Drill Basics: Planning and Implementation

youth football drill basics

youth football drill basicsAs a youth football coach, one of your most important responsibilities is  choosing and implementing various drills. This blog post is going to discuss the best way to plan and execute football drills for all positions.

Youth Football Drill Planning Checklist

  • First, determine the specific skill you’re trying to perfect. The question you should ask yourself is: Does the drill incorporate one skill or more than one skill? Should you teach component parts of this drill separately, individually, and then build and put them together into one drill?
  • Second, you need to develop a progression to teach and perfect the drill. Let’s assume we’re going to take a running back handoff for the inside zone and break off a defensive lineman. That would involve three skills. The first step would be to introduce and focus on the first skill, which is taking the proper approach steps for the running back. To to build, you would then introduce the second skill, which would be to take the proper handoff; forming the pocket and squeezing the ball. Finally, the third skill would be introduced: reading the lineman to the play side of the zone and break opposite his technique. If you take this approach, your drills will be more effective.
  • Next, you should determine the drill mode to be taught during practice. Is it going to be teaching mode, half-speed, or full-speed?

Youth Football Drill Implementation Checklist

  • The next thing you want to focus on is introducing the drill to your players in a specific manner, so that everybody fully understands the focus and goal of the drill. Clearly demonstrate each step and technique of the drill.
  • Next, you must set up the drill along with positioning the drill participants so that when you run the drill, you can teach them how to switch roles. This is so that your players will be comfortable with all facets and positions involved in that particular drill.
  • Make sure when you’re working on a drill that you get the most meaningful repetitions as possible. Instead of having one or two players benefit from the drill and have other players standing around, you should always try to find ways to maximize your teaching and learning. Your goal is to have the most amount of players involved in a specific drill as possible.

Coaching youth football is a rewarding experience, but setting up drills and running practice can be overwhelming. Hopefully, these tips and checklists will help you to be able to approach a football drill with the right frame of mind so that your players get the most out of it.

Do you use a similar checklist when you’re planning your football drills? Or do you “play it by ear”?


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