The Pro Sports Experience Youth Football Blog
For Deep Thinking, Smart Coaches and Leaders: John Wooden: The difference between winning and succeeding
FROM YOUTUBE TED TALKS: With profound simplicity, Coach John Wooden redefines success and urges us all to pursue the best in ourselves. In this inspiring talk he shares the advice he gave his players at UCLA, quotes poetry and remembers his father’s wisdom.
WATCH VIDEO HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MM-psvqiG8
You still need to hydrate in cooler weather.
The body is predominantly composed of water. All systems in the body are dependent upon water. Premature fatigue during a game and poor recovery can be the result of not drinking enough water each day. Most athletes live in an under-hydrated state, which significantly decreases the efficiency of all systems in the body. There is no fountain of youth, no magic pill or potion to enhance performance. But there is water…few things cripple athletes faster than dehydration.
You don’t need to be in an exhausted state to negatively impact your performance. A one to two percent drop in body weight due to water loss can cause a 15% decrease in performance. Athletes simply don’t drink enough water.
How do you know if your water intake is adequate? A rule of thumb you can use is the color of your urine. It should be almost clear in color. If it is bright yellow you’re not drinking enough water. Another rule of thumb is to replace each pound of weight lost with a pint of water. A pint of water weighs approximately one pound. When the body gets hot it perspires in an attempt to cool the blood down. About 50% of your body heat is lost through your head.
Thirst is not a reliable indicator of proper hydration; those who work out tend to replace only about two-thirds of the water they’ve lost during exercise. Players prone to cramping should use extra salt during periods of abnormal sweating. At their testing laboratory in Chicago, Gatorade researchers have discovered that we lose sodium in significantly greater amounts than other minerals. Salty snacks (pretzels) and additional table salt are recommended during periods of high heat and humidity. A football player should drink 20 ounces of water two hours prior to practice, and about eight ounces every 30 minutes throughout the duration of game.
Purpose: Teach to protect the football.
Most youth teams don’t have access to a tunnel as pictured below, but you can make two lines of 5-6 players in each with a small path between them. The quarterback will hand the football off to the running back whom will then sprint into the tunnel (path between the two lines), securing the football with both arms. Players in line should try and strip the football as the running back runs through the tunnel. Running backs should maintain a low center of gravity; shoulders down and knees up. Coach should switch sides so running back practices taking hand-offs from both sides.
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When playing a team that runs a traditional cover 3 defense you need to find the holes in the coverage. As you can see by the illustration below there are several open windows in the defense.
The goal with a flood is send more offensive players into an area than the defense can cover. In this play the 1st area we are targeting is with our Z receiver, he is going to run his wheel and look to slow down or settle in the area 8-12 yards down the field along the sideline. Our Y is running a skinny post just to the inside of the corner on his side dropping into the deep third.
By running inside he will also grab the attention of the safety in the middle of the field. This will give the X running a dig route a window 10-12 yards down the middle of the field. Our Running back is running a route to occupy the line backer covering the flats.
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- Athletic Tape. (At least for that player that needs his pants taped– he forgot his belt!)
- Extra mouth pieces. (I can’t tell you how many times it was left in our other car)
- Equipment repair kit. (Mox Box, extra shoulder pad straps, clips, helmet screws, tools)
- Filled water bottles (Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!)
- First Aid Kit (This should have plenty of Band-Aids and ice packs)
- Dry Erase Board and markers. (Chalk talk on the fly…we are all visual learners)
- Play Call Sheet (whoops….in case your aging mind goes mind)
- Parent Contact Information (a serious note in case players are hurt or left behind post-game)
- Rosters for weigh-in (assuring your line-up is valid according to league standards)
- Kicking tee (and don’t leave it on the field after kickoff!)
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Ten years ago our Operations Director here at Pro Sports Experience (Michael Gross) had the opportunity to bring his coaching staff to Indianapolis to hear Tony Dungy speak about coaching youth football.
At the time one of Dungy’s own son’s had quit playing youth football because of his coach. Dungy explained that his son’s coach even came to their family home to see why little Dungy had not been at practice.
Tony explained to the group that he does not allow his children to quit activities that they start, but on an off day from Colt’s practice Dungy visited his son’s practice and watch from afar. The coaches were constantly screaming at the kids and there was no instruction or fun!
“It was eye opening for me,” Coach Dungy said. He did let his son quit.
When that youth coach came knocking on his door Coach Dungy explained to him that fate of football is in his hands (youth football coaches). If youth coaches don’t make the game fun, kids are not going to want to play it and in 20 years there won’t be an NFL.
Coach Dungy was known for having family day once a week at practice where his players could bring their own families out and enjoy a fun day at practice.
The moral of this tip is even at the pro level you can keep the game fun!
THE OUT-STRETCHED ARMS CHALLENGE
– WR Drill/Outstretched arms so the player learns to catch the ball in front of the body with hands.
We all don’t have the luxury of having the training equipment pictured below, but this drill can be done using a field goal post, basketball post or even a tree trunk. The receiver is standing one side of the pole with his arms around the pole looking at the Coach (who will be throwing the football). The coach should very his throws by throwing the football high, low, right and left. After 20 throws the receiver should put their head to the other side of the pole. 4 coaching points:
- Eyes should be focused on the tip of the football.
- Catch the football softly with your fingers, not your palms.
- Catch the front of the football, not the middle.
- Catch the football out in front of your body (which is what this drill is all about)
Most football offenses have an I formation, but this can be run out of any 2 back set.
This play works best after running your 3 hole lead several times. The key is the tight end needs to chip (hit the defensive tackle) as he releases into his route. This will freeze the linebacker over him and allow the X and Z receivers to catch the attention of the FS and SS.
The QB fakes the hand off on the lead. The first back through the hole continues out into the left flat and will be the secondary receiver. The deep back will come up into the hole after the play fake and block. The (Y) tight end will be open for a big play.
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Realizing that Flag Football is a truly great team sport, girls continue to poor into and often dominate the game.
Watch a young female player break through the pack for some long runs!
Girls are joining us at Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles Youth Camps.
Learn more about our programs and get into the game!Contact our NFL Partner Youth Camps
What a great show! Learn the science of football flight and the amazing accuracy of NFL Quarterbacks like Drew Brees as he takes on professional archers in a past episode of Sports Science.
See episode here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVoqA-LKGb4