5 Common Youth Football Mistakes

Sep 5, 2012 | Program Development


By Sam Nichols

X&O Labs

Football season is in full swing across the country and with that thousands of youth are taking the field for their first experiences with this great game.  These players are looking to their new coaches to teach them to play and love the game.  With that said, it should be ever coaches goal is for every kid to finish the season more excited about this sport, their team, and their program.

While there are many different ways for coaches to meet these goals, there are also many common practices that work against the coaches better efforts to help the kids love the game.  In many cases, these concepts are longstanding traditions that have little to know impact on the game itself.  With that here are my five common practices that, if avoided, can improve the experience of every player on your team.

#1:  No Laps

It does not take a degree in developmental psychology to construct a developmentally appropriate practice. Think about it. Coaches all too often take a bunch of kids and send them on a run before the practice even starts. In doing so, the overweight kid falls behind and becomes embarrassed. He already hates running and now that feeling is reinforced and he thinks that this sport is all about running. He starts the practice already wanting to go home and play video games. Elementary and middle school aged athletes do not need near as much warming up as high school and college athletes so "running just to run" has very little value in a good camp.  Avoid it altogether and the kids won’t miss it.