First Practice Youth Football 2014

QB PracticeToday’s is our first youth football practice for 2014.  I am getting very excited.  Since our old team graduated to 7th grade Intermediate school football last season, we dropped back down in the KYA league and picked up a 10U / 3rd grade team. We had an incredible player draft allocation on Saturday getting 7 of our top 10 evaluated players, so we have high hopes for this team.  Hopefully the same magic as our last Sophomore (Falcons) team had going undefeated and winning a Super Bowl.  We will see today if they look as good at practice as they did on paper before the draft.

Today at our first practice we will be doing the following:

  1. Meet and Greet Parents and Players before practice
  2. Playing the Name Game to learn names
  3. Running a 20 yard dash
  4. Passing Pod for QBs and Receivers
  5. Center Snapping Pod for Linemen
  6. Stance and Cadence Pod 
  7. Learn Offensive Formation, Holes and Numbering System
  8. Panthers and Rabbits Chase Game

Hopefully we can find and or confirm our QB, Center, Running Backs and other skill players today and Thursday.  For more on practice plans check out my ebook on Practice Plans.  

Well, I have a few items to go before i am ready for tonight. I need to get my first aid kit and mouthpieces in my coaching backpack and print off the roster, practice plan and contact sheet for the parents to give me updated cell phone numbers and emails.  Since I am only helping coach practices this year as I am taking a short break from Head Coaching, I am trying to relax and enjoy the rest of the day and let the head coach worry about all the other equipment for practice.

Are you ready for practice today?  Did you give your 110% to the team in your preparation?  I know you did!

Good luck this season.  Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!
Coach Parker
Keller, Texas / Fort Worth / Dallas

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Picking Youth Football Players at Try Outs

Zane HogLast Saturday I was evaluating talent at the KYA grass drills / try outs for Sophomore ~ 9U youth football players for a team I will be helping this season.  As usual the youth football talent in North Texas is very good, especially in Keller.  I was very happy to see all the coaches, league officials, volunteers, team moms and the new crop of youth football players.  It was a great morning for football try outs.

Of course, all of us were enamored with the 40 yard dash times.  Wow, look how fast that kid ran the 40.  Whew.  He’s a starting tail back for sure. Maybe. Speed is great but not when the player cannot remember their plays. I look at players much differently after 20 seasons.  Sure they are fast but are they smart and do they show up for practices.  It’s really tough on a team when your starting QB or TB never shows up to practice.

You might evaluate one of the players as the best passer or receiver of the try outs, but do you know anything about them or their parents?  Sure you want the physical aspects of the try out to help you standardize the measurements between the players, but the intangibles are usually what makes the player a champion. During the try outs, ask the players questions, talk to their parents, ask other players if they know a player and don’t forget to talk to other coaches and ask around why this coach released this “stud” player. At a recent try out I had a player tell me that this other player was the best hitter on their team.  We picked him and he was a great hitter and MLB for us.  I’ve also seen the fastest player in the try outs go #1 overall only to watch him sit the bench an entire season because he cannot remember his plays or hates to get hit.

So the moral of this story is do not get hung up on the great speed, size, quickness, arm and other attributes of a player before you find out the players intangibles or history.  You might find out your speed demon misses most practices and his mom is the wicked witch of the west if her baby doesn’t carry the ball every other play.  Don’t waste your number 1 pick on a dud.  Here’s another great article I wrote on drafting players, and two on choosing linemen and defensive players.

Good luck this season
Coach Parker
Keller / Fort Worth / DFW Texas


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