Tag Archives: free youth football coaching tips

Using Video in Youth Football Coaching

Dan and Tank Chalk Talk Update

This year I finally took our game, highlight,  scout, scrimmage, practice videos to the web to use it real time as a coaching tool.  For the last several years, we sent clips around via DVDs or loaded a clip here and there on Flickr or YouTube.  But this year, I am filming practices along with games / scrimmages and I also developed a series of chalk talk videos based on our defensive play book.  The folks over at Hudl are also letting me demo their online video coaching software.

The parents love all the videos.  They can see first hand what their child is doing in the drills and during the games.  It makes it easy for us as we determine the starters.  The parents also like the Chalk Talk videos because they can also learn the defense and they feel more involved.  Everyone on the team can see the videos.  We have a private video account and also our new Hudl acount which is also private to the team.  We are still using both video methods of sharing the videos as we become more familiar with Hudl.  The coaching staff’s initial impressions of Hudl is its FANTASTIC.

I am using three different cameras to shoot the video.  I have a small RCA Small Wonder Traveler EZ210, Canon PowerShot A560 Camera and recently purchased a JVC GZ-HD620 120 GB High Definition HDD Camcorder.  I use the RCA for close quarters filming, the Canon shot the Chalk Talk above and I just started doing some HD video this past week and its pretty amazing.  I am just a little worried I am going to drop the $500 camera.

Stay tuned as I use Hudl through out the season.  It’s pretty amazing!

Play for Fun and Winning is Funner.

Coach Parker
Keller, TX


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Filed under Youth Coaching

Portable Blocking Sled – King Crab By Gilman Gear

We introduced the Gilman Gear’s King Crab Sled at our 7-9 year old practice this week and the response was great.  The kids loved the new piece of equipment to use and the challenge to push it around the field.  I let another coach use the King Crab Sled at our Tuesday practice and he thought the sled not only helped build lower body strength, but the King Crab Sled made the player stay low, because if you got to high the sled would dig into the ground.  All 4 coaches that used the sled this week, including myself, loved its performance with our youth football players.

What I love most of all about Gilman Gear’s King Crab Sled, is the portability.  That’s the main reason I bought it.  I drive a Ford Expedition and the sled fit easily into the back.  It even made the other gear and bags thrown in the back more organized.  Take a look at the pics:

Gilman Gear King Crab Sled Gilman Gear King Crab Sled Gilman Gear King Crab Sled

As you can see, its fits perfectly into the back of an Expedition.

Gilman Gear King Crab Sled Gilman Gear King Crab Sled Gilman Gear King Crab Sled

So, I was able to stuff 3 round bags, 3 square hand helds, 1 half round, football bag and the King Crab Sled in the back of my Ford Expedition.  I could have found room for one more round bag.

If you are looking for a portable sled because you can’t leave a traditional blocking sled at your practice field, the Gilman Gear King Crab Sled works great.  Stay tuned next week, for some pics of the King Crab Sled in use.

Play for Fun and Winning is Funner.

Coach Parker
Keller, Texas


Filed under Offense

110% Divided by (x)Sports

I know playing multiple  sports during a single sports season is not going to be a popular topic, but I’ve had a few families including my own try to accomplish this impossible task.  Team sports is all about the giving 110% to the team, not just yourself as an individual.  There are many individual sports that you can choose if you want to focus on yourself and not a team.  Plus if you sign up for a team sport and miss a ton of practices, you are not only hurting yourself but also the team that is counting on you during the games.  Parents take it from me, your child can not give 110% to more than one sport during a sport’s season and go to school and do Spring, Summer, Christmas and Thanksgiving vacations.  Does your employer allow you to miss work and work multiple jobs?  Not usually, because it hurts performance.

Let me start with my family, several seasons ago, my oldest son was selected for a competitive Spring  baseball team and I was also coaching an off-season Spring Flag football team composed of my regular season tackle football team.  The Spring flag team was a drop-in team just to keep the boys in shape for those that did not play baseball.  My oldest son missed about half the season of the flag football to Spring baseball.  Plus our youngest son was also playing flag and soccer at the same time.  Needless to say, my wife and I were run ragged and neither team got 110% from any of us.  I was the most upset with myself because I made the decision that we could be Supermen.

Over the many years of coaching youth sports, Ive seen a small percentage of families pull off multiple sport participation.  Many of these families were large families with older siblings or close relatives that could drive everyone across town at a moments notice.  But, the vast majority of families that try to play multiple sports during a sports’ season, either quit the team or the player becomes a minimum play player because coaches could not count on the player to show up for practices and or games.

Since I tried to do the multiple sport participation juggling act, I am old school on the topic now.  Hindsight is 20/20.  🙂  You can’t divide 110% by 3 Sports and get 100%.  It just does not work.  Coaches may tell you its ok little Johnny can miss, because most of us do not want any extra drama at practices.  Bottom line, coaches do not like anyone to miss practices or games, except for the occasional excused absence; school function, illness, funeral, car / transportation issues, etc.

So parents and players, please play only one sport during a sport’s season.  This is only fair to the team.  Sure you can play multiple sports during the year, I did and loved it.  My freshman year in High School, I swam, ran track, played football, basketball and baseball and played racquetball on the weekends. But  after my freshman year, I focused on football and played racquetball in the off-season.

Play for fun and Winning is funner.

Coach Parker


Filed under Youth Coaching

Assisting to be a better Head Coach in Youth Football

You must learn how to serve first to be a great leader.  I’ve always heard that philosophy but I was not a true believer until this football season in Keller Tx just North of Ft Worth.  I moved to Keller this past summer and was too late for a Head Coaching spot.  The HC of my oldest son’s team asked me to assist with the offensive line after 3 games of poor blocking.  I also helped a bit with my youngest son’s Keller Select football team.  Since I was not a Head Coach this season, I told myself to watch, listen and learn this season, and that’s what I did.

Here are a few quick points I learned as a parent and an assisted coach to be a better Head Coach:

  1. Over Communicate and then communicate again
  2. Organize practice before practice
  3. Assistant coaches can not read the head coach’s mind
  4. Adjust coaching staff if it’s not working
  5. Each player has a different motivation
  6. You can’t coach everyone the same
  7. Head Coaches can not be late to practice or games on a regular basis
  8. Different coaches see different player skills
  9. Parents want feedback on their children – report  card
  10. If you don’t practice that situation, you will not perform that situation well in a game
  11. Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
  12. Head coach is not perfect and neither am I

What have you learned from serving as an assistant coach that you will implement as a head coach in youth football?

Coach Parker
Keller, TX


Filed under Youth Coaching