Here We Go! First Week of Youth Football Practice

PRACTICE PHILOSOPHY

The first week of youth football practice practice is critical.

It is the first time you get to see your players and it’s the week you begin conditioning and installing your plays. It is very important that you plan practices. Especially, for the first day or two because you will always have kids moving up or down, new kids signing up, paper work issues/collection, and equipment handouts. It takes a day or two to get your feet under you. The first week should be focused on conditioning, player evaluation,  technique and playbook installation.  Below is a summary of our first day of practice and a summary of our 1st week of youth football practice. Keep in mind that the first week of practice is a “conditioning” week. The players do not wear pads.

Here are goals for our 1st day of football practice:

  • Enthusiasm!
  • Introduce coaches- explain goals.
  • Briefly talk about our EAT Philosophy (Effort-Attitude-Toughness).
  • Team expectations and rules.
  • Warm-up and 3 point stances.
  • Gauge our players’ physical ability (agility drills).
  • Evaluate which players are explosive (shuttle drills, cones drills).
  • Gauge our players’ mental ability, sharpness.
  • Find centers, QBs, and kickers.
  • Meet and leave a good first impression on the parents.
  • Create excitement about the upcoming season.
  • Offense introduction- formations, player positioning, and numbering system.
  • Begin the first install of our Jet Sweep.
  • Begin no huddle install (give out wrist coaches, practice reading them).
  • Give out a nutrition and hydration guide.
  • Give our letter to the parents (rules, expectation of coaches, contact information…)
  • Have a parents meeting right after practice.

Here are the goals for the first week of practice:

  • Enthusiasm!
  • Gauge our athletes’ physical ability.
  • Learn who the aggressive (by hitting pads and sleds) kids are.
  • Work on block shedding.
  • Work on run blocking (run blocking technique & rules).
  • Offense install- Jet, Belly, wedge, Counter, and Waggle.
  • No huddle install.
  • Defense introduction (positions, gap assignments, base blitzes, pass coverage).
  • Passing routes and stalk blocking.
  • QB throwing and center/QB snap exchanges- before, during, and after practice.
  • Form tackling. Teach the kids how to tackle SAFELY and effectively.
  • Special teams intro ( kick-off and kick return)
  • Defensive pursuit to the football and play sprints for end of practice conditioning.
  • Give the team playbooks.

We will have coaches meeting after the first day of practice so that we can make any adjustments. We will use this meeting to get on the same page because the first practice is a little different than the rest of the week.  We want all our coaches to understand their responsibilities and how to execute them properly. Practice should be sped up, super uptempo. Everything we do is fast.  To run a successful tempo practice, it is crucial to have all practices scripted and to have all the coaches on the same page. Bare with it though- the first few days of practice the coaches and players are adjusting. By the end of the first week practices should be operating smoothly.

(See Also): (NEW)!  Wishbone Offense Playbook 

(See Also): Eliminating the Biggest Practice Time Wasters

This is the plan for our 1st week of youth football practice. Tell us in the comments what you are doing the first day of practice…

Good Luck!

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