Youth Football Online

The Promotion & Instruction of Youth Football
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Youth Football Online

The Promotion & Instruction of Youth Football
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Youth Football Online

Coaching Tips from a 25 Year Veteran Youth Football Coach

Coaching Tips from a 25 Year Veteran Youth Football Coach

After 25 years of coaching at Oswego Youth Tackle Football, I’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t, both on and off the field. This guide is designed for fellow youth football coaches who are looking for practical, no-nonsense tips to improve their coaching game. Whether it’s managing parent interactions, preparing for game days, or supporting your players’ development, these pro tips are drawn from years of experience and countless hours spent on the field.
coach jason

Article by Coach Jason Stork. Coach Jason currently coaches 10u. He has 25 years of experience coaching all ages levels of youth football.

Coaching Tips Part 1 

  • Most coaches are volunteers. Unless you are volunteering to coach, please keep criticism to a minimum.
  • Understand when to vent about coaching/officiating. Driving home from an away game with your kid in the back seat listening to you complain about their coach/officiating is one of the worst things you can do. It lets them believe that there is no accountability for their own play and that they can blame any future struggles on others.
  • For rainy games, stuff newspaper in cleats to dry them overnight.
  • Have a full change of clothes, towels, and slip-on comfy shoes ready to go in your car for after every game. Change in the parking lot after the game. Your kid will thank you, trust me. It also shifts their mindset and allows them to “wind down.”
  • After a loss or poor-performing game, try to let your child absorb the feeling without asking, “Why did that happen?” or criticizing the team or coaches. Their coaches will be the ones to correct issues. After a game, win or lose, be supportive parents. Say things like, “I love to watch you play this game,” etc.
  • Follow the 24-hour rule when talking to coaches after a game. Emotions run high for everyone right after a game. If you feel you need to address something with a coach, go home, type an email that night, and let it sit for 24 hours. Often, the next day you will either erase or change the message to a more reasonable, non-emotional one.

Coaching Tips Part 2 

  • Have a cooler with drinks and snacks for the ride home after a game.
  • For away games, have your car packed the night before. Avoid scrambling the morning of looking for a mouthpiece or cleats.
  • For away games, leave 20 minutes earlier than you think you need to. We all love iced coffee.
  • Inform your coach before the season about any potential health or other issues your child may have. Things like medication can have mental and physical effects that they need to know about.
  • Be aware of criticizing your child’s teammates. Parents don’t take kindly to someone being critical of their kids, and this can cause major issues on the sidelines.
  • Criticism of officials needs to stop. You are an adult. Stop yelling at officials. We are at an all-time low for officiating participation because of this. Mark my words, if it does not stop, we will have parent-less games where you are sitting in the parking lot, not in the stands or on the sidelines.
  • Your child will not get a D1 college scholarship in youth sports. Establish fun and fundamental play. Play multiple sports; please don’t specialize in one sport and play year-round. The number one reason kids stop playing sports is burnout, and number two is embarrassing parents.
  • Practice makes perfect. The practices are MORE important than the games. If you do not bring your child to practice, or are always late or need to leave early, you are killing your child’s chances of becoming successful on the field. Being a “GAMER” IS NOT A THING.

Coaching Tips Part 3

  • VOLUNTEER! Football is family, and I cannot stress this enough. Get to know the other kids’ parents and HELP run the volunteer activities. Things like the first down chain crew, scoreboard operations, announcing, and 50/50 fundraising are how you become one big family.
  • Parents, your game day must-haves include an umbrella, bag chairs, sunscreen, extra sweatshirts, hats, sunglasses, jackets, aspirin or ibuprofen, a small cooler with water for the ride home, slip-on shoes, and snacks.
  • Have a short memory. Don’t get too caught up in the wins or losses. Don’t bring up a week 2 loss over and over if you’re in week 7. The same goes for wins. Kids need to concentrate on the week they are in.

In my 25 years of coaching, I’ve seen the difference that a well-prepared and thoughtful coach can make in the lives of young athletes. By following these practical tips, you can create a positive and effective environment for your team. Remember, it’s not just about winning games but about helping kids grow, learn, and enjoy the sport. Let’s use our experience to make every practice and game a valuable experience for our players.

Coach Jason Stork currently coaches 10u. He has 25 years of experience coaching all ages levels of youth football.