Eliminating the Biggest Time Wasters in Youth Football

Fast Philosophy

 Do not waste a minute of practice, every second is valuable. Many teams only get 1-1/2 to 2 hours of practice a night.  It is crucial that you make it count.

Time Wasters in Youth Football:

 Time Waster # 1: Walking on the field. No player should ever walk on the field!

Time Waster # 2: Fixing equipment as practice starts.   Have your coaches handle any equipment issues before practice.  Get these equipment issues handled before practice starts, not during warm ups either.

 Time Waster # 3: Players that arrive early and are not doing anything. When kids are there early, make them do something. Kickers kicking, QB throwing, and so on….. If the kids are there early have them getting better. We get a ton of kicking done before practice even starts.

Time Waster # 4: No practice plans, “Winging It”. The head coach should have daily youth football practice plans.  Every coach should be on the same page.  Fluent and organized practices are vital in youth football.

(See Also)  Practice Planning and Organization 

Time Waster # 5: Going back into the huddle when a play is not executed properly (in practice). If a play is executed incorrectly run it right from the line. Do not waste the time by making the kids go back into huddle.

Eliminating the Biggest Time Wasters in Youth Football

Time Waster # 6: Not getting right back into the huddle or back on the line of scrimmage after a play. Again, whether we are doing offense, defense, or special teams all players will be running on the field (in practice). After executing a play, have the kids get right back into the huddle.  If you are calling plays on air (with no defense) have the kids run plays right from the line.

(See Also): No Huddle Offense in Youth Football

Time Waster #7: Setting up drills right before you do them. Many coaches will give the kids a water break, then socialize. Then once the water break is over they want to put the kids through a drill but have not set it up yet.  The drill should have been set up during the water break or before practice even started.

Time Waster # 8: Having too many kids in drill lines. If you have 20 kids all going through one drill station how many reps do you think they are actually getting?  If you have a lot of kids set the same drill up twice.  Again, say you have 20 kids, set the same drill up in two locations and put 10 kids to each one. This will save time and allow the kids to get double the reps. Getting 1 rep every  5 minutes is not going to get the players any better.  No player should be standing around waiting.

Time Waster #9: Coaches not coaching. When you have a large team, all the coaches need to help operate practice. If you have 2-3 coaches out of the 5 coordinating practice it will take longer to set things up and coordinate the kids. Everyone should know their job and every coach should be coaching.

Time Waster # 10: Doing too much conditioning drills in practice. Conditioning is very important, there is no doubt about it. However, committing 30 minutes to do just conditioning drills and sprints is really a waste of time. Practices should be upbeat and have a fast pace. The entire practice must be conditioning. If every drill and every play is executed at full speed that is conditioning. We get a lot of our conditioning in during our team offense, defense, and special teams sessions. When we run plays on air we will have our offense sprint 20 yards as they run the play. We will run the same play to the opposite side going back. Then we will switch groups.  Defensively, we will do the pursuit drill, which is a great drill for conditioning.  Special teams we will do our return team and kickoff team at full speed.

Pursuit Drill:

Think about how much time you will save each practice if you eliminated all these time wasters.

What do you think are some of the big Time Wasters in Youth Football?

(See Also): Practice Planning 

(See Also): Youth Football Playbooks (Downloadable)

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