Week one of youth football practice is in the books. You’re probably exhausted from the emotion of it all. If you’re a first time coach, you are likely wondering what you signed up for. Eliminating the challenges of operating an efficient practice will serve you well, here’s how-
5 steps to an efficient youth football practice
- Prepare your football practice plan prior to reaching the field, have this prepared on Sunday for your week ahead. Your plan should be structured, I use an excel spreadsheet, with the intent that every minute is valuable and counts. This plan will be the blueprint to your practice and will ensure that you are efficient with your practice time. Include estimated minutes spent for stretching, warmups, individual station drills and hydration breaks. Record to make note of inefficiencies, so you will have an area to improve the following week.
- Coaches responsibilities should be properly defined. As the head coach, it’s pertinent to assign responsibilities to your coaching staff and make sure they stick to those duties. There is a lot to cover each practice, therefore it is important to stick to the defined plan.
- Get to the field early and set up cones for drill layouts prior to practice. As water breaks occur, quickly have your staff set up for the next phase of practice. Break time is best utilized doing something productive.
- Too often we see kids bored during practice. The blank stare into the sky, or horseplay during a drill is the obvious give-away that time is not being utilized as best as possible. Keep your athletes actively in motion, getting reps is key to their development. No one should be standing around idle.
- During your initial coaches meeting, ensure all your coaches understand the importance of having a fun environment to teach football. An energized coaching staff will transfer that energy to the kids. Bickering is not tolerated between coaches, as this presents disunity. Practice will ‘flow’ much better if all coaches are positive and enthusiastic about what they are teaching.