Although it's tempting for coaches to spend most of their off-season on game planning, it's wise to carve out some time to teach young players fundamental football skills. Kids don't naturally know how to run a route, catch a ball or block properly.
Here are three basic football drills to build your players' confidence and increase their athletic performance.
Fit Position with Follow-Through
Purpose: To teach proper use of leverage, hip roll and follow-through when executing a block.
Execution: The offensive lineman aligns in a fit position against a defender providing resistance with a pad. On the whistle, the blocker rolls his hips and accelerates his feet, making sure his strides are short and his base is wide. The offensive lineman starts slowly and gradually speeds up so the coach can give feedback.
Purpose: To teach receivers to concentrate on the football while their vision is obstructed.
- On the whistle, a receiver runs laterally left to right across the field, about 10 yards from the coach.
- A defender runs right to left, a couple of yards underneath the receiver's route.
- As the players' routes cross, the coach throws a pass to the receiver.
- The defender tries to disrupt the receiver's vision.
- The receiver's job is to concentrate on the ball and make the catch.
Purpose: To teach proper techniques and fundamentals for tackling.
Execution: One player is the defender, the other is the ball carrier. On the whistle, the ball carrier jogs toward the defender. The defender steps up and executes a form tackle. The coach gives feedback to reinforce proper technique: head up and arms wrapped around the ball carrier at the point of contact, making sure his hips roll through and his legs continue to drive to finish the tackle.
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