Coaching Football's "Little Things"

Developing a Consistently Successful Football Program

Youth Football Camp

Posted by admin June - 18 - 2013 - Tuesday

I am conducting a youth football camp at my school this week. We have guys from grades 5 through 8 working with us. We have a bunch of great kids but I am concerned about the lack of interest in playing football that is becoming more prevalent throughout our area… and, from what I’m reading, throughout the country. The alarm has gone off and the “experts” are painting football as dangerous for young boys to play. Fewer and fewer kids are coming out for the football teams because of it.

I have a tendency to subscribe to conspiracy theories! (I still am not convinced that Oswald acted alone!!!) How this “plot” to discredit football has arisen is disconcerting to me. I understand the importance of safety in the game— any game. When I played Little League baseball (waaaaay back when!), we weren’t required to wear batting helmets. THAT has changed! But why football is under such a strong assault bothers me. Where is this coming from?! There seems to be a lot of people who “have it in” for football. It is up to coaches to preach and teach safety to their players. More importantly, to sell it to the parents. The moms are reading and hearing about all of these catastrophic injuries incurred while playing football and they are discouraging their sons from playing. Why football is being the sport that’s singled out, I’m not sure. But, we need to stand together as coaches to show people that: yes, it is a violent sport but we are doing everything we can to protect our players by teaching safety first.

Our players deserve it first and foremost. But, the sport we love deserves it too. Make sure you are teaching proper technique. Big hits are obviously a part of the game and people get excited about them; but, not if they are performed in a potentially dangerous manner to the player involved.

Keep your head up and block and tackle with your shoulders! As coaches, stress technique. If you see a player in a dangerous situation, stop the action and make a point to your team that this can’t happen in a game.

We’ve got to regain the confidence of the public (parents in particular) that we can play the game aggressively without taking undue risks. The game of football is too great a game to let it fall into further disrepute. Come on coaches… coach it up the right way!

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