Youth Football – Teaching Youth Football Players to Be “Coachable”

Most of the great High School coaches I visit with at the coaching clinics I really do tell me about what they are looking for from youth football players entering their High School programs. The most successful coaches tell me that all they are looking for are kids that have a love and appreciation for the game of football and that the player is “coachable “.

What does being “coachable” mean?

It indicates the player is attentive and able to check out direction from coaches.
The ball player doesn’t respond negatively to constructive criticism.
The ball player understands the coaches standing on the team and understands the coaches, not the players have the greater knowledge base on technique and strategy compared to player.
The ball player efforts.
The ball player is able to “shake off” bad experiences and study from them.
The ball player doesn’t “cop an attitude” when demoted or turn “Hollywood” when promoted.

Unfortunately, many youth football players go to their High School experience with bad habits fostered by their youth football coaches. Obviously many of these teenage boys don’t change overnight into the selfish crybaby monsters most of the High School coaches complain about. It is a long procedure for enablement for many of them by both their parents and coaches ข่าวฟุตบอล.

How do kids get up to now?

Youth Coaches enabling the player by cowering to the players (or their parents) every demand for fear of losing the player to a rival team or losing games because the player quits.
Lack of good fundamental coaching. If something works notwithstanding the usage of solid technique, that poor technique is allowed and thereby encouraged.
Parents enabling the player by cowering for their every whim.
Parents living their lives through their children.
Parents coveting the “full-ride” or NFL dream for their child.
Parent coaches “staring” their sons on youth football teams.
Poor practice methods.
Inconsistent disciplining methods employed by parents and parents.
Lack of sportsmanship standards by youth football teams, coaches and parents.
Promoting a new player to “star status” getting away from team play and humility.

This may sound a bit grim, but fortunately we’re discussing a small minority of youth football players. Unfortunately many of these “uncoachable” players are great athletes who know they could play. These players have already been held to such low standards they have little chance of earning the conventional High School team, aside from move on to College Football. A number of them even hold weak youth football coaches “hostage” by threatening to quit or move to another team. Most High School and College coaches just refuse to endure this type of attitude.

How will you make sure that whenever a player leaves your program he’s “coachable”?

Let all of the players AND PARENTS know the standards required for him to have the privilege of playing for the team ahead of when the first day of practice.
Let all of the players AND PARENTS know the results of not meeting set standard
(attendance, effort, listening ability, attitude, etc).
We let our players AND PARENTS know we want all the children to complete the growing season and that individuals will coach everyone up the very best we are able to, but we don’t care if their sons are great or poor athletes, we are likely to be successful with whoever we’ve, it doesn’t matter.
Let all players AND PARENTS realize that football is a group game and all players will play in the position and technique that best suits the players ability and the requirements of the team.
Let all players AND PARENTS realize that players is likely to be corrected once they make a move incorrectly, The reason why this is completed is out of concern that the player play safely and properly. It is MUCH easier to say nothing.
Whenever you do have to provide “constructive criticism” do it using the “sandwich” method. Sandwich the criticism between 2 positives, then encourage the player in a positive fashion.
Hold the player accountable to a perfect standard on things they could easily control like stance, first faltering step, alignment, effort and being truly a good teammate.
Hold the player accountable to having a positive learning spirit. If he drops his lip or provides you with the evil eye, deal with it immediately. Let him know again why it’s important he correctly does what you may are attempting to teach him. If he’s insolent you will have to figure out the very best method to achieve him which may mean a lap, sitting out or a reduction in playing time.
Foster humility and a true team attitude in word and deed, making no body player more important than another.

Fortunately because of us being very explicit about our expectations and in the beginning holding kids accountable to very good standards, it has not been a problem for me personally, but we’ve several minor issues. One very talented player I’d in 2003 was Richard W, my fullback. Richard was tiny but powerful and quick, he was also very smart. Richard had been coached by me to stay in our wedge play, he was to break out of the wedge only involving the tackles and only when an opening appeared there 5 yards or more past the distinct scrimmage because the wedge naturally comes apart on its own. We’d discussed it, diagrammed it, walked it, jogged it, ran it, fit and freezed it and even scrimmaged it A TON. Up to that point Richard had been very obedient and done a good job with the play. Yet in our first game of the growing season against a perennially tough team, he’d different ideas. We’d a packed house that day there have been hundreds in the seats, plenty of grandmas, grandpas, uncles, aunts, moms dads and friends, it had been loud. On our initial offensive snap Richard found myself in a really nicely formed wedge play, but inexplicably broke the ball around the end for around a 40 yard gain, The stands went nuts as we had the ball on the 10 yard line and were ready to draw the first blood of the game and our young season.

The issue was he had not run that play properly, against most teams he could have been tackled for a moderate gain or loss, but from this team he lucked out and got a long gainer. I immediately took him out of the game, my best player in a hotly contested game. I calmly let him know that he did not need permission to perform the ball away from tackles on a fullback wedge play, that he knew this and that he wouldn’t be playing again until the 2nd quarter. Fortunately his parents had been at our first practice where we presented exactly how we were going to deal with situations just similar to this one. Additionally both his parents had seen the coaching expertise and crispness demonstrated in our practices that gave them the confidence we knew what we were doing. I’d met them both previously and during a rest in the action I let them know what was up, they supported me 100%. This is really inner-city environment where Jerry Springer incidents are extremely common. Trust in me, we’ve similar discipline issues in the rural bedroom community we reside in now with “helicopter” parents.

When Richard came back to play in the next quarter, he played very well and did precisely what we had asked him to do in a game we continued to win 36-6. Richard wound up being one of the finest fullbacks I ever coached with over 2,000 yards rushing for the reason that 11-0 Season. Had I not taken this drastic step I doubt Richard could have had exactly the same success that season. This action also demonstrated to all our players and parents, it didn’t matter who the player was or what the game circumstances were, the standard would be enforced and the standard in the long run was the players friend, not his enemy.

The Bible says that if we hate our kids we will not discipline them. I care enough about my players to discipline them in a highly effective way and my hope is that you do too.
Some Words from that book in modern language:
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, But he who hates reproof is stupid
A sensible son accepts his father’s discipline, But a scoffer doesn’t pay attention to rebuke
A fool rejects his father’s discipline, But he who regards reproof is prudent
Does this mean we’re cruel to the children, screaming and yelling like some type of maniacal drill sergeant constantly? No, I’m a huge advocate of earning football fun for kids but when you may not teach a new player to be coachable with a couple reasonable discipline, you aren’t doing him any long term favors.
Sometimes disciplining is difficult and in the short term may be painful. But in the very best interests of the child and your team, you need to do it. Just think of all of the great athletes on the market that may have experienced different lives had they had a youth football coach that could have held them accountable at an early on age BEFORE that players world view had been formed ?
They call these the formative years for a reason. Help your players be teaching them to be coachable so they will always be in the game and benefit from the life span lessons the game teaches us all.


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