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Youth Football Running Back Drills

Posted by on Oct 10, 2015 in Football | 0 comments

Youth football rushing drills used to consist of practicing handoffs, holding on to the ball while being hit, and blocking for the quarterback. In today’s game, a running back needs those rushing skills in addition to “reading” the defense for blitzing linebackers and catching the football out of the backfield. In many cases, the running back acts as an option for the quarterback if no other play is available. To play the position effectively, the running back must be quick on his feet, drive forward with power, and be able to react reflexively in an instant.

Below are some youth football rushing drills, but you can find more free football drills online at websites like

Youth Football Running Back Drills

Weave Drill

The Weave drill teaches aspiring running backs proper footwork techniques. It focuses on balance while planting the foot and driving in another direction.

Place 5 cones in a straight line on the field about one yard apart.
Have the running backs line up near the first cone.
To begin, the coach hands the football off to the first running back.
The running back weaves in and out between the cones and returns handing the football off to the next running back.

When performing this running back drill, the focus should be on planting the outside foot firmly and then driving in the opposite direction. The proper planting of the foot will help prevent slippage when game time rolls around. The running backs should also focus on proper ball protection technique and maintain a low center of gravity.

“Running the Gauntlet”

This running back drill teaches players to receive a handoff, tuck it in, and break through immediate contact while retaining possession.

Position two dummy bags approximately 3 yards from the starting position.
Position two dummy bag holders 3 to 4 yards further downfield.
Have a linebacker roaming the field to force open field maneuvers.
After taking a handoff, the running back protects the football while running through the two dummy bags.
He must maintain control while being pursued by the dummy holders.
And finally, perform an evasive maneuver to avoid the linebacker.
Have each running back practice handoffs from both the right and left sides.

When performing youth football rushing drills such as these, the player should practice keeping a low center of gravity with knees up and shoulders down. Proper ball protection techniques must be employed in order to retain possession of the ball.

By Trevor Sumner who works for, a youth football community dedicated to providing parents coaches and athletes the tools and information to celebrate the love of the game. has one of the most comprehensive, free football drill libraries in its active football community.

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Coaching Youth Football

Posted by on Oct 4, 2015 in Football | 0 comments

Coaching youth football allows you to teach young football players the fundamentals of the game and bring individual talent together to play as a cohesive unit. That said, success on the gridiron begins on the practice field. Learning and implementing proper youth football skills & drills during practice will have you, your coaches, and players ready for the big game. There are no shortcuts when coaching youth football. Hard work, discipline, determination, in addition to coaching football fundamentals is what produces winning football teams and successful youth football players.

Below are some of the skills needed to become a good football coach, and you can find the football drills needed to run a practice properly in books or online from others football coaches at free websites like

Youth Football Coaching Skills

Be A Good Role Model – youth football players are an observant bunch. They imitate their role models whether on or off the field. It is the football coach’s responsibility to display the character that they want to see in their players. Character traits such as consistency, emotional control, honesty, and integrity are important.

Teach Football Fundamentals – practice to the players strengths and determine where they are weak. Pay particular attention to teaching football skills such as stance and footwork when players are performing youth football drills. Be sure you’re your players are focusing on all aspects of the drill and do not become sloppy in any area.

Use Creative Football Plays In Practice – like most children, youth football players need variety in their practices. Vary the practice schedule from day to day to keep them interested and continually learning. Keep the football drills short enough that players don’t lose interest and concentration.

Use Constructive Feedback – too many youth coaches “channel” football coaches they see in the movies. They believe that coaching football drills involves acting like a drill sergeant. While this attitude can have its place in the coach’s arsenal, it should not be the sole motivator. Teach them. Explain the who, what, where, why, and how of the football drill. You’ll end up with more intelligent youth football players.

Be Positive – youth football coaches must look to the positive aspects of the situation. Negative emotions bring negative results. The kids are going to be making mistakes throughout their lives. It’s important for a youth football coach to teach them how to overcome mistakes and even to capitalize on them. A successful and well coached football team masters the fundamentals, handles adversity, and brings home the championship due to the team’s attitude. Positive expectations will most likely bring positive results.

By Trevor Sumner who works for, a youth football community dedicated to providing parents coaches and athletes the tools and information to celebrate the love of the game. has one of the most comprehensive, free football drill libraries in its active football community.

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Coaching Youth Football – Reviewing the Past Season During the Off-Season

Posted by on Sep 25, 2015 in Football | 0 comments

I always recommend spending a good portion of the youth football off-season reviewing the past year. You want to continue to do what works and get rid of what didn’t. If this is the first year running a different offense or defense this is especially true. I remember the first year we ran the Single Wing offense with 8-9 year-olds we had such an occurrence. Our Running Back position decided to cut every power play to the outside.

The power play is an inside run where you must follow the lead backs to the hole. By trying to cut the run to the outside he was abandoning the blockers and was getting tackled for small or no gains. I learned that when coaching the young kids you really need to make sure they understand the importance of the play being run the way it is shown in practice.

It is best to wait a few months after the youth football season ends to reflect on what actually happened on the previous year. Is important to make sure you can differentiate from what really happened versus what you thought happened. There has been many times when I felt we were doing one thing well by the end of the year and I was dead wrong. By waiting a few months you can clear your mind and review the past year looking for anything that will help you be a better coach in the upcoming year.

Every year you coach a different age or skill level you’ll find things that have worked from previous years at previous levels, and things that do not. You must be honest with yourself and realize that not all things work best at all levels. I always keep an entire log with detailed notes of the entire year. It is a wonderful reference for future years. I start each year by grabbing the binder from a previous year that most closely resembles the age and talent level I will be coaching this year.

Beware that each New Year will bring you new talent. What may have succeeded last year may not be appropriate for the upcoming youth football season. Make sure you keep an open mind at the beginning of the season before you make any final decisions.

Jim Oddo

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Passing Tips For Youth Football Quarterbacks

Posted by on Feb 15, 2015 in Football | 0 comments

Every youth football player, no matter what their regular position is, should learn to throw a spiral with accuracy. It’s a crucial component of the game and one never knows when an opportunity to make a spectacular passing play may come along.

For the youth football quarterback, these tips need to be practiced over and over again to gain passing proficiency. Besides checking out the below tips, you can also learn the fundamentals from free football video tutorials on sites like , where top pros like Peyton Manning show the proper way to throw a spiral.

The Grip for Throwing a Perfect Spiral

It can be difficult for young football players to get a good grip on the football as their hands may not be large enough. That doesn’t preclude them from learning the proper technique with some slight modifications.

• The football should be gripped lightly with the fingertips and not rest in the palm of the hand. The light grip allows for increased ball control. This can be a problem for younger players with small hands where there is no choice but to use the palm.

• It’s important to place your index finger on the seam to put a “spin” or spiral on the football upon release. Don’t force the spin; let it roll naturally off the fingers. Trying to over spin the ball is a common mistake.

• As you step back in the pocket, hold the football next to your ear as you look for your target. The ball will be cradled in the “U” between thumb and index finger.

The Release Technique for Spiral Passes

Practice throwing spiral passes with this release technique at 50% of your throwing capacity until you perfect it. You can then start increasing your velocity as you begin to master the skill.

• Keeping your eye on your receiver, take your arm backward and then “spring” it forward in a circular motion releasing the football at the top of the arc.

• A good release will spin the football off the index finger as you let it go. The other fingers are used only for supporting the ball and not for putting a spiral on it.

• As you release the football, be sure to continue with the follow through for spin and accuracy.

Passing Accuracy in Football

Now that you’ve mastered the spiral pass you have to work on hitting your target. Many football recruiters list passing accuracy as the primary passing skill when selecting potential quarterbacks. A perfect spiral is of no use if it’s bouncing along the field, or worse, in the arms of an opposing player. Again, throw the football at about 50% velocity when performing accuracy drills. They’ll be plenty of time to work on your power once you have mastered the basics.

• Get yourself set in your stance with your non-throwing hip pointed towards your receiver. Being “set” is crucial for accuracy and power.

• When you are ready to pass, cock your shoulder and step towards your target when you release the football.

• Follow through on the pass with the palm of your throwing hand facing the ground. Here is an example video demonstration of Peyton Manning follow through on the pass.

Throwing an accurate spiral pass in football is not a difficult process. Repetition of basic throwing mechanics is the key along with adequate rest. Youth football players should practice these passing tips every other day to master them.

By Trevor Sumner who works for, a youth football community dedicated to providing parents coaches and athletes the tools and information to celebrate the love of the game. has one of the most comprehensive, free football drill libraries in its active football community.

Football Tips: How to catch the football with James Jones

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Youth Football Wide Receiver Tips

Posted by on Feb 9, 2015 in Football | 0 comments

Catching a football is not that difficult; however, catching a football correctly takes hours and hours of practice. You’ll see many youth football receivers position themselves in front of the ball and catch with their body ending up in a heap on the field with the football tucked away. There isn’t much chance of them running with the ball after the catch when they are lying on the field. Here are some wide receiver tips for catching the football the right way and to prepare you for gaining extra yards.

Catching Strategies for Wide Receivers

1. Catch with your hands and not with your body for a couple of reasons. If you catch with your body it may bounce off of your equipment for an incomplete pass. Watch replays of Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, or your favorite NFL receiver and you’ll notice they always catch with their hands.

2. Keep your eye on the football. Focus on the tip of the football as it’s coming towards you and “watch” it into your hands. Never take your eyes off the football. There are a variety of receiver concentration drills.

3. Create a pocket with your hands by positioning your thumbs and index fingers close together. Similar to making a diamond shape with your hands.

4. Try to catch the ball on its front tip. If you target the middle of the ball then it’s likely to sail through your hands.

5. Practice your routes and then practice them some more. That way your quarterback knows where you’re going to be and can throw the ball there.

6. Be sure to catch and control the ball before running with it. Once you have control tuck the ball under your arm away from any defenders.

7. Develop good fakes like “head bobs” and “shoulder fakes.” Leaving your defender in the dust will allow you more time to concentrate on the catch.

8. Watch your mental thoughts. If you think about dropping the football, you likely will. Believe that you can catch each ball that is thrown to you. If you drop it, forget about it and concentrate on the next one.

9. Don’t get down on yourself when you fail to catch a ball. Analyze what you did right and what you did wrong. Did you follow your route correctly? Did you keep your eye on the football? Answer these questions honestly and make the necessary corrections.

10. Protect the ball because you’re going to get hit quite often. Focus on the catch and tucking in of the ball. If you find yourself free to run, do so once you have control.

You can also find many youth football receiving drills on the Internet some drills are free and some require subscription or for you to order a DVD. Free football drills allow you greater flexibility in trying a variety and see what works best for you and/or your youth football team. Always remember that drills should be age appropriate. The right passing drill for a 14 year-old boy will not suit an 8-year old and vice versa.

There are many football resources and communities like available to help with any questions you might have. Don’t underestimate the passion of the community around you.

By Trevor Sumner who works for, a youth football community dedicated to providing parents coaches and athletes the tools and information to celebrate the love of the game. has one of the most comprehensive, free football drill libraries in its active football community.

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