Youth Football Coaching – Teaching in a Progression

Every coach has witnessed or experienced this kind of situation in a practice.

Little Johnny screws up on a tackle due to poor form, so the coach asks him to do the drill again, again his technique fails him. Finally the coach takes him out of the drill and aside to personally re teach him how to tackle correctly, taking anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, and then throws him back into the drills. Little Johnny does it correctly once, but soon reverts back to his old habits.

No improvement made
No confidence gained
AND overall time wasted.

Now I’m not saying that it is EVER a waste to spend extra time on any given athlete. That’s your job as a coach. However I will say that if you find yourself re addressing the situation over and over again, then something is wrong on a fundamental level. That fundamental level is what I’ll call “Teaching in a Progression”.

Progression teaching is king in youth sports, especially contact football for a couple of simple reasons.

* You can NOT tell a kid at that age to “just do it”. Life is not a Nike commercial. เว็บคาสิโนออนไลน์

* Time is often a limited resource in youth sports. It is MUCH better to simply teach athletes in a slow deliberate progression the first time as opposed to re addressing specific issues all year long.

* A progression breaks a technique or fundamental down into youth friendly pieces: Muscle memory repetition (doing it CORRECTLY), and small, manageable, chunks of information.

So you’re going to be saving a TON of practice time, your players are going to become what pro scouts call “technicians”, and you’ll be able to do it with each player! Meaning the overall quality and development of your football team will go WAY up, and at the youth level, player development is your next most important priority behind safety.

Teaching in a progression just HAPPENS to be one of the safest ways to teach complex physical activities such as blocking and tackling. At the youth level most football fundamentals should be taught in this fashion. So how does progression coaching work?

* Teach fundamentals with a step by step approach.

– Break the mechanics and steps of a movement down into small manageable chunks. Make it as simple as possible or tailor it to the age group. EX: Throwing a football. 1 – proper grip, 2 – point nose of the ball backwards, 3 – rotate and flick ball forward (throw), 4 – follow through.

* Pay attention to detail and correct imperfect technique now, that way the athletes know what your be looking for. Give feedback and provide the mental target for their arrow.

– There is added value in this. Not only can you teach perfect technique this way after you’ve broken it down into easy steps, but the feedback you provide is the real essence of the “coach em up” mentality youth sports requires. High expectations = higher results.


– There is no law that states you need to get to your second offensive play or your blocking AND tackling in the same day. Take quality over quantity every time. EX: First day of practice, first step for blocking and tackling. Second day, second step for blocking and tackling. OR first day of practice, full tackling progression. Second day of practice, full blocking progression.



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