Since tackle football is a contact sport in which players are routinely knocked down and pushed into by other players, safety equipment is an absolute necessity. Furthermore, a proper fit for all safety equipment is essential to its functioning correctly.
The player's helmet should be fitted by someone who knows what he's doing. It's not a good idea to let youth players choose their own helmets. Since players will often have wet hair when they play due to perspiration, some experts recommend having players do helmet fittings with wet hair. Also, make an effort to check that players' helmets fit at intervals throughout the season to ensure that changes in hairstyle have not caused the helmet to become loose. Nose bumper guards, jaw pads, face masks, mouth guards and chin straps should be intact and should fit properly also [source: Insurevents].
Shoulder pads are specific to various positions. Make sure players have the correct pads for their positions and that the pads attach correctly and stay in place. Other pads, such as hip pads, thigh pads and knee pads are kept in the proper position by a players' pants, so correct fit, which should be snug but not too tight, is important [source: Insurevents].
In addition, you will need several footballs for both team practices and games, as well as flags and flag belts if you are coaching a flag football league [source: NFL Youth Football].
For more information on coaching youth football, including basic skills, drills and special teams, keep reading.