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Ultimate Guide to Coaching Youth Football

Teaching Basic Football Skills

You should never assume that players already know how to perform basic skills. Even experienced players may be out of practice or need improvement in the fundamental skills needed to carry out more complex plays. Learning and drilling basic skills is an important part of physical conditioning for your players.

When you teach a basic skill, try demonstrating the skill first with the help of another coach or an experienced player, if needed. Demonstrate the skill slowly as first, so that players can see the proper technique. Then demonstrate at normal speed. After the demonstration, it may help to drill the skill in a fairly noncompetitive way. Try to avoid having players spend a lot of time waiting to practice a skill. This can lead to bored players and wasted practice time. Instead, set up several drills and rotate players through them, or use drills that keep the maximum number of players involved [source: Bach].

Also, keep an eye out for players who aren't catching on as quickly -- they may need more assistance from you. It can also help to stay positive, and be quick to praise players when they get things right, even small things [source: Bach].

Even though not every player will be throwing or receiving passes, every player needs basic throwing and catching practice. All players also need some basic offensive skills, including running the ball and centering the ball. Similarly, every player needs to learn basic defensive skills such as blocking and tackling [source: Coaching Youth Football].

Once your players are comfortable with their basic skills, you can have them practice those skills in a number of different drills. For some suggestions on what drills to try, keep reading.