Many teams will be starting their youth football seasons tomorrow, some already have. Do not waste a minute of practice, every second is valuable. Many teams only get 1-1/2 to 2 hours of practice a night. It is crucial that you make it count!
Here is a list I have compiled of the biggest youth football practice time wasters:
Eliminating the Biggest Time Wasters
Time Waster # 1: Walking on the field. No player should ever walk on the field!
Time Waster # 2: Fixing equipment as practice starts. Have your coaches handle any equipment issues before practice. Get these equipment issues handled before practice starts, not during warm ups either.
Time Waster # 3: Players that arrive early and are not doing anything. When kids are there early, make them do something. Kickers kicking, QB throwing, and so on….. If the kids are there early have them getting better. We get a tone of kicking done before practice even starts.
Time Waster # 4: No practice plans, “Winging It”. The head coach should have daily youth football practice plans. Every coach should be on the same page. Fluent and organized practices are vital in youth football.
Time Waster # 5: Going back into the huddle when a play is not executed properly (in practice). If a play is executed incorrectly run it right from the line. Do not waste the time by making the kids go back into huddle.
Time Waster # 6: Not getting right back into the huddle or back on the line of scrimmage after a play. Again, whether we are doing offense, defense, or special teams all players will be running on the field (in practice). After executing a play, have the kids get right back into the huddle. If you are calling plays on air (with no defense) have the kids run plays right from the line.
Time Waster #7: Setting up drills right before you do them. Many coaches will give the kids a water break, then socialize. Then once the water break is over they want to put the kids through a drill but have not set it up yet. The drill should have been set up during the water break or before practice even started.
Time Waster # 8: Having too many kids in drill lines. If you have 20 kids all going through one drill station how many reps do you think they are actually getting? If you have a lot of kids set the same drill up twice. Again, say you have 20 kids, set the same drill up in two locations and put 10 kids to each one. This will save time and allow the kids to get double the reps. Getting 1 rep every 3 minutes is not going to get the players any better. No player should be standing around waiting.
Time Waster #9: Coaches not coaching. When you have a large team, all the coaches need to help operate practice. If you have 2-3 coaches out of the 5 coordinating practice it will take longer to set things up and coordinate the kids. Everyone should know their job and be coaching.
Time Waster #10: Laps. Having the kids run laps around the field is a complete waste of time. Laps are not good behavior deterrents and do not do anything for the player. If the kids are acting up make them do push ups instead. 10 push ups will take 10 seconds. Laps are useless.
Think about how much time you will save each practice if you eliminated all these time wasters.
What do you think are some big time wasters? Join our discussion on Facebook.