How 15 Minutes Can Help Your Youth Team Improve 

Practice time is a pre­cious com­mod­i­ty for youth foot­ball coach­es. Thankfully, coach­es can still rein­force good habits and teach fun­da­men­tals with­out being face-to-face with players. 

How 15 Minutes Can Help Your Youth Team Improve 

Practice time is a pre­cious com­mod­i­ty for youth foot­ball coach­es. Thankfully, coach­es can still rein­force good habits and teach fun­da­men­tals with­out being face-to-face with players. 

Any way you slice it, there’s no replac­ing the hands-on teach­ing envi­ron­ment a tra­di­tion­al prac­tice provides. 

But as any coach will tell you, there nev­er seems to be enough time dur­ing the sea­son to ful­ly imple­ment strate­gies and devel­op play­ers to their max­i­mum poten­tial. This is espe­cial­ly true for youth foot­ball, as most coach­es are vol­un­teers and there’s even less prac­tice time allot­ted for play­ers than at high­er lev­els of competition. 

Fortunately for the youth foot­ball coach­es using Hudl, teach­ing points nor­mal­ly addressed in prac­tice can be devised and shared at any time from the com­forts of their own home. 

By seg­ment­ing your time on Hudl into three main seg­ments, you can eas­i­ly map out a dig­i­tal prac­tice” that is both effi­cient and effec­tive for your team. In fact, by fol­low­ing the rec­om­men­da­tions laid out below, you can help your team make major improve­ments in as lit­tle as 15 min­utes. How’s that for productivity? 

First Five Minutes – Tackling 

One of the most impor­tant skills to devel­op is tack­ling. In addi­tion to show­ing your play­ers how to effec­tive­ly take down ball car­ri­ers, you also need to ensure you are teach­ing the safest technique. 

This is where pulling up key plays to show to your play­ers can be crit­i­cal. Go back through your team’s game and prac­tice footage to iden­ti­fy key plays that ampli­fy points you are try­ing to get across.

Use Hudl to add com­ments to those plays and share the video playlist with your play­ers. Consider shar­ing draw­ings and com­ments that real­ly hit on the most com­mon errors such as:

  • Keeping your head up 
  • Driving through the tackle
  • Shooting your arms and hands up in order to wrap up

Second Five Minutes – Blocking 

Since it is dif­fi­cult for young play­ers to under­stand how their blocks may have helped or hurt their team’s per­for­mance on a par­tic­u­lar play, block­ing is often con­sid­ered the Achilles heel of youth foot­ball offenses.

That’s why you should take five min­utes to go through your team’s Hudl videos and call out the fol­low­ing coach­ing points: 

  • Correcting their splits – Use draw­ings to show play­ers how good or bad their pre-snap align­ment real­ly is. 
  • Missed assign­ments – Share video that clear­ly high­lights how missed blocks caused a play to fall apart. To avoid play­ers tak­ing these exam­ples per­son­al­ly, feel free to high­light suc­cess­ful plays that also rein­force your points. The key here is to clear­ly demon­strate cause and effect. 

Last Five Minutes – Recognition 

By now, your notes have main­ly focused on areas of improve­ment, but pos­i­tive rein­force­ment is also cru­cial to play­er devel­op­ment at the youth lev­el. Spend your last five min­utes cel­e­brat­ing your team’s best moments.

You can build a sense of achieve­ment by doing the following: 

  • Create a playlist of your team’s biggest plays – This could include clips show­ing line­men get­ting down­field, prop­er tack­ling tech­nique and hus­tle plays. 

  • Plant quizzes with­in cer­tain clips of your playlists – At your next in-per­son prac­tice, talk about the fun­ny note you includ­ed some­where in your playlist. This is a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to reward those play­ers that are real­ly watch­ing video. If play­ers know they’ll be named cap­tains for the week by being the first to answer your quiz ques­tions, you can rest assured they’ll watch the video. 

  • Include pos­i­tive notes – As men­tioned in the sec­tion about block­ing, pos­i­tive rein­force­ment goes a long way in moti­vat­ing your players.

By spend­ing half the time it takes to watch an episode of your favorite sit­com, you can com­pile and share impact­ful video with your play­ers. Find out how you can real­ly max­i­mize prac­tice time and keep in con­tact with play­ers on and off the field by vis­it­ing our youth foot­ball page