Hi everyone and welcome to my Youth Football site….American Football.
I was introduced to football at the age of 7 (that’s me above in my first season of football) and have been passionate about the game ever since.
I am not a typical fan however, though I do enjoy watching games. No, I am passionate about playing, how to play, how to approach the game, and how to be a team player.
As I have learned over the years, having talent is fantastic, not to mention helpful. But honing your skills and committing yourself to your role on the team is even more important. This is how I approached the game, this is how I teach the game, and this is how I watch the game.
Like I said, I am not a typical fan. I don’t hoop and holler at games unless I see something truly fantastic. I get as much enjoyment out of seeing a great block as I do an acrobatic catch at a crucial point in the game.
I’m the quiet guy sitting in the stands that looks like he’s sitting in a lecture hall in a class at your favorite university.
The number one thing that I’ve learned over time is that Youth Football can be key to players having real success later in their careers. So my focus is players that are 6-12 years old. This is the age range where players learn their habits–good or bad.
Often times, Coaches tend to be the Dad or Mom who may or may not have much experience as a Coach or even a player for that matter. In fact, many parents have never played or even been around the game of football and don’t have a basic understanding of the game–the Coaches, the Referees, and what the players themselves are really going through.
My intent is to help the new Coach, the Parents who don’t have a lot of exerience with the game, and maybe even offer some “back to basics” insight for experienced youth football Coaches.
A LITTLE ABOUT MY FOOTBALL LIFE
As I mentioned earlier, I started playing football at the age of 7. Obviously I knew very little about the game, but like many kids at that age I was very coachable. I wanted to do well at this new game.
Our coaches seemed tough, focused, and all about helping us to get better–I liked that.
Even at that age, it was clear that we had some players that were extremely talented–fast, elusive, great hands and arms. I wasn’t one of those players. I was pretty fast, pretty quick, pretty focused, and I had a great talent for doing things the way I was told–I was coachable.
As I played through junior high, high school, and finally college, I watched very talented players leave the game; I watched them struggle with the coaches. The ones who stayed and were successful were very coachable. The great players were talented and coachable.
Some players were so talented that they even made it to the professional level–they were talented and coachable. But one common thread I saw was the even the ultra talented that were not coachable saw their careers die.
HOW TO BE GREAT
I never cared for players that wouldn’t do their part, wouldn’t do their jobs, especially those who felt entitled to a great career because they recognized their own talent.
Over time I’ve learned that the entitled, uncoachable players become frustrated because they can’t take the coaching. They either don’t have the wisdom or the self-esteem to distinguish between coaching and criticism; and they can’t take what they see as criticism.
To be great, to realize your potential, you have to be able to tell the difference between Coaching and Criticism. You have to be coachable.
FOCUS ON WHAT MATTERS
After years of practice, coaching, and training–my early years as an athlete, my later years as a Soldier, I have learned what to focus on, what to ignore, and how to teach others to do the same.
You’ll notice I focus on basics, muscle memory, conditioning, people skills, and leadership. That’s because talent is unique to every individual, you can’t teach it, give it, or take it away; all you can do with talent is teach a player to develop it and use it. I also try to focus on all of the ancillary things that affect the game–parents, referees, costs, planning, etc.
If you ever have any questions or even advice for me, feel free to leave your comments below.
All the best,