It drives effort, and it makes drill work fun. Invoking a little friendly competition among the kids can make the experience more enjoyable, and you can do this with a couple different exercises. Once in pairs, have one player become the shadow. Players that drop the ball have to start all over; the first team that uses all of its players wins. I used to coach that way, too.
4 limited-contact drills to drive competition, teach defensive skills
Similar to musical chairs, one player will always be left out. Each eliminated player sits aside while you dwindle the team down to one winner. This drill is a great way to end practice. Once these are completed, you combine lines and have a competition between players.
One time, it could be a scoop and score competition, where each player must scoop the ball and run it back to the coach. A player favorite has been a scramble-and-recover competition, where the coach stands behind the two competitors and rolls the ball, simulating a fumble. Both players must bear crawl — without standing up — to find and corral the ball. To do this, you need drills that will show kids how to block, throw, catch and run with the ball, but they need to be enjoyable, too.
Keep young football players engaged with creative, age-appropriate drills that match their skill level but still offer a challenge.
There are lots of fun practice games that are designed just for youth football players that will teach them the fundamentals and make them excited for practice. Learning how to tackle another player -- and be tackled -- is an important skill to master for the game.
One fun way to teach kids the basics of tackling is with a game of sharks and minnows. To set up the game, place four cones in a large rectangle about 20 by 30 yards; this is the ocean. Select one player to be the shark and line the other kids, the minnows, up on one of the yard lines.
Each time the shark tackles a minnow, that player becomes a shark; play until there are no minnows left. A fun way to teach kids the fundamentals of blocking is with a game of king of the ring.
In this game, kids will rely on their strength, speed and, of course, blocking skills to become the king. Start by spray painting two foot wide circles next to each other on the field, leaving just enough space for one player to run between them. Put the four hunters in the center of the square and ask everyone else spread out within in the square.
Once tagged, the deer move outside the box. When was the last time your kids begged to do more conditioning sprints? Dave Cisar has coached youth football for more than 20 years.
He founded and ran two large youth football organizations in Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska. The best conditioning drills keep fun and football situations in mind. Here's what it looks like: