"The NFL's Seven Principles of Youth Sports"
By Koach Karl Dewazien
Over the years we have been able to find many proponents to our FUNdamental Training Methodology. This one, however, was an unlikely source I will let their words speak for themselves!
The National Football Leagues' Seven Principles of Youth Sports
The NFL Youth Program has issued seven principles of youth sports, and they're not just intuitive, but stem from scientific research on the preferences of kids, parents and coaches. They also transcend football and apply to all youth athletics.
1. Make It Fun
Kids love fun, so youth sports should be lively -- especially in practice. For instance, use low-key competitions rather than drills to teach fundamentals.
2. Limit Standing Around
Downtime bores kids very quickly. It's a common problem, and good coaches avoid it with fast-paced programs that keep kids active.
3. Play Everyone
Youth sports should provide everyone with equal learning, in both games and practices. In practices, avoid giving some kids "star-treatment" lessons while others gaze on idly. A coach is a teacher and should raise the skills of not just the talented, but of everyone, starting with the least gifted.
4. Teach Every Position to Everyone
Don't pigeonhole kids. Teach them all positions. You'll expose them fully to the game, foster teamwork and help them find the positions that suit them best. It's ethical, edifying and sensible.
5. Stress the Fundamentals
Carefully teach the basics, so children have a sure foundation. Without it, they won't play as well and may lose interest. With it, they'll feel confident, enjoy the game more, and move on to higher
6. Develop Every Kid's Skill Progressively
Build on kids' improvements. No matter what their ability, this approach will encourage them to get better.
7. Yell Encouragement, Whisper Constructive Criticism
Be positive. Kids usually know when they have erred and don't need embarrassing negative comments. They do need feedback on how to correct their mistakes, in a supportive climate.
Condensed and adapted from "The Seven Guiding Principles of Youth
Sports Programs," by Scott Lancaster, senior director, NFL Youth
Football Development. See:
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