Helpful Tips for Coaching Youth Flag Football – The following list was put together to assist coaches preparing for their upcoming flag football season. The task of coaching a flag football team is a challenging responsibility, but if prepared, the task is manageable and very rewarding.
Preparing for the upcoming Youth Flag Football season.
1) Assess your own coaching ability and identify your strengths and weakness. Use these items as a basis for assessing yourself: Know of flag football, level of motivation for coaching, organizational skills, communicating and time commitment. Once you’ve recognized where you have strength and where you’ll need help. You will be able to use this information when finding your assistant coaches (step 2) and assigning various tasks.
2) Establish your goals for the upcoming flag football season. It’s important to create your goals for the season. To many times youth coaches take on the task of coaching and they feel their only goal is to win. I’m not saying winning can’t be a goal, but it shouldn’t be your only goal. I always felt that I had an obligation to the players and parents to teach the game of flag football.
I also feel obligated to make sure that each player I coached left the season a better player than when they arrived. Depending on the level of player and age, your goals will vary. Keep them simple and make sure they are attainable. Winning the league champions should not be the goal for the year. It would however be a great accomplishment, and possibility a result of achieving your goals throughout the year.
3) Greet the parents and players at first meeting. Although being coach doesn’t mean you have to become great friends with everybody, but it should include you getting to know the parents throughout the year. The first meeting is the time to introduce yourself, discuss your goals, meet the team, and let the parents ask questions. To many times coaches will neglect to have a first meeting to meet and greet the team. This is a great opportunity to start the season and get everybody on the same page.
4) Establish a flag football practice plan that will utilize your time wisely. Showing up to practice without a plan is always a bad thing. The players will be more involved if you are organized and precise with your direction. You also need to utilize your time effectively. You will have limited time each week to practice, every minute will count. Your participation will also be high if your practices are organized and effective.
5) Establish how you will handle assigning player positions. How you rotate players during the year and in games is an important factor. This one thing drive coaches, players and parents crazy – especially if they do now what your plan is. Being specific on this will work in the beginning will eliminate anxiety and create a positive learning environment. Most players want to get the ball during the game. The nice thing about flag football is all players get the opportunity to get the ball.
6) Prepare flag football plays in advance of your practice and games. Utilize a specific time in practice to work on executing perfect plays. One of the most important things during the season will be to run flag football plays that are effective and your team can run without error. I’ve seen many coaches show up to games and make their plays up during the game.
The team makes many errors and in return they have a bad experience. If you implement your plays in practice, make revisions and get your team on the same page as you, you will find that your team will be competitive regardless of their skill level. There are many sites that offer plays designed for 5 men, 6 men, 7 men, and 8 man youth flag football
7) Get your parents involved– invite a team mom to assist with organizing the schedule, team sporting gear, and weekly snack schedule. This is an important role and will assist with additional time consuming duties during the flag football season.
8) lastly – Stay to the plan and HAVE FUN!