Speed Development in Youth Football – A Few Qucik Tips For Developing Speed

Speed Development

For the second consecutive year my youth football program is doing an abbreviated “football speed” development program in the Spring. The program is designed to develop enthusiasm for playing in our program while working on form and “football speed” development.

The program is called FASTT for Fun, Agility, Speed and Technique Training. The program is divided into three segments, the first segment is the “football speed” development portion, We work on form, speed and quickness development here using modern plyometric movements integrated into football movements. We use a combination of body weight, ladder, cone, medicine ball, box jumps and harness work in this portion of the program.

Fundamental Skills Development

The second segment focuses on basic fundamental football technique development. We do not use pads for this. We concentrate on breaking down each fundamental football movement into teachable steps and then perfect those steps. We don’t work our schemes or football plays, this is all fundamental skills development and the drills and skills change daily.

Game Time

The final segment is the pure fun team competitive games portion. Many of these team building games have little if anything to do with football. What they do for the kids is help them develop a bond with each other and help them develop a keen sense of competition while having a whole bunch of fun.

This is not conditioning, this is a process that helps build momentum and enthusiasm in our youth football program. It also shows the players and parents how we work with the kids and gives the kids an understanding of our expectations and communication methods. This certainly helps us in August when many teams are struggling through their first few practices, we are able to move quickly into evaluations, teaching fundamentals and putting in schemes.

Next Seasons Teams

As I may have mentioned in the past, we are expanding our program to 4 teams, an age

6-7 flag team, an age 7-9 tackle team, age 10-11 tackle and age 12-13 tackle. I will be head coaching all 3 tackle teams next season after head coaching 2 of the teams last year. The reason I have all 3 teams is the parents want it that way and I’m grooming 3 head coaches that I want working side by side with me for a season before I turn a team over to them. While several of these future head coaches have excellent credentials, youth football is much more than X’s and O’s. In

Omaha when I expanded from 1 team to 16 teams in 5 short years, we didn’t take the time to do the hands on apprenticeship program and we outgrew our infrastructure, Now we have a Head Coach Development Program in place that will prepare each to be an effective youth football coach.

FASST Over the Summer

The FASST program lasts for 7 weeks and started on April 1, we meet once a week for just 90 minutes. We want to keep the kids very hungry for contact with us and many are playing baseball as well. We leave each player with a written summer development program that they can use if they so choose. We show the parents what we are looking for on the movements in a group presentation in May and leave them with a written workout plan. I let the parents know that I don’t care if junior does any of the movements over the summer, but to let the kids be kids and make sure they are spending a lot of time out in the heat. On the other hand we do have a few kids that are real hard core and if they want to do something on their own over the summer, we give them the tools to do it.

Doing a “Speed Camp” or activity like FASST has helped us set ourselves apart from other Youth Football programs in the area and gives us a nice segue into the fall. Our league rules do not restrict this type of activity in any way, make sure and check your league rules before getting started.

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