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Off Road
03-22-2011, 07:07 AM
I thought I'd post this here since there are more trainers/coaches in this forum.

Quick background... I have no organized football background since my high school and college sport was rodeo. My son is 10 years old and wants to play football next year. His basketball coach is also going to be his football coach and really wants him to play since he is a big kid, listens well, and can follow plays well. His coach said that since my boy is 103+ lbs, he'll have to try out for a spot since they can only carry 5 kids at that weight. His coach went on to say that my son's biggest hurdle to making the team will be his footwork and that he really needs to work on that before the season begins. Read as slow and clumsy.

So my question...My son needs to develop lower body coordination, foot speed, and be able to get into a position of power and maintain it. I'm looking for some drills or exercise he can do to help with these areas.

AdamBAG
03-22-2011, 07:54 AM
I would send a message to Matt Rhodes, this is right in his wheelhouse as a former D1 ball player and S&C coach.

I would also check out Joe DeFranco's website.

I'm going to say right now that I think it is total b.s. that you have to try out for a football team for 12 year olds. How many kids could they possibly have? If they want to be on the team then they should be on the team whether they get much playing time or not. You can only have 5 kids at 105+? Is that on the team or on the field at one time? I would find out.

Off Road
03-22-2011, 08:06 AM
You can only have 5 kids at 105+? Is that on the team or on the field at one time? I would find out.

5 on the team (total) and 3 on the field at one time playing the three inner positions.

They don't want the bigger kids to advance the ball...

AdamBAG
03-22-2011, 08:25 AM
5 on the team (total) and 3 on the field at one time playing the three inner positions.

They don't want the bigger kids to advance the ball...

Send him down here to Texas where being a big kid is encouraged. :)

Off Road
03-22-2011, 03:55 PM
I will check out DeFranco's stuff.

My initial thoughts were skipping rope, sprints, and broad jumps. We'll see what the search brings...

Counterweight
03-22-2011, 05:40 PM
I will check out DeFranco's stuff.

My initial thoughts were skipping rope, sprints, and broad jumps. We'll see what the search brings...

Sprints aren't really going to help with footwork, and skipping rope..not so much

My advice would be to get him an agility ladder and have him do drills on that. Just google some drills and have him run through them slow but doing them properly, and then get him working up to full speed. It's not a huge deal, he could work on it in his room every night for a bit.

Off Road
03-22-2011, 06:11 PM
Thanks for those suggestions. Agility ladder sounds fun and should keep him interested.

J_Byrd
03-22-2011, 06:21 PM
ladder drills, any kind of dynamic speed development stuff is good for overall athletic. You are also on the right track as far as broad jumps, shuttle runs, things like that.

Off Road
03-23-2011, 07:11 AM
I am going to start him off with shuttle runs / sprints, followed by some longer distance runs, like 440s. He'll also do jumping (broad and box) and ladders and even hop scotch (he likes it, he's 10). Anything to build his leg speed, coordination of movement, and fitness. Thanks for the help, I'm sure anything he does is going to help. I'm not pushing him to do any of this, it's all his idea, but I want to help him in any way I can.

tnathletics2b
03-23-2011, 08:09 AM
+1 on the ladder drills. I did them in college and it helped my footwork a lot.

BoAnderson71
03-23-2011, 01:19 PM
talk to the coach and figure out what position he wants him to be. Then either through the coach or research on the internet come up with some position specific skills he can do. Then find a field where he can do them. Right now at 12 focus on developing his skills, athleticism will increase from puberty and then he will start to hit the weights hard in a year or two. Developing the skills needed to play the desired position will benefit him in the long run. Learning the skills of the game is a lot harder then getting bigger and stronger especially at his age, where he will be growing like a weed.

Off Road
03-23-2011, 02:39 PM
He would be playing center, guard or tackle, the only positions they allow the bigger kids to play and the only competetive positions on the team. The coach said to have my son work on footwork, footwork, and footwork. He further said that the kids aren't tested in position, but are run through a general fitness exam and the kids are picked on their general athletic ability.

thatNUCKOLSkid
03-23-2011, 02:54 PM
he's 12 years old and he's BIG at 103+?!?!?! i was 165 at that age and my coaches said i was too small to play anywhere on the O-line!!! i realize some people have already panned jumping rope, but it's difficult to be quick on your feet and have coordinated footwork without strong calves. i always felt like jumping rope payed big dividends for me. also, just for the sake of fun (since he's a kid), do some soccer drills with him. if a kid can control a soccer ball, his feet can do anything they would need to for football!

Off Road
03-23-2011, 02:59 PM
he's 12 years old and he's BIG at 103+?!?!?!
No, he's actually 10 years old. That age was a typo {my mistake} I'm getting both my kids into conditioning programs and the other one is 12 years old and needs to get better for a Boy Scout physical fitness test. The limit for the 10 year old football team is 5 kids over 103 lbs. He actually weighs around 115 lbs and is 5'-1" tall. Pretty good sized for a 4th grader.

thatNUCKOLSkid
03-23-2011, 03:02 PM
oh ok. sorry about that! my brain is fried from class, so i must have just misread.

Off Road
03-23-2011, 03:06 PM
oh ok. sorry about that! my brain is fried from class, so i must have just misread.No, it was my mistake and I edited it after your post.
Anyways, jumping rope was one of the suggestions the coach made too.

BoAnderson71
03-23-2011, 10:04 PM
His size is fine, I was 145 pounds eighth grade season and started on o and dline. By my senior year of highschool I was 265 pounds and all league on oline and dline so 103 at 10 is fine. Try to see if you can invest in a pad that has a handle on the back and is square/rectangle, you might be able to get one at a sports store. Read up on the proper blocking technique. have him do that. Have him practice pulling, you can do that by adding it into his sprints. You can use med balls to. Have him learn the proper stance, then work on his steps.

Ferrous Lifter
03-23-2011, 10:17 PM
Personally trying out for a team at age 10 is ridiculous, and sounds like an atmosphere favouring competition over learning new skills/having fun which is the primary purpose of youth sports. But if thats the only option to play football…

You could invest in a agility ladder or 6" hurdles, theres plenty of information you can look up on youtube. Best bet is teaching the technical aspects of the game (staying low, quick feet, head up etc.) If you can, find a flag football league before season to get him comfortable with the game. Most leagues have the parents on the field with them helping out.

Off Road
03-24-2011, 07:22 AM
Thanks guys. I think it's rediculous too that the big kids have to earn a spot and the smaller kids automatically get on the team and are put into a rotation. It's the big kids that they'll want later in high school, and they won't have the skills built or the love of the game.

And I don't put a lot of faith in the coaches since I hear that most of them are just out there to help their own kids and ensure their kids' playing times. California sucks for sports parents, they all think their kid is going to be the next big thing.

I just want my kids to find their passion and get involved in anything physial.

Parker 1995
03-26-2011, 02:06 PM
if you want him to work on Speed and switching directions have him do the cone drill 2 cones about 15 yards apart, and have him in the middle. he is to be in a 3 point stance(Line men stance) he then runs to either the left or right cone then he puts his hand down and touches next to the cone( not on the cone beacuse he is not switching levels) then have him run back to the other one and again touch the ground, and finally sprint through the line were he started the drill. My coach used this on us, and still does use it.

Off Road
03-26-2011, 02:56 PM
if you want him to work on Speed and switching directions have him do the cone drill 2 cones about 15 yards apart, and have him in the middle. he is to be in a 3 point stance(Line men stance) he then runs to either the left or right cone then he puts his hand down and touches next to the cone( not on the cone beacuse he is not switching levels) then have him run back to the other one and again touch the ground, and finally sprint through the line were he started the drill. My coach used this on us, and still does use it.

That's a shuttle run.

Parker 1995
03-27-2011, 08:06 AM
That's a shuttle run.

ohh well my coach call it 3 cone drill.

FusionCoach
03-29-2011, 07:42 PM
I will check out DeFranco's stuff.

My initial thoughts were skipping rope, sprints, and broad jumps. We'll see what the search brings...

You're definitely on the right path! I believe in the later posts someone mentioned ladders too and doing soccer drills. All great advice especially for a young athletes, at that age they should be exposed to many different demands to acquire increase body awareness & coordination. And most of all to have fun!

One thing that I would also recommend that's very specific and transferable to any sport is the "athletic position". So simpel but many even top end high school athletes and some D1- usually O-lineman have issues holding a static "athletic position". This is obviously very specific to O-line and most sport movements.

So just thought I'd add in a simple but effective tool to use for you too.

Best of luck!

mastermonster
03-31-2011, 10:56 AM
If you're going to work with him do wave drills. Stand in front of him with a football in your hand. Start with the ball touching the ground and him lying flat on his stomach. His job is to mirror the movement of the ball from a broken down 2 point stance. Start by lifting the ball up quickly . He jumps to the 2 pt. stance ASAP while chopping his feet (The feet never stop in this drill). Very abruptly point the ball back - left - right - and bring it back to you; directing his movement with the ball. This developes quick feet and reaction time. He should maintain a good base width and not cross his feet over to change direction. Occasionally touch the ball to the ground and jerk it back up so he can flatten back out and recover to his 2 pt. position. After some rest do it again from a 4 point stance (bear crawl). Also. get a 10 foot 2x12 board and sprint down it with his feet staddling the board. Then do the same with a bear crawl. This will make him keep his feet at a stable playing width. (solid base).

I think the 103 pound rule is totally stupid! By that mentality Jerome Bettis (The Bus) would have been forced to be a lineman. In 1992 my JV fullback was a 260 5'10" 9th grader. He was also the 3rd fastest player on a very fast team. It would have been a shame if he'd had to be played out of position just because he was a perfect fullback specimin at an early age! That same mentality finally got him though. When he went up to varsity the coach there put him at guard and never even looked at him at fullback. Just because he didn't fit his 'mindset' of a running back. I coached OL there also and no matter how much I tried to get him to try him at FB he just refused. Stereo typing sucks in sports! Example: Doug Flute! He won everywhere he ever played. But was always eventually cut in the NFL because he was 5'9"ish and not the 'stereo type' 6'2" + guy! Good luck with everything!

Off Road
03-31-2011, 01:14 PM
Great suggestions that I can easily introduce. Thanks so much guys.