Learning the Plays from the Playbook
Learning a play is critical because when an individual learns a play and executes it properly, it benefits the whole team. In order to start learning a play, make sure that you first pay attention to the instructions when they are given. In order to avoid learning a play wrong, or developing bad habits, we recommend that you go through the entire play slowly at first. Practice is a great time to get some extra help, so if you are struggling with a certain play remember that your coaches are there to help you master the techniques. Always, always ask for the help that you need. The last helpful hint that we want you to learn is the power of visualization. Go over the plays in your mind, over and over again. Make your mind work them out and your muscles memorize them even when you sleep.
Conditioning Drill: Up Downs
The popular conditioning drill known as “up downs” is a very effective way to increase cardiovascular activity and endurance. This drill starts by having the players run in place as fast as they can encourage them to get their knees up as high as they can. At the coaches signal the players will drop to the ground and do a push up, and then quickly get back up and start running again. This drill is an excellent workout and should be worked in slowly at first and then increased in intensity and length over time.
Catching the ball high
As a receiver, or any player that is going to catch a pass, you know that not all passes are going to go right to the chest. Here are some simple steps when making a high catch: The first and most important is that you extend your arms and keep your hands together in a diamond type shape to catch that football. When you try to catch the ball with your body there is a greater chance that it is going to bounce off and cause an incomplete pass. Once you have your hands around the ball, don’t take your eyes off the ball but follow it right into your tuck. When you practice a high catch you are going to perform it subconsciously on the field, so remember extend the arms, catch and follow through.
Tackling Fundamentals and Safety
Learning how to perform a proper tackle is fundamental to the game of football. If executed poorly not only will you not succeed in stopping the offensive team, but you could possibly injure yourself in the process. Some points to remember when tackling:
First is to cut off your opponent by placing yourself directly in front of them. Plant your cleats in the grass squarely in front and in the middle, bisecting the player in half. At the same time you want to bring your arms back in anticipation for the next phase.
Second, push your other foot keeping your knees low and bent, and in sync with your feet throw your hands up hard around the offensive player. At this point you are well planted in front and your head should be in direct contact. The one golden rule in making a safe tackle is to never, ever lead with or try to tackle with the crown of your head. A great way to insure that you are in the right position is to practice touching your facemask to the football of the opposing player.