FLAG FOOTBALL GUIDEBOOK FOR COACHES

FLAG FOOTBALL GUIDEBOOK FOR COACHES RULES The game is played for fun! No score or standings are kept. Everyone should play at least half of the game...
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FLAG FOOTBALL GUIDEBOOK FOR COACHES

RULES The game is played for fun! No score or standings are kept. Everyone should play at least half of the game and players should be rotated, so that everyone plays on both offense and defense and plays multiple positions. Each team will first practice for 30 minutes. 1. A coin toss will determine the first possession. 2. The game consists of two halves. Second half possession goes to 3.

4.

5. 6. 7.

the team who started on defense. The offensive team takes possession of the ball at their 5-yard line and has 4 downs to cross the first-down marker at midfield or score a touchdown. Once a team crosses midfield they will have 4 more downs to score a touchdown. Play continues until a team scores a touchdown, the ball is turned over, or the offensive team fails to reach a first down. If the offensive team fails to get a first down or score a touchdown, the possession changes and the opposite team starts their drive from their own a. 5-yard line. There will be no kicking or punting. Field length is 50 yards with additional 5-yard end zones. Field width is approximately 30 yards. Foul play or any actions that threaten the safety of participants will not be tolerated.

PLAYERS/TEAMS 8. Teams will field a maximum of 8 players at all times. 9. Substitutions will be open for the entire game on dead balls. TIME-OUTS 10. YMCA staff can stop the clock on their own discretion. 11. YMCA staff will monitor time in between plays and talk to coaches if teams are taking too long in the huddle. DEAD BALLS 12. Play is ruled dead when: 13. Ball carrier’s flag is pulled. 14. Ball carrier steps out of bounds.

15. Ball is fumbled. There are no fumbles! The ball is spotted where the

ball hits the ground with the offense maintaining possession of the ball. 16. A touchdown is scored. 17. An interception is made in the end zone. 18. A pass is incomplete 19. A quarterback is sacked 20. Ball carriers knee hits the ground. 21. A defensive player touches the ball carrier whose flag was not pulled off but has fallen off. OFFENSIVE RULES 22. The ball must be snapped between the legs. A fumbled snap is an automatic reply of the down. 23. No silent snaps are allowed. 24. The quarterback is the only player that calls out the cadence and receives the snap. There are no QB designed runs allowed. If the QB is rushed by the defense he may run. 25. All players are eligible to receive a pass. 26. Absolutely NO laterals or pitches of any kind beyond the line of scrimmage. 27. Spinning is allowed, but players cannot leave their feet to avoid a defensive player. (NO DIVING)! 28. No flag guarding, holding on to flags, or stiff arming is allowed. 29. Only one player is allowed in motion. 30. Offensive blocking should be done with hands and arms close to the chest. No pushing or extending of arms is allowed. 31. Coach of offensive team should monitor blocking for proper technique. DEFENSIVE RULES 32. If playing with 5 or 6 players the defense must put 2 players on the defensive line. If playing with 7 or 8 players the defense must put 3 players on the defensive line. 33. All other defensive players must be at least 7 yards from the line of scrimmage. 34. Any number players, even those not on the defensive line may rush the quarterback. 35. The YMCA Staff/Coach will designate the 7-yards from the line of scrimmage.

36. When the offense is on the 4 yard line or closer, the defensive

players who are not on the defensive line may line up 4 yards away from the ball instead of 7. 37. All players should be in ready position before the play begins. 38. No defensive player may move forward until the ball is handed off. If it is a pass no defensive player may cross the line of scrimmage until a count of 3 apple by the official. 39. Defense may move laterally along line of scrimmage or 7 yard mark during the handoff or during the 3 apple count. 40. Interceptions can be advanced! The ball will be spotted where the player is downed or goes out of bounds. Any interception in the end zone results in a change of possession, with the opposite team taking over on their 5-yard line. 41. Defensive rushers cannot run directly at offensive blockers. Stress footwork of running around the blockers. 42. Coach of Defensive team should monitor the rushers for proper technique.

FOOTBALL DICTIONARY Audible: When the quarterback changes the football play at the line of scrimmage. Backfield: The area of the football field behind the line of scrimmage. Blitz: A football play where the defensive team rushes more football players than usual to try and sack the quarterback. Eligible receiver: The football players on the offense that are allowed by the rules to catch a forward pass. Encroachment: A penalty when any football player contacts the other team prior to the snap. Fair catch: By signaling with a wave, the football player making a kick return can choose to catch the football and take possession of the ball where he made the catch. He will not get tackled, but he also will not be allowed to run with the football. Holding: A penalty where a football player grabs an opponent. Intentional grounding: A penalty called when the quarterback purposely throws an incomplete pass just to avoid a sack. Lateral: A backward pass. Football players may lateral the football as many times per play as they want. If a lateral is dropped, the ball is still live (like a fumble) and any player may recover it. Line of scrimmage: The location on the field where the football is spotted and the next play begins. Neutral zone: The area between the offense and defense at the start of the play. Only the center is allowed in this zone until after the ball is snapped. Nickel defense: When the defense brings in a 5th defensive back to help cover the pass play. Offside: A penalty that occurs when any part of a football player's body is beyond his line of scrimmage when the football is snapped. Pass protection: Blocking by the offensive football players to keep defenders away from the quarterback to give him time to throw the football. Play-action pass: When the quarterback fakes handing off the football and then attempts a pass.

Pocket: The place where the quarterback stands just behind the center. Here he is protected from the pass rush by his blockers. Punt: A football kick to the other team to give them the ball downfield rather than lose the football on downs. Rush: When the football player runs with the football. Also, when a football player tries to “tackle” the quarterback while in the pocket. Sack: When the quarterback is “tackled” behind the line of scrimmage. Safety: When a football player is tackled in his own end zone. The defense gets 2 points and the possession of the football from a free kick. Scrambling: When the quarterback runs around trying not to get sacked with the football. Special teams: These are the football players who are involved in the kicking plays. FIELD DIAGRAMS W/POSITIONS

RB

RB QB

WR CB

OT

OG

DE

C DT

LB S RB = Running Back WR = Wide Receiver OT = Offensive Tackle C = Center DE = Defensive End LB = Linebacker

OG

OT

TE

DT LB

WR DE

LB S QB = Quarter Back TE = Tight End OG = Offensive Guard CB = Cornerback DT = Defensive Tackle S = Safety

CB

FOULS Holding: A penalty assessed when a player grabs another player in order to gain an advantage. Holding can be called on the offense or the defense. And will result in taking 5 yards off the end of the play. Extending Arms to Block: Offense will lose 5 yards from end of play. Flag Guarding: Offense will lose 5 yards from end of play. Pass Interference: A penalty called when a player impedes another player's ability to catch a downfield pass prior to the ball's arrival. Pass interference can only be called if the player could reasonable have made a play on the ball. Also once a forward pass is tipped or deflected, pass interference is no longer a foul. Will result in taking 5 yards off the end of the play. Excessive Tackling: Responsible team will lose 5 yards from end of play.

Additional Training/Coaching material can be found at: http://www.ymcastlouis.org/sites/default/files/editor/files/Flag%20Football%20drills%2 0for%20coaches.pdf http://www.syffl.com/doclib/practice%20plan%20flagfootballpp254.pdf http://www.y-coach.com/CD/Flag_Football_Drills.htm https://www.ymcatwincities.org/_asset/89s5h5/Flag-Football-Coach-Handbook2013.pdf http://coachparker.org/2008/06/17/proper-way-to-catch-the-football-video/

4K/5K

Week 1: Focus: Positioning/Snapping  Teach the kids what you expect them to do when you blow the whistle (to get them to stop and listen to you).  

Ideas for Drills: 1-3 Ideas for Games: a-c

Goal: Be able to line up in the correct place and snap the ball correctly

Week 2: Focus: Handoffs/Running while being chased/Running to correct place  Ideas for Drills: 4,5  Ideas for Games: d Goal: Be able to perform and receive a handoff and run to a predetermined spot

Week 3: Focus: Running w/ the ball/Running while being chased/Flag pulling  Ideas for Passing Drills: 7-9  Ideas for Passing Games: e Goal: Be able to safely run with the ball to a predetermined space while being chased and understand what to do if flag is pulled

Week 4: Focus: Defense & Blocking (flag pulling/basic techniques)  Ideas for Drills: 11-16, 18, 19  Ideas for Games: f-h Goal: Be able to perform a block correctly and pull opponents flags

Week 5: Focus: Defend/block against the run  Ideas for Drills: 20,21,22  Ideas for Games: k Goal: Be able to run specific routes and defend against running plays

Week 6: Focus: Throwing/Catching  Ideas for Drills: 25,26, 31,32  Ideas for Games: l, n Goal: Be able to complete passes with a partner

Week 7: Focus: Running to receive pass/Leading the receiver  Ideas for Drills: 27-29, 33,34  Ideas for Games: m, n Goal: Be able to run a route to receive a pass and complete a pass to a receiver on the move

Week 8: Focus: Rules/Positions  Ideas for Drills: 35  Ideas for Games: o,p Goal: Be able to understand the basic rules and different positions Grades 1 & 2

Week 1: Focus: Snapping/Handoffs  Ideas for Drills: 2-6  Ideas for Games: a-d Goal: Be able to line up in the correct place, snap and handoff the ball correctly

Week 2: Focus: Run with the ball while being chased/flag pulling/blocking  Ideas for Drills: 9, 10, 13-17  Ideas for Games: g-h Goal: Be able to safely run with the ball to a predetermined space while being chased and understand what to do if flag is pulled

Week 3: Focus: Running routes/run defense  Ideas for Passing Drills: 21,22,27  Ideas for Passing Games: j, k Goal: Be able to run specific routes and defend against running plays

Week 4: Focus: Passing  Ideas for Drills: 25-27  Ideas for Games: l, m Goal: Be able to complete passes with a partner

Week 5: Focus: Defense & Blocking  Ideas for Drills: 20-24  Ideas for Games: j, k Goal: Be able to perform a block correctly and pull opponents flags

Week 6: Focus: Running to receive pass/Leading the receiver  Ideas for Drills: 28-30,33,34  Ideas for Games: m Goal: Be able to run a route to receive a pass and complete a pass to a receiver on the move

Week 7: Focus: Defense against the pass  Ideas for Drills: 24, 33, 34  Ideas for Games: o Goal: Be able to defend against a receiver

Week 8: Focus: Rules/Positions  Ideas for Drills: 35  Ideas for Games: o, p Goal: Be able to understand the basic rules and different positions Grades 3 & 4

Week 1: Focus: Positions, Snapping, Hand-offs  Ideas for Drills: 2-6  Ideas for Games: a-d Goal: Be able to understand and line up in the different positions, snap and hand the ball off correctly.

Week 2: Focus: Running the ball, flag-pulling, proper blocking technique  Ideas for Drills: 7-10, 15-17, 18-20  Ideas for Games: g, h, i Goal: Be able to run toward a predetermined space, pull a flag properly, know what to do if their flag is pulled, and block properly.

Week 3: Focus: Running Routes/ Run Defense  Ideas for Passing Drills: 21, 22, 27-29  Ideas for Passing Games: l, m Goal: Be able to properly run a variety of routes and defend against running plays.

Week 4: Focus: Passing  Ideas for Passing Drills: 25-29  Ideas for Passing Games: l, m Goal: Be able to properly throw a football and complete a pass with a variety of routes.

Week 5: Focus: Running Routes/ Receiving/ Leading the Receiver  Ideas for Drills: 31-34  Ideas for Games: n Goal: Be able to catch a pass properly and run a variety of routes.

Week 6: Focus: Defense  Ideas for Drills: 20-24  Ideas for Games: j, k Goal: Be able to understand the various defensive positions, techniques, and ways to defend.

Week 7: Focus: Defense against the pass  Ideas for Drills: 24, 33, 34  Ideas for Games: m , n Goal: Be able to properly play defense against a receiver.

Week 8: Focus: Rules/ Positions  Ideas for Drills: 35  Ideas for Games: o, p

Goal: Be able to understand the concepts/rules of football and know the different positions and their responsibilities.

Grades 5 & 6

Week 1: Focus: Hand-offs, Running  Ideas for Drills: 4-10  Ideas for Games: d, e Goal: Be able to hand off the ball and receive the hand off correctly. Run with the ball while avoiding defenders.

Week 2: Focus: Flag-pulling, Blocking  Ideas for Drills: 11-24  Ideas for Games: h, i, j, k Goal: Be able to properly pull off flags, understand what to do if their flag is pulled, and understand how to properly block.

Week 3: Focus: Running Routes/ Run Defense  

Ideas for Drills: 21, 22, 27-29 Ideas for Games: l, m

Goal: Be able to properly run a variety of routes and defend against running plays.

Week 4: Focus: Passing  Ideas for Drills: 26-30  Ideas for Games: l, m Goal: Be able to throw a pass with proper technique and lead the receiver.

Week 5: Focus: Defense  Ideas for Drills: 20-24  Ideas for Games: j, k Goal: Be able to understand the various defensive positions, techniques, and ways to defend.

Week 6: Focus: Defense against the pass  Ideas for Drills: 24, 33, 34  Ideas for Games: m, n Goal: Be able to properly defend the pass/ a receiver.

Week 7: Focus: Recap/ Review  Ideas for Drills: 6, 10, 17, 24, 28-30, 33, 34  Ideas for Games: c, d, j, k, l, m Goal: Reviewing/Understanding the basics: passing, receiving, running routes, hand-offs, defense

Week 8: Focus: Rules/Positions  Ideas for Drills: 35  Ideas for Games: o, p Goal: Be able to understand the concepts/rules of football and know the different positions and their responsibilities.

FLAG FOOTBALL DRILLS/GAMES REFERENCE Positioning: Drills: 1 - Position Name and Duty: Have everyone line up in a position and the coach will go around and tell them once what that position is called and what the job of their position is then quiz kids on what the position is and what it is that they do. 2- 3 Point Stance: Coaches will check kids for correct technique.  Down: Hands rest on knees, feet spread shoulder width apart  Set: Right arm sets straight on ground, place equal weight between arm & feet  Hut 1: Charge forward after ball is snapped. Rise up while still leaning forward. Then the coach will say “Down, Set, Hut 1” – Work on repetition of cadence. Games: a. Jingle Jangle: This is a good way to begin flag football practice. After a short stretching period, this drill gets players loose and warmed up, while also helping them practice their agility and footwork. Place cones at corners of 15-yard square. Line up players at one corner of square. Players then: sprint to first cone, side-step to second cone, backpedal to third cone, and sprint back to beginning of line. b. Line Races: Set all players on the same line of the field tell them the count and then as you yell that count out, “Down set hut” the players will sprint 20 yards. Allow the top 3-5 runners to sit out a round of running. Penalize any players who jump by jumping jacks or push-ups. This game will help the players learn to focus on the importance of listening to the snap count and will also serve as a conditioning drill. Snapping: Technique: Center should be set before cadence is called. Grab the ball firm. Watch your target and hike directly into the quarterback’s hands. After the snap get your head up and look to block a defensive player.  NOTE: Grades Kind.-2nd has the option of snapping the ball to the side rather than through the legs. Grades 3-4 have to snap the ball between their legs. Drills: 3- Basic Snapping Drill: Have everyone partner up and practice snapping the ball by following a coach’s cadence and bringing the ball from the ground to their butt pad. Switch positions. Next have a player line up on the center and as the snap is made the center should work on transitioning to a blocking form.

Games: c. Center/QB Exchange: Set out a 20 x 20-yard area. Divide teams into even groups and place in even lines. Place cones in middle of drill four yards apart. One football per team; the entire team can participate. Drill Outline: This is a relay race. The quarterback (A) and center (B) on each team start the race. The center (B) snaps directly to the QB (A). The center will stand still while the QB runs to the next cone. The previous (A) snaps to (B), then (B) snaps to (A) and so on, until course is completed. The race is continued until each participant gets a turn. Handoffs: Technique: QB will place the ball into the running backs stomach. When receiving the hand off, the running back will have his left hand and arm high (around the chin area), and his right hand and arm ready to grab the ball (around the navel area). Once the ball is placed in the stomach, bring both arms together grasping the ball with both hands and arms. Shift the ball to the arm away from the flow of play. The hand carrying the ball is “stuck” into the point of the ball. Drills: 4- Coach QB Handoff Drill: The kids will line up where the halfback would be positioned. The QB will call the cadence. The first halfback will run behind the QB and run a right sweep (run around to outside of end). Once he receives the hand off and charges up field 5 yards, he will toss the ball back to the QB. Repeat so every player gets a turn. PROGRESSION: Once the players have the right idea about receiving a hand off, try to get players to be the QB and have them give the hand off. 5- Handoff Drill: You can have any number of groups; pair up offensive players like receivers and QBs or QBs and RBs. Each pair should have a ball. This is the basic handoff and should be learned very early when teaching the fundamentals of flag football. The player handing the ball off will stand in front with the back to the ball carrier. On the snap, the running back (ball carrier) will go straight ahead, either to the left or right side of the player handing off. The player receiving the ball should have the inside arm on the top, across the body, and the outside arm low across the body. The QB (hand off) will open up to the runner and put the ball right in his or her belly. The important part for the exchange is getting the ball into the RBs hands, with the proper arm up. 6- Cris-Cross Handoff Drill: Line up 10 cones – pair up the cones up about 7 yards apart, but at the same 5 yard intervals. Have a line of players at each cone. On the coaches’ whistle, the players will start at the first cone and go diagonally towards the second cone, so they end up on opposite sides. In the middle (they will cross) the players will exchange the ball in a handoff fashion. As they reach the second cone, they will change direction and cris-cross to the other side again and make the handoff.

There should be 4 handoffs as the players’ cris-cross from one side to the other along the 5 cones on each side. Time the players from start to finish and add 5 seconds for any dropped exchanges. Games: d. The Gauntlet: Have kids form an isle way for the running back to run through. Then have a QB perform a handoff with the running back. After the running back receives the ball have him run through the isle formed by the rest of the team. The players forming the isle should attempt to take away the football without hitting or grabbing the running back. Running: Drills: 7- Shuttle Runs: Set up cones at 10 yard increments lasting up to 50 yards (recommended). Have half the team run at a time. When running, have players run from the start to the 10 yard marker, back to the start then to the 20 yard marker etc… once they reach 50 yards they backtrack and run from start to 40 then 30 and so on finally finishing with a 10 yard and back. 8- Box Drill: Set up 4 cones to make a square the distance between cones should be approximately 15 yards. Have the player’s line up and one at a time sprint forward to the first cone followed by a side shuffle to the second cone. After the second cone the players should backpedal to the third then turn and sprint to the last cone. 9- Running with the Ball Relay: Set out a 20 x 20-yard area. Cones are set 8 yards apart to simulate a mini-end zone. One ball per group. If cones are limited, use t-shirts, shoes, or tape on the floor as markers. Drill Outline: This is a relay race between teams. The first participant in each line has a football and will run with the football around each cone and then come back to the beginning of his/her line. When the participant returns to the line, they will hand off to the next participant at the front of the line, then go to the back of the team's line. The race is won by the first team to have each participant complete the race. Progression: Have players backpedal or hop over the cones. 10- Find the End Zone Drill: Set out a 40 x 40-yard area. Place cones 2 yards apart to simulate a mini-end zone (Set up multiple end zones in random places w/in the space). Recommended for six pairs of players, the maximum number of kids is 20. Balls are optional. Drill Outline: Pair players up, one as a RB and one as a DB. The DB is in back of the RB and chasing the RB from behind. RB's should carry a football (if available). Each RB starts off on the end line at either side of the playing area. The DBs start 5 yards behind the RBs. On the coach's whistle, the RBs attempt to cross through the mini-end zones without getting their flags pulled by the pursuing DBs. The DB must chase the RB. If both flags are pulled, RB is out. If one flag pulled, the RB keeps going. Any end zone can be crossed and there is no order in which the end zones have to be crossed. The drill lasts 45 seconds and then you switch RB's to DB and DB's to RB.

Games: e. Perimeter Race: Have the players race around the playing fields perimeter rewarding the top 3-5 finishers by not making them do jumping jacks Flag Pulling: Technique: The first thing to stress is to drop the flag right away where they pulled it off. Also go over putting the belts on and how to position the flags. NO tucking or putting them in knots. Drills: 11- Basic Flag Pull: Pair up players of similar skill and make sure they each have a set of flags around the waist. How this drill works – While this is not a game of tackle football, the approach to flag-pulling is somewhat similar – without the contact, of course. With the head up, the player approaches the runner, lining up the outside shoulder with the middle of the ball carrier’s chest. Once the tackler approaches the ball carrier, he or she will open the arms and reach at waist height, while still keeping the outside shoulder on the path to the middle of the chest. Players should not make contact with the ball carrier, except to grab the flags. The tackler will lean into the carrier, with the arms outstretched and the head up looking to grab the flags. Keeping the ball carrier in front of the tackler is extremely important. 12- Angle flag pull: Making the flag pull while running at an angle to the runner is a great skill to learn early. Set up a running back and a linebacker (defensive back) about 10 yards apart directly in front of each other. Set up two cones – on the line of scrimmage – one to the left 10 yards and one to the right 10 yards. How this drill works – On the snap of the ball, the RB will decide which cone to run towards. The defensive player will need to take an angle of pursuit that will help him or her reach the ball carrier before he or she gets to the outside of the cone. The angle pull requires the tackler to reach out across the body of the player (without making contact) with the head up and focusing on grabbing the flags. 13- Flag it Up: This drill is designed to help players get used to pulling the flag off of the opposing players. One player will act as the defender, and he will face the rest of the team who are lined up single-file. The first ball carrier runs to the defender and cuts to the right. The next ball carrier does the same but cuts to the left. Players will rotate in this fashion and gradually increase their speed. Eventually, the defender will have no time to think and must rely on instinct in order to grab the flags of the ball carriers. When every player has passed the defender, a new defender should be chosen and the drill repeated. 14- Random Flagging: This drill teaches the defenders to quickly grab the flag of a receiver. Line up your receivers and randomly toss one of them the ball. It’s then up to the defenders to swarm that player and remove their flag as quickly as possible. If you like, you may time the players to help promote healthy competition.

15- Cone Cut and Pull: Set up two pylons about 5 yards apart to act as the line of scrimmage. Set up another pylon 5 yards into the defender’s side of the ball. Line up defenders 3 or 4 yards behind the cone; ball carriers start 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage. On the whistle, the ball carrier will move forward between the two cones at the line of scrimmage. The defender will keep their feet moving in short, choppy steps in the same spot, waiting for the ball carrier. The runner will run towards the cone on the defensive side of the ball. Once at the cone, the ball carrier must choose one way or another to cut and go. The defender must read the cut and try to make the flag pull. The ball carrier is only allowed to make one move in this drill. Score one for a flag pull and one if the ball carrier gets by. 16- Get your Flags: Partner up players of equal skill, size and speed. Give each one a set of flags. This is a game of one-on-one, where the object is to try and grab your partner’s flags. The players will start off an arm’s reach apart when the whistle blows. They jostle and move and reach to try and grab their partner’s flags. Players cannot spin away or block flag reaching with their hands. They must move laterally or run forward or backward to avoid the pull. Coaches must watch for proper flag-pulling technique. This is a great fun game (that also works on conditioning), but it can get out of hand if the emphasis is not on the proper flag-pulling technique. 17- Pull Flag with Blocker: You can run this drill in many ways; either with an offensive lineman versus d-lineman, or lead running back and linebacker – but you will always have a running back carrying the ball. Set up two pylons about 10 yards apart on a line of scrimmage. This drill is for both offensive and defensive players, as you need to either execute a good block (offense) or execute a good tackle (defense). So the blocker attempts to keep the defensive player away and the defensive player tries to shed the block to make the tackle. The blocker must stay on his or her feet and block above the waist, and the tackler must not make contact with the runner, except for grabbing the flags and incidental contact. This drill requires the runner to run between the two cones and the contest is between the blocker and the tackler. Games: f. Sharks and Minnows: though this game is simple it is the most effective way of teaching proper flag pulling technique in a fun setting. Start with one player in the middle of a designated area. This player is the shark. Everyone else (minnows) lines up on an end line. When the coach says go, the minnows run to the other end of the field whoever’s flags get pulled off by the shark then become sharks. Play until no minnows remain. g. Flag Tag: Each person has a belt and two flags on. One or two players are chosen to be "It". The players chosen to be "it" chase the rest of the players trying to remove their flags. When both a players flags are removed that person becomes an "it" as well. The last player in the game is the winner. VARIATION - Have all the players be "it" and rip off each other’s flag. The

player with the most flags at the end of the game is the winner. VARIATION Have two people be "it", like before they try to rip the flags from the other players. When the "Its" get a flag they should throw it on the floor. Once a player has both flags removed they sit on the ground. The players that are seated on the field try to grab the flags from those playing. If they get one they may put it on and continue to play. The last player left is the winner. h. Flag Pull Relay: You can set up more than one station for this game. Place two cones 5 yards apart, and then another two cones 8 yards later, and then another two cones 8 yards after. Put a defender between each two cones. Line up players on both sides, about 10 yards away from the start of the cones. This game starts when one of the ball carriers goes through the course and meets the first defender. The defender attempts to pull the flag and the runner tries to get by. The runner has to get by each of the three areas in succession to score a touchdown (worth 6 points). Defenders that are able to pull a flag are awarded three points. The drill stops if a runner loses a flag to a defender. The runner on the other side of the drill begins and comes back the other way. Run two stations of this game and tally the points for offense and defense to see who wins. i.

Capture the Flag: This drill helps ball carriers develop their skills, as well as allowing defenders to practice grabbing the flag. Set up a 40 by 40 yard area for this drill and place two cones at the end for an end zone. Players should be divided into pairs, with the front player being the runner and the back player being the defensive back. If possible, each runner should carry a football. Defensive backs will start five yards behind the runner. When the whistle blows, the runners will attempt to reach the end zone before the defenders catch them and grab their flag. While this drill is underway, make sure that the ball carriers run with their heads up. Defensive backs should also watch the hips of the runner, not his shoulders or head.

Blocking: Technique: Place your arms high across your chest, don’t block with your head (use arms and shoulders). Take short, choppy or digging steps. Charge with your body leaning forward. You may block making contact and maintaining contact or with several bumps. Drills: 18- At the Line: Divide into groups of offense and defense. Line up across from each other. On the coaches command of “down, set, go” contact is made. Give both sides a chance to play both positions 19- First step: The first step is important for a good block to be set up. You can pair up players in order to execute this drill, as they will need to execute the first step and get their arms up to block.

The players will line up in a three point stance and the partners can stand straight up and down to begin the drill. On the whistle, the players taking the first step will slightly raise their upper body and take the first jab step towards the opponent. The arms will be in front of them – slightly higher than the opponents’ waist. The first step will move forward toward the defender and the blocker’s head will be up. The hands will engage the body of the defender. The first step is important in getting out to set up a good blocking angle on a running play. Once the initial part of the drill is learned, you can designate a direction for the first step. 20- Mirror Drill: To develop the defensive skills of pulling the flag and following a WR. Set out a 20 x 20-yard area. Pair up 10-12 participants. The coach gives each team a name. This is a mirror drill. Players must "mirror" and stay with the player lined up across from them. When the coach calls out a team name, that team becomes the offense and tries to score in the defensive team's end zone. A score is worth 6 points. If a player has his/her flag pulled they are out for that one drill. Defensive players can go after other offensive players if they have pulled the flag of their partner. Offensive players have 45 seconds to score. Each score is worth 6 points. Progression: Coach will lower the time limit to 30 seconds. Coach keeps track of offensive player scores and subtracts 3 points for players who had their flags pulled.

21- Mirror Defense: Set out a 20 x 20-yard area. Pair up 10-12 participants or as many as space allows. Pair up kids - one group is WRs, the other DBs. Each DB will backpedal and "mirror" the WR. All players will start in slow motion on the instructor's command. Switch, making WRs play as DBs. Progress to half speed. Switch positions again. Now go to full speed. On the instructor's whistle, the WRs will try to run past the DBs, who are backpedaling. During the drill, the instructor calls out "GO", the DB is now allowed to pull the flag of the WR who is still running for the end zone. The "GO" simulates the WR catching the football. Progression: The coach will pass a football to an open offensive player when "GO" is called. 22- Make a Hole: Have an offense and defensive line. The coach will call a huddle and tell the offensive line which hole they need to make open. The coach then acts as the QB and starts the play and runs through the open hole. This drill teaches players the importance of opening the proper hole for the play to develop and proper blocking form. 23- Live Action: QB will call “Down, Set, Hut 1” QB will receive hike and hand ball off to RB. RB runs straight ahead and find hole that linemen made. Defenders will try to touch (not tackle) the RB as he runs through. Rotate players so that they play offensive and defensive linemen, QB & RB. Stress: Accurate hikes, aggressive line play, handing off, reading holes properly, quickness off the ball. 24- Defensive Drill: To develop running skills and avoid the DB. Also teaches RBs to run to an open area. Set out a 20 x 20-yard area. 10 players start at one end zone, each with a football. Two DBs are stationed in the middle of the field. The object is for the

RBs to run past the DBs to the opposite end zone without getting their flags pulled. If a RB has his/her flag pulled, he/she sits out. Stop the drill after RBs reach the opposite end zone. Identify kids with pulled flags and allow players to catch their breath. The drill continues then by changing direction until there is one RB remaining. Progression: Instead a RB sitting out after his/her flag is pulled, have him switch to a DB and assist in pulling other RB's flags. Games: j.

Fumble Drill: Have 4 offensive line men and 4 defensive linemen. Drop a ball behind the defensive line men. Whoever is the first defensive player to reach the ball remains on defense all other defensive linemen switch to offense. Like whys all successful offensive linemen switch to defense.

k. Swarm the Defense: This is a fun drill that also helps to condition the players. Set up a 20-yard by 20-yard area, and have 10 players start on one side – complete with flags. Have two defenders in the middle of the area. The defensive players will face 10 people running through the 20 by 20 area at the same time. The defenders will need to decide who they are going to pull the flags of, as the runners go through the box. The RBs need to run through the area without having flags pulled. The RBs will run from one side to the other, and once to the other side, tally up how many runners had flags pulled. Remove those players and run the drill again. Keep running until you have only one player left. They are the winner and can sit out the next drill when you change defensive players. Passing: Technique: Grip the ball across the laces (about 2/3 of its length is in front of the little finger) – fingers should be slightly spread. To pass, set your body & plant your foot. Draw your throwing arm back just behind the ear. Release the ball fairly high over your head, while stepping forward and shifting your weight on your opposite leg. Follow through with your arm Drills: 25- 2 knee drills: Players sit on their knees about 10 feet and throw to each other while just warming up their arms. As they progress players can stand, now using their hips to generate more power; then progress to players being able to step and throw. As players go through these progressions make sure they are moving back each time 26- Partner Activities: Partners stand about 3 yards apart - partner passing from a standing position - partner passing from a kneeling position, switch knees - partner passing from a sitting position - partner passing with a hula hoop- partner holds the hoop out to their side, other player tries to throw the football through the hoop

27- Passing Routes: Set out a 20 x 20-yard area. Divide teams into even groups and place players opposite each other across the line about 5 yards apart. Players on Team A are the quarterbacks. The players on the B team are running backs. They will switch positions after each turn.  5 Yard Curl: The WR runs up the field 5 yards, stops, and returns back towards the QB.  5 Yard Out: The WR runs up the field 5 yards and cuts to the sideline.  8 Yard Post: A WR runs up field 8 yards and cuts toward the center of the field on a 45-degree angle  Streak: The WR runs straight up the field as fast as possible.  Post Corner: The WR runs up the field. At 8 yards he cuts toward the center of the field and after 2 yards runs towards the corner of the end zone.  5 Yard Smash: The WR runs up the field 5 yards and then turns toward the QB and side shuffles with body facing the QB. 28- Passing Tree: The passing tree system is designed so that all even-numbered routes (2, 4, 6, and 8) are run towards the middle of the field and all odd-numbered routes (1, 3, 5, 7, and 9) are be run towards the sideline. • Slant – 2 • Drag / In – 4 • Curl–6 • Post– 8 • Quick Out- 1 • Deep Out- 3 • Flag– 5 • Post Corner – 7 • Fly – 9 29- QB Toss: Set out a 20 x 20-yard area. Divide teams into even groups and place players opposite each other across the line about 5 yards apart. Players on Team A are the quarterbacks. The players on the B team are running backs. They will switch positions after each turn. Footballs for each pair are recommended and the entire class can participate if space permits. The QBs will have their backs to the RBs. The first several practices, the instructor will call the cadence, "SET GO." The instructor will then choose a QB to call out the cadence. Each QB holds the football in front of them with their knees bent and their feet apart. On the QB's "SET GO" the RB moves to the right to take the pitch from the QB at a distance of 3-5 yards. The first time through the drill, have players move in slow motion to get the feel of the drill. Switch positions; the QBs are now RBs and vice versa. The players now run half speed through the drill to the left. The players switch positions again and run through the drill at full speed. 30- Groups of 3: Practicing passing routes using a QB (quarterback), R (receiver) and a DB (defensive back) - Receiver runs 3 routes, one left, one right and one middle - QB attempts to complete all 3 - Rotate all players

- The DB can pull the flag of the R once the ball has been caught - Introduce new patterns as the children progress, such as curl, square out, slant, streak and post Games: l.

Two Steps: Set out a 40 x 40-yard area. Divide teams into even groups and place players opposite each other across the field. Eight to ten participants start on the field, the remaining players stand on the sidelines. This game concept and playing area is similar to basketball, but without the baskets or dribbling. The ball starts with one player at the center of the field. The object is to throw the football to a teammate in the circle or goal. The player with the ball has to pass to his/her teammates inside the game or can get assistance from teammates on the sidelines. The player with the ball can only take two steps, similar to basketball. The players in the playing area without the ball are free to move around. The ball must be passed within 10 seconds or the other team gets possession of the ball. The idea is to try to knock down or intercept a pass. If the ball is dropped or intercepted, the team on defense is awarded possession of the football. 6 points are awarded each time the ball is passed to a player in the goal area. The player in the goal cannot leave that area.

m. Hit your man: Set out a 10 x 10-yard area. Divide the players into groups of six, five players on offense and a single player on defense. Station four players in the corners of the area and a lone receiver, shadowed by a defender inside the area. This can be duplicated to allow full participation for entire team. One football is needed per group. The object is for the QB's to pass the football around until an opportunity arises to throw the football to the WR. The length of the game is 30 seconds. Six points are awarded for each reception and the defense is awarded three points for an interception. Either switch to a whole new group of players at QB, WR, and DB. Or, switch kids on the field into new positions or bring new kids into game. Progression: · Lower drill time to (20) seconds in length. · Add an additional DB to the field. · If the football is intercepted, put the QB who threw the interception on defense. Receiving: Technique: Catch the ball in your hands – don’t trap it against your chest. Keep your eyes on the ball until it is caught. All balls (except those high ones thrown at the receiver) should be caught with the thumbs out. Receiver should learn to fake or fool the defenders as they go out for a pass. Run fast, don’t jog and always finish the pattern.

31- Accurate Coach Toss: Have the team line up single file and have the coach throw them the ball. Once it’s caught they toss it back and go to the back of the line. Have team focus on catching with their hands. 32- Inaccurate Coach Toss: Have the team line up single file and have the coach throw them the ball, this time the coach will throw the ball “off center” (high, low or to the side) You have to get them used to adjusting to and going up to fight for poorly thrown balls. 33-Catch at All Costs: Pick a few kids to be defenders and have the rest of the team line up single file. This time the coach can throw it anyway he wants to, and there will be a defender in your face. When you have defenders waving arms or even just with their hands up and shouting, it forces the receiver to concentrate on the football. 34- Finishing Routes: A finishing route is just the last 5 yards of the pass pattern, started from a run in place. Have each member of the team run various “finishing routes and catch a pass from the coach. (Can add a net standing behind the players to catch errant throws). Progression:  Include inaccurate throws  Include defenders  Include inaccurate throws and defenders Games: n. 500: Have one player through the ball and all the other players group up about 20 yards away. As the thrower throws the ball he will yell out a point valley when a player reaches 500 points they become the new thrower. Additional Games/Drills utilizing all skills: 35-Football Downs: Divide the class into groups of 3 (quarterback, receiver and defender). Two on offense and one on defense. Set out three cones, each 10 yards apart. Starting at the first cone, have the offense place the ball on a bean bag which represents the line of scrimmage. From there, the offense runs their play that they made up with the receiver running to an open space. The quarterback throws the ball to the receiver once they are in an open space. If caught the receiver places the ball at the spot where they caught the ball. They now move the bean bag up to where the receiver caught the ball. If the bean bag is past the first cone on the field, they get another first down or four more tries. If the bean bag is not to the first cone, it becomes second down and so on. If the pass is not caught, the bean bag doesn't get to be moved up and the ball comes back to the line of scrimmage for the next down, or try, from the same place. I explain to the students that they get four downs (or tries) to get the ball to the next cone.

If they do not get the ball to the next cone by completing the passes in four tries or if the defender intercepts the ball, the defender and one of the offensive players then become the offense and start from the first cone again. Have children rotate positions so that everyone gets to play all three positions. A touchdown is scored if the offense moves the ball past the last of the three cones. o. 10 Yards game: This competitive drill pits the entire offense against the entire defense. Field an entire offense against an entire defense to start. The offense can be adjusted and altered at any time during this drill to add specific challenges for the defense. Judging by the name, 10 yards is what the teams are fighting for in this drill. The defense is trying to prevent a 10 yard gain, and the offense is trying to get 10 yards. This puts all of the skills together in order to try and reach their objective. The offense will receive 1 point if they get past 10 yards and the defense will get a point if they prevent a 10 yard gain. After 10 plays, tally the points and then switch up the players on both sides. p. The Ultimate: This is another full skill game, however, this time the object is just to stop the team from making a positive gain on the play. Set up 2 offenses and 2 defenses if you have the players. Set up a 60-yard field. This drill is different from the above drill in that the defense will immediately switch if they prevent the offense from making a positive gain. As long as the offense can move the ball they will continue. Each 60 yards they make, the offense will get 6 points. If a defense is able to stop the offense, then their offense gets to come out and try to do the same thing against the other team’s defense. They start at one end of the field and try to make it 60 yards for the 6 points. Give each side 5 possessions to try and score. Tally the points after each side has 5 possessions.

FLAG FOOTBALL TEAM HUDDLE REFERENCE *Team Huddles should be done by YMCA staff each week after the practice session, but before the game session. Practice #1 – (Key Idea – Four Core Values Ages 4-5: Gather the children into a circle. “This season we’ll talk about four qualities of a good person and teammate. Number one is caring. Can you tell me ways you show caring to others? Helping someone up when they fall? Good! Number two is honesty. What ways do you show honesty? How about if you tell someone if you broke something? That’s honesty. Number three is respect. Do you know what respect is? One thing that shows respect is listening to adults when they speak to you, like you’re doing now. Number four is responsibility. One way to show you’re responsible is to clean up after yourself. Don’t wait for others to clean up for you.” Ask them to share ways they show the four core values in other areas of their lives. “Good teammates show these values to each other. We’ll talk more about these four values during the season.” Ages 6-7: Gather the children into a circle with one ball. “Everyone hand the ball to the person next to you until it makes it around the whole circle.” After the ball has gone around the circle one time, have it passed to you. “We play flag football to be more healthy and fit, but it also teaches us to become good teammates and good people. This season we will talk about four qualities of a good person and teammate: caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. Our team needs to have all of these qualities in our practices and games. Remember that we can’t be a team without each of you doing your part. Let’s pass the ball to each other and say one of the core values before you pass. This will help you remember to use all four of the qualities so that we can work together.” Ages 8 & Up: Gather the team into a circle. Ask one player with a strong leg to kick a ball. Ask another with a strong arm to throw a pass to a receiver. “Kicking, passing, and catching are three skills that you need to succeed in this game. We’re going to work on those skills all season. But we all need four qualities that will help us, too: respect, honesty, responsibility, and caring. These qualities are just as important as kicking and passing and catching. Give me an example of each of the four values.” Listen to their responses and discuss. Practice #2 –(Key Idea – Responsibility) Ages 4-5: Gather children into a group. “I want us all to pretend we’re eggs. Eggs have shells that can break. What would happen if we bumped into each other as eggs? Am I right? We would crack and break. Let’s move around the field being eggs. Don’t bump each other or we’ll break!” Continue for about one minute. “We were all careful not to bump each other so that our shells wouldn’t break! That was great! You were in charge of, or responsible for, your moving. When we’re careful of each other, we’re

responsible for our space and other player’s space. This shows responsibility during practice and games.” Ages 6-7: Gather the children into a group. “When you come to practice, you should be ready to do at least three things. Who can tell me what those things are? Ask players to shout out their responses. Many responses might be appropriate, in addition to the three you are looking for. Acknowledge all good responses, and then say, “One: be ready to play. Two: learn new skills and work on ‘old’ skills. Three: work with others. When you do those three things, you have fun. Who wants to have fun?” Again ask them to shout out their responses. “Then the way to have fun is to be responsible to yourself and your teammates by doing those three things – by being ready to play, by working on skills, and by being good teammates.” Ages 8 and Up: Pair off the players. “Everyone stand and balance on one foot.” Wait while the players get their balance. Then have them stand on two feet again. “Now one of you offers your shoulder for your teammate to lean on. If you’re leaning on your partner’s shoulder, now try to balance on one foot again. Change places. If you were leaning before, now let your partner lean on your shoulder and stand on one foot.” Wait until everyone has balanced with the help of a partner. “Wasn’t it easier to balance when you were leaning on your partner? It works that way in flag football, too. When you help each other during practices and games, we work better as a team; each of you can contribute. Your teammates count on you to contribute to the team. That is being responsible to your team.” Practice #3 – (Key Idea – Responsibility) Ages 4-5: Gather children into a group. Dump five to six balls out of a mesh bag, leaving them where they stop. “Pretend we just finished one activity in practice and we’re getting ready to do something else. Everyone walk away from the balls and make a group circle.” Pick up the balls, and then go to the group. Dump the balls out again. “Now come back and you pick the balls, and then go make a circle. Which way makes it faster for me (or your coach) to get to your circle?” Listen to their responses. “What do you think we should do with the balls?” Listen to their responses. Discuss picking up equipment before doing another activity. “We can have more fun and learn more when we work together. That is a shared responsibility between the coach and the players.” Ages 6-7: Gather the children into a circle. Stand in the middle of the circle with a ball. “I’m going to show you two different ways to handle the same situation. Think about which is the best way to handle this.” Choose a player to receive a pass from you. Make a bad pass and then stomp angrily away from the group. Retrieve the ball and make another bad pass. This time run to get the ball and make a pass that goes directly to the player. “If you think the first response is the way to handle making a bad pass, stand to my left. If you think the second way is better, stand to my right.” Ask players to explain their choices. “It’s important to be a good sport in flag football.” Highlight how and why. “That’s being responsible to your teammates.”

Ages 8 and Up: Divide the group into two groups. Have one group spread out and pass to each other. Place the other group to one side, as if on the sidelines during a game; direct them to be silent for the first 30 seconds of the activity. After 30 seconds, have them cheer and encourage their teammates. Continue this activity for 30 more seconds. “When players are on the sidelines during a game, they should be encouraging their teammates, no matter what’s happening in the game. This is being responsible to your team. It helps players keep trying hard even if they are losing or have made some mistakes. How did it feel when you were playing and the sideline players didn’t encourage you? What about when they did encourage you?” Listen to both responses and help players compare feelings. Practice #4 – (Key Idea – Respect) Ages 4-5: Gather children into a single-file line. “I am going to walk down the line two times. Remember how it feels each time I pass you.” Walk down the line and nod to each player. Repeat, but this time tell each player “great game” or “nice play today” and shake his or her hand. “Which time that I passed you made you feel better? Shaking hands and saying ‘good game’ are important traditions that show we appreciate our opponents’ effort in a game. It shows respect for your opponents.” Divide the group in half and have players practice an end-of-game “respect ritual.” Explain that this is how they should do after completing each game each week. Ages 6-7:

Same as Ages 4-5 or Ages 8 & Up.

Ages 8 & Up: Divide the group into two lines. “I want each line to walk toward each other and give each person in the other line a high-five. Imagine that the other line is your opponent for a game. Show me how you would act toward an opponent and what you would say if it was the end of a game and we lost the game. Start.” Listen to players’ comments to each other. “At the end of each game it is important to show respect for your opponent. We do this by slapping or shaking hands and saying something like ‘good game,’ even if we lose the game. Practice #5 – (Key Idea – Honesty) Ages 4-5: Gather children into a group. “Can you interfere with pass receivers in flag football? Even if it’s an accident? Those of you who think it’s okay, stand to my left. Those who think it’s not okay, stand to my right.” Wait for children to choose. Then ask them why they chose as they did. “Pass interference, even if it’s an accident, is a violation. What should you do if that happens? Those of you, who think you should just keep playing, stand to my left; those of you who think you should raise your hand or tell the official, stand to my right.” Wait for everyone to finish choosing. “It’s important to be honest about committing violations. If you commit pass interference or some other violation, even if nobody sees it, raise your hand or tell the official.”

Ages 6-7: Gather the children into a group. “What is an offsides violation?” Listen to their responses. Choose a player to help demonstrate responses. “Should you admit to a violation if no official sees it? Those who think yes, stand to my right. Those who think no, stand to my left.” Wait for children to choose. “When you know you’ve been offsides or committed another violation, you should raise your hand. You should never take unfair advantage of other players. Can you think of other ways honesty is practiced on the field?” Listen to responses and discuss. “All those show honesty.” Ages 8 and Up: Gather the group into two groups. “Think about the rules in flag football. I’m going to tell you a rule. Raise your hand if you think it’s something you should let the official know happened.” (Examples: pass interference, offsides, illegal use of hands, etc.) “You should let the official know when rules are broken, even if the official doesn’t see it. Raising a hand or telling officials is an honest thing to do when you break a rule, even if it’s an accident. It’s important to be honest when you break a rule in practices or in games. This will make you a better player and a better person Practice #6 – (Key Idea – Caring) Ages 4-5: Gather children into a circle. Stand in the middle of the group with a ball. Pass to each child and give them a turn to pass back to you. “I am going to pass you the ball. If a pass comes to you, pass the ball back to me.” Work around the whole circle. Talk to the children about playing and learning when they come to practice. “Who had a turn to touch the ball?” Wait for their responses. “I made sure everyone had a chance to touch the ball. Raise your hand if it felt good to be able to have a turn. How would you have felt if you did not have a turn?” Listen to the responses. “We need to share the ball and take turns playing different positions so that everyone can learn and play. Sharing and taking turns shows you care.” Ages 6-7: Gather the children into a circle. Stand in the middle of the circle. Choose two children to pass the ball with you. “We’re going to work on our passing skills.” Pass repeatedly to them but not to the others. “Tell me how you felt to have only two players get the passes?” Listen to their responses. “Sharing the ball with your teammates shows you care about them. What other things can you do to show you care about your teammates?” Their responses should include encouragement, positive comments for good play, forgiving players that make mistakes, and so on. “Good. Those are all ways you can show you care.” Ages 8 & Up: Pair off the players and give each pair a ball; instruct them to pass the ball to each other. “Each of you should say two good things about your partner’s passing and catching skills. Then come back to me in a group. Begin.” Wait for them to regroup. “What were some of the comments your teammates told you?” Listen to their responses. “What kind of value or quality is it when you go out of your way to say something good about a teammate’s playing?” Listen to responses and encourage discussion as needed. “Caring is one of our core values. You show you care about your teammates when you encourage them.

Practice #7 –Key Idea – Responsibility) Ages 4-5: Gather the children. Have all the balls nearby. Privately tell two children that you are going to ask them to help pick up the balls and you want them to ignore your request. Then ask two other children to begin picking up balls and putting them in the ball bag or bringing them over to you. Then ask the two children that you’ve alerted to ignore you to help pick up. Then ask the group which kids were being responsible, the first pair or the second pair. Let the kids know you instructed the second pair not to help out. “When you listen to me (or your coach) and help out, you’re being responsible to me (or your coach) and to your teammates. A big part of being on a team is being responsible by listening and pitching in. Ages 6-7: Gather the children into a group. Choose two players to help role play. Set up a triangle of you and the two players. Let the children know you’re role playing with them. All three take turns passing. When it’s your turn, miss the pass and role play yourself as the player: “I couldn’t get that pass! It was your fault – you made a bad pass!” Now as coach: “I want you to think about players who make excuses and blame others for their mistakes. Stand to the left if you think it’s OK to make excuses when you make mistakes. Stand to my right if you think you should try to learn and work harder to improve.” Ask players about their choices. “Not making excuses is taking responsibility for yourself.” Ages 8 & Up: Gather the group. “What are some different ways you can move the ball down the field and score?” Listen to their responses. Provide the example of several players working together to move the ball and score as one choice. Give the example of one or two players working without many other teammates as the choice. “Which of the two is the best example of teamwork? If you voted for the first group, stand to my left; if you voted for the second group, stand to my right. If everyone makes good teamwork their responsibility, we can all work together to be successful. When you’re responsible to your team, you become a better player.” Practice #8 – (Key Idea – Keeping Perspective/Respect) Ages 4-5: Gather the children into a group. “What did you most enjoy learning about in flag football this season?” Listen to their responses. “Players, who thought they tried their best to learn, stand to my left. Players, who think they had fun this season, stand to my right. Both of these are important. You should try your best and have fun no matter what happens during the season. The most important thing in flag football is to have fun playing with friends and to learn new skills. I think you all did it! Next year is another chance to have fun, learn new skills, and make new friends!”

Ages 6-7: Gather the children into a group. “What have you learned about flag football this season?” Listen to their responses. “What does respect have to do with playing flag football or any sport? It takes many years to master the game of flag football, so flag football deserves your respect. Every year there are new skills to learn and improve on; every year you play you’ll get better. That’s why you need to come back next year! What examples of players showing respect have you seen this flag football season?” Listen to their responses and discuss. Ages 8 & Up: Pair off the players. “Each of you tells your partner two or three ways you saw other players show respect this season. I’ll give you two minutes.” After two minutes, bring the players back together again. “Tell us what some of the examples were.” Listen to examples and discuss. “It’s important to notice respect being practiced and to talk about what we saw. All season we have been working on both flag football skills and being good teammates. Improving both of those areas tells me you have respect for yourselves and your teammates.”

The 7 Components of a Practice Take the time each week to plan out your practices! Opening Circle Take a few minutes to welcome your players to practice. Be sure to do the following: • Devotion or Thought for the day • Review of last game – what we learned and how we can grow • Goal for today’s practice – what skills will we be working on • Overview of the flow of today’s practice – roadmap of the next hour Warm-up and Stretch Spend at least 5 minutes exercising to raise your players’ heart rates and warm their muscles. Warm-up can be anything from a quick game of tag to running a few laps to conditioning exercises. Never skip the warm-up and stretch section of practice! Individual Skill Drills This is a time for players to work on a skill and develop it as an individual player. You will find individual skill drills to incorporate into your practices in the next section. Allow your players adequate time in learning any new skill before asking them to apply it as a team. Team Skill Games This is the time for your team to come together and develop their skills as a functioning group of players. The team skill drills should build on the individual skill drills, providing natural progression from individually mastering a new skill to applying it as a team. Scrimmage/Game There is no better way to prepare for a game and to apply the skills learned throughout practice than to put them to action in a game-type situation. Always include a scrimmage in every practice – it gives your players a chance to develop their teamwork and will enhance their comfort in game situations. Closing Huddle Take just a few minutes at the end of practice to review the skills you worked on and evaluate the goals set at the beginning of practice. Encourage your players to continue to practice throughout the week with their friends and parents. Review all the necessary information for the upcoming game, including: • Location • •

What time to arrive Who is bringing the snack

Water Breaks Whether it is hot or cold, be sure to allow your players to get water at any point during practice. Staying hydrated helps your players focus on the skills they’re learning.

PRACTICE PLAN Practice Date: Week 1

Time

Activity

:00

Opening Circle -overview of practice - set goals for practice

:05

Warm-Up and Stretch

:10

Individual Skill Drill

:20

Water Break

:25

Team Skill Games

The Plan for Today

  

  

Water Break :40 Scrimmage :45 :60

Closing Huddle - review of practice - prepare for game

Next Game Date:__________________ Location:_________________________ Snack:___________________________

PRACTICE PLAN Practice Date: Week 2

Time

Activity

:00

Opening Circle -overview of practice - set goals for practice

:03

Warm-Up and Stretch

The Plan for Today

Individual Skill Drill

  

:17

Team Skill Games

  

:27

Water Break - prepare for game Game

:07

:30 :57

Closing Huddle - review of practice

Next Game Date:__________________ Location:_________________________ Snack:___________________________

PRACTICE PLAN Practice Date: Week 3

Time

Activity

:00

Opening Circle -overview of practice - set goals for practice

:03

Warm-Up and Stretch

The Plan for Today

Individual Skill Drill

  

:17

Team Skill Games

  

:27

Water Break - prepare for game Game

:07

:30 :57

Closing Huddle - review of practice

Next Game Date:__________________ Location:_________________________ Snack:___________________________

PRACTICE PLAN Practice Date: Week 4

Time

Activity

:00

Opening Circle -overview of practice - set goals for practice

:03

Warm-Up and Stretch

The Plan for Today

Individual Skill Drill

  

:17

Team Skill Games

  

:27

Water Break - prepare for game Game

:07

:30 :57

Closing Huddle - review of practice

Next Game Date:__________________ Location:_________________________ Snack:___________________________

PRACTICE PLAN Practice Date: Week 5

Time

Activity

:00

Opening Circle -overview of practice - set goals for practice

:03

Warm-Up and Stretch

The Plan for Today

Individual Skill Drill

  

:17

Team Skill Games

  

:27

Water Break - prepare for game Game

:07

:30 :57

Closing Huddle - review of practice

Next Game Date:__________________ Location:_________________________ Snack:___________________________

PRACTICE PLAN Practice Date: Week 6

Time

Activity

:00

Opening Circle -overview of practice - set goals for practice

:03

Warm-Up and Stretch

The Plan for Today

Individual Skill Drill

  

:17

Team Skill Games

  

:27

Water Break - prepare for game Game

:07

:30 :57

Closing Huddle - review of practice

Next Game Date:__________________ Location:_________________________ Snack:___________________________

PRACTICE PLAN Practice Date: Week 7

Time

Activity

:00

Opening Circle -overview of practice - set goals for practice

:03

Warm-Up and Stretch

The Plan for Today

Individual Skill Drill

  

:17

Team Skill Games

  

:27

Water Break - prepare for game Game

:07

:30 :57

Closing Huddle - review of practice

Next Game Date:__________________ Location:_________________________ Snack:___________________________

PRACTICE PLAN Practice Date: Week 8

Time

Activity

:00

Opening Circle -overview of practice - set goals for practice

:03

Warm-Up and Stretch

The Plan for Today

Individual Skill Drill

  

:17

Team Skill Games

  

:27

Water Break - prepare for game Game

:07

:30 :57

Closing Huddle - review of practice

Next Game Date:__________________ Location:_________________________ Snack:___________________________

PRACTICE PLAN Practice Date:

Time

Activity

:00

Opening Circle -overview of practice - set goals for practice

:03

Warm-Up and Stretch

The Plan for Today

Individual Skill Drill

  

:17

Team Skill Games

  

:27

Water Break - prepare for game Game

:07

:30 :57

Closing Huddle - review of practice

Next Game Date:__________________ Location:_________________________ Snack:___________________________

PRACTICE PLAN Practice Date:

Time

Activity

:00

Opening Circle -overview of practice - set goals for practice

:03

Warm-Up and Stretch

The Plan for Today

Individual Skill Drill

  

:17

Team Skill Games

  

:27

Water Break - prepare for game Game

:07

:30 :57

Closing Huddle - review of practice

Next Game Date:__________________ Location:_________________________ Snack:___________________________

PRACTICE PLAN Practice Date:

Time

Activity

:00

Opening Circle -overview of practice - set goals for practice

:03

Warm-Up and Stretch

The Plan for Today

Individual Skill Drill

  

:17

Team Skill Games

  

:27

Water Break - prepare for game Game

:07

:30 :57

Closing Huddle - review of practice

Next Game Date:__________________ Location:_________________________ Snack:___________________________