Advice on coaching 7's  


Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 8620
July 18, 2019 4:26 pm  

I'm helping/watching a league that runs their first five practices (2 hours each) with no pads.  I have never seen this before.  Ten hours seems like a long time but their goal is to acclimate the players to the heat.  I figure with this much time I'm going to need to suggest some fun games for 7's.  I know there's a bunch out there but I've never had five practices to ever get any of them in before.  Links would be great.  Thanks! 

"Football is for the kids - But let's win anyway."

Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 3255
July 18, 2019 5:31 pm  

That is standard for us with all ages. 10 hours of conditioning with no contact. We do all sorts of drills that will build towards what we will do with contact, but there are some games that are just fun.

For example, deer hunter is a game that we like to finish conditioning practices with. It has no direct football benefit, but we start to see leaders and followers. Kids who are competitive and who will look to take the easy way out.

I will see if I have a list of some of those drills if you want.

Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 294
United States
Head Coach
July 18, 2019 5:47 pm  

I'm following this thread for ideas. In my case, I have to evaluate kids without seeing them in pads. Last year, they just gave me the "B" Team.

Fight 'em until Hell freezes over, then fight 'em on the ice -- Dutch Meyer

Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 1244
July 22, 2019 2:37 pm  

My old League in Virginia mandated the 10 hours of no contact.

For games, I stuck with anything that was a competition, a la Michael style. I did the three man tug of war, Deer Hunter and races of every kind. Bear Crawl, bunny hop, side shuffle, you name it. Also, try Dave Potter's Battle Buddies as a race.

Mission Statement: To make a genuine effort at every opportunity to help those around me build and maintain a commitment to success.

Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 559
August 2, 2019 8:32 pm  

I added jumping rope yesterday, step over bag toss, how to fall drills,

nothing replaces effort. nothing replaces the mind. One with out the other is a waste of time.

Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 847
August 3, 2019 9:02 am  

This is basically what we did with HS kids the entire month of June.  5 days a week, 2 hours a day.

Individual time is your usual stuff without hitting.  Lots of work on sleds and bags.

Then we'd do a lot of 7 on 7, both offense and defense.  It was really 7 on 7 practice.

It got pretty tedious for the OL, but we could do a lot of emphasis on footwork and blocking rules.

Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 13
August 8, 2019 5:27 am  

We have the same rule, all the way through U13.  10 hours of "conditioning" before pads and if a kid misses a conditioning week practice he has to make it up.  We had two kids still in helmets yesterday, third day of pads.  Here's how I handle it.

We do a LOT of running. We do hills. We hit the blocking sled.  There's always kids who haven't done anything more athletic than throw a PS4 controller at their little brother since the end last year's season, so those kids really do need conditioning.  We have some sort of competition every practice -- either timed 40's with the times announced, timed 3-cone drills where every kid gets three times through the drill.  We tell each kid his previous time and challenge him to improve it each time.  Relay races, two even-ish teams, kids who worked the hardest are the captains, give each team 60 seconds to choose the order kids run in.  That sort of thing.  We make it difficult on them and I tell them at the beginning, "right now you are a bunch of kids.  By the end of this week you are going to be a football team.  This is how."

I also do as much football stuff as possible.  Blocking pad drills, slow speed "eyes on the thighs" pursuit and touch drills, that sort of thing. I identified the four kids who can actually throw the football by giving every kid five reps at center, QB, and WR in a shotgun snap, catch, throw drill, etc.  I got a pretty good idea what sort of team I had by the end of the week.  How many fast kids who don't want to hit, how many fast kids who love to hit, which of the big kids are willing to use their strength, etc.

Anyhow you know a ton more than I do about this stuff but that's how we try to handle it. It can be a blessing if you use it correctly.

Platinum Moderator
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 3872
United States
August 8, 2019 11:26 am  

I will try to find the Tire tug of war we did. It worked great.

We installed formations and worked on defensive align and assign as well, Can they do that.

Our league said no footballs can be used so we ran plays with no football and installed plays as well. It actually went well cause nothing kills a practice play more than a fumbled snap.

2 Things my offense will always have is a Wing and a Wedge

Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 8620
August 11, 2019 12:15 am  

Sadly, there was never a chance for "fun games".  HC cut practices from 2 hours to 1.5 hours due to the heat then mandated the first two night's drills.  HC achieved what he wanted and which is why he's HC.  After four practices not a single fun game was played.  In fact very little accomplished (not HC's fault).  In spite of all but one being second year players, most could not get into a 3 point stance, had terrible run form, and after four nights some 20% still did not know the hole numbers let alone the blocking rules.  It wasn't until the end of the 4th practice that offensive positions were even settled upon.  Since no contact, zero defensive positions were assigned. 

But keep posting ideas on a fun practice drill.  At some point there has to be a day where time is available.

"Football is for the kids - But let's win anyway."

Bob Goodman
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 9528
New Jersey
3rd - 5th
Asst Coach
August 25, 2019 4:07 pm  

after four nights some 20% still did not know the hole numbers let alone the blocking rules.  It wasn't until the end of the 4th practice that offensive positions were even settled upon.

Could these facts be related?