How Important Are Turnovers in Youth Football?
In the 2011 Super Bowl, the Pittsburgh Steelers probably lost the game due to turnovers. In the history of the Super Bowl the team that has won the turnover battle has won 33 and lost 3 of those games. Important in the NFL? Yes
But how important are turnovers in the youth game? The answer is just, if not more. The reason turnovers may be even more important is the fact that there far fewer possessions in a youth football game. Most younger kid games have just 10 minute quarters, while College and NFL games have 15 minute quarters. In youth football there are many more running plays compared to the prevalence of passing you see in the NFL and College games which also brings the number of possessions down. Most youth team huddle and do not run plays at the same pace as most NFL and College teams, which means even fewer plays. Starting to understand why you have to make every possession count in youth football.
We place a premium on protecting the football in my ข่าวฟุตบอล program. In 2005 we had just 2 turnovers in a 11 game season, in 2006 just 4 in 11 games. In 2007 just 4 in 11 games. This past season we had an inordinately high number of 6 in 12 games, but we did throw a little bit more, getting 18 touchdown passes to go along with the 3 interceptions. Ball security is key and has played a major role in the success of most championship level youth football teams.
Spend a minimum of 10 minutes per offensive practice on ball protection drills like Gauntlet. On other cutting or pass catching drills, put a ball striper at the very end of each drill to emphasize ball control. High and tight with four points of contact has to be emphasized at every turn. If a player ever drops the ball in practice, make it a live ball and make a big deal out of it. Youth football players aren’t going to think something is important until you show them it is. In group, put a designated striper at the end of each run, whose only goal in life is to strip the ball out. During team, but a designated striper at the point of attack again with his only goal in life being to strip the ball. Do these things and you will see your turnover numbers go down and in the end it will win you more games.
Dave Cisar- Dave is a Nike “Coach of the Year” Designate and speaks nationwide at Coaches Clinics. His book “Winning Youth Football a Step by Step Plan” was endorsed by Tom Osborne and Dave Rimington. His personal teams using this system to date and has a 132-18 record in 5 Different Leagues.