Coaching flag football is an exciting hobby for individuals who love the sport and want to get involved in it. They can teach the team of a club, neighborhood, school, or organization and rekindle their passion. Even if you have never played at the professional level, you can still coach flag football. USA Football offers certifications for individuals interested in coaching flag football professionally. You can teach the sport for recreational purposes or introducing children to it without requiring a certification. The experience focuses on character development and teaches life lessons in addition to coaching flag football. Here are some considerations before you embark on your journey as a sports trainer.
Familiarize Yourself with the Rules and Terminology
Instructors who are coaching flag football must familiarize themselves with the rules and terminology of the game. They will have to teach the rules to the players and must know them by heart. A rule book containing all the directives and regulations for flag football is released at the start of every season. It may or may not implement changes as compared to the previous editions. USA Football undertakes the initiative and releases it through NFL. USA Football is the entity in the US that governs American Football. Before coaching flag football, instructors must go through the latest flag football rule book. They must educate themselves regarding any changes and pass on their learnings to the players.
Start with Warmups
Warmups are an essential pre-requirement for engaging in any physical activity or sport. It improves the performance of the athletes while minimizing the risk of injuries or sprains. Always begin coaching flag football sessions with a warm up. Incorporate active dynamic and speed training drills as well as stretches into the warmup routine. These may include aerobic exercises like jumping jacks, squats, lunges, sprinting, and shuffling, as well as core movements like the bridge and leg kicks. Make the warmups fun and engaging instead of a chore. Be careful to select exercises and activities that are appropriate for the participants’ age. Don’t over train the participants.
Make It Fun and Entertaining
Trainers must try to make coaching flag football fun and entertaining experience. Whether it is a practice session or a game, the players must feel happy and refreshed. Make sure that the amount of time that a player spends standing around is minimum. A player who does not receive the ball or is ignored by the team will get bored and disheartened, losing interest. Device and incorporate plays and strategies that include all players. Rotate players between different positions to freshen things up. Each player should play at every position. Opt for fast-paced and interactive games or practice sessions to increase the enjoyment level of players.
Focus on Positive Coaching
The objective of coaching flag football is not just to introduce children to the game. Sports are a great way of developing the character of children and enlightening them with essential life lessons. They need to be taught the importance of teamwork, patience, and persistence. Instructors must focus on positive coaching. Instead of pointing out players’ mistakes, they must provide positive feedback on how they could have done better.
When coaching flag football, the emphasis must be on the players’ experience while engaged in the sport under your leadership. Make sure that everyone is involved in the game. Substitute players so that each individual gets adequate time on the field. Each player should play for at least half of the game. You have to raise the skill level of the most talented and the least experienced individuals alike. Your objective as a coach is to make sure that each player gets time on the field. If you are coaching for recreation, involving each player is more important than winning. They should feel that they are a part of the team.
Use a Flag Football Playbook
A playbook is one of the biggest assets for coaching flag football. It contains the common strategies and plays followed by different teams. These guides allow you to explore new game plans for offensive and defensive tactics. Many flag football playbooks are available from various organizations, coaches, and governing bodies associated with the sports. USA Football and NFL are among the eminent entities that publish playbooks useful for coaching flag football. They detail the formations, plays, and tips and tricks for the game. Instructors can utilize these playbooks for teaching new gameplays to their team and predicting current ones.
In addition to playbooks, you can employ other audio-visual and pictorial resources. There are many video tutorials specially designed for individuals interested in coaching flag football. Trainers can refer to these videos for expanding their knowledge horizons. They can watch videos of professional matches for new ideas and inspirations if they are training a team to compete in a tournament.
Praise in Public/Criticize in Private
Instructors coaching flag football must encourage and motivate their players. They need to offer positive reinforcement in the form of praise and appreciation whenever a player deserves it. The whole team must revere in the success of an individual player. At the same time, coaches will need to call out athletes for unwarranted behavior. They must provide constructive criticism in private and not embarrass the player in front of the team. It can lead to a loss of confidence and may discourage the individual from playing in the future. Instructors coaching flag football must listen to their players in addition to offering advice. They will communicate better if they allow the children to speak what is on their minds and may even learn something new in the process.
Communicate with Parents
While coaching flag football, you will have to call and communicate with parents regarding the games. The waiver forms and contact information for each player will have to be obtained in advance. You will need to inform the parents of practice or game schedules so that they know when to drop off and pick up their children beforehand. It will be your responsibility to communicate with the parents or guardians of each player. All information must be provided in a timely manner to prevent last-minute hiccups.
A trainer coaching flag football must regularly update their knowledge and skill level to get better at their job. They will find it easier to motivate their players if they lead by example.