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Berkeley Cougars
YOUTH FOOTBALL & CHEER
UPDATE: JANUARY
2010 BERKELEY COUGARS
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We need help
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We train young
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Fitness training
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Evaluating and Positioning Your Players:

When evaluating and assigning your players to positions, try to keep in mind that many young players come to you with dreams of playing certain positions. They may not really be suited for that position, but, before you move the player, listen to where he would like to play and at least give him a chance to try that position. In the beginning, it is great to afford every player on the team the opportunity to try each position. You may feel that you are losing a couple of practices, but it will be well worth the time if every player feels that he has at least been given some chance to follow his dream. In addition to working the players at each position, you may want to begin testing them as a group.

For the very young players, you should want to test them in three basic areas:

20-yard dash - 2 players at a time.
Push-ups - how many in one minute.
Sit-ups - how many in one minute.
For the older players, 9-12, the test can be adjusted to:
30-yard dash - 2 players at a time.
Push-ups - how many in three minutes or to maximum.
Bent knee sit-ups - how many in three minutes or to maximum.

It is then good to give every player a chance on their own and then after coaching to:

Throw and catch the ball;
Run with the ball;
Block and tackle, only after basic coaching;
Give each player the opportunity to:
Snap for punts and FG's.

2. Punt, kick FG's, and kickoffs.
As a general rule the smaller, faster players will usually be best suited for positions farthest from the ball, like wide receiver and defensive back. As you move closer to the ball, the bigger and less quick the players usually are. The challenge is to look past size and speed when assigning players to a position. Look at all the skills a player may have and try not to assign him to a position because of size alone. All players need to be given the opportunity to run, catch, throw, block, and tackle before being assigned to a position for the year.
Assign one coach to record the results of every player on each test.
Keep records for every player on all tests.
Write an evaluation after all the testing and observation has been completed.

As a staff, give a written reason for assigning a player to a certain position.

This written record is valuable when placing players and provides hard measurements and reasoning when discussing the staff's decision with any interested parent. Record your written evaluation in positive terms: "fastest on team," "best runner," "surest tackler," "one of the best cover men," "top blocker," "great hands," "most accurate passer," or "outstanding punter."

As the coaching staff begins to finalize where each player should be, it is very important for the position coach to speak with each player and welcome him to the group, especially any player who may have dreamed of playing another position. Make sure every player feels:

That he is needed at the position.
That every position is important.
That he has a great opportunity to play at this position.
That the contribution he will make to the team can greatly enhance the team's chance of having success.

Although a player may have been in the program for a couple of years and has been slotted into a certain position, it is always advisable to look at each individual at the beginning of the year with an open mind and try to determine if he might really shine in another position on the team. This came to mind when Marcus Allen was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this past August, and I was reminded that he played nose tackle in his early football years.
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