Fun Practice Games for Youth Football

Close-up of a coach on a football field with players playing in the background
A coach is instructing young football players on the field. (Image: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)

Learning and perfecting football techniques doesn't have to be tedious or boring. You can get your players to have fun quite easily while also working on the fundamentals of the game. With the use of some simple practice games, you'll have your players improving their passing, catching and receiving skills.

Bulldog

For this drill, choose one player to be the bulldog. The goal of the bulldog is to run with the football from one end of the field to the other without being caught or losing the ball. This game helps your players develop speed and agility as they try and either outrun their teammates or catch the bulldog. Bulldog also helps your players develop endurance. A variation of this game involves having more than one person acting as a bulldog.

The Shadow

For this game, have your players get into pairs. Once in pairs, have one player become the shadow. The player who is not the shadow will try to outrun and lose his shadow. This is another drill that will help your players to develop speed, agility and endurance. The players then switch roles.

21

For the game of 21, have your players get into pairs -- one player will be the quarterback and the other will be the receiver. You’ll need to use cones to separate the playing field into different areas. Designate each area with a certain number of points. The further away the receiver is when he makes the catch, the greater number of points the pair receives. For example, award only one point when the receiver is closest to the quarterback. The goal is to be the first pair to reach 21 points. Once the receiver successfully catches the ball, he then advances to the next cone. When a team has reached 21 points, have the players switch positions. This drill helps your players to develop throwing and catching skills.

Three Position Pass

For this game, you’ll need to set up cones and have your players split into groups of three. Place the cones about 10 to 12 yards away from the starting point. One player will be the quarterback, one will be the receiver and the other will be the center. Have the center positioned about one to two feet in front of the quarterback. The receiver should be positioned to the side of the center. Once the center snaps the ball back to the quarterback, the receiver will run to the cone and around the cone as he tries to catch the ball. Have the players switch positions so that each teammate gets a chance to try each position.

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