Tips for Coaching Middle School Football

A business owner based in Miami, Florida, Brian Shechtman has contributed to his community as a volunteer football coach at a local school. At the University School of Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida, Brian Shechtman coached the sixth-grade team to a 2010 Tri-County Championship win.

The coach of a sixth-grade football team has many factors to consider. Players at this level are still children whose self-esteem and sense of talent are developing. For this reason, experienced coaches stress the importance of motivation and patience. In addition, coaches must be able to treat their players with respect and encouragement and be willing to praise them for their effort.

Coaches also need to be aware of the way they behave when players make mistakes or play poorly. This involves modeling a positive attitude. Children need to know that they can learn from their mistakes and move forward without negative feelings. This attitude also translates into showing players how to win and lose graciously, as well as how to treat players on both teams with fairness.

When players require constructive criticism, coaches need to remember that children at this age are vulnerable to the opinions of their peers. Coaches can praise publicly, but should correct privately. When making use of this philosophy, skill building becomes a group activity, as all players participate in running, tackling, and tactical drills.