The Optimum Team Size in Youth Football
here is an optimum size for a youth football team. If your team has too few players, a key injury or grade problem can seriously affect your teams ability to compete or even have a productive football practice. Too many players and it becomes very difficult to offer the proper coaching attention and even get the kids reasonable amounts of playing time.
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There are some youth football coaches that believe “the more the merrier” when it comes to player numbers. I think many of these coaches think the more players they have the better chance that they will have that some superstar among that number will emerge to carry the team. There is a local team that carried 40-60 players on its squad and still lost most of its games, poor coaching often won’t even overcome huge talent pools. Our Omaha league saw one of our teams face a team that suited up 52 kids. Most teams in the league suit up from 22-35 players. High numbers guarantees nothing but lots of headaches for the head coach, very low numbers will do the same.
We have found the best player to coach ratio is about 5 or 6 players per coach. If you carry 40 kids on your youth football team would mean you need 7 coaches. That many coaches is hard to find to begin with and then to train and have them all on the same page would be a management miracle worthy enough to be Donald Trump’s apprentice. Teams this large rarely see players developing to their full potential, as the head coach and his assistants are spread so thin.
Teams this large often see very good players or diamonds in the rough fall through the cracks. These kind of kids often do not get noticed or develop very well on large teams. Even doing a simple fit and freeze team drill would mean all players reps would be limited, the starters and the backups would be in just half the time. Getting all the kids playing time in games would be a disaster. To get your backups time, your starters would have to come out very early and fail to develop as well as they could with more playing time. If you have minimum play rules, your best players would not be on the field long enough to make much of a difference. There is no doubt you will lose lots of players from a team like this and I wouldn’t even want to think about the parent hassles, what a nightmare. T