Advice For Young Football Players

Control What You Can Control

Young boys playing football
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Do you have a sub 4.5, 40 yard dash time?

Can you bench 225 lbs at least 10 times?

Is your vertical jump approaching 40 inches?

Can you squat three times your body weight or more?

If you’re like I was, the answer to all of these questions is no. Should you drop football because you’re not the fastest and strongest? Absolutely not. Should you continue to ask the question, “Is football right for me?” Of course. While the amount of raw talent you’ve been given is not really in your control, there are a few aspects of the game of football that are.


As in the rest of your life, in football, a good attitude goes a long way in improving your performance. Are you the guy that gets down and complains because you didn’t make first team? When you get destroyed on a play, do you pout and sit out the next time, or do you get back up and go for it again? Keep a good attitude, get up and go again. A positive attitude goes a long way in helping not only your game​ but your teammates as well.

Mind For The Game

This game is so full of strategies, techniques, and schemes. So much so, that many NFL coaches are hired simply because of their vast knowledge of the game, whether they’re great motivators or not. Your ability to know the game, your ​position, and your opponent will go a long way in helping you achieve success, regardless of the physical and athletic hand you’ve been dealt. If you can’t beat them physically, outsmart them.


I used to get frustrated when there were guys that could outrun, outjump, and out-lift me all day who would not go full speed in practice. I would go all out, they would not, and we would end up the same place during drills. I kept thinking, “If you had my heart for this game, you’d be heading for the NFL.” There’s no excuse for not giving all the effort you can all the time. This is a variable that you can control, and you should never give less than 100 percent.

It’s my opinion that from Pop Warner through the early high school ranks, a high level of achievement can be attained with a relatively low level of raw talent. As you grow and mature, your body may or may not catch up with your buddies' on the football team. But, if you implement these three principles, you’ll be a much more successful football player either way.