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How To Become a Football Player

Football Player Tips

Becoming a football player in an organized sport means you’ll become part of a team, so before you learn how to become a football player, ask yourself whether you have the mental makeup as not only a competitor, but a joiner. Football players train together a long time before the first kickoff. The practices, running sessions and weight workouts can be grueling and they’ll certainly take you away from video games and tv. Your coaches are likely to be harder on you than your parents (at least in most cases).

If none of those factors are too great of an obstacle in your dream to play organized football, then I’ll tell you how to become a football player. The upside of playing football is that you’ll be in better shape, you’ll learn to compete and strive towards a goal, you’ll make friends and learn to be a good teammate, and the girls at school will be more likely to admire you. That’s because football is a masculine sport, so by playing football on your local team, you are showing off your masculinity. Masculinity is a complete mystery to most women your age, about as much as women are a mystery to you, so girls will want to learn more.

With that in mind, here’s a guide to becoming a football star.

1. Learn About Football

Do like you’re doing now and read about football. “Football Babble” has all kinds of feature articles detailing bits and pieces of the game, so I would recommend you read all 80 pages of our blog and 300 pages of our static site, and then you’ll have a pretty good understanding of football’s basics. (You have my permission to skip over the mascot and cheerleader pages. :-))

Once you learn about the game, you won’t tax the patience of your coaches and teammates by not understanding the basic concepts of the game. Knowing football will also give you an idea of the skills needed to succeed and which position or positions would best fit your skill set.

2. Join the Team

Whether through tryouts or sign-ups, you’ll need to join a local football team. Read the papers or look around to see when registration is. Depending on your age and where you live, you can sign up for a school extracurricular activity, a Pop Warner league (for smaller kids) or a rec or select league (for slightly bigger kids). For people out of grade school, you can find groups playing football on the weekends or semi-pro teams to sign on with, but I’m assuming most people reading this article are younger than 18. You never hear of someone walking onto a college campus and signing on to play football, unless they played football in high school (or were a star soccer player and they’re trying out to be a kicker).

Once you sign up to join a football team, you’ll need to provide information and a doctor’s permission, usually in the form of a physical exam. Most teams will insist you get a medical examination before you can suit out for practice or games.

3. Train for Football Season

This one should be #2, but I know how kids are. I was the same way myself, waiting on football season to start training for it. Somewhere before the first game, though, you’ll start training to improve your strength, speed, quickness, flexibility, balance, throwing skills, catching skills and endurance. You can work on any of these outside of the organized practices.

To get better speed and endurance, jog around your block or the local track. You’ll want to get to where a brisk run doesn’t tire you out or make you immediately lose your breath. Sprinting and dashes helps you improve your speed and takeoff, while preparing you for the torturous 40-sprints that coaches love so much. Work out with weights to increase your strength and burn off calories, to sculpt your body into a football player’s body.

Meanwhile, find a friend and throw the football around every day or two. This will naturally improve your passing and pass catching abilities.

4. Learn to Catch a Football

Catching a football is important for most football players, besides quarterbacks and offensive linemen. Even defensive players want to know how to catch, so they can intercept the ball.

When catching the ball, read a book or website or watch a video to see how to hold your hands. If the ball is above your waist, you want to hold your hands out in front of you about 6″ to 1′ apart, as if your palms are pointing towards the ball and your fingers towards the sky. Your thumbs should be pointing at one another. This should let you catch the ball with your hands and not your body. When the ball gets to you, you should be able to clutch onto it with your hands.

When catching the ball at or below your waste, you’ll need to turn them over, with palms still pointing towards the ball, but with your fingers pointing towards the ground and your thumbs out.

5. Practice Hard

Once it comes time to practice, hopefully you are in shape enough to go hard throughout practice. Learn the techniques that the coaches want you to learn. Study the plays on offense so you know them by heart. Study the defensive scheme and calls, so you can execute the coach’s plan immediately on the snap. Do what the coach says when he’s training you up for the game. Handle your assignments. If you do all these things and you have some talent, the coach is likely to want to put you in the game.

6. Learn Your Techniques

Football has a lot of minor details and each position has its technique. For linemen, you might think it’s all about strength and bulk, but leverage and quickness are a huge factors in determining who moves the other player around. If you’re smaller than your opponent, get lower to the ground and be quicker off the snap. By doing this, you can beat your opponent to the punch and knock him off balance. If you’re bigger than your opponent, you still want to use leverage and quickness to negate his possible advantages and maximize your strengths.

I have written a page about blocking, tackling and running with the football. Both of these combine speed, quickness, agility and strength, so running backs and linebackers are each going to have to have the complete physical tools for their sport. At the same time, halfback and linebacker are two of the funnest positions to play in football.

7. Be Aggressive

“Aggressive” in football isn’t trying to hurt your opponent or start a fight. Aggressive is being quick off the ball and decisive in your movements. Once you learn the offense or defense and train to near perfection, you shouldn’t have to think about what you want to do, but instead react to the game. In football, probably as much or moreso in the lower levels than even the pros, the more aggressive and decisive players are going to excel.

So if you want to know how to become a football player, learn everything above and then be decisive come game time. You might even be a star.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 26th, 2010 at 5:10 pmand is filed under Football, Youth Football. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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