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NLPA Flag Football (RI, MA, CT)


Coaches Handbook

Thank you for volunteering to coach a NLPA Flag Football team.  We hope it will be a great experience for you. Here are 4  Flag Football Coaching Tips.

 Whether this is your first experience coaching or you are a veteran, we hope you will  find the following information helpful in providing a framework for making your coaching experience this season a successful one.

1) Season Plan: Have a game plan for yourself, your assistant coaches, your players and parents.  Make sure you keep it focused and you set the proper expectations prior to your first practice.  Check out the post on Letter to Parents for some ideas.

2) First Practice: This is your most important practice of the year.  This practice will set the tone for your players, coaches and parents.  Make sure it is organized, has high intensity and everyone is involved.  Have a fun game or drill to end practice that everyone will remember.

3) Drills: What drills will your players need to work on to implement your offensive and defensive game plans?  Put these together in a logical order starting from very basic fundamental drills to more complex.  Drills will help your players improve their game and your strategy.

4) Time Management: The most difficult task for any coach.  You never have enough time to run enough plays, practice every drill and cover every possible play your opponent may run.  So we recommend choosing 2 -4 drills for offense and defense to work on.  Now is the time for you veteran coaches to look at ways you can improve your coaching and maximize your time effectively.

Good luck this season flag football coaches!

Teaching young players the game of Flag Football can be really fun and ultimately rewarding. As coach, you will be looked upon as a teacher, leader, role model and authority figure by the kids on your team. Don’t underestimate the influence (positive or negative) you can have upon a child. Kids are very impressionable and will watch your every move. The team will take your lead, adopt your attitude and take on your personality.

The “5 Point Checklist”

The “5 point checklist” is the foundation for successfully coaching youth football. At the end of the football game, ask yourself the following:

·         Did I build confidence in the kids?

·         Did I keep it simple?

·         Did the kids have FUN?

·         Did they learn something new?

·         Did they display good sportsmanship?

If you can check each of the boxes above, then you were a great coach!

Building confidence

 Many kids feel nervous, timid, or simply unsure about their abilities, even though they may be athletically gifted. Making their first catch, first long run, first interception, or first touchdown is a BIG deal! With a little confidence building, don’t be surprised if you unleash a monster! A kid on my team, “Austin”, was a great example of this. He was scared of the ball, nervous about his performance, and didn’t even want to be involved in the play. I noticed that early, so in the first game of the season I ran him on a double reverse. Sixty (60) yards and a smile from ear to ear later, he was standing in the end zone in disbelief.

With each success, a young player becomes more confident and enthusiastic about playing the game. Today, “Austin” is the best player on my team.

 We all have 2 or 3 plays in the playbook that are almost always successful (eg: The reverse, fake reverse, double pass). Save those plays for the kids that have little or no confidence and try to get them into the end zone! Save your more complex plays for the kids who already have the skills and confidence.

Keep it simple!

Simplicity is the key to coaching youth football. Whether you are coaching 4 year olds or 15 year olds, the same concepts apply. I only teach my kids what is critical to be successful. Excessive adult terminology and overly complex plays is a recipe for disaster.

Keep it fun

Remember, kids want (and deserve) to have fun. It is possible to keep them focused, well disciplined, AND have fun all at the same time. A kid will only be a kid once. Let them enjoy it and challenge yourself to create an experience they will never forget! If you make them laugh they will loosen up, have more fun, and probably even play better. “Bobby, we are running a double reverse and you are getting the ball. I want you to run like your pants are on fire”!

Help kids learn the game

Make it a point to teach the kids something NEW every week. Don’t just teach them how, teach them WHY? Kids are great learners and they always want to know “why”. Well, teach them why! “You are blitzing because… putting pressure on the quarterback will cause him to make a mistake”. “When catching a ball, you want to look the ball into your hands because… you are less likely to drop it”.


Take the time to help kids learn the values of sportsmanship. Honesty, integrity, respect, team work, and fair play will go a long ways not only on the field, but also in life. Recognize and reward your kids for displaying these great attributes.


Next Level Performance Academy

11 South Angell Street #399 
Providence, Rhode Island 02906

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 401-864-1444

Contact Us

Next Level Performance Academy

11 South Angell Street #399 
Providence, Rhode Island 02906

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 401-864-1444

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