We all worry about getting enough practice reps for Friday night. The lights are on, the fans have packed the house, the principal and athletic director are watching. Even the opponent’s administration may be there and it’s a small world- you want to look sharp. But what about Thursday or Monday nights? How do you get your JV’s involved when you have one staff coaching both levels? Here are 3 tips on how to do so.
1 Varsity Film is JV Time
If your varsity film takes 30+ minutes that’s the perfect time to get the JV kids their reps. Designate a coach to take them out to the field. Skip a traditional warm-up and get them loose with pat & go for the skills and agilities for the offensive line. That’s a quick 5 minute warm-up that works on actual football mechanics. The offense can then run their plays against air (small numbers), versus a front only and then a back 7 only (medium numbers) or go 11on11 if you have a full JV. That’s a 10 minute period to get reps and learn the playbook.
Now we switch to defense. You can easily work pursuit drill for defensive time and a light contact tackling circuit all in 15 minutes. The pursuit drill will not only condition the players for actual football speed, distances, and angles but also teach them how to play your defense while working on communication and alignment. That should take 10 good minutes with a JV squad. From there, a light contact tackling drill helps to keep emphasizing the fundamentals as well. Often we lose sight of fundamentals as the season progresses but one thing I’ve always held pride in is weekly blocking, tackling, and turnover circuits to keep fundamentals fresh at all levels.
That’s one well spent half hour!
2 Have a Coach Work the JV on the Back 40
While varsity is doing defensive pursuit, have the JV run it on the opposite side of the field. This teaches a coach how to run the pursuit drill while also keeping the JV working and improving. It’s also less headaches of guys screwing around on the ‘back line’ or the sideline of the field and gets everyone working which is what coaches want to do anyway. I don’t know of any good coach that wants to stand around watching another guy run the pursuit drill.
Is the offense running on air? Have the JV do so as well on the back 40. When you need scout players, sure incorporate your JV in that role. However, if you don’t need scout guys get the JV their own reps rather than have them standing around or being used as blocking dummies.
3. Run More Half Line
I’m always amazed at / skeptical of any coach that acts like he or she can see every single block on the offensive line or routes being ran on both sides of the field at once. I don’t believe you. I think you’re guessing. I have to watch one player at a time or I just wind up following the ball. Maybe that’s just me?
RELATED: ACCESS THE HALF-LINE SCRIMMAGE
I personally prefer to work a lot of half-line. That way it’s easier for me to see what is going on, and I can work my 1’s against my 1’s and get good work. This also helps with the JV kids. While the Varsity offense is running a half-line inside run period, the JV should be getting their half-line reps as well. This puts the best Varsity guys against each other while also allowing a JV to get reps against JV guys and not be overmatched by someone 3-5 years older than they are.
I appreciate you reading, good luck!