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Youth football drill goes viral and causes massive outrage: 'This is child abuse'


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https://www.foxnews.com/sports/youth-football-drill-goes-viral

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A video of a youth football drill went viral Tuesday and sparked outrage on social media, with many wondering whether children should be doing something like this.

The 8-second clip shows a young ball carrier going head-to-head with a would-be tackler. The ball carrier lowers his helmet and runs over the defender, and it appeared the two connected with each other’s helmets. The defender hit the ground and was a little shaken up, video shows.

Social media users were outraged upon seeing the hit.

 

It’s unclear when the video was taken or what youth football program was hosting the drills. The Tennessee Titans' logo was on the field and the players' helmets. The Titans, USA Football and Pop Warner didn't immediately respond to Fox News' requests for comment on the video.

Youth football has been under the national spotlight for the last few years, with studies showing a decline in participation in the game.

Youth participating in football for those between the ages of 6 and 12 declined just over 30% from its peaks in 2008, according to a 2020 Forbes report. Additionally, high school football participation declined just over 5% from peak levels in 2009.

Concussions and other health-related risks have also been a cause of concern for parents over the last few years. Bloomberg reported in 2014 that half of Americans wouldn’t want their children playing football.

Any experienced football coaches out there who have viewed this video?  Comments? Concerns?

 

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33 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

https://www.foxnews.com/sports/youth-football-drill-goes-viral

Any experienced football coaches out there who have viewed this video?  Comments? Concerns?

 

I've watched it.  Absolutely disgusting.  Things like this used to be common when no one understood CTE or Concussions... There is no place for this... Not anymore.  The coaches should be removed.  There is no place for this in Youth football.  There are tackle wheels, dummies, blocking sleds, etc. that can work just as well rather than to get a kid (or kids) injured.  Not only injured... But you are running kids out of the game doing drills like this.

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All I saw in the video was a long ad, then a few minutes of world news.  Anyhoo, I'm familiar with this drill.  We ran it ad nauseum when I was playing HS football, but that was in the dark ages of the early/mid 80's. My youngest son was still having to participate in this drill in youth football, probably 10-11 years ago.  He loved it.  Gave him an excuse to, as he called it, "deliver the pain", regardless if he was the ball carrier or tackler.  When he was a freshman in 2-a-days he and a varsity player went at hit hard in that drill, and I mean hard, every time their turn came.  Coaches finally moved them to different spots in line so they wouldn't injure each other before the first game.

These days if I was coaching, I would not run that drill.  These days if my kids were playing youth ball, I would expect the coaches not to run that drill.  So many alternatives that were not available previously to teach those skills.  Make the game fun and teach skills in elementary with no contact.  Start contact in jr high.  Regardless of age, IMO there's no need for this drill anymore, it's just a good way to get your players hurt.

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This is a common variation of the famous “Oklahoma” Drill popularized by Bud Wilkinson and his Oklahoma teams of the 1950s. I thought it had completely fallen out of use. Not because of head to head contact, because there isn’t any if done properly. But because of the general phasing out of full contact situations in practice. I believe it is actually outlawed in the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, along with the infamous Nutcracker Drill, and my personal favorite, “Bull in the Ring,” which was invented by some twisted sadist.

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Then the coach turns away from the play as if to say "wow", instead of immediately checking to see if the kid is ok. Ignorance on full display. 

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Posted (edited)

The coaches were clearly in the wrong but the blame ultimately lies with the league.  A good league will insist on all coaches being certified by USA Football.  A great league will also have somebody instructing and supervising coaches to be sure this never happens.

Edited by Grover
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Looked bad..coaches are lucky not to catch a right hook from an upset onlooker..id gladly pull my kid from that team...I know there is a coaching shortage yet we can't allow such idiocy especially at the pee wee level..strapping kids in pads at that age used to be ok when coaches had common sense... 

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4 hours ago, Bobref said:

This is a common variation of the famous “Oklahoma” Drill popularized by Bud Wilkinson and his Oklahoma teams of the 1950s. I thought it had completely fallen out of use. Not because of head to head contact, because there isn’t any if done properly. But because of the general phasing out of full contact situations in practice. I believe it is actually outlawed in the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, along with the infamous Nutcracker Drill, and my personal favorite, “Bull in the Ring,” which was invented by some twisted sadist.

I think this is more of an angle tackling/pursuit drill, but point well taken, it’s completely unnecessary. Coached should be permanently banned from youth sports for life.

Most will look to the kid getting steamrolled as the shock factor, but the ball carrier is the one at the greatest risk. Runs full speed with his head down and makes direct contact with the crown of his helmet. That was tough to watch.

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Mike Golic commented........no proper technique was taught. As a coach, every drill I run has to connect directly to something the guys will do in a game. It would be so rare that these two players would be in a situation that is simulated in a drill like this. Watching it made me sick to my stomach. I worry about the boy who was knocked down. It is one more kid who tried the game, and will likely never even try to play it again because of this. 

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I too am disgusted by this footage. Ground level, no hi-def. It blows my mind that in this day and age, with everything we now know about football, that there are still teams not using endzone cameras to film their practices. 😤 😡🤬

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Finally after switching to a computer instead of mobile I could see it. Sheesh. So many thoughts that have already been made in this thread that I agree with.

My biggest issue is the camerawork - although not for the reasons Tanka mentioned. 🙂 Like Titan said, they got the action shot they wanted.  No coaching of technique, position, and the presence of the emojis pretty much assures me the video was not being taken for review/coaching purposes. 

I hate to judge situations where I don't have all the information, but I would be embarrassed if this were my league, team, or coaching staff. 

Give me those four agility pads, two hand shields, and the heavy round dummy the coach is leaning on and I can set up a safer and more game-like drill than this. 

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21 hours ago, Muda69 said:

https://www.foxnews.com/sports/youth-football-drill-goes-viral

Any experienced football coaches out there who have viewed this video?  Comments? Concerns?

 

Too many coaches confuse hamburger drills to see who's tough with teaching tackling. The kids are too far apart going at full speed with no preparation. I don't care if you work on tackling for 6 months, if that's the form a player is going to use, they never get in a drill like this. Video the drills that are much more controlled and show mom and dad why their child is not ready for tackle football. If they still insist on getting their kid killed, show them this video. #NotOnMyWatch

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Use a Tackling Wheel, bags, just about ANYTING ELSE, other than that.   

Bobbleheads in uniforms at that age, silly, in my opinion

I personally think Flag Football age grade 2 thru 5th grade.   Then Tackle starting in 6th, that is what we have done and to me I think we have fared just fine.

Disclaimer**** I understand fully that there are MANY great youth tackle programs out there *****

 

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We start contact in second grade with many parents putting their first graders in contact but we teach it properly and have had no issues. I see no reason to change. 

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1 hour ago, Coach Nowlin said:

Use a Tackling Wheel, bags, just about ANYTING ELSE, other than that.   

Bobbleheads in uniforms at that age, silly, in my opinion

I personally think Flag Football age grade 2 thru 5th grade.   Then Tackle starting in 6th, that is what we have done and to me I think we have fared just fine.

Disclaimer**** I understand fully that there are MANY great youth tackle programs out there *****

 

Coach - Have you seen any increase in numbers, or better retention going into 6th grade+?

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This video is insane led by coaches who have no idea what they are doing.  They probably think this makes kids tough...  I love full padded tackle at 3rd grade or lower.  I personally would have hated flag.  As a slow fat kid there was a place for me fully padded!

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I don't understand why these coaches can't see the difference in kids.  All kids are different and that must be taken into account when "matching them up."  I am disheartened because one bad experience can cause a kid to quit. Football is a game and games are suppose to be fun.  If it isn't fun, why would you play.  This particular incident and drill are not fun especially for younger kids!

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A couple things are wrong with the video, as many have pointed out.

1. As a previous poster stated, bobbleheads. These kids' necks and shoulders are not strong enough to support the weight of the helmet, which can lead to serious injury. I'd like to see our state, or at least my feeder program and those around us, adopt USA Football's player development model. Flag, Hybrid, then Full Contact.

2. There is absolutely no coaching of technique. This drill was designed for the coaches to get their rocks off on a collision between two children, who are obviously not physically evenly matched: child abuse. Furthermore, neither kid uses any technique. The runner leads with his head, crown to crown with the tackler. 

 

 I do see potential for this drill, if it were used in a low contact way to teach leverage and tracking. 

 

The coaches' reaction tells you all you need to know. Fortunately, the league came out and stated that the head coach was removed back in September, after the video was recorded. I am not one to totally crucify a coach, though. He's probably coaching the way he was coached- a case of ignorance. Clearly he loves football, or else he wouldn't be coaching it. I would hope that the league would re-educate him, maybe pay for him to get certified through Atavus or USA Football. This could be used as an opportunity for us in the high school ranks to educate youth league coaches, rather than drag them through the mud. Men aren't exactly knocking down the doors to coach, and bad youth league coaches are ruining kids' football experience. We have to better educate. 

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1 hour ago, tango said:

Coach - Have you seen any increase in numbers, or better retention going into 6th grade+?

Our middle school numbers are outstanding

Our middle school staff does an outstanding job teaching the techniques in tackling and blocking, etc that will coincide with Heads Up tackling from USA Football, they have full access to all our tackling wheels. etc

We won state in 2014, our defensive end who ended up going to SJC on scholarship money and named IFCA Top 50 player never played a down of pop warner like rest of his class did, his first organized football was 7th grade year. 

 

Shortly after we completely cut ties with Pop Warner and established our own feeder flag program as stated before.  

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