YOUTH FOOTBALL DAY AT HEINZ FIELD
Each year the Steelers host two youth football teams for a halftime exhibition at a regular season game. The exhibition took place on Sunday when the Steelers played the Seattle Seahawks at Heinz Field.
The St. Bernard Chargers from Mt. Lebanon and the St. Sebastian Knights from the North Hills took part in the event, with 10-13 year-olds demonstrating their football skills and everyone walking away a winner.
Seven Guiding Principles of NFL Youth Football
The NFL asked kids, parents, and coaches about their likes, dislikes and concerns with playing football and the overall youth sports experience. This research led to the development of seven guiding principles as the overall philosophy for all NFL Youth Programs:
1. Make It Fun— The primary objective and cornerstone of the entire philosophy. Whether it's a game or a practice, football at the youth level should always be fun.
2. Limit Standing Around— The NFL has designed all of its programs to engage every participant consistently, whether it's a game, practice, clinic, or camp,
3.Everyone Plays— Football at the youth level should be an inclusive experience. It's no fun at any level of play to sit and watch others participate, hoping to play if the situation arises. The youth level of football should be an equal learning experience for everyone.
4.Teach Every PositionTo Every Participant— Kids shouldn't be pigeonholed in one particular position because of their physical size and/or ability. In order to provide each participant a full experience and appreciation for the game that will last a lifetime, the NFL encourages all programs to teach everyone every position.
5. Emphasize The Fundamentals— Build a foundation that will never crack by properly teaching the basics. Learning the fundamentals and perfecting the same basics at every level of play is essential to having success.
6.Incorporate A Progression OfSkill Development For Every Participant— Regardless of a player's skill level, it is the responsibility of a youth football coach to teach every kid on the team. If kids experience improvement in their skills, no matter what their athletic ability may be, they will continue to participate and return to learn more.
7. Yell Encouragement, Whisper Constructive Criticism — Keep it positive. A youth football coach should never tolerate negative comments from players, parents, the coaching staff or him/herself. Kids realize when they have made a mistake, and they don't need to have that mistake compounded by negative feedback and comments. What they do need is feedback on how to correct the mistake supported by positive encouragement.
For more information about NFL Youth Football Programs, including NFL Flag, NFL Junior and High School Player Development, and NFL Punt, Pass & Kick, visit www.NFLyouthfootball.com or call 1-800-NFL-SNAP.
Youth Football Programs
• NFL FLAGis the NFL's official youth league for boys and girls, 6 - 14 years old. The NFL FLAG program exists nationwide and in all 32 NFL markets and provides the opportunity for kids and families to become involved in football through participation early in life. It also helps develop the first phase of player and coach development by teaching football skills at the earliest age, while structuring the first level of a feeder system to community tackle programs (NFL Junior Player Development) and high school (NFL High School Player Development).
• NFL Junior Player Development Programis an introductory/developmental youth tackle football program for boys 12-14 that teaches every participant every position through a step-by-step progression of skill instruction in a fun and entertaining manner. Instructors are NFL-selected high school coaches from the local market. Participants also receive counseling through a life skills/character development curriculum incorporated into all on-field activities.
• NFLHighSchool Player Development Programtargets high school sophomores through seniors in urban-based communities with a program that focuses on academic counseling and specific football skill training by position. Each participant learns what is necessary to become a successful collegiate student-athlete, and gains the resources and information to meet NCAA Clearinghouse requirements.
• NFL Punt, Pass, & Kick:Since 1961, boys and girls have participated in this national skills competition in punting, passing, and placekicking, the most well-known youth sports competition in the world. Many current NFL players participated in PP&K as youngsters. Currently there are more than 6,000 local competitions run throughout schools nationwide as well as 3,000 local park and recreation centers during the months of August and September. This program is open to boys and girls (compete in separate divisions) ages 8-15 and is free of charge to all participants.