Tenets

Seven guiding principles that make up the overall philosophy that we apply to Bears Junior All-American Football.

1. Make It Fun

This is the primary objective and cornerstone of the entire philosophy of Bears Junior All American Football. Regardless of whether it’s a game or a practice, football at the youth level should always be fun.

2. Limit Standing Around

This is a common problem with youth sports that ultimately turns kids off. Whether it’s a game, practice, clinic, or camp, we have designed all of our programs to engage every participant consistently. Kids don’t attend practice to watch others play. Kids enjoy practices when they have fun and they experience an improvement in their overall skills.

3. Everyone Plays

Football at the youth level should be an inclusive experience. It is never fun at any level of play to sit and watch others participate, anticipating the opportunity to play if the situation arises. The youth level of football should be an equal learning experience for everyone, whether it’s a game or a practice.

4. Teach Every Position To Every Participant

Don’t pigeonhole younger kids 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, we encourage all coaches to teach everyone every position. As we all know, kids grow at various rates. A smaller child may develop late and become much larger than his/her present size indicates and vice versa. How many athletes has football lost throughout the years because of coaches taking the largest kids and making them play the line?

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 any chance of success. If one player does not execute the fundamentals of his position correctly, the mostsophisticated scheme in the world will not work. It is unfair and not fun to focus on running plays that will fail 9 out of 10 times. Youth programs that focus on scheming plays over executing fundamentals are cheating every participant out of the chance to learn the game properly.

6. Incorporate A Progression Of Skill Development For Every Participant

Regardless of a player’s skill level, it is the responsibility of a youth football coach and a youth football program to teach every kid on every team. It is no secret that 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. Kids realize when they have made mistakes. What they don’t need is 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. Coaches realize when they have made mistakes. What they don’t need is to have that mistake compounded by negative feedback and comments. What they do need is feedback on how to correct the mistakes supported by positive encouragement.