Overview: The Top Mistakes Every Newbie Football Player Makes
Being a newbie in American football sucks. I vividly remember my first day of football practice in the 7th grade, and it was not a fun one. To give you an idea, I thought a cornerback was a tight end. I also remember getting shoved twenty yards down the field by an offensive tackle for a whole hour play after play. I remember being overwhelmed because I had no idea what to do. Gentlemen, I don’t want any of you newbie football players to have to go through something like that, so I’ve comprised an article of the top mistakes every newbie football player makes and how to prevent them.
Newbie Mistake #1: Quitting
I know it sucks sometimes, but you’ll never get what you want from quitting. I could’ve easily hung up my cleats and quit after that first practice, but I knew I would never be great if I stopped after one day. In fact, I didn’t even enjoy my first month, but the times after that were so rewarding and fun. Do you think that an NFL Hall of Famer ever quit? Of course not! In the words of Vince Lombardi “Winners never quit, and quitters never win.” There will be times when you wish you never started, but if you stay committed, you will be incredibly happy and proud of yourself.
“Winners never quit, and quitters never win”Vince Lombardi
Newbie Mistake #2: Not Taking Care of Your Body
The first couple of weeks, and the whole season really, your body will be insanely sore. When this happens, you can’t go 100% every play and that will keep you on the bench and prevent you from having fun.
To stop yourself from being sore, you need to do a couple of things. The first is to take ice baths or cold showers. Ice baths/cold showers are amazing for your immune system, and also relieve muscle pain. A study by the U.S. National Library of Medicine published a study if hydrotherapy was effective in relieving muscle soreness. They found that it positively improved the management of pain.
Another way to take care of your body is to stretch to avoid injury. Let’s say you weren’t very flexible in your calves and were all of a sudden put in a position where your calf got stretched during a play. You would feel pain due to inflexibility and possibly pull or tear a muscle. Now, imagine that you stretched every night, and you were put in the same position on the field during a play. You’d be fine and probably go on to play the rest of the game.
The next way to stop sore muscles is to use a foam roller. You can literally use this on any part of your body, and you feel great when you’re done.
The last way to take care of your body is to make sure you’re eating right. Don’t load up on sugar, and make sure you’re getting enough protein. An easy way to do that is to get some high-quality protein powder.
Newbie Mistake #3: Complaining About What Position you Play
When everyone starts football, most people want to be a quarterback, running back, or receiver. This is understandable because they get the most football clout, however, it won’t develop you as a player, which is what you should be looking for in year one. Another reason to play multiple positions is that you may find one that’s a natural fit and one that you really enjoy playing. Let’s take an example of two football players who have just started, John and Alex.
John vs Alex: A Newbie Football Story
John and Alex are newbies at football and are at their first day of practice. Alex wants to play wide receiver, and John wants to play running back. John notices that there’s already a lot of talent at running back and receiver, so he asks his coach where he can get the most playing time.
His coach tells him that he could be a good edge rusher due to his raw athleticism. John tries out edge rusher for a week, but it didn’t fit him. He went to his coach again and, his coach thought he could be a good fit at fullback. John plays fullback and loves it, and he’s also making a name for himself. Alex, on the other hand, is getting barely any reps at practice. He’s playing a “cool” position, but he doesn’t get experience. Coach tells him that he should try out corner or safety, but Alex is too stubborn to move.
By the end of the season, John has gotten valuable experience and has also made the coaches like and trust him due to trying different positions out. Alex got a little bit better, but not by much. If he would’ve played DB, he could’ve gotten a lot more experience and been in a better place for next year. Fast forward 3 years. Alex and John are both seniors and on a championship team. John played his freshman and sophomore year at fullback, and because of his hard work, he was able to start at running back for his junior and senior year. He made a great highlight reel, and even got a few D1 offers! Alex stuck with receiver and never got to start.
Guys, do you see how following this advice can lead to what you want? All in all, make sure you try out new positions and DON’T complain about where your coaches put you.
Newbie Mistake #4: Buying Flashy non-Essential Gear
Out of all the no-no’s, this is probably one of the biggest. Wearing flashy sleeves, armbands, and a visor is just going to make your teammates lose respect for you. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so don’t show up dressed as you’ve been on the team since 1st grade. Another reason to not do this is that if it’s your first time, you don’t even know if you’ll be playing or even enjoy the sport, so don’t waste money. However, if you want a cool piece of gear, get the Riddell Speedflex.
Newbie Mistake #5: Breaking the Unwritten Rules of Football
Only people who have been playing football for a while really know these, but following this list will save you a lot of embarrassment.
The Unwritten Rules of Football
|#1: Seniors stand in the front of the lines, juniors second, sophomores third, and freshman last.|
|#2: DO NOT EVER aim for the knees. Ever. This is the cheapest move you can do, and it can cost someone their future and career.|
|#3: Help your teammates up if they fall down! An easy way to show them that you care is by doing little things like this.|
|#4: Do what the seniors and coaches say, it will earn you respect.|
|#5 Be focused in the locker room before a game. You don’t want to be seen as “annoying” when everyone else is trying to get in the zone.|
|#6: If there’s ever a whole team fight (benches clear) make sure you go out on the field if everyone else is unless your coach holds you back. You don’t even need to fight anyone, you can break up the fight too.|
Newbie Mistake #6: Getting Your Parents to Complain for You
There is probably nothing more annoying to a coach than this. Do NOT ever have your parents complain about your playing time, what position you play, or anything else for you. If this happens, your coach will see you in a negative light and it will most likely backfire. If you’re concerned about how much playing time you’re getting, or what position you play, then talk to your coach yourself. This will show your coach that you’re responsible and that you care about helping the team. It is not the job of your parents to intervene with the team.
Newbie Mistake #7: Not Spending Time Learning Football off the Field
This is a mistake that every newbie football player will make. If it’s your first year and you probably don’t know that much about football, so you need to spend extra time off the field learning the game. This blog is an excellent place to learn anything about football, and it will tell you everything you need to know about it. Another easy way to learn about football off the field is to watch football. For example, if you’re a newbie linebacker, watch linebackers on tv in games. While you’re watching, pay attention to little details, like how they flutter step, read, get off blocks, and shuffle in coverage. Try to imagine yourself in the play on the tv and visualize what you’d do.
Conclusion: The Biggest Mistakes Every Newbie Football Player Makes and how to solve them!
Take care of your body
Don’t complain about what position you play
Do not buy flashy gear
Don’t break the unwritten rules
Do not get your parents to complain for you
Spend time learning the game off the field
There it is. The biggest mistakes every newbie football player makes. I hope this article was helpful, and that you have a successful season. Remember, you must always put in effort to get what you want, so work hard!