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Experiences of a new volunteer coach

By Will Babbington

Leeds Academy of American Football Assistant Coach

I have been a fan of American Football for about 25 years and grew up watching the coverage on Channel 4, reading the latest news in the First Down newspaper and have gone on to talking about the game on podcasts and writing about it for websites. But while I have learnt a great deal about the game and its players one thing I have come to realise is that I know nothing about the fundamentals of the game. How should a wide receiver stand to get the best start, how should a quarterback hold his hands to properly receive a snap, how does a cornerback ensure he is in the best position to break up a pass?

I heard about Leeds Academy of American Football via twitter and got in touch about learning how to coach and they invited me down to their Saturday club sessions for kids 9-16 years old. I was amazed by the passion and excitement that the kids were showing for the game brought out of them by the excellent coaching they were receiving on all aspects of the sport, from how to throw and catch a football, to how they should stand if they want to try and 'tackle' the quarterback. American football can be a hard sport to understand but by breaking down the fundamentals the Academy have ensured that anybody can get to grips with it and enjoy playing it.

I too have been learning lots from the Leeds Academy of American Football even in the short time that I have been involved with them, and can now answer the questions above! While I have only scratched the surface, with their help I hope to develop my knowledge even further and aim to help them make future groups of kids as excited about the great game that the Academy has made the current group of talented kids.

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