Cowichan Valley Football Association

You can’t rotate positions – and it’s OK!


“My kid would like to try quarterback this week.”

Nothing can send shivers up the spine of a minor football coach more than hearing that from the father or mother of one of his offensive linemen.  And it happens more than you think.

People don’t usually start their kids in football until later on in a youth sport context (i.e. 10 years or older), whereas  they may have had their son or daughter in soccer or hockey since they were 4.  At the youngest levels of other sports it’s quite common for kids to play right wing one game then on defense the next, or even to go from catcher to shortstop between innings.  That’s because even though there are noticeable differences in those positions they are essentially doing the same thing (i.e. moving a puck or catching a baseball) and are similar enough to allow kids to experiment with most or all of the positions while learning the basic skills of the game.

Unfortunately the same is not true in football. While some positions, mostly on defense, have similar duties (i.e. tackling), most like quarterback and offensive lineman have completely different job descriptions and therefore have a completely different basic skill set and need to be instructed completely differently. This may help you understand why we have a large number of coaches with your child’s team. There are at least seven different base positions (i.e. quarterback, running back, receiver, offensive line, defensive line, linebacker, and defensive back) that need to have separate instructions.

Therefore, just like in other sports, it takes time and practice to pick up the basic skills, so moving around from position to position means that they will have to start all over again each time they move since the basic skills differ greatly from position to position and as a result will have a very hard time improving at anything.

Again, as mentioned above, not everyone gets to do everything, but if you take the time to understand the team nature of the game and that no one person is successful without the 11 other players on field with him doing their jobs to the utmost, then you can relax when your told your child is a tight end or safety.

Really! – It’s OK.