That’s our daughter, Jeannie, when she was 10. Can she play football? Yes, and she’s good. Was she always? No.
If your daughter wants to play football, real football, US Football, AND be really good, then she’s going to have to start training her body.
Girls’ bodies are not exactly like boys’ bodies. (I know, you’d think that would be common sense, but in today’s world?)
What we’re going to do, then, is to cover first how girls are different.
THEN we’ll cover how you can train her to make up for it – PLUS some focus on the STRENGTHS – and turn your awesome, driven daughter into a beast on the football field. 🙂
How Girls’ Bodies are Different (Related to Football)
1. Girls tend to be weaker in the upper body, naturally. Girls typically are not as strong as boys when in the upper body. The shoulders, for example, tend to be weaker on girls.
The lats on girls are not typically as strong as a boy’s lats. (Lats is short for latissimus dorsi, fyi).
Those essentially mean that two of the primary skills required in football – blocking and tackling – are naturally more difficult for girls.
(That means she has to work harder to be better – which teaches the fantastic life ethic of it’s okay to work harder than everyone else.)
2. Girls tend to be less quick than boys. Quickness matters on the football field.
- Tackling in the open field,
- Running in the backfield to avoid being tackled,
- On the End to either make the tackle (on defense), or trap your opposing End on the wrong side so your backs can get by them (on offense).
- On the line, both offense and defense, to get positioning (lower for blocking) or get past the defender to tackle whoever has the ball.
Yes, there’s more, but we’re talking Peewee football here. There’s a lot that isn’t supposed to happen in peewee football that happens in higher levels. (The reason for that is to learn the most important pieces first, by the way.)
3. It’s more difficult to get a girl to get very aggressive. Socially that’s a good thing, right? But in football? Nah.
Everything about football requires aggressiveness. Again, socially, that’s great to be not aggressive. In the game, however, not really the case. “Be aggressive, be be aggressive.”
How To Train Your Daughter Physically
The first step is to decide to be consistent in training. It’s quite a bit more than just doing some push ups, some sprints and some footwork drills. It’s also more than doing a little bit here and a little bit there.
It’s every week, with very few weeks off (like 1 or 2 weeks off in a year). It’s 5 or 6 days a week. That takes persistence and dedication.
The starting place is working with progressive bodyweight exercises, calisthenics. On younger children, you don’t want to have them using weights to train. Period. There’s just no reason to, boy or girl. You want the strength that the “Big 6” bring.
The “Big 6” is what Paul “Coach” Wade calls the main exercises in his book Convict Conditioning. I highly recommend getting the physical copy of Convict Conditioning from Dragon Door. You can start with the kindle version from Amazon if you’d like, but plan on having the physical copy.
Training using Convict Conditioning is the foundation of building strength, of building the strength of the tendons, ligaments, layers of muscles that you don’t even know about.
That’s the starting point: doing the progressions given in Convict Conditioning. (Also great for boys starting their training!)
Once you’ve been doing that for 3-4 months consistently, then let me know which training plan you’re using, how many days a week you’re going, and whether you are training with your daughter or not. I highly recommend that you also train so you know what the heck she’s going through on some of the higher steps (and you’ll start feeling better). 🙂
Literally, there are zero drawbacks to being strong. None. Especially in today’s world – and for girls.
Convict Conditioning IS a major part of how practically any girl can not only compete with boys in youth football, but also be a dominant factor on the team. PLUS…
NOTHING Pushes the Boys Harder than a Well-Trained and Strong Girl on the Team
Imagine, Your daughter can inspire greatness in her teammates. You have to see it to believe it. The boys really push themselves to new limits. It’s amazing.
(NOTE: From October, 2017. She’s training a little bit with her younger brother, too.)
Quickness Training for Girls
Is just like quickness training for boys, but boys tend to naturally do more to be quicker.
She’s got to do the footwork drills, and practice moving her feet a little more quickly. Just a little bit. Always, just a little bit more.
Have her do sprints 3-4 days a week after a little stretching – active stretching, not passive. Uphill, never downhill. Gentle gradient.
Start with 15 yards. Then 25 yards. Then 40-50. Two of each to start. Then, no more than 4 at each distance. That’s all it takes to build speed, especially when combined with Convict Conditioning!
Begin each with “Down. Set. Hut!” And really lay it in that she goes on “Hut!” (or “Hike” or whatever sound you want to make – never start on the whistle, though.)
Learn juggling. That does something with reaction times that I couldn’t believe until we tried it with our own kids. Start with two tennis balls in one hand. Then three using both hands. Plus, juggling is fun, increases anyone’s social value, and it’s entertaining to kids.
Aggressiveness Training for Girls
Football is an aggressive sport. To play well, anyone must be aggressive. The best players are usually the most aggressive players.
Aggression is nothing more than playing hard: hitting hard, blocking hard, tackling well and with no worry about your own body. It’s derived from words which meant “to walk toward”. In football, you quickly and with speed move toward your opponents to block them, or to get by them, to tackle them.
Your goal is to get the ball their protected area (the end zone), and to stop them from getting to your protected area.
How do you bring out that aggression to play the game well? Practice hard. Train hard.
The “aggression” in the game comes from developing the confidence of having trained and practiced as hard as you can. Practice hard. Train hard. Be the very best version of yourself possible.
I hope this helps. Let me know when you make it consistently for three straight months. We’ll talk then.
Big Ole PS
I’m not putting that “We’ll talk then” out there to get money out of you. This is not a sales letter. Obviously we want to you to buy our courses (when we have any), but until you actually get through those three or four straight months of training in Convict Conditioning, it’s pointless to try to take it farther.
Literally, you probably can’t even imagine the effect that those months will have on her, or YOU, when the training is consistent for a few months.
Yes, YOU. You should start training with your kid. At first and for that first few months, the time commitment is not huge. And it’s fun and rewarding. See, the first three progression levels are essentially at the level of rehabilitation!
Strength you didn’t even know you should have will start to develop and every day life becomes easier. Much easier.
When Jeannie made these plays (and quite a few more really good plays that were either missed or didn’t make it into her video, which is below) she only had two years (and a month+) of Convict Conditioning.
Can you imagine what can be accomplished by your daughter?
So if you’re there, if you’ve trained her or with her for at least the first 3 steps of 5 of the Big 6 exercises, let me know and I’ll speed up getting to what to add next.
It took about 10 months of training just to add in kettlebell training. Then it was only swings!
We have learned other stuff to do that is taking her training even farther, but… Another day, eh?
Some of Jeannie’s Plays
Actually, this is from Spartamen.com and she’s a “Spartaman“, or one of the really good players who contributed a lot to the success of the team over the season.
That was her last year on that team, the Delhi Jets (as in Delhi, NY), and her third year playing football.
Her first year was kind of funny, but she really tried hard and got in two really hard hits on defense (which is all she played).
Her second year was much better and she even scored a few touchdowns. Her speed really kicked up, she hit opponents HARD in the open field, and started making a good name for herself. The parents loved her and loved watching her make good plays.
It’s her third year on the Jets, though, that made her a “Spartaman” on the site. Super fast, super strong.
It’s taken a lot of persistence, knowing when to back off of training a bit due to injury, but not stopping training. It’s taken kettlebells – primarily get-ups and swings. It’s taken Animal Flow. It’s taken a lot of hard work, determination, and keeping the dream alive.
As long as she has the goal of someday being a “WWE Superstar”, we’ll be behind her, helping her with all we know how to do.