High school football has grown from fall’s favorite pastime to a year-round sport because of 7on7 football leagues and tournaments. These games allow both individual players and entire teams to develop physically and mentally. What you see is a more refined team when fall play rolls around again. Here are 10 ways we believe 7on7 leagues and tournaments can help teams and athletes develop year round.
- Keeps Players in Better Physical Shape
No matter how much a player works out in the gym during the offseason, it’s not the same as playing the game. Participating in 7on7 leagues and tournaments allow the quarterback to repeat his throws hundreds of times or other players to make moves similar to what they will do in the regular season games.
- Keeps Players in Better Mental Shape
Because 7on7 leagues and tournament games have become fast-paced and highly-competitive, they keep players more alert mentally. They must think fast and make their moves quickly. You won’t see as much sluggishness in the first games of the season as players try to hit their stride. With a shorter break, they are already mentally prepared for the game.
- Allows Evaluation
Coaches have time to focus on individual players and can evaluate them in new settings. They may see a running back who looks good as a wide receiver in 7on7, and it might inspire them to think differently about their players during the regular season.
- Builds Team Chemistry
These games aren’t just about honing physical skills but about developing the players mentally. They learn how to read each other better and know when to pass and try new plays. The players improve communication and develop their passing games while building their techniques.
- Lets New Coaches Get a Look at the Team
Limited practice time for regular season football translates into limited information for a new coach in his first season with a school. Meeting the players in 7on7 games allows him to learn more about their abilities and to get more firsthand information before the regular season begins.
- Introduces Players to New Positions
Because no tackling is allowed, players in some of the offensive positions often try out in other areas for 7on7. This enables them to learn new skills and possibly discover a better fit. The undersized running back may translate into the ideal receiver.
- Builds Confidence
Kids who don’t get much playing time during the regular season can come into their own during the offseason games. They get more time to play, which can help develop skills that will get them off the bench during the regular season.
- Rebuilds Programs
Coaches without a winning season can take this opportunity to rebuild their teams. Instead of sticking with what hasn’t been working, they can try out new plays and techniques while positioning players differently. This translates into a better organized, better prepared team for the fall.
- Turns Players into Specialists
Players often have time to work on more advanced plays than in the regular season. They can practice complex techniques until they feel comfortable. While everyone still wants to win, the reduced pressure enables everyone to feel more comfortable taking chances.
- Improves Recruiting
For the individual player, one of the benefits of 7on7 is the increased exposure and additional offers they can receive from college recruiters. As they develop their skills and recruiters take notice, they often get more offers than players who just play during the regular season.
As you can see, 7on7 leagues and tournaments can help build individual players and entire teams. This sport will continue to grow with all of the benefits it provides to regular season football and beyond for the talented, focused athlete.