Reckless Youth Football Drill Leads To Brutal Hit, Draws Massive Criticism On Social Media

Videos by OutKick

Football is a contact sport. Always has been, always will be. But there are limits, including the age at which participants should start experiencing the full violence of the game. Youth football is way too young for that exposure.

Still, that doesn’t stop some youth football coaches from forcing their players to participate in overly physical drills. On Tuesday, a video of two young boys doing a one-on-one collision drill went viral on social media, resulting in a lot of visceral outrage.

The ball-carrier put the crown of his helmet directly into the facemask of the would-be tackler, creating a huge hit that left the defender struggling to get up. You can see the video below.

Violent, right?

Since the video was shared, the backlash has been swift. Several prominent football players and media members have come out criticizing the coaches for allowing young boys to participate in that sort of drill.

I can remember doing a few of these drills back in high school — and some even in middle school. Still, things were way different back then. That was almost 20 years ago, and I wasn’t as young as these boys. What are your thoughts?

Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.

Written by Clint Lamb

Clint Lamb is a College Football Writer for OutKick. Managing Editor for Roll Tide Wire. Sports radio host for The Bullpen on 730/103.9 The UMP. Co-host for The 'Bama Beat podcast through The Tuscaloosa News and


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  1. This is black and white. Everybody knows it. One of the few times I agree with certain ESPN football personalities. They are right. This is horrible and not funny at all. Glad you didn’t argue backwards just for the sake of disagreeing with some people who are considered “Woke Left”, Clint.

  2. I’ve coached youth football for over ten years at the 10-12 year old range. Over that time, USA Football has come out with very clear guidelines on how to avoid this exact type of scenario. My league also requires training and certification from USA Football so coaches understand how to avoid this kind of contact, especially when doing drills/teaching skills. This is 100% on the coaches and the league for letting them run a practice like this. The parents in this league need to demand better! Hopefully that little guy hasn’t suffered ongoing effects.

  3. Ok, there’s a lot wrong here. The coaches laughing for starters, the obvious physical mismatch between the two kids, and the drill itself. I’ve never seen such, one kid has a full on running start, the other kid is basically just standing there. This by all means looks like an intentional set up to get that poor kid clobbered.

    • Yep. I remember a drill like this, but it was the ball carrier that was running forward while the LB backpedaled on a 45 then broke to the ball, simulating a draw or screen. It was awful for both. This is way worse.

  4. Dude, we used to do this drill in Pop Warner but it was a little more on a slant to make contact between the cones. These kids are kinda circling for more head on contact.

    Either way I def got concussed a few times but you gotta just shake that shit off lol

  5. Nothing wrong with the drill per se, but…
    Kids that age should not be engaging in that kind of contact. Aside from being unhealthy, in general at that age they do not have the coordination or skill level necessary to protect themselves. It’s even worse in a situation like in this video where one kid is not only physically superior, but has obviously had much more training than the kid that got decked.
    Not sure what the coaches were trying to prove here other than that one 8 year old can knock down another physically inferior 8 year old. Neither kid got anything out of it. In this case, even the ball carrier was learning bad habits that might get him paralyzed one of these days.

  6. I agree with the general consensus that this drill was absurd on so many levels. I will disagree that football is a contact sport. Basketball is a contact sport. Footballis a collision sport.

  7. I Disagree with straight backlash here…typical sm response! People BE SPECIFIC!
    The coaches reaction is a bit sadistic/perverse
    The drill is what should be in question… THE ONLY OPTION here is a direct hit and the way the defender (and likely his age/inexperience) has to “round” the bag he’s going to be upright… the better FB move would to be lower and “angle” tackle at the legs
    WATCH the contact – the runner doesn’t “lower his head”… WTF is he supposed to do, run upright? NO – he’s trying to run the guy over as that is the only option…bad setup by coaches and don’t tackle high – especially the kid that looks like pee wee league Derrick Henry!
    Oh yea BTW this contact is exactly what will happen in a youth football game when a kid runs up the middle; it will happen every game. If that’s not your style, play flag football or soccer. FWIW I’d not let my child play tackle at that age and I had a daughter play high school FB and earn a letter.

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