Football For Beginners - The Keys to Winning Football Games

    Mark Voigt
    By Mark Voigt

    There are many factors that determine the success (or failure) of winning football games. I don't care if we're talking pee wee, high school, college or professional football. It's all the same. While there are many aspects to winning football, here are a few keys:

    Win the Time of Possession Battle - Throughout the course of a game, the opposing teams trade possession of the ball. The length of time that a team has possession of the ball is referred to as its time of possession. While no guarantee to victory, generally speaking the longer a team has the ball throughout the game, the better. It's kind of like "keep away" - if you don't have the ball, you can't score!

    Win the Turnover Battle - A turnover occurs when a team unwillingly gives up possession of the ball to its opponent, either through an interception (ball thrown forward and caught by an opposing player) or by a fumble (ball carrier loses possession of the ball that the opposing team recovers). Live Score "turns the ball over" (turnover) to its opponent, it gives itself one less and its opponent one additional opportunity to score. One too many turnovers by a team can be costly; it can be the difference between winning and losing. A team can usually live with one or two turnovers in a game, but if it turns the ball over three or more times, it usually spells DISASTER.

    Convert on 3rd Downs - When a team has the ball, it is given a set of four downs (plays) to advance the ball at least 10 yards, or else it may have to give up possession of the ball to its opponent. 3rd down is probably the most critical down, because if it doesn't convert (advance the ball far enough after its 3rd down), it very likely on 4th down will have to give up possession of the ball by kicking it (punting) to its opponent.

    Successfully rushing the ball against its opponent - In football, there are two types of plays that a team uses to advance the ball forward: Passing (throwing the ball forward) and Rushing (running with the ball from scrimmage) While ideally, a team would like to be successful at both, it is of particular importance that a team has success rushing the ball. One reason is, the more successful a team is at rushing, the longer it is able to keep the ball in its hands and out of its opponents To briefly explain, when a team rushes the ball, the game clock(clock used to time the action) continues to wind down, leaving less time for its opponent when it has possession; whereas passing the ball can stop the game clock if a pass thrown is incomplete (not caught). Another reason is, rushing the ball wears down the opposing team.