In 2023, I had the distinct honor of being the play-by-play color commentator for the U18 Canadian Women’s National Championship in Ottawa. Watching from such a unique perspective, I was astounded by the raw talent and athleticism on display in the world of 6 on 6 football. Here are the facets of the game that truly left an impression:
- Rushing Evasiveness: In the fast-paced environment of 6 on 6 football, quarterbacks’ agility shone brightly. Their instinctual decisions to dodge defenses and capitalize on openings were noteworthy.
- Mental Fortitude: Playing 3 intense games in a mere 7 days, these athletes displayed remarkable mental resilience, bouncing back from challenges and pushing through physical and mental fatigue.
However, the growing nature of 6 on 6 football in Canada means there’s ample room for development. Here are areas of focus to elevate the sport further:
- Basic Ball Handling: The fluid nature of 6 on 6 football calls for impeccable ball handling. The exchanges between the center and the running back need refinement, as witnessed by some of the unstable snaps and hurried handoffs during the championship.
- Throwing Mechanics: To enhance the game’s pace, throws need to be sharp and swift. Some passes, especially under pressure, lacked the necessary velocity. A focus on consistent throwing techniques will be pivotal.
- Situational Agility: Given the rapid transitions in 6 on 6 football, players need to intuitively adapt to changing game situations. Improving this agility can significantly impact game outcomes.
- Defensive Recognition: While deep reads might be less prevalent, the ability to quickly recognize and respond to defensive shifts and movements is crucial. This instinctual play is what differentiates good players from great ones in the format.
- Strength & Conditioning: Physical conditioning remains at the core. Enhanced strength and stamina will improve both offensive and defensive plays, from throws to evasions.
- Footwork: In such a dynamic format, footwork is everything. Mastery in movement ensures better throws, rapid dodges, and overall effective play.
- Leadership & Communication: Even in a 6 on 6 format, a quarterback’s leadership is paramount. Building on these leadership qualities and ensuring efficient on-field communication will drive team synchronization.
- Vision & Field Scanning: Rapid and accurate field scanning is essential. It allows the quarterback to make instinctive decisions, be it a pass, a dodge, or a run.
Growing the Game:
The U18 Championship showcased the budding potential of 6 on 6 women’s football in Canada. These pioneering athletes, with their passion and instinctual play, are setting a strong foundation for the sport’s future. With emphasis on refining basics and enhancing instinct-driven strategies, the next championship promises to be an even more thrilling spectacle. The journey of women’s 6 on 6 football in Canada has just begun, and the road ahead looks promising.