Empowering Coaches Step-By-Step

Dealing With Stemming Defenders

On occaison your youth football team may end up facing a defense that stems ( shifts) to confuse your offensive linemen.
Personally I love playing teams that use this tactic. If a defender is moving during your snap count there are a number of simple but effective strategies you can use to overcome this tactic:

1) Elongate your snap count so the defense has to move for 15 seconds during the count. Youth football players in 3 and 4 point stances tire quickly making many movements from that physical position.
2) Snap the ball on first sound. If the defender is mid shift (in the air) when you snap the ball, he is very easy to move off the line of scrimmage.
3) RUN WEDGE– This is a punishing play for defenders that are in mid air on shifts/stems. Your linemen have no blocking rule on the wedge, who they have to block is not an issue on this play.
4) Run VERY long “no plays” to keep the defense moving for 15-20 seconds on the play. The defense will tire of this tactic and wear themselves down physically and mentally.

Prepare your team not for EVERY contingency but the most likely ones, limited practice time means you have to prioritize. This is a tactic we see about 5% of the time from youth football coaches in our area.

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