Empowering Coaches Step-By-Step

Playing Teams That Are Far Superior to Yours

Ther are a number of coaching strategies your team can use to compete with teams that are bigger, faster and just better than your youth football team:


Shorten the game by taking the entire 25 second clock every play. Since we are no huddle and our kids are at the Line Of Scrimmage when we call the play, we don�t signal a play in until there are 10 ticks left. The official will signal the start of the 25 second clock, if he doesn�t just let him know what you are trying to do and he will help you out. Make sure and don’t call timeouts until the 25 second clock has expired, just tell the official “I will take my timeout at the end of the 25 second clock”.

Keep a superior team off-guard including calling a lot of “no plays” and going on first sound. Quite often crab blocking a team like that is very effective, since you can’t match up very well. Lastly make sure and have a great onsides kick so you can get the ball back again.

We had a football game like that vs the NW Tigers and the Lincoln Salvation Army in 2004. In the first game we should have lost, we got down two TDs real early as the other team just ran off-tackle right behind their big monster offensive tackle. I had already got into slow down mode, as it appeared we were overmatched and would take quite a beating that day. The other coach then did something I didn�t expect, he kicked off to our deep returner and our kid ran it right up the gut for a TD. We onside kicked, got tje ball back and ran some time off the clock but didn�t score.

When they got the ball back they went away from the football play that had worked for them like a charm. They went to the sweep and reverse, which they had little chance of making anything out of with our boxing ends. When we got the ball again we drove it 3-4 yards a pop and lots of 3rd and 4th downs, taking our time. We ended up scoring late and getting our extra point to win the ballgame.

Against Lincoln that year, we had nearly the same result. The LIncoln team was very big and very fast, we expected to go slowdown the whole game. We started on offense and were doing real well with the wedge, so we just went warp speed and caught them off guard, scoring on our first possession. We saw they had a ton of speed, but with our boxing ends they became frustrated very early with their inability to run outside.

When we got the ball back, we went to max slowdown and milked the clock. This Lincoln team had not lost in several years and were quite confident they would be able to eventually roll over their smaller and slower opponnent. Lincoln had the ball on their own 20 with less than a minute to go in the half, with 4th and 5 they went for it with a tight end reverse that often is a big play for them. We stopped them and with 15 seconds left in the half and them in disarray, we ran a wing reverse for a 1 play scoring drive and a 2 Touchdown lead. We ended up squeaking a close one out at the end in this one 14-6.

Don’t panic and don’t despair, use the tools you have to slow the game down and do whatver it takes to run time off the clock and get the ball back on special teams. You can win games you have no business winning in youth football with good coaching.


This has been another post into Dave Cisar’s Winning Youth Football Site
Copyright 2007 Cisar Mangement Services

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