Empowering Coaches Step-By-Step

Numbers Tell the Truth to Saying No to Running the Local High School's Offense

More Stats for NOT Running the High School Offense in Youth Football:

Here are a few stats for you youth football coaches feeling the pressure to run the local High School offense:

Let’s say you have a team size of 25 kids. National studies from Michigan State University and the National Youth Sports Alliance say less than 30% of your players will play High School football. So now, out of 25 kids you have 7 players that according to the studies go on to play High School ball. Of those 7, not all will play at the local Public High School, they may move, play for a different local High School, or they may play for a Private School, let�s say you lose 1 player there. Of the 6 remaining, after they go through puberty some will grow and others won�t. That skinny wingback that fills out to a slow 250 pounds is no longer a wingback in High School, kids change. The big hulking center you have doesn’t gain a pound and ends up playing fullback. At least half of your players will play a position different than what they did in Youth Ball.

With the weight rules in place for most leagues that restrict large players to the interior line positions, your big players are usually not allowed to touch the ball. So forget about the big players getting any training at receiver, tight end or running back, positions they may very well play in High School. In 2006 two of my former Omaha players, offensive guards James D and Ronnie C both played fullback for Omaha North High varsity as freshmen.Ronnie even ran for a TD in one big game. North has over 2500 students, made it to the state semi-finals, had two DI scholarship players and a parade all-american (Niles Paul) on their team. Neither of these former offensive guards ever got to touch the football for my teams, as both were over the running back weight limits. Neither had played in the backfield or ran this schools offense, yet they did very well at their new positions in a brand new offense. I doubt Omaha Norths head coach cared one iota that these kids had never run his offense. He gets paid to coach football and train football players, not sit back and call football plays from a tower with kids that are already trained for him by a bunch of youth coach volunteers.

So now we are at 3 kids of the 25 that would be playing High School ball and playing the very same position on the High School team as they did at the Youth Football level. If you decided to make the choice for the High School offense for the benefit of just 3 players at the expense of the 22 others on your team, it would not benefit anywhere near the majority of your players.

Add in the slim chances that your 8 year old youth football player will be playing High School ball 10 years down the road and that the High School will even have the same head coach or be running the same offense 10 years into the future. It seems darn right ridiculous to even consider trying to run the same system as the local High School, the odds are very long it would help even a tiny fraction of your youth football players.

The numbers just don’t add up to make a decision to run an offense that in most cases will have little success for your team and in the end will most likely result in fewer players deciding to go on to play High School ball. Because as you will read in subsequent posts, most youth football players quit playing because of poor coaching, their teams are not competitive and they aren’t having fun, all are symptoms of running a system that doesn’t work at the Youth Level.

While the Single Wing Offense has proven itself at the Youth Level all across the country, it is also seeing a rebirth of sorts at the High School and even College levels. Last year 3 Single Wing teams played for State High School Titles in Virginia alone, with 2 teams winning, Giles and Osborne. Menominee High School a perennial Single Wing powerhouse in Michigan won its second State Title in 7 years and blew out the Defending State Champions in the largest class in Minnesota as well. Colton High in California finished in the USA Today Top 20 running the Single Wing Offense. Those are just a few teams I know of off the top of my head that are having success running the Single Wing in High School.

If you watched Urban “The Mad Scientist” Meyers Florida team last year, you would have seen lots of Single Wing football, especially when they went into their “Tebow” formation. Other College teams running lots of Single Wing included West Virginia, Arkansas and Utah to name just a few. My guess is we will see more of it everywhere this coming season.

For those of you that get static for running what you run:
There are many high schools that run the Wing T, Flexbone, Wishbone, Straight T, Veer and Double Wing Offenses and virtually no Colleges at the Division I level or Pro teams run these offenses. Are the thousands of High Schools that run these offenses doing something wrong? How about De LaSalle and its 170 game win streak running the Veer or Bellevue Washingtons National Championship team running the Wing T? Shouldn’t they be running what the College and Pro teams are running? No, they dont have the players needed to run those Pro and College offenses and neither do you.

Don’t let that weak High School coach sell you on the snake oil that the most important football coach in his program is the youth or Junior High coach, what silliness. The most important coach in the High School system is the High School Head Coach, only responsibility shirking weaklings would put it off on someone other than themselves. This isn’t the language I hear at the clinics from the top High School coaches in the nation, they rightfully think they are the coach that has the most to do with their teams success or failure. They wouldn’t dream of trying to blame someone else for their failure or success.

Did Lou Holtz blame poor High School coaches for his last South Carolina teams failure to reach a bowl game? How about Bill Parcells, should he be blaming the college coaches for his Dallas Cowboys not making the Super Bowl? It never happenned, it would be silly, but I hear it from a handfull of perrennial losing High School coaches from accross the country on football coaching forums. Great coaches aren’t excuse makers, they take and teach responsibility, it’s the right thing to do. Don’t teach your players by your excuse making example to be excuse making dog ate the homework kids.

For more great youth football coaching tips please go to Coaching Youth Football
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