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The 3-5-3 defense for Youth Football

The 3-5-3 Defense for Youth Football Teams

This defense seems to be the latest fad for High School and even some youth football teams. In 2003 our age 13-14 Select Team used this defense in a very successful championship season and went 11-1.

I�m not a fan of this defense for 95% of most youth football teams.

The 3-5-3 Defense for Youth Football Teams

Our 2003 squad was the best of a very large group of players a true �Select� team. We had no weak players on this team and most of the kids had played for us for 3-5 years. That particular season we had more athleticism and speed than any team we�ve had before or since.

Where do you put your weak players on this defense? With just 3 Down linemen you can�t put them at any of the down linemen spots, linebacker? Safety? Corner? Those aren�t good spots to put them either.

Youth football coaching is about maximizing your talent within the context of meeting the rules of your league and developing players. Many leagues require kids to play via minimum play rules, we play our kids a certain amount of plays via a self imposed minimum play rule. Our thoughts are if a kid shows up to practice he should get some meaningful playing time in every game.

I�m a big fan of the 4-4 and 3-5-3 for very athletic �Select� teams, but for everyone else it makes little sense. In order to meet any type of minimum play requirement, you would have to sacrifice your offense and load EVERY weak player on your offense, significantly impacting its ability to score points.

Our 4-4 defense for �Select� teams won two USA TODAY National Titles for Canyon Springs High School, their DC coached for us for 4 years. Our defense for Non-Select teams has helped us get all our kids playing time, while shutting down the sweep, reverse and dive plays, the big 3 in Youth Football and helped my teams compile a 62-2 record. We use a lot of the Concepts from Canyon Springs USA TODAY title team in our 6-2, where it makes sense in youth football.

For other youth football coaching drills and football plays please sign up for Dave’s free youth football drills guide at: Youth Football
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