Empowering Coaches Step-By-Step

Tips on The Sprint Out Pass in Youth Football

The sprint out pass or running pass is a very effective method of throwing the ball in youth football.

Once you have established the sweep with your thrower, the defensive backs often abandon their pass responsibilities on anything that looks like a sweep or are vulnerable to pass patterns that look like blocks to begin with. Many cornerbacks like to come up and make plays on sweeps, especially if you have established the play well, with your thrower running the ball. Some defensive schemes have the safeties or corners reading the recievers for run support based on the initial block or pass pattern read of the reciever. It is quite simple to get an initial “block” read by your recievers. In these cases the running passes or run/pass option are excellent football plays to call.

If you have a short thrower it is often very difficult for him to see his recievers over the heads of the offensive and defensive linemen. Sprint out passes on the run give these throwers space, throwing alleys and clear lines of sight to his recievers that he just doesn’t get on normal drop back or play action passes. When sprinting to one side and throwing on the run there is also no need to block the end man on the line of scrimmage on the weakside, giving you better protection and numbers advantages.

In the Single Wing Offense, the football plays we have that look like runs that we use on our sprint our passing game are our strong side sweep pass option and our waggle pass to the weak side that we call our “Mouse” series. Both of these have historically been big football plays for us.

You can’t however just run your recievers into regular drop back passing patterns or tell your thrower to just throw the ball while on the run, there are techniques that must be taught. The play has to at first appear to be a run in nearly every way. Your recievers must run precise patterns that must at first appear to be blocks by your recievers and on the same exact path as your normal running plays. Your thrower has to make a few adjustments to make the play work properly as well.

One of the most common mistakes by the thrower when throwing on the run is he overthrows the ball. Your thrower is used to leading his recievers on his normal drop back or play action stationary drop. But if your thrower is running at nearly the same speed as the reciever and he leads the reciever on the pass, the ball will be overthrown. When throwing on the run your thrower has to throw the ball right at the reciever to negate the throwers movement. We always throw the ball with the reciever and thrower running in the same direction on these football plays. Having the thrower toss to a stationary target or one where he has to throw across his body is just asking for an interception.

All the rest of the coaching points on the running throw are in the book on pages 153-157, from the grip to the footwork, arm placement, progressions, drills and followthrough landmarks.

Kurt Anderson my former college quarterback and “QB” coach on our staff helped us refine our approach to this play. Kurt was the QB coach on the 5A Mission Texas teams that set national High School passing records held at that time. His record setting team was featured in Sports Illustrated and Kurt attended a number of Lavell Edwards BYU Coaching Clinics. Kurt has coached youth ball for 3 years now and he knows what coaching points are doable at the various age levels. He helped our throwers perfect the running throw with just a few very simple coaching points that we share with you in the book.

For more youth football coaching tips please go to Football Plays
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