Empowering Coaches Step-By-Step

Youth Football; How Many Football Plays Should You Have In?

Who do I fear when I’m coaching?

Coach Clark the self proclaimed, but inaccurately  named “Dum Coach” says he fears the Coach that practices one play 100 times, while coach feels he has a walk in the park against the youth football team that practices 100 different plays once.

Well coach Clark is 100% right on with that assessment and he’s said it much better than I ever could. Every year the teams that give us the most trouble don’t have a 100 page West Coast Offense playbooks, they run 5-6 integrated plays to near perfection. Now they may run a few of those plays out of a different set, like unbalanced or with a slot, cross block or nasty adjustment, but in the end they are running 5-6 perfect plays. Football plays they know they can run, run effectively, and can attack every gap with.

So far this season we are 5-1 and the one loss was to a team that ran their 5-6 base plays to perfection and made us pay for the few mistakes we did make. It wasn’t some elaborate whiz bang pro offense at all, or a “junk” defense, just good solid perfectly executed base plays, a very physical well disciplined and aggressively tackling defense and excellent special teams.

As we do every season,  we are starting to get lots of Sunday evening phone calls, We get two kinds, the ones that are breathlessly bragging a bit about their success and how they stuck to the plan in the book. The others are guys that have lost their first 2 games and haven’t scored at all and wanting to know if we can overnight them the materials and is it too late to put in. Invariably when I ask the second group how many plays they have in their playbook, it is ; 20, 40 and yes even 60 + plays.

To get the bst results, Perfect what you put in on offense and defense before you move on to the next series or concept.

After 2 games this is where my personal teams are today:

At age 7-9 we now have 10 offensive plays in and 2 defensive stunts

At age 10-11 we have 12 offensive plays in and 3 defensive stunts

At age 12-13 we have about 20 offensive plays in and 4 defensive stunts

Be careful how many plays and defensive stunts you put in, more isn’t always better. Perfection is the key and doing it in the most efficient way possible.

All the drills, offense and defense can be found in the book “Winning Youth Football a Step by Step Plan”.

Copyright 2008 Cisar Management, all rights reserved

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    1. davecisar


      I realize for many one play means a play mirrored to both sides. I was referring to an indvidual play, so if you run a counter to the left and the same type of counter to the right, we would be counting that as two plays.


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