Empowering Coaches Step-By-Step

What the College Football National Championship Game Can Teach Youth Football Coaches

What can a youth football coach take away from the National Championship game? When you are coaching youth football you have to be careful about what you learn from watching College Football. We don’t have the practice time or talent that the College teams have, if we did then my advice would be make sure and get a solid field goal kicker. But our game is a bit different, I’ve easily watched over 600 youth football games and I’ve never seen any team score more than a single field goal.

What we can take away is something that was very apparent and applicable to the youth game, Alabama was tipping off the pass on nearly every pass play. Alabama was very successful running play-action passes on first down, they threw 16 and completed 12 of them to move the ball against a very stout LSU defense. While the Alabama Quarterback was deemed by many to be very average, a “game manager”, he was finding open receivers on short and intermediate routes off of play-action as LSU concentrated on stopping the Bama run game. Had LSU keyed in on several “tells”, they wouldn’t have been out of position on those pass plays.

The tipoff was on nearly every pass play the Left Offensive Tackle for Bama stayed in his two-point stance while the other offensive linemen got into three-point stances. That stance allowed the Left Tackle to better execute his kick step to neutralize the outside rush of the LSU Defensive End. There were secondary “tells’ as well. If you looked closely at the Bama offensive linemen, they got very “light” in their stances on pass plays and very “heavy” in their stances on run plays. When a player is light in their stance, it means they have little weight on their down hand, this was Bama on pass plays. On some pass plays the Bama linemen were so back in their stances their butts were deeper than their knees. You saw much flatter backs and weight on the down hands on running plays.

As you might expect, this “tell” is even more prevalent in youth football. This is something you can train yourself to look for from the sidelines or even for your Linebackers to look for during the course of the game. Flat backs and weight on the hands equal run, two-point stances- no weight on the hands and lowered butts equal pass. No telling how LSU’s defense would have fared if they would have employed this “tell”, it may have been another 9-6 game than the one we all saw. In any event go back to your game film from last year and see how “telling” some of the teams you played were. This might be something you can use next season as you look for little advantages to make your team better.

Copyright 2012 Cisar Management, all rights reserved. This article may be republished but only if this paragraph and link are included. //winningyouthfootball.com

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1 Comment

  1. Sean Bacon

    Coach Dave,

    Good call. A lot of youth coaches who may have good players, but not necessarily good systems fall into this category as well. You have that really quick TB who you want to get to the outside so you send the flanker in motion to crackback on the DE or OLB. Or they put that same fast TB at WR (20 yards away) and run jet motion and hand off everytime.


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