Empowering Coaches Step-By-Step

The Importance of the Passing Game in Youth Football

The Importance of the Passing Game When Coaching Youth Football   pass catch

Many youth football coaches look at their kids and look at their league and they see lots of teams futility in throwing the football. They see poorly trained Quarterbacks and Receivers in systems that make little sense for the age group. These coaches see lots of interceptions, sacks and losses with many of these poorly conceived throw first offenses. They then look at some of the better programs who consistently win and dominate with a consistent running game. Their conclusion is: passing=bad, running=good.

While this approach may yield you a good number of wins against poorly coached or inferior teams, when you play a team that is well coached and or better talented than your youth football team, you need to have the legitimate THREAT of a passing game. If you don’t you are going to see fully loaded boxes. Your offensive play will need to be nearly flawless and you better have a great defense and never need to get a couple of scores in a hurry.

I’m NOT saying you need to throw 40 times a game, complete 75% of your throws and have a Tom Brady Quarterback, what I’m saying is you need a LEGITIMATE passing threat. You have to pose a reasonable enough passing threat that teams will feel it is too much of a risk to load the box against your offense. That COULD mean your Quarterback has been able to hit 35-40% of his throws and your team only throws 5-6 times a game. But if you never throw and when you do, your passing game is totally inept, you pose no threat.

Even run heavy teams who use offenses like the Single Wing, Double Wing, Wing T, Slot T or Dead T teams need to develop a legitimate threat with the passing game in youth football. Sure these are all great systems that put the defense in conflict and are able to generate incredible scoring numbers. But against great teams with good coaching, if you can’t threaten with the pass, you are severely limiting your teams ability to win these types of games.

We have committed to getting better at throwing the ball since about 2006. In 2009 we started implementing many of the techniques and methods espoused by Darin Slack. Darin is considered by many to be the nations foremost “Quarterback Guru.” Not only do we use his approach to training Quarterbacks, our kids have gone to his camps as well.

Just to give you a feel for where our numbers are at: in 2012 my age 7-9 team threw for 14 touchdowns, we had 1 interception and averaged 41 points a game in a 10-1 season. In the last 3 years my own teams have scored 39 touchdowns via the air and had a total of 8 interceptions. Now 39 isn’t a huge number, but consider that in our league, when you are up by 21 points you aren’t allowed to throw the ball anymore. In our 28 wins in those 3 seasons, we won 25 by mercy rule and 19 of those wins were mercy rule wins in the first quarter. So had we not been under mercy rule, we could have easily thrown for double that number, or 78 touchdowns.

That is one of the reasons why we are teaming with Darin to offer Quarterback and Receiving training to you and your Quarterbacks and Receivers at our upcoming coaches clinic and youth camp in Baltimore


When you commit to improving your passing game, expect to see your running game improve as well. Since 2010 we have been fortunate to have scored 8 times in the last 30 seconds of a game or half, primarily due to our improved passing game. Several of these scores won games for us, including a tournament game at Bill Snyder Stadium in Kansas where we won the game in dramatic fashion on a 9 play 80 yard drive in about 1:30 in the 4th quarter.

Investing reasonable amounts of time doing the right things, the right way and with our rapid pace Oregon pace practice methodology, you can improve your passing game. But if you don’t know how, you will have poor or mediocre results. That’s why we are offering the Slack Camp designed specifically for youth to you.

Copyright 2013 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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