Yes, you can run no-huddle in youth football, my teams haven’t huddled in the last 17 seasons, it’s not up for debate. But what about formationing? What about formationing and running no-huddle?
Formationing is the theory that you don’t have to have a lot of plays to score a lot of points. These guys run a lot of the same plays but formation themselves into advantages to give their players more numbers or better angles at the point of attack. Formationing advocates may have more formations than plays, believing that it is easier to execute effectively by adding formations, not plays. Formationing enthusiasts also try to gain a leg up by giving defenses different looks in the hope of getting misalignments and missed assignments. These guys also like to use formationing to get favorable matchups.
When you combine formationing advantages with no-huddle, the defense is faced with a double whammy. Not only does the defense have to align quickly, they have to align properly on a myriad of different formations. This is especially difficult with teams that run man coverage schemes.
The beauty of the no-huddle is, if the defense DOESN’T align in a situation that gives your offense a decided advantage, you can “audible” into another play or formation. Remember, in my version of the no-huddle, the offense aligns in the base formation on the line of scrimmage and listens to the numbering code from the Offensive Coordinator then looks at their wrist coach for the play. That usually happens before the 25 second clock is even started. One realigned into the new formation, if the Offensive Coordinator sees he doesn’t have the advantage in numbers, angles, matchups or coverage that he wanted, he simply calls in another code for a different play or formation.
This is easier to do than it sounds in youth football, as the no-huddle team never huddles. Moving from one formation or play to another at the line of scrimmage before a play was run is something we would do 30-40 times in a typical offensive practice day.
Never underestimate your opponents. But at the same time MANY youth coaches overestimate their opponents coaching ability or more so the ability of the opponent players to execute what their coach wants them to execute. There are huge advantages to formationing yourself into an advantageous position before the ball is even snapped. It’s something a big fan of. Note, you CAN’T fall into the trap of only running 1 play out of 1 formation, that is going to get you taken to the cleaners by well coached teams.
How much is too much? Only you can be the judge of that. For example last year my age 7-9 team with 18 rookie players out of 26- averaged 41 points per game in an 11 game season. We had 3 formations in for game 1, 4 for game 2, 5 for game 3. By the end of the season we had about 7 different formations, of which we could run all of our base plays out of. Some were slight variations of the base formation, some were quite different. The net is, it can be done even with the youngest kids if you do it right.
Knowledge isn’t power. The right type of knowledge, effectively and efficiently applied is power.
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