Empowering Coaches Step-By-Step

Outsmarting Yourself In Youth Football

Outsmarting Yourself in Youth Football

Every week in youth football we see coaches outsmarting themselves by giving too much credit to their coaching adversaries. One of the most common ways coaches outsmart themselves is going to a “flavor of the week” approach to offensive and defensive schemes. These guys will literally change offenses or defenses every week in an attempt to “give the other team a different look.”

Last week I got a call from a very frustrated youth coach. This coach had won a Pop Warner National Championship using my Winning Youth Football System. He wasn’t coaching this year but went back to watch his former team play. Two weeks previous that team had scrimmaged a team in a jamboree. They were now playing that same team in a real game. During the interim week, the team they were now playing had been to their week 1 game and had scouted them extensively.

So our friends team went from running a very successful Single Wing offense, to installing the Pistol Offense in one weeks time. Needless to say, they failed to score in with their flavor of the week offense in the first half and fell behind by 4 touchdowns. In the second half they went back to their Single Wing and made the game close, however it was too little too late.

Instead of trying to outsmart the opposition and put in something different, perfect what you do now. There is no way you are going to be good at something completely different with just a weeks worth of practice. In addition to that, the kids are going to lose faith in themselves. What you are telling them is, hey I don’t thing our regular stuff and fundamental skills are going to be enough to compete. You are saying, I’m desperate, I don’t believe in you or what we do.

The youth football x and o “geniuses” who think they are going to outscheme teams every week by changing schemes, are rarely successful. In most cases they are league bottom dwellers. In the above example, the coach went from Single Wing to Pistol in week 2. Lets assume his next weeks opponent was scouting the week 2 game. What does he do in week 3, change to the Flexbone? Week 4 is what Spread? What in week 5 and 6?

In the better youth football leagues EVERYONE scouts, everyone films, get used to it. Think about my situation, nearly everyone we play scouts, films AND has my books and DVDs. In fact some of the coaches I’ve faced actually have attended my clinics. It hasn’t mattered, look here my record is 161-21 and our scoring average is very consistent at 35+ points per game in a huge league. //winningyouthfootball.com/resources.php

The net is, play great fundamental football. Get great at what you do, have adjustments and key breakers and worry about YOUR team, not the opposition.

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  1. Todd Greenwell

    Coach, this is a wonderful message. I observed a team this weekend which attempted to go from Wing T to a spread in a weeks time. Firs half there were 9 illegal shift/illegal procedure/illegal formation penalties called on this team. Fortunately the line judge and head linesman were nice because they could have flagged the team every snap.

    During the entire game I could hear the coaches screaming at the players “we went over this”. Just another example of the “scheme geniuses” blaming the player for their own shortcomings.

  2. Coach Ken

    2012 was my first year as a head coach and I had invested in the Winning Youth Football program in the off-season. I remember scoring on demand against a poorly coached team and after the game, I went over to their sidelines, chatted with them and told them about Dave Cisar and WYF. They didn’t seem particularly interested.

    I will never understand for the life of me, why someone would try to draw up their own plays or go with something that hasn’t been tested or employed successfully at the youth level…but what do I know?


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