Putting Your Youth Football Team in the Best Position to Win
Not all youth football coaches can invest the time to scout, but many do. Most coaches who scout don’t do it very well, they look at the base alignments and see who the best players from the other team is. That is info most guys could get just by watching the other team warm up.
In the Single Wing 303 Materials we show you how to scout effectively and efficiently. Scouting Instructional DVD Here is a tiny morsel of what works well; instead of focusing in on the star players which anyone can do, focus on the teams weak points. Where are they vulnerable? Where and how are they getting beat and where are their personnel shortcomings?
If being effective means staying away from strengths or at least putting those strengths into conflict and attacking weaknesses, why not track where those personnel weaknesses are? In youth football today about 85% of teams play with some type of mandatory play rule. Pop Warner and AYF both have it, as to most others. The minimum requirement may be anything from 4-16 plays.
Minimum Player Requirements
If a team is in a situation where their scheme isn’t minimum play player friendly, that can be a problem. A few years ago my team played a very good undefeated inner-city team in the semi-finals of a 31 team age bracket. They ran a 2×2 Spread offense. While they were very talented, they also like most teams had some weaker kids. They played their 11 best on defense, but on offense they would rotate one weaker player in on each side of the 2×2.
We had filmed this team the week before and picked up on this by watching those same kids during warm ups. We wrote the numbers of those players down and put It on our playsheet. Whenever any of them came in, our designated coach would let me know. We would then signal in to have our Corners to not cover the minimum play player and for our Outside Linebackers and Safety to flex back inside. We were in essence playing 11 against 9 football. They didn’t know what hit them and we ended up winning the game 46-6.
If you are following my Worst to First Reality TV show project that was shot in Reno last year, you saw that is how we won our first round playoff game. When the opposing team put in one personnel grouping that included MPRs, it was most likely going to be a run and we would get into our Monster set. When they had the starters in, it was going to be a 40/60 run to pass split and we would play Cover 3. We won that game 41-30 thanks to that approach.
Should you feel bad for playing this way? It’s no different than attacking a team on the edges who has little speed. If the other team chooses to be in a system where the weaker player adds little value, is that your fault? Coaching youth football well means you maximize your equation and to do that consistently well, your systems better be able to accommodate weaker players. When the other guy can’t to that, you have the advantage. As youth coaches we should be coaching everyone up, making sure every player is getting better and finding things those kids can do to add value to the team. Penalizing a coach who just splits kids out to stand around, instead of coaching him up isn’t playing dirty pool at all.
To manage your game day better- look here: Youth Football Game Day Management DVD