That’s a question a lot of people like to ask me especially right now. That question can’t be answered shortly and quickly without asking yourself some tough questions.
The first one is what can you and your coaching staff teach? What kind of experience does your coaching staff have in teaching the type of skills, blocking schemes, techniques and offensive execution of the offense you are considering? Let’s say you are considering copying the offense Concord De La Salle (DLS) High School in California runs. DLS runs a split back veer offense and combines it with a limited spread package. DLS is consistently in the USA Today Top 20, a great team. Does your offensive line coach understand how to teach veer and option type blocking schemes? Most veer teams will run a combination of inside veer, outside veer and midline option. Some will also run some gap power and counter schemes.
How about your backfield coach, does he know how to teach ride and decide or the point method for option ball handling? Can he teach the spread passing attack DLS likes to use too? How about your offensive coordinator, does he know all the if- thens of how to call plays in this offense and making the adjustments?
Do you have the type of players that are needed to make this offense run in the youth equation? DLS is a private school that regularly has over 200 kids out for football and draws some of the very best athletes in the Bay Area of California, which is over 5,000,000 people. Would you have those type of athletes in your youth program?
How is the support system in the veer community? Are there training DVDs, playbooks and clinics readily available with proven “youth friendly” versions in print? It’s been said with the right amount of time, effort and money, just about anything can be done. But how much time and effort do most youth coaches really have? Some of us can’t even get some of our coaches to attend a mandatory clinic, let alone learn something as complex as the veer. This isn’t meant to say the Veer or any other offensive playbook or system is bad.
What I’m saying is you have to choose a system that you can teach and has proven over time to work with the type of kids you expect to have on your youth football team. Personally, I’ve run the Veer it’s one of my favorite offenses. But that team had a coach on it who had run the veer at the High School level in California for a number of years very successfully. We also had a Quarterback that went on to be an all conference player who went on to play Quarterback at the collegiate level, so Veer made good sense back then. I’ve run I formation, being from Nebraska I ran a Nebraska like version of power and option football. I’ve also run the Double Wing, a rudimentary version of the spread and the Power I. The last 18 seasons I’ve run the Single Wing, because it fits the variations of talent I have to deal with coaching a non-select team with coaches of varying abilities and commitment levels.
Take the time to ask yourself the hard questions and answer them honestly. You don’t want to be that team that struggles to score and has all the parents up in arms about it.