Youth Football Plays

Essential Youth Football Plays

 

Essential Youth Football Plays

If you recently visited our site, you know that we published a blog post concerning Youth Football Formations.  In that post we mentioned that one of the most queried youth football topics according to google is football formations and that the number of searches tends to hit their peak in September when we believe many youth football coaches are frantically searching for magic football plays. Though it certainly isn’t magic, we believe Power Running plays along with a complementary play like Counter are football plays that should be in every youth offensive playbook.  The idea behind the Power Running play is pretty simple.  The offensive line on the play side of the line (side of the offensive line the ball is being run to) blocks down towards the Center and a running back kicks out or blocks the first defender on the line of scrimmage outside the gap or hole that the ball is being run to.  With the exception of the Guard, the offensive line on the back side of the line (side of the offensive line opposite of where the ball is being run to) seals off any penetration to their inside gap.  The back side Guard pulls to the play side behind the offensive line and up into the gap or hole the ball is being run to looking for a different colored jersey to block usually a linebacker.

Below is an example of our version of Coach Bruce Eien’s I Back Toss using a modified version of G.O.D. (Gap, On, Down) blocking rules verses a pretty common youth 6-2 defense:

I Back Toss Power Play

I Back Toss Power Play

 

Something that you may notice right away is that the play side Tackle is not blocking down towards the Center.  As we mentioned earlier, a Power Running play typically has everyone on the play side of the offensive line blocking down.  If we were to do that, the X Tight End would end up with a one on one block on the Defensive Tackle. Since many of us coach in youth football leagues where an eligible receiver has to be under a certain weight, the Tight End many times will be at disadvantage having to block a much larger player by themselves.  We account for that by tweaking our play side Tackle’s Power blocking rule such that they will form a double team on the Defensive Tackle.

 

 

Below are the blocking rules that make up our Power scheme:

  • Back side Tight End – G.O.D.
  • Back side Tackle – G.O.D.
  • Back side Guard – Pull
  • Center – M.O.M.A.  (Man On, Man Away)
  • Play side Guard – G.O.D.
  • Play side Tackle – G.O.O.D (Gap, On, Outside, Down)
  • Play side Tight End – G.O.D.

If you are an inexperienced coach and some of these terms are unfamiliar to you, a nice reference concerning Rules Blocking is Coach Parker’s Rule Blocking Vocabulary for Youth Football Offenses.

Here is the I Back Toss in action:

Complementary Football Plays

As mentioned earlier, we believe complementary plays to the Power Running play are football plays that should be in every offensive playbook.  By complementary we mean one that starts off looking like a Power Running play, but ends up attacking a different part of the field.  Keeping with Coach Eien’s I Back Toss, a good example of a complementary play is the I Back Counter.

I Back Toss Counter Play

I Back Toss Counter Play

 

The I Back Counter play starts out looking very much like the I Back Toss with the Quarterback and Tailback faking the Toss.  The Fullback steps to the back side as if he is going to execute his Toss kick out block, but instead comes under the Quarterback to the play side hole or gap the ball is being run to looking for different colored jersey to block.  The Wing or Z player comes underneath the Quarterback receiving a hand off and then running inside the kick out block of the Pulling back side Guard.  Though this play is considered a Counter play, it is effectively a Power play with some misdirection built-in.

 

 

Below are the blocking rules that make up our Counter scheme:

  • Back side Tight End – G.O.D.
  • Back side Tackle – G.O.D.
  • Back side Guard – Pull (Kick Out)
  • Center – M.O.M.A.  (Man On, Man Away)
  • Play side Guard – G.O.D.
  • Play side Tackle – G.O.O.D (Gap, On, Outside, Down)
  • Play side Tight End – G.O.D.

Here is the I Back Counter play in action:

Complementary plays are essential football plays as they allow you to punish the defense when they start committing to stopping your Power Running play.

If you are interested in learning more about the I Back Toss, please check out our I Back Toss (Double Wing Style) clinic.  Also, if you are interested in learning more about the Power and Counter concepts, you should take a look at our Multiple Ways to Run the Power Concept and Counter in the Youth Game clinics.

Youth Football Formations

One of the most searched for youth football topics on google and often misunderstood is football formations.  Interestingly enough the search queries tend to peak in September during the heart of the youth football season when I suspect many offenses are struggling and coaches are looking for that magic play.

Formation Alignment Rules:

  1. Must have a least 7 players on the line of scrimmage, but can have as many as 10.  I say 10, because someone has to be able to take the snap.
  2. Can have up to 4 players in the backfield, but as pointed out in Rule #1 there can be as few as 1.
  3. Of the players on the line of scrimmage only those players on each end are considered eligible receivers.
  4. All players in the backfield are considered eligible receivers.

Youth Football Nuances

High School, College, and the Pros have numbering restrictions when determining the eligibility of a receiver.  Due to the nature of Youth Football, most youth leagues don’t enforce this restriction.  Here is a nice article that outlines in great detail if a player is eligible based on formation alignment.  Also for those youth coaches in leagues where there is a maximum weight for a ball carrier, they are often faced with the restriction that players on the end of the line of scrimmage must be of ball carrier weight.

Having Fun with Formations

As mentioned above we must have at least 7 players on the line of scrimmage and the end players are eligible receivers. Below is what Coach Bruce Eien calls his Stupid formation:

Youth Football Formation

Bruce Eien’s Stupid Formation

Remember by rule the end man on the line of scrimmage is an eligible receiver.  Because the “C”enter is an end man he is eligible to go out for a pass.  From this formation you can run Sweep, Counter, Sweep Pass, and as mentioned before a Center Pass.  Keep in mind that if you use this formation and you participate in a ball carrier weight restricted league, the Center must be able to carry the ball.  If you are interested in learning more about the Stupid formation, as well as other exotic formations Coach Eien uses check out his Trick Plays and Exotic Formations clinic.

Here is another fun formation that we learned from Coach Mike Ranson called Monster:

Youth Football Formation

Mike Ranson’s Monster Formation

Again in this formation the Center is an eligible receiver because he is an end man on the line of scrimmage.  The trick with this play is the snap which looks more like a lateral, but is legal as long as it is one continuous motion. The following video illustrates what I am talking about:

What is the Purpose of a Formation?

While we have been having fun with some of the more unusual formations above, there are a couple of questions that you should ask yourself when wanting to use a new formation in your offense.

  1. What advantage or leverage does the formation give me ?
  2. Can I run most of my base offense from it or is it a “one trick pony”?

Often times inexperienced coaches utilize formations and really have no idea why they are doing it other than it is something they saw another coach use successfully.  Because they don’t understand why it was successful, they often don’t enjoy the same result.  Another mistake many inexperienced coaches make is that they run a single play from a specific formation.  While the play may work once or twice, the play or formation will become almost useless as they get deeper into the season and other teams have had an opportunity to scout them.

Now is the time to be planning and thinking about what formations you plan to utilize this coming season.  Don’t be the typical youth coach searching for formations and plays in September.

 

Coaches Corner – YDW Offense

Coaches Corner - Youth Double WingIf you are interested in the Gregory Youth Double Wing Offense, we have a great opportunity for you.  On Thursday, 5/14 at 10:00 PM (Eastern) we will host a Coaches Corner webinar where Coach Gregory will be taking questions from webinar attendees concerning his Youth Double Wing Offense.  The webinar is restricted to 23 coaches so don’t get left out of this chance to interact with Coach Gregory directly.  You can register for this FREE webinar by clicking on the link below:

Coaches Corner – Youth Double Wing with Coach Jack Gregory

If you would like to submit a question prior to the webinar, please use the form below and we will be glad to get them to Coach Gregory so that we make sure to get your questions answered.

If you are not familiar with Coach Gregory’s 6-3 Youth Double Wing Offense you can find out more by visiting his Gregory Double Wing website or by visiting Dumcoach.com where Coach Gregory moderates a forum dedicated to both his 6-3 Defense and Youth Double Wing Offense.

Note:  Please don’t register for the webinar unless you are committed to attending. 

Coaches Corner – 6-3 Defense

Jack Gregory 6-3 DefenseFor any youth football coach running the Gregory 6-3 Defense or thinking about it we have a great opportunity for you.  On Thursday, 5/7 at 10:00 PM (Eastern) we will host our first ever Coaches Corner webinar where Coach Gregory will be taking questions from webinar attendees concerning his 6-3 Defense.  The webinar is restricted to 23 coaches so don’t get left out of this chance to interact with Coach Gregory directly.  You can register for this FREE webinar by clicking on the link below:

Coaches Corner – 6-3 Defense with Coach Jack Gregory

If you would like to submit a question prior to the webinar, please use the form below and we will be glad to get them to Coach Gregory so that we make sure to get your questions answered.

If you are not familiar with Coach Gregory’s 6-3 Defense you can find out more by visiting his Gregory Double Wing website or by visiting Dumcoach.com where Coach Gregory moderates a forum dedicated to both his 6-3 Defense and Youth Double Wing Offense.

Note:  Please don’t register for the webinar unless you are committed to attending. 

7 on 7 Youth Passing Playbook

For many of us the arrival of Spring means that 7-on-7 Season is just around the corner.  We love this time of year as it gives us the opportunity to start working with players on the basics… stance, first steps, routes / coverage.  As much fun as this is, we also like to be competitive and that is why we have developed our 7-on-7 Youth Passing Playbook.  Below are some of our favorite plays out of the playbook verses the most common defensive coverages we see.

Cover-2 Man

Youth Passing 7 on 7 verses Cover 2-Man

 

Cover-2 Zone

Youth Passing 7 on 7 verses Cover 2-Zone

 

Cover-3

Youth Passing 7 on 7 verses Cover 3

 

Here is some of the feedback we have received from coaches using our playbook:

“FYI, I didn’t coach our teams this past weekend because it was graduation weekend at RU and I had to work. Gave my iPad to a coach who has never been to a 7on7 before and he did a fantastic just because of your system. He loved it. He told me that it was the easiest thing he has ever had to do. I told him give the kids a number that is associated with the routes and tell that kid he is that number until he is told otherwise. The kids already new the deal but he was very nervous he would mess something up. This weekend I will get the recorder so you can see us in action.”

Coach Robert Stockwell
New Jersey

If you are interested in purchasing or just want to learn more about the playbook, please visit our Digital Store and scroll down towards the bottom of the page.

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