3 Youth Football Offenses That Do Not Help Your Players

By FirstDown PlayBook on Mar 14, 2021

When you sign up to coach a youth football team, it should go without saying that you are doing it for the players. The players, for the sake of this blog are kids aged 12 and under. You have signed up to develop young players technically and to teach them the fundamentals of our game.

If along the way you develop a good football team that is hard to beat then more power to you. The moment that you step in and introduce some special nuance that makes it more about scheme than teaching our game, that’s when we are out.

If this is why you are in coaching then you should go get a big boy coaching job. They are out there. There are plenty of high school, college and professional leagues where you can match wits with other coaches.

Here at FirstDown PlayBook we have watched some of these things that occasionally pop up on the internet over the past several years. We have not been shy about dismissing them. We have also tried to help coaches who are playing against this stuff to run the offense out of that style of play.

Today we want to list three examples of this. We have also redirected you to previous blogs that might help you if you face these types of offenses.

Spread Offense

Let’s face it, if someone is trying to spread you out at the youth level, they are doing it to help their run game. Most of the time they are doing it to help their quarterback run game. As you remove three or four of your defenders from the box life becomes much easier to run the football.

Our advice is to not do it. Make that ten year old quarterback beat you with their arm. Make them throw out routes all day. Whatever you do, stop the run first and foremost. Lean more about that here.

Up Tempo Offense

There is nothing wrong with playing the game with tempo. However, if your objective is to run the offense before a youth football defense can get lined up, that’s where we part. Who does this actually help?

It serves no purpose to teach the young players the game if they never line up in a football formation or defense. Obviously, the officials can help with this and they should. Once the structure of a game begins to break down and turn into a coach clap drill, the refs should stand over the ball until a football structure is regained.

Beast Offense

Seriously, what is this anyway? Show me one high school, college or NFL team that lines up like this and I will shut up. It is rugby, pure and simple. Here is how we would defend it.

It is designed to take advantage of defenses who are going to defend the field and not the formation. There is nothing complicated about how to defend it. If you know what you are doing you can run them out of this in a hurry. The problem is that when you line up to stop this, the game has deteriorated into something less than football. This benefits no one on the field.

What To Do…

We understand that there is not a whole lot we are going to do here to discourage this. There are always going to be youth football coaches who want to sit at home on Saturday night enjoying how that lawyer dad coaching the other team could not stop his strange youth offense.

However, if you find yourself in this situation, know that FirstDown PlayBook has addressed them all on both of our websites. You should check them out if and when you face them with your youth football team

FirstDown PlayBook is the only Digital Football PlayBook that gives you access to over thirty five thousand football plays, schemes and technique help. All plays are designed by coaches and players with NFL experience. FirstDown PlayBook is also the Official Playbook of NAIA Football and NAIA Women’s Flag Football.