Youth Football Gap Protection

By FirstDown PlayBook on Oct 13, 2021

If you coach youth football you already understand that you are not going to be throwing the ball as much as the high schools are. When you do throw the ball you need to make it count. Your pass protection rules should be very simple. As simple as one word…Gap. Youth football gap protection is the only way to go.

Having coached at the college and NFL levels I can tell you that the only reason they don’t gap protect is that they need to get receivers out. If your Tight Ends go out into the route then guess what? You have a short edge for gap protection. Short edges equal sacks in the NFL.

Offensive coordinators need people out into the route concepts at the college level. As a youth football coach, you do not need this as much. If your back does not get out into the route, it is not a big deal. Most youth football pass game concepts should involve one or two options at the most.

In the diagram below you see that this is an example of gap protection to the right. You certainly need to teach your players about gap identification. It is your job to make sure your young players know what an A, B, C and D gap are. This will help you communicate with them in the run and the pass game.

Your QB Is Part Of Your Youth Football Gap Protection Scheme

It is important that your quarterback understands that they are a part of the pass protection. When the ball is snapped the offensive line is going to aggressively block anything that shows in their gap. This will not last for a long time. The defensive line is going to play hard too. Your quarterback needs to throw the ball quickly or a sack is about to happen.

NFL Coaches On 12 Formations To Consider For Your Youth Football Offense

A good aggressive gap youth football gap protection will keep the defenders hands down. To be honest, it will look a lot like a run play to the defense line. This is a good thing, because if your quarterback needs to pull the ball down and run with it, you want defenders that are fending off aggressive blockers.

Take a look at the diagram below. It’s a very simple double slant pass play that you will want to install if you are a youth football coach. This play is good vs whatever youth football defense you might face. It will give your quarterback and offensive line a chance to be successful.