Youth Football Splits & Levels Matter Too

By FirstDown PlayBook on Mar 7, 2021

You can learn a lot from football play drawings, especially if they are done well. However, a football drawing does not and really should not show every small thing that happens on a football play.

In fact, we used to have a saying in our Tight Ends’ meeting room in Buffalo that went “Don’t let the drawing get you in trouble”.  Football drawings are designed to show assignments and scheme not technique.

Here’s an example what we mean. We want to focus on a youth football play here. This is one of our FirstDown PlayBook youth football play drawings. You will notice that the big guys are all on the same level at the line of scrimmage and all of their splits are exactly the same.

Well, if your offensive line plays the real game like this, they are playing at a severe disadvantage. The play below reflects more accurately how the offensive linemen should be lined up. Let’s take a look at the importance of coaching splits and levels.

You will notice that the left guard is on a different level than the rest of the line. The guard is off the ball more because he is pulling and that will help him or her get their job done. The same goes for the right tackle who is off the ball so that they can take over the zone block from the right guard.

A closer look will also reveal that the left tackle has cut his split down to help him accomplish his down block on the play side 3 technique. The right tackle should actually cheat his split as well to help with the zone block.

Our point here is that coaching splits and levels are important for an offensive line. They should be coached in a manner so that the players know when to use them on their own.

You may want to include that in your drawings or you may not. That is really a personal choice. However, making sure your offensive line understands them is a big time edge if you are coaching a 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.