The 5 Fundamentals of Youth Football Offense
Whether you run the double wing offense with zero line splits or the spread offense with smart splits, it is important that the splits are consistently where they need to be. The kids must get into the proper line splits every play. The splits are there for a reason. If your scheme is to have zero line splits, your kids need to be at zero splits every single play. I run the wing t offense with my youth football team and we need to have our two foot line splits every play. Having good line splits will spread the defense out, creating natural running lanes and easier blocking angles on the defense. Having line splits will also allow the kids to get conformable in their stance. The kids should not be lined up on top of each other. Practice having the kids get out of the huddle and into their stance quickly every single practice.
How often do you go on the same snap count? Do you go on 1 every play? I sure hope not. On offense you have two advantages-knowing where the play is going and when the ball is going to be snapped. The snap count will give the offense the first step advantage, which helps secure a block. Having the first step advantage will allow you to step and acquire the leverage steps needed to make a successful block. Remember this, action is faster than reaction. Mix up your snap counts, make the defense watch the ball. If the defense is able to time your snap you will be in for a long day. During sprints we line our players up and have them in a 3 point stance and fire out on the snap counts. This will teach the players to explode when the cadence is called. You can also do something we call fire out claps. We will have the kids clap their hands when they hear the snap count. Example, we will tell the kids fire out claps on one, our QB will say the snap count out load and the kids will clap simultaneously. You can do this anytime randomly during practice.
Run and Pass Blocking:
The game is won at the line of scrimmage; if you control the line of scrimmage you will control the game. If you cannot block the defense, your team will be in for a long day. Practicing proper run blocking techniques is vital for all offensive success. Practice proper double team, base, crack, hook, and reach blocking techniques every practice. Quick tip, try to stay away from base blocking because it is not very effective, and it is asking way to much from your players. Double teams, down, wedge, and crack blocking are the most successful blocking techniques in youth football. It also depends on what scheme you’re running. Practice run and pass blocking techniques every day.
Running Plays Fluidly:
It is important that every position knows what to do on each play. The running backs and quarterbacks must be smooth with the hand-offs and pitches. Good flowing plays come with a lot of reps. Right after we do individual position periods we get right into a team session. In the team session we practice all the techniques learned from the individual session and put it all together. We will run the plays 2 times with each group. For example, say we call 38 Jet Sweep the first group will run the play two times in a row, and then the second group does the same. It is important that you get your backup players reps in practice. Football is a contact sport; kids are going to get banged up or have equipment issues and have to come out. When a player comes out you do not want your offense to fall apart. Reps, Reps, and more Reps.
You tell your quarterback the play, “38 Sweep” they break the huddle and get down and all of a sudden the defense lineups up with 3 defenders ready to blow the sweep up-now what do you do? Do you call the play and hope it works anyway? No! You should be able to have a check call (audible) to change to a play that can give your offense the advantage. Do not pick plays just to run them, call plays that will give your offense the best chance for success. Look to where you have the numbers and flanking advantages over the defense. Keep this in mind- many youth football defense do not get into a huddle. So how they are lined up before the offense comes out of the huddle, is most likely how they will line up to your offense. So look at the defense alignment and call a play that can give your offense the advantage. The no huddle offense is tremendously underrated and under used in youth football. Do not be afraid to try some no huddle, it will give the defense fits. It will allow you to call the right play vs the defensive alignment you are seeing.
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