Book Review – Winning Youth Football a Step by Step Plan
I just finished re-reading Coach Dave Cisar’s Winning Youth Football A Step by Step Plan. It is a very good football coaching book and one that I highly recommend to rookie and experienced pee wee football coaches. The book is also endorsed by Tom Osborne, not too bad for a youth football book. I rate the book a 4.5 / 5. Its that good.
Coach Cisar wrote the meat of the book for his youth football league’s internal use after extensive research on what works in youth football. The book goes into detail about how to run a winning youth football team and organization. There’s a ton of good administrative information about how to run a team, dealing with parents, practice organization, recruiting and more.
Coach Cisar also goes into detail about his defenses, the Wide Tackle 6, a 6-2 defense, and a 4-4 defense. I was going to move from my 6-2 variation, but with his suggestions, I think I will stay with the 6-2 and implement a few 4-4 adjustments and 8 Gap adjustments which are very easily done out of the 6-2 defense.
Coach Cisar then explains his philosophy on Special Teams and his various formations and strategies. This section is weak compared to his offense and defense chapters but is very good. I am going to implement his trap kick return.
If you are considering a Single Wing Offense, this book is definitely for you. Coach Cisar goes into great detail about the Single Wing Offense; strategy, drills, plays, play calling and more. About 100 pages of the book are dedicated to the Single Wing. If you are not a Single Wing coach there are many areas of the Single Wing which you can use. I am thinking about going into shotgun formation using the Single Wing shotgun style and on my power plays moving my backside Wing into a blocking back position. There’s something here for everyone.
Here’s a review from Winning Youth Football’s website..
“This comprehensive youth Football Coaching book is filled with over 200 diagrams and pictures as well as detailed instructions on how to build a winning youth football program featuring the Single Wing Offense. It includes a top down detailed plan for excelling in all areas of the game, football practice organization, offense, defense, special teams and game day management. Dave’s version of the Single Wing offense is featured including; football plays, youth football playbook, personnel descriptions, adjustments, blocking schemes and drills, detailed football play implementation and footwork, detailed football practice plans, keys, game day play calling and scouting are all there. You get his football schemes, packages, position descriptions, player evaluations, football drills, progressions, football practice methodology and program management. It’s everything you need to build a winning youth football program including player, parent and coaching contracts, waivers, and more. All in easy to understand “non coach speak”. This isn’t theory, it’s what works in 2007.” Foreward by Dave Rimington.
I loved Coach Cisar’s DVD, Dominating Offensive Line Play and also love his book, Winning Youth Football A Step by Step Plan. I recommended Coach Cisar’s book and DVDs to our league’s President as a guide for our rookie coaches. Coach Cisar’s books and DVDs should be in your football library!
The only problem I have with Dave is that he is so obviously shilling for his content that you buy. He has posted articles all over the web crushing offensive systems like zone blocking and it just feels like he is trying to drive you to his system so you will buy his videos, books and attend his classes.
I really like his o-line video but i can’t really get comfortable with using a wedge. Are your kids really going to use that system past youth football? Do you feel any responsibility with your kids to start prepping them for the next level? Maybe its the Texas talking but I feel like we should be prepping the kids for when they start playing in middle school and high school and do teams at that level really use a wedge?
I think you see Dave’s stuff all over the web, because he’s marketing his product to be successful against other systems. Coke and Pespi do it all the time. It’s really up to the consumer to pick and choose the offensive or defensive systems they want to use.
I have read many youth football books and adult football books, and I really like Dave’s stuff. Most of Dave’s blocking assignments are GOD with a pulling guard. I think most of the Gut plays are Wedge. I am going to run the Wedge for our Gut plays this year, after a team ran the Wedge against us in a scrimmage, and it killed my defensive front line. The Wedge should be one blocking tool in your toolbox. We won without the Wedge last year, but I want to test it out this year as another weapon.
I agree with you about prepping your players, but the youth football game is very different than high school. Even if you run some unconventional things at the youth level, they will be far ahead of HS players that never played youth football. Plus, many players that you are coaching will never play High School football.
Dave probably has more info on HS team running the Wedge. I have seen it at the HS level.
If you want to see the wedge in action at the HS level, look at Tim Murphy and Clovis East, perennial powerhouse California Central Section team. They run the DW with the Wedge on short yardage and everyone knows it’s coming and no one can stop it. They rush for over 4,000 yards a season and wedge is a staple of that attack.
At any rate, Youth football is totally different from HS football and no way should you be running a HS scheme at the youth level in the hopes of “prepping” kids. There are hundreds of kids who will never play HS football that you are trying to develop, not just as football players, but as men.