In 2006 when I started coaching tackle youth football again, the leagues coaching coordinator was very big on kicking onside kicks. That was his thing. To be honest, onside kicking every kick did not work out for us. Sure we picked a few turnovers, but the majority of time we gave the other team 7 to 12 yards on our kick off.
In 2007 we started kicking just over the head of the 1st line of the kick return team and try to have the ball bounce before the second line of returners. This short kick off worked better for us. We recovered about the same number of kicks and most of the time, the returner at the second line just fell on the ball. We would pick up about 7 yards a kick vs our old onside kick. I cringed a few times when our kicker kicked the ball a little hard and it drifted into the “real” returners hands.
This year, I am going to continue with the short kick focused on the second line of returners. What have you had success with on youth football kickoffs?
Good Luck this season. Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!