Coaching Quarterbacks – Parcells’ 11 QB Commandments for Success


Coaching youth football is tough and coaching quarterbacks is even tougher. Well, I should say choosing the right youth football player to play quarterback on your team might be your toughest decision after getting your Center nailed down. I’ve found over 30 seasons coaching youth football, that youth football coaches that play their son at QB usually lose. Choose your QB wisely.

coaching quarterbacks

Coaching Quarterbacks / QBs

Below are Bill Parcells 11 Quarterback commandments:

  • Ignore other opinions
  • Clowns can’t run a huddle
  • Fat QBs can’t avoid the rush
  • Know your job cold
  • Know your own players
  • Be the same guy every day
  • Throwing the ball away is a good play
  • Learn to manage the game: clock, clock, clock
  • Get your team in the endzone
  • Don’t panic
  • Don’t be a celebrity quarterback

I think these even work at the youth football level. When I choose my youth football quarterbacks, I want a player I can trust and connect with on the football field. I need to feel comfortable with the player. I am sure this is a key reason, many youth coaches pick their son to play QB. They feel comfortable with them and they can trust them. But choosing your son to play QB maybe not the best decision for the team, especially if you have a Tom Brady Jr. on your team.

At the youth football level ages 5 to 12, I want a skill player that is smart and will protect the football. I cannot have the QB turning the football over every other possession. I’ve had a few of those QBs early in some of my seasons and they are quickly moved to another position. First and foremost, the QB must protect the football, especially the QB / Center exchange.

Some players are unable to process the pressure to call the play, exit the huddle, make sure everyone is lined up, look over the defense, remember the snap count, execute the play and take a hit. Playing QB is very hard. Ya it looks glamorous, but its very hard to play QB. Not everyone can do it.

coaching QBs

Here’a another good coaching quarterbacks characteristics list I found…

10 Things that Make a Champion QB:

  1. Be a Leader and set the Standard
  2. Warm Up Properly
  3. Have a Solid Foundation
  4. Aim for Greatness
  5. Always have a positive attitude
  6. Explode from Center
  7. Have quick feet
  8. Use your eyes to look off
  9. Is he open?
  10. Serve your teammates


We try to pick one of the smartest skill players on our team to play QB.  He’s not usually the fastest player or even the best running back, but he is very smart and usually one of the calmest players on the field. They will protect the football. Sometimes, in youth football it is better to have your best skill player play the main running back like tailback unless your running a Wildcat or Single Wing type offense. You do not want to waste your best player just handing off the football.

Yes, my two sons have played some quarterback in past seasons for me, but if we had a better QB that season, my sons would play Center, OLM or fullback or WB. I like youth football QB backups that are big play center since they usually can shotgun snap well. Plus they are usually snapping with the running backs during skill position break outs.

When are youth football quarterback start getting older maybe around 10 and we see they have potential, we now recommend to their parents they seek out a qualified quarterback coach. Coaching quarterbacks to throw and all the throwing mechanics and fundamentals should really be done by a professional. I am not a QB coach fundamental coach. I never played the positions, so I like my youth QBs that are serious about playing QB get professional quarterback coaching.

If you are interested in videos on coaching quarterbacks head over to Championship Productions QB Coaching videos. Or check out coaching quarterbacks books at Amazon.

Have a great season.  Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!

If you have any questions or just want to chat about coaching youth football, please contact me.

Coach Parker

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