It seems like every youth football season when I start coaching a new set of pee wee football players one of the most difficult skills to perfect is the Quarterback and Center snap exchange. If you drafted a new team at try outs, then you may have a few ideas who your Quarterback will be and maybe a few Centers. That’s great, you have a head start. Maybe a few of you are assigned players from your youth football league and do not have any background information on your players yet. For the latter group and maybe for others too, now you know exactly what you need to find in your first few practices; QBs and Centers.
If I do not have returning QBs or Centers or I have an almost completely new youth football team, I will basically hold a punt, pass, and kick field day with timed 10, 20 and 40 sprints along with a King Crab Sled push at my first practice and video tape the practice. If I need more time, this PPK type of practice might be held my second practice also. This way I can evaluate all my new and returning little league football players. From these try-out field days, I will choose 3 QBs and 3 Centers and teach them the snap exchange and have them start working on the snap exchange at practice and at home.
Your QBs and Centers must get in at least 50 snap exchange repetitions every practice. You should ask the QBs and Centers to arrive about 20 minutes before practice and have them taking snaps. A good drill is to line up your Centers in a row on the 10 yard line about 10 yards apart. Have each QB take 5 or 10 snaps from each and switch centers. The starting QB should call your snap count. After a set of snaps to get warmed up, then have the QBs Sweep Right / Left and Centers perform a 3 step block down away. This movement will simulate movement in the game. You may also want to have a coach with a bag hitting the Center as they move, this will make it more realistic too game situations. If the Center and QB do not move while practicing the Center QB exchange, this will become an issue in the game! Also, make sure they do the Center QB snap exchanges with their pads on. The pads are heavy and get in the way so you need them getting used to the pads and discomfort snapping the ball, especially the Centers. I would also advise you to have your Centers to wear a cup. I asked all my youth football players to wear cups.
So, the moral of this story, Find your QBs and Centers Fastest than any of your other players. Yes, I know it should be Faster but you hopefully get my point.
Let me know what you do to improve your Center / QB Exchange. Post your feedback in the Comments sections.
Ft. Worth Texas / Keller