Choosing a Youth Football Quarterback / Winning Traits of an Elite QB1

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choosing youth football quarterback

Choosing a Youth Football Quarterback with the winning traits to be your elite QB1 starter and finding backup is a tough decision each youth football coach makes every little league pee wee football season. Who should play QB on my team?

It is a tough decision even for me after 25 plus tackle seasons to Choose a Youth Football Quarterback. The Quarterback and Center are two very important offensive positions on a pee wee football team. Since the snap exchange is so important to get right and not turnover the football over every 8 to 12 plays due to a poor snap exchange choosing youth QB1 youth football quarterback is a task you want to get right.

youth quarterback

One of my Social Media subscriber asked me a few weeks ago, What do I look for in a youth football QB? I thought wow, that is a good question and a tough one. We have 3 weeks of practice and scrimmages to choose a QB in our youth football league season. We are usually looking at 2 to 3 players for QB and get down to 2. We already know our youth football QB Profile for our offensive schemes in Power Wing Beast Offense, Wildcat Multi Spread and the I Formation. We run more Single Wing Wildcat style offenses so not a huge issue for find a true passing QB and that’s a huge miracle in youth football anyway.

If you are looking at finding starters for your whole team check out this youth football coaching blog article on Youth Football Player Evaluations Finding Your Best 11 Starters. And another article on Thoughts on Choosing Youth Football Offensive Lineman Positions and lastly Defense; Thoughts on Choosing Youth Football Defensive Players. 

Our older teams we will run Spread and we look for more of a traditional QB with our Wildcat back. We may find a great passing QB once every 3 to 5 years but in 25 years coaching youth football I have seen maybe 4 passing QBs I consider great. You must DEVELOPMENT your youth football QBs.

For youth football quarterbacks, I mainly I look for a Smart, Ball Manager, that I Trust with the football. And of course they are an good athlete. More detail….

Choosing a Youth Football Quarterback

1) Smart
2) Trustworthy
3) Football iQ
4) Good Ball manager
5) Confident
6) Competitive – they desire to win
7) Tough & Resilient
8) Ok Arm
9) Ok to Good Speed
10) Good hands and feet
11) Will they protect the football
12) Do they want to play QB?

  • Are they SMART?  Good football IQ?
  • Someone that I can TRUST not to turnover the football on the Center QB exchange or handoff.
  • I am looking for a FOOTBALL MANAGER type player.  
  • Are they a CONFIDENT person and player?
  • Will they UNDERSTAND the Offense?
  • Can they LEARN all the plays and how everyone lines up?
  • Will / Do the PLAYERS RESPECT them?
  • Do I CLICK with them?
  • Do we get each others non vocal words, facial expressions, hand signals, thoughts?  
  • Do they TELL ME THINGS that are happening on the field; offensively and defensively.
  • Can they audible?  And MAKE ADJUSTMENTS without me hand holding?
  • Can they REMEMBER THE SNAP COUNT and adjust if problem on the field.
  • Will / Do they show up to PRACTICE EARLY AND TO GAMES EARLY?
  • Will they PRACTICE AT HOME and get a QB coach to learn to throw properly?  QB COACH?
  • CAN THEY THROW a 10 yard pop pass to the TE accurately?
  • How far can they throw? Can they take the hits a QB takes and get back into the huddle?
  • Do they have GOOD NERVES and not get too shaken by hits, losses and interceptions. Nervy QBs fumble a ton.  
  • Do they have GOOD HANDS?
  • Can they handle the RESPONSIBILITY OF THE TEAM?
  • Can they TAKE A BIG HIT and get back in the huddle and go again and again.

Listen and Watch the coaching youth football podcast for more on Choosing a Youth Football QB on YouTube below.

Check out the Choosing a Youth Football Quarterback podcast episode on Apple Podcasts or on Spotify.

Here are what some College Coaches are looking for in QBs

  1. Competitive Spirit
  2. Confident
  3. Smart / High FB IQ
  4. Good Judgement
  5. Love Football
  6. Do they want to play QB
  7. Motivator
  8. Great Athlete / Stud
  9. Leadership
  10. Common Sense
  11. Poise
  12. Student of the Game
  13. Coachable
  14. Understands Off / Def
  15. Dedicated
  16. Trains in Off – Season
  17. Perfect Practice Mentality
  18. Great Work Ethic
  19. Thick Skinned
  20. Tough
  21. Not Gun Shy / Courage
  22. Avoids Stupid Mistakes
  23. Can Manage Team on Field
  24. Easily Coached
  25. Good Communicator
  26. Authoritative Voice
  27. Handles the Snap Well
  28. Great Hands and Feet
  29. Great Personality
  30. Makes great decisions
  31. Team Captain
  32. Knows how to Win
  33. Enthusiastic about playing QB
  34. Calm and Collected
  35. Popular with Teammates
  36. Knows his off & Players Skills
  37. Optimistic
  38. Catalyst Makes everyone Better
  39. Mature for Age
  40. Good Observer
  41. Tall / Above Avg height
  42. Above Avg Size Hands
  43. Great Feet / Agility
  44. Works Hard
  45. Good Passer – Willing to Train
  46. Physically Mature
  47. Emotionally Mature
  48. One of the Best Athletes on Field
  49. Desire to Win and be the Best
  50. Humble & Appreciate Teammates

Choosing Youth Football Quarterbacks must be a hot topic since everyone seems to be searching how to do it right with these terms on Google.

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Choosing NFL QBs

How Do Scouts Break Down NFL Quarterback Prospects by Matt Miller at Bleacher Report.

  1. Accuracy
  2. Vision
  3. Leadership
  4. Poise
  5. Arm Strength / Velocity
  6. Pocket Presence / Ability to Escape
  7. Anticipation
  8. Throwing Mechanics
  9. Size

Parcells’ 11 QB Commandments for Success

  • 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

The above came from my article on Coaching Quarterbacks.

Sources on Choosing a Youth Football Quarterback

  • Quarterback Generalship & Strategy – Fouss – 1958
  • Coaching the Quarterback – Olcott – 1972
  • The Quarterback – Shea – 1980
  • Quarterbacking – Starr – 1967

At the end of the day the youth QB decision is an important one but not as important as the position becomes in High School and above. Most youth football QBs must be trustworthy and great ball managers to handoff to your running back studs. Of course I will always take a Tom Brady Jr and use it to the full extent possible. But for the most of us youth football coaches, I am looking for the fastest toughest Tailback I can find. Speed at the youth football level will win more games than a great passing QB at the youth level in my opinion. I guess Choosing a Starting Tailback will be the next podcast episode on choosing players.


Did you find this podcast on Choosing a Youth Football Quarterback helpful? What do you look for in your pee wee QB? Do you look for more physical QB traits or mental? What are your comments on the youth football coaching blog post / podcast episode? Let me know. I would love to hear your feedback.

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Please leave me a comment below or contact me anytime. I love talking youth football and how to choose a youth football quarterback.

Remember to Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!
Coach Parker
Fort Worth, Texas

PS: Stay Safe!!

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