Coaching youth football defense is my forte. I was a defensive player at linebacker in Jr High and High School and love the attack aspects of defense. If your opponent does not score then the outcome is just a tie. Our goal on defense is shut outs, 2 turnovers per game and a score. In youth football there are many opportunities to cause turnovers and score on defense with poor youth football offense passing percentages, young running backs fumbling the football and attacking backfield mesh points in the to cause confusion. I prefer an attacking penetrating defense in youth football.
Coaching youth football defense is much easier to coach than offense in pee wee football. It is my opinion that most youth football players love to play defense. Not many want to block. So coaching defense tends to be fun since everyone is interested, at least those players that want to hit someone. You might have a few that do not want to tackle. And defense is all about tackling!!!
For your youth football players Defense begins with tackling and ends with tackling. If your players are not good tacklers, you should spend a majority of your practice time on defense in tackling drills; Oklahoma, Angle, open Field, Pursuit and Stripping drills. Also make sure your defensive players know they can easily push a guy out of bounds if the RB is running down the sideline. We use the Seahawk Tackling techniques and philosophy when coaching youth football defense tackling.
When coaching youth football defense, drill how to strip the football and drill your DBs and LBs to take advantage of the low percentage pass plays in pee wee football. Takeaways will turn the tide in many youth football games.
You should also work on grabbing cloth drill in case they can’t make the perfect tackle but can grab a RB jersey so help comes along. Talk about gang tackling and scoring on defense. If the QB throws a ball to you catch it and score, because that’s what the QB wants you to do since he threw you the ball. Run Forrest Run.
As the defensive coordinator, scouting opponent offenses is a must. We buy film on our opponents through a local video vendor. To be great at defense in youth football, you must scout your opponent and stop their 5 best plays and top running back. You must make your opponent beat you with new plays or ones they are not that good at running. You just can not allow the offense to tee off on your defense. You must stop their 3 to 5 best plays. When you do that they start to panic and you have won.
As a defense I run a Multiple 6-2 Wide defense called the 62 Multi 8 Youth Football Defense. That means we move the defensive backs and linebackers around a ton and shift into other defensive fronts to confuse the offense. We do this because one defense is not good enough for every opponent’s offensive schemes or plays. We must adjust each week to address the new offense. We can easily move from a 6-2 Wide into a 6-1 with two safeties for pass plays. We can also move into a 70 defense or Gap 8 for running plays. I seldom just sit in a 6-2 wide tackle defense.
Most youth football players love defense over offense. Use this fact to your advantage. Stack your defense so no one will score on you.
Check out my new defense the 62 Multi 8 Youth Football Defense in this free youth football coaching video.
Tips on Coaching Youth Football Defense
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update 4/20/2020 – 2020 Gutenbergz