Special Teams

Youth Football Special Teams PuntingCoaching youth football special teams is probably not very exciting.  But oh man, it should be a main practice focus in youth football.  I have seen so many youth football games determined by Special Teams its amazing that so many coaches do not spend time practicing special teams.  We average close to one onside kick recovery per game.  That is a great advantage both for offense and defense.

If you are just throwing lineman on the front line of your kick off receiving team, you better not be playing my kick off unit.  I will find your lineman and kick right to him and recover the kick.  Do you have your best tacklers on your kick off team?  Have you practice punting in game situations?  Do you kick extra points or just run plays.

We normally do not punt in games unless we are inside our ten yard line.  This season in a tough playoff game we had to punt from our 2 yard line.  Thank God we had been practicing punting and snapping all season.  We got the snap off and a 25 yard rugby squib punt out of bounds.  There was just a minute left and the score was 14-7.  Our opponent could have easily blocked the punt or caused a disruption if we had not practice all season for this one play.  Our defense held and we wound up winning the 2012 KYA Fall Junior Super Bowl with an undefeated record.  I still thank the long snapper on that punt for our wins.

Just because other coaches do not spen a ton of time on Special Teams influence your decision to master special teams.  Why give another team the opportunity to take advantage of your weaknesses.  Youre only as good as your weakest link.  If you Special Teams suck then well?

Good luck this season,
Coach Parker
Keller, TX / Fort Worth Texas

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To Read My Articles on Special Teams you must Click Here

Here are my top posts on youth football Special Teams

  1. Kick Return Blocking – Special Teams
  2. Kick Off Coverage
  3. Punting & Long Snapping w/ Video

To Read My Articles on Special Teams you must Click Here

Otherwise….
This area is available to post general comments and questions about Special Teams used in Youth Football; Kick off, Kick Return, PAT, Punt, Punt Return.

8 responses to “Special Teams

  1. To be honest, I have been very lucky so far with Special Teams, but I am looking for a great book on Special Teams. Can anyone recommend a good Special Teams book. I heard the George Allen book is pretty good.

  2. How many minutes a week do you practice special teams? What 3 areas of Special Teams do you focus on? We have been putting a lot of emphasis on the PAT team since its 2 points vs 1 point in our league. But, I think we were lucky this year that we did not get hurt by our punting.

  3. Hello, Im a first year youth football coach, 10-12 year olds and I have been assigned special teams….any help in how to prepare the kids would be appreciated….

    • Kick off – speed and overload, we always onside kick to our sideline, we do have a opposite call if needed

      Kick Return – speed and hands very few linemen.

      Punt – we rugby style directional punt. we only punt within our 5 yard line.

      Punt return – go for block do not return unless you have a rb that can 99% catch a punt

      • Earl Stotler (@BringIt74)

        Thanks for the feedback, been using these in practice, probably not as crisp as your practices but we are getting there…

      • Justin Jeppesen

        Coach Parker,

        Was that correct when you wrote, “we only punt within our 5 yard line.”?
        I was thinking of being more aggressive with my 8th grade team, but that 5 yard rule scares the bejesus out of me.

      • Yes, you read correctly. We do not Punt as a general rule, unless we are really backed up inside our 5. With older players like 8th graders and a less aggressive team 4 down strategy you may want to say the 10 or 20 yard line. But since we have a 4 down first down strategy we are tough on our offense to get us out of the hole. We also put a ton of pressure on our defense when we get the ball back inside the 20. I think we punted maybe 4 years ago. To be honest I cant remember the last time we punted. 🙂 So many things can go wring when you punt. I love it when other teams punt to us. Ive found that many offensive plays on 4th down are for big plays against the defenses in youth football. Not sure if the defensive players relax and say that cant make the 10 yards or what but Ive seen so many TDs on big 4th down plays like reverses, counters and big pass plays. I also think OCs get less risk averse on 4th down and pull out the big plays. Just my two cents. You guys need to review whats right for your team and player talent.

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