Tag Archives: coaching youth football special teams

Youth Football Special Teams – Coaching Clinic

Here is another episode, Special Teams, in my Youth Football Coaching Clinic Series that I developed for KYA Football.

 

Kick Off – Onside Kicks most popular

  • Deep kicks allow for long returns dangerous unless practiced
  • Directional Kicks to sidelines – hit number sideline #40 or #30 marked on field
  • Kick to your sidelines majority of time
  • Kick to a MPP or big lineman with no hands
  • Find a soccer player on your team to try out for kicker
  • Practice kicks 20 reps before practice 10 to 15 yard kicks to 2nd line – right and left

Kick Return – Hands and Speed Squad

  • Hands team
  • Do not hide MPPs here
  • Trap Return blocking
  • Assign players to block – we number them
  • Watch film and find out where they kick

Punt – only within your 10 or 20

  • Use 4 downs for a first instead of punting
  • Most dangerous play in youth football
  • Too many variables – snap, kick, return coverage, open field tackles
  • We tend to fake punt more
  • Rugby Style Punt – Sweep then punt down sideline

Punt Return – Very Dangerous

  • Punt block
  • If return, best hands person and only if ball drops in his hands
  • If they have good punter drop two hands players back to field the ball and let them block for each other
  • No one on punt return touch the punted ball but your hands guy and only if the ball drops right to him for an easy catch.

PAT Kicks / Field Goals

  • too little time unless you have a great Kicker Snapper and Holder

I hope you enjoyed the video.  Stay tuned as more videos will be coming in the next month or so.  Thanks for watching, please comment, like, and share the video.  It helps me continue to bring you more videos.

Play for Fun and Winning is Funner,
Coach Parker
Keller, TX / Fort Worth, Texas

 

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To Punt or not to Punt – Special Teams

I read an article the other day about a High School team that has decided not to Punt on Special Teams.  Based on their stats, they conclude that they have a better opportunity to make a first down vs the gains made by punting.  Since I coach youth football pre-teens, this seems like a pretty good idea, especially since punting at this age group is very risky; snap, blocking, kick / punt, and return coverage. 

Based on our Punt stats from our last season, not punting might be a good option for us.  We only netted about 10 yards from our punt team.  Our net yards per play were 5+ for the regular season.  I sent the Punting article to my other coaches, and they agree.  Not punting is a legitimate strategy for our team. 

I’ve been strategizing if not punting within the 10 makes sense.  Should you take the safety and kick-off or should you go for it and hope your defense can hold within the 10 if you do not make the 1st down?  I am thinking that within the 5 and 5+ yards to go maybe we take the safety.  We are consistent making two point conversions so we could make up the difference for a saftey.  If we are outside the 5 and less then 7+ to go we should go for it on 4th down.   Within the 10 is my only sticking point with not punting for an entire game.

Let me know if you would punt inside the 10 or go for it. Or would you always punt on 4th down no matter where you are on the field?

Play for Fun and Winning is Funner.

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Football Book Review – Complete Guide to Special Teams

Last night, I read American Football Coaches Association’s Complete Guide to Special Teams.  This is an excellent 250 page book on Special Teams tactics, drills and techniques written by some of the best Special Teams coaches in football and edited by Coach Bill Mallory and Coach Don Nehlen.  Some of the tactics outlined in the book are too sophisticated for youth football but the fundamental strategies lay an excellent special teams’ foundation for any youth tackle football team and the position technique chapters apply to all football players that want to play skill positions on Special Teams.  I could not put the book down and read all 250 pages in one sitting.  I rate the book 4.5 /5.0. 

The book is divided into two parts; tactics and techniques.  The Tactics sections includes chapters on; Punting, Kickoffs, Punt Returns, Kickoff Returns, Extra Points and Field Goals, Two-Point Conversions, Punt and Field Goal Blocks, and Developing Special Team Units.  The Techniques section includes chapters on; Punting, Kicking Off, Kicking Extra Points and Field Goals, Long Snapping, Holding for Kicks, Returning Punts and Kickoffs, and Developing Special Team Players.

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The Onside Kick in Youth Football

In 2006 when I started coaching tackle youth football again, the leagues coaching coordinator was very big on kicking onside kicks.  That was his thing.  To be honest, onside kicking every kick did not work out for us.  Sure we picked a few turnovers, but the majority of time we gave the other team 7 to 12 yards on our kick off.

In 2007 we started kicking just over the head of the 1st line of the kick return team and try to have the ball bounce before the second line of returners.  This short kick off worked better for us.  We recovered about the same number of kicks and most of the time, the returner at the second line just fell on the ball.  We would pick up about 7 yards a kick vs our old onside kick.  I cringed a few times when our kicker kicked the ball a little hard and it drifted into the “real” returners hands. 

This year, I am going to continue with the short kick focused on the second line of returners.  What have you had success with on youth football kickoffs?

Good Luck this season.  Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!

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