Tag Archives: pee wee football special teams

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.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Special Teams

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!


Filed under Special Teams

Kick Return Blocking – Special Teams

Kick ReturnOur youth football kick return blocking is not that great.  We did better this year by assigning players to block but we can do better.  We missed many blocks and one that hurt us in our final play off game last season. 

After reading Coaching Offensive Linemen by Dave Christensen and James Peterson, I learned something that I have never heard before about Kick Return front linemen, except maybe for the Hands Kick Return Team for onside kicks.  They suggest in their book that your offensive linemen do not make good kick return blockers because the are not designed to be open field blockers.   They recommend using linebackers, tight ends, and back-up running backs as your Kick Return Teams front-line blockers. 

Why use skill players as the frontline blockers of your Kick Return Team?

  1. Better Open Field Blockers
  2. Better use of hands for blocking and recovering ball
  3. Quicker and Faster to set up your blocking line
  4. Allows time during kick to talk to O-Line as a group before 1st play

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Blocking, Special Teams