Tag Archives: youth football

Youth Football Defensive Player Analysis

I’ve been writing a Spread Offense book over the last several months, The Wildcat Multi Spread Offense; A Youth Football Running Spread Playbook.  During my research I keep thinking about how to attack the outside and Spread the Defenses, since the Sweep and Sweep Option Pass are the main plays in the original TCU Spread playbook by Coach Dutch Meyer.

I started drawing up Defenses and looked over my defense the 62 Multi 8 Youth Football Defense and started analyzing where youth football coaches hide their weakest talent and put their stud defensive players.  I then started asking other youth football coaches and the chart below is what I developed to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of a typical youth football defense.  And yes, this is somewhat biased to a more recreational youth football league vs Select league.  But, I do find running left is very successful with most pee wee football Offenses; Select or Rec.

Yes, I understand better and more experienced little league youth football coaches will adjust to your offense via their scouting report, but you will be surprised how many teams will not adjust via scouting report or during the actual game.  Don’t say NO before you try it.  I win a ton of games running left and attacking weaker areas.

Youth Football Defense Player Review

So what I found is that pee wee defenses are usually manned by mostly stud defensive players at the inside linebacker positions and defensive ends / OLBs.  On the chart above you can see these players in Red.  One of the linebackers might be just average and or definitely weaker than the other ILB, so I have one in Yellow.  These linebacker type player positions are usually the best tacklers on the team. You must find a way to block these studs or run away from them and or use misdirection to catch them over pursuing which they will do at younger ages.  These guys usually want to hit on each play so misdirection works on them more than average.

I personally like my DTs to be studs since many teams love to run off-tackle plays so these big tackles are usually pretty good players.  I personally like to find big basketball players for DTs.  I have one Red and one Yellow in the chart above.  Many youth football coaching books suggest putting weaker players in the A Gaps.  So you will see many teams put their Minimum Play Players / MPPs in the A Gaps, especially early in the game to get their plays out of the way.  I also do this a lot but try to always have one good player there too.   For this example I have two weak players there that are Green which I find most teams will do in the first and third quarters.

The defensive backs can be a bit tricky.  Many times the 2 cornerbacks will be weak since you have Stud OLBs/DEs playing contain.  The CBs are just out there for a backup contain man hoping to scare the RB to the inside.  I really do not block most youth football cornerbacks and tell my running backs you must beat the CBs.  Every now and then you will find a stud CB and that can be a tougher game.  Many teams will also hide a MPP or weaker player at Safety so there is little threat there.  Most younger teams do not pass so sometimes this player turns into a Rover / Monster Defender but many times still below average talent.  So in the chart above I made 2 DBs Green and one Yellow.

So many times on a youth football defense, especially in rec,  you will get 4 studs and 3  or 4 average players and 3 or 4 weak players if not more.  Many times coaches will stack the right side of the offense and or the wide side of the field with their top players.  You can use this to your advantage.  Many times we find the left side is weaker or possibly the short boundary side depending on the team’s defensive philosophy.

Here is a video I published on Youtube that goes over more in depth info for common youth football defenses like the 62 Wide Tackle, 5-3, 70 Diamond and Gap 8 Defense.

I hope this Defensive player position analysis will help your Offense get more first downs, score more TDs and ultimately more wins.  Let me know what you see regarding youth football Defenses.  I would love to hear your feedback.  Please use comment field below.

Remember, Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!

Coach Parker
Keller, Texas



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Filed under Offense, Youth Coaching

My Son is a Good Football Player, but He’s Small

I was reading through my comments last night and came across this statement, “my son is a good football player, but hes small.” So is my youngest son, Zane.  Zane is a Freshman in High school this year.  He was on “B” team and started on defense at SS and on Offense at Slot Receiver.  Zane was born premature and he started school a year early, so he’s about a year younger than many of his peers and small.  But what he lacks in size he makes up for his size handicap in football IQ.  He is a very smart football player and wants to coach football as a career.  He is also football mean.

There are many small football players but their desire and hearts are as big as Texas.  I played with many. One of the best hitters on my Freshman HS football team was our small corner back.  Charlie would light you up if you were not paying attention. So size matters, but desire and football smarts plays a big factor in playing football!

Am I worried that Zane is getting too small to play JV football next season.  Yes.  We have discussed his size and goals.  He is dedicating himself to an intense off-season program to get stronger for next Fall.  He is not afraid of the bigger players.  As long as Zane believes he’s capable of playing with the bigger players then I am comfortable with him playing.  But, once I see that he’s questioning his abilities on the field, we will readdress his size issue for playing football.

Who am I to mess with his dreams of playing football.  Yes, football is a dangerous sport, but so is driving a car for teenage boys.

Play for Fun and Winning is Funner….


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Youth Football Coaching Clinic Presentation Part 1

This is the first post of a multi part Youth Football Coaching Clinic presentation that I developed for KYA Football in Keller, TX.  I’ve been giving this presentation for the last several years and its helped our rookie coaches get a jump start to their first few seasons at KYA Football.  Much of the presentation is tailored for KYA Football but many youth football leagues run similar to KYA Football. Find Part 2 here. Part Three

KYA Football is a recreational youth football league in Keller, Texas, just North of Ft Worth in the DFW metroplex. We are just South of Denton, TX.  KYA Football age Divisions are Mite (5-6), Bantam (7-8), Sophomore (9-10), Juniors (11-12), and Seniors (11-13).  Players already in 7th grade are not allowed to play in KYA Football.   KYA Football has a 3 event rule in place so normally, 2 practices and a game each week. Each season, veteran Coaches in their age division can bring back 4 to 6 returning players (freezes) to their team and then must draft the remaining players to achieve a 15 to 20 player roster depending upon the size of the age group registrations.  New Coaches to the age division can freeze 2 to 3 players and then draft a team.  The registered players that are not “frozen” to a team must go through a grass drills similar to a non-padded try out / field day and enter the draft. Coaches evaluate the players then draft them to their team in a draft process.  KYA Football has a Spring and a Fall youth football season.


KYA Football Coach's ClinicKYA Football is a recreational football league but it is very competitive.  KYA Football is just below the talent pool in a Select Youth Football League.  Do not think coaching at KYA Football will be easy.  Nothing is ever easy, especially in Texas Football.  Yes, we are all out here to have fun but the coaching and competition is very competitive at KYA. If you are not ready to dedicate 100% to coaching a youth football team, you might want to consider being an assistant coach before starting off as a HEAD Coach at KYA Football.


Coach Grant is right.  Make sure your wife is on board with you coaching a youth football team.  The time required to coach a team far exceeds your current expectations.  Practices normally start around 5:30 pm and last about 2 hours twice a week and three times a week prior to the game schedule starting. Make sure your schedule is flexible enough to accommodate practice times and make up dates.  Also if you travel more than a few days a month a head coaches spot may not be the right fit for your work travel schedule. Your family will give up a ton of time to your new hobby coaching youth football.  Make sure everyone including the dog is ready for the time upheaval.

Do you really need a great quarterback in youth football.  No, but it certainly helps to have a stud in the backfieldSlide3.

This is the normal intro section.  I’ve coached 20+ seasons and I know how to win.  My way is not the only way to a successful season, but this is what has worked for me over the last 20 years. Use or lose it.  Your choice.

The Name Game is a name game were the coaches introduce themselves and we go around the room a few times trying to learn  everyone’s names.  I start my first practice with the name game but at practice we introduce the player and repeat each players name after each introduction so we repeat everyone’s name 20 times or more.  At the end of the introductions, I ask for volunteers who remembers everyone’s names.  About 2 to 4 players will usually be able to remember everyone. The Name Game tells me who my smartest players are on the roster and helps me learn everyone’s name the first day.  Parents love the name game because anyone listening learns about 75% of the player names.  We also do the name game at the second practice too.


Coach Bear Bryant is right on the money with his 3 rules for coaching.  When you choose your assistant coaches make sure they are just as enthused and committed to coaching as you.  If you are wanting to really geek out then do not choose a lukewarm assistant head coach.

Make sure your coaches are also on board with your brand of winning in youth football.  If you focus on coaching vs winning games then make sure your assistants are also focused on that too.  If you like to win every game then make sure you choose your coaches and team parent accordingly.  You must be 110% dedicated to coaching if you expect to win at KYA Football.  There are many experienced youth football coaches at KYA.

Also, when you are drafting players identify who the competitive players are in the draft.  I like to interview players and talk to them. If you have a rookie football player but has played Select baseball or soccer they usually know how to play competitive sports and what the expectations are to win.  I know many people get mad about talking about winning at the youth sports level, but if you are not winning the parents are not happy.  Your goal must be to reach the playoffs and win a few games.  A big goose egg doesn’t hunt.  Look Play for Fun but Winning is Funner!

And probably Coach Bryant’s most important rule, Have a Plan!  You must have a plan and be organized to win in KYA Football.  KYA Football is not a YMCA type recreational league.  KYA Football has many very experienced football coaches with detailed playbooks, practices plans, game plans, draft databases, player highlight film etc.  When you decide to become a Head Coach at KYA Football you must have a plan for everything.  Your team mom or parent can certainly help out, but if you are not an organized person then you might want to try your hand at becoming an assistant coach.  Make sure you have a plan.

Slide5After that last paragraph about planning, why do you want to coach?  Coaching youth football is very hard. If your team is undefeated then everyone is singing and drinking your kool aid, but as soon as a few losses come around the boo birds sing a sad song.  Even when you are winning parents are complaining about something and don’t get me started on missing practices because of band or baseball.  Plus, there is always that one parent that is late to every game.  Not to mention your assistant head coach thinks his son should be the QB even though he’s 5 lbs over the weight limit to play in the back field.  Your boss will most likely ask you about all the copies your making and why your leaving every Tuesday and Thursday at  4pm when you arrived at 9:30 am because you were on a conference call with your coaches about the upcoming game. Then the two most important ladies in your life, your team mom and you wife are now mad at you. Your wife is upset that you canceled her birthday dinner because you rescheduled practice for Friday to prepare for the big game on Saturday against your rival and your team mom has decided her son should now be a two way starter since she is volunteering so much time.

Your answer to why you want to coach, must be more than just I want to coach my son.  Coaching youth football must be a passion if you want to be successful.  It must be a passion because its hard and 20 players are counting on you every practice and game to teach them just like they were your son.  If you are just focused on coaching your son, then please reconsider becoming a head football coach.  Parents see “daddy ball” coaches all the time and it never works out.  Head Coaches must think about the team before their son.  Your son is only part of a bigger team not the focus. I coach because I love the game that was taught to me by my pee wee football coach, John Lewis of Spring Branch Dad’s Club YMCA.  I wanted to coach youth football like Coach Lewis.  Yes, I coached my two son’s but I started coaching youth football before I had kids and now I still coach without them on my teams.

By this time your hair is gray or falling out, mine started to do both.  But after all this, I love coaching youth football.  If you decide to become a head coach, I hope you find the fulfillment that I’ve found in coaching.


Part Two

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The Statue of Liberty Reverse Youth Football Play

This past Spring we were working on several reverse plays out of our Jumbo Trips formation.  One our Tight Ends had shown some speed and skill at carrying the football in a few drills, so I wanted to get him more involved in the running game. So as we played around with the TE reverse, I said, “Why don’t we just run the Statue of Liberty like in my Flag football days?” Since our TE was very tall and we had a short Quarterback, the Statue of Liberty exchange really worked well.  Wow, it looked great in practice that afternoon and the next practice.  Our players loved it too.  So we unleashed our Statue of Liberty Reverse or Code Name: “New York, New York.” Take a look at the video below.  The video has a few highlights of the trick play


Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!

Coach Parker
Keller, TX

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