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Should Youth Football Teams Run the High School Offense? Heck No

High Schools that Want You to Run “Their System” at the Youth Level.

A small number of Youth Football coaches get pressure from the local High School to run their offense. The High School coach in these situations often think that by teaching 8 year old kids to run his system, by the time the players are 18 years old, they should be very proficient at running said system.

I am 100% opposed to the High School coach imposing his will on the Youth Program.

For many reasons I am 100% opposed to the coaches imposing this will upon the youth coach and kids. My first reason has to do with basic control and effort. The often handsomely paid for his time, High School coach is telling a non-paid volunteer of a program not run or paid for by the School, to run his High School system. Part of the “benefit” of spending money out of your own pocket to coach youth football, is you get to choose what you are going to run and how you are going to run it. If I fail as a coach, I’m going to fail running something I did the research on and believe in, not something shoved down my throat by someone not even involved in my youth football program or by someone that probably never coached a down of Youth Football.

Who is to say this School coach will even be at the school 10 years from now, or better yet that he will be running the same offense? One of the local teams we feed into has run 3 different Offenses in the last 5 years and had 2 different Head Coaches. So which of the 3 offenses should my teams be running now? Yes lets train 70+ youth coaches a very difficult offense every year or two, when almost half of them have no football coaching experience. Most of these offenses had we decided to run them, had zero youth materials or support system available for our coaches. I’m sure we would have failed miserably and lost lots of players had we adopted these systems.

I’ve even seen on some coaching forums where some coaches say it doesn’t matter at all if any team wins or loses below the varsity level. The “varsity” is all that matters, even their Junior High, Freshman and JV teams don’t matter. Well, it matters to the kids and parents playing on these teams and isn’t that why we are supposed to be coaching football in the first place? I wonder how that High School coach would feel if a college coach came up to him and said that it didn’t matter if the High School won or lost, all that matters is what happens at the college level and that the High School should run the Colleges offense? Never mind the fact that few of the kids will ever play College ball, just as just 25% of youth players will play High School ball. Sound enough reasoning for you? Let’s take it a step further, shouldn’t the pro coaches be telling the College coaches their wins and losses mean nothing, all that matters is that the College kids are running the Pro Offense? This “next level” baloney is just that, baloney. Any coach with even fair coaching skills can develop players for whatever system he choses to run. แทงบอลอย่างไร

Such arrogance is disappointing to see from anyone involved in coaching youth football.

This type of attitude is rarely found among successful coaches, it is most readily seen from excuse making oaches that are doing poorly and are looking to lay the blame of their poor performance at someone else’s feet. I’ve actually seen High School coaches blame Jr High coaches for their varsity teams woes, that’s someone desperate to keep a job he probably shouldn’t have had to begin with.

At the big clinics I do for Glazier and Nike, I always sit in on a session or two. In addition to a Darrin Slack session, I like to see what the best High School coaches in the country are doing, teams like Southlake Carrol, Jenks, Union, Hoover, Colton, De LaSalle etc. The guys that coach these teams care little about whether the kid coming into their program can read a 3 technique and can run their offense. They just want a chance to coach the kid, that he goes out for football. They want the youth coach to teach safe basic blocking and tackling and NOT to run the kid off. The good coaches are hoping to get a player that has a love for the game and is coachable. These successful coaches tell me they are pretty confident they have the coaching ability to teach a player about anything over a 4 year time frame with nearly 4 months of 6 day a week contact along with year round, strength, agility and skills training. On the other hand we youth coaches get the kids for a few months of very abbreviated 2-3 day a week practices, a mere fraction of what the High Schools get and we are supposed to have the biggest technical impact on them?

As stated in other articles, we know that 75% of youth players will never play High School football to begin with. So we are supposed to run the High School system that only a tiny fraction of our players will be using? Remember my study of the main reasons most youth football players quit playing: #1) Poor Coaching #2) Playing on consistently losing teams. Running a system that is often not age appropriate (High School) and losing will often lead to the High School coach getting fewer players than he would otherwise. Most of the great High School coaches could CARE LESS what the youth player runs as long as he’s having fun, playing safely and developing a passion for the game. Developing that passion is hard to do if his youth football team is getting blown out every week or not scoring many points.

What really gets to me are a few of the simply preposterous e-mails I get from a few youth football coaches. One youth coach went 10-1 in 2006 and 11-1 in 2005 and was retaining right at 95% of his players. In that very same time frame, the local High School went 0-9 and 1-8. The High School coach was demanding the youth football program run his offense in spite of the fact the High School offensive football plays never worked at the High School level. Maybe the High School coach should have run the Youth coaches offense, he couldn’t have done any worse. I make it a habit to support the High School programs, by encouraging the kids to go to the High School games and to play High School football. But I have not coached School ball, so I do not critique the High Schools practice methods or systems, no matter how often I’m asked to offer my opinion. I don’t have the time or expertise to do an in-depth study of the situation and would hope they wouldn’t do the same of my team.

 

 

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