How to Prepare a Defensive Game Plan in Youth Football

How to Prepare a Defensive Game Plan in Youth Football

We are volunteer youth football coaches and we don’t have unlimited hours to spend on coaching. However, youth football is pretty much the most coaching oriented sport there is, in other words the coach can be the difference in winning and losing more than any other sport. So you must do the following to win games and give your team the competitive advantage it needs. The following game process takes about 3-4 hours on a Sun. night.

Step 1. You need the game film from your opponent’s previous game. There are usually no high bleachers at youth football games so get an endzone view of the teams offense. Always film behind the team you are scouting so you can see exactly what they are doing. Make sure you can see all the players and their numbers on every play.

Step 2. Watch the film and diagram every single play the team runs including repeats. I usually use cardstock. Write down the play number and the down and distance to the best of your knowledge and a caption for each play i.e. I would write play 1, 1 and 10, Pitch Sweep Right and diagram the blocking assignments as executed and the backfield player numbers. For a playoff game I would take the extra time to write down every player’s number.

As you diagram the plays you will learn their playbook www.ufabet and start to get an idea of the coach’s play calling philosophy. This is the most time consuming part of the process as you have to keep pausing and rewinding to get all the blocking assignments and the plays drawn up correctly.

Step 3. Watch the film again with your diagramed plays in front of you. Now you are looking for nuances that can help you. I look for weak and strong offensive lineman, who their best runners are, how well can their QB throw the football, who is playing receiver that can catch the football and who can’t.

Step 4. Look for tells. Some teams will have multiple formations and only run one or two plays from a particular formation. For example a team will always run out of a double tight formation and always pass out of a four wide formation. There are always 3 or 4 of these teams you will play each year. You should crush them unless they are better than you at every position. Some teams in the aforementioned category will even substitute their QB on passing downs. If you don’t notice something that obvious you deserve to lose. A slightly harder to see ploy is flipping the best linemen to playside, you can often get away with this if the other team has not scouted you. On film it’s pretty easy to see a linemen changing sides every play.