Special Teams in Youth Football
For many Youth Football Coaches Special Teams are one of the more challenging phases of the game to coach. In our post below we share some of the strategies and tips that we have acquired and used.
Unless we have a commanding lead, we prefer to utilize onside kicks to keep the ball away from the opposing team’s best players in space. Below is the “A” option of our version of the “ABC” kickoff which is combination of an onside kick we learned from winningyouthfootball.com and Ted Seay’s “ABC” kickoff.
For additional details, check out our ABC Kickoff – Onside Kick Strategies blog post.
Over the years we have used a couple of different Kickoff Returns, but the one we favor is the Trap Return from Coach Cisar at winningyouthfootball.com. Below is an example of one of our teams running this return. You may notice that there is a flag on the play that was due to an unnecessary hold.
Another return that we’ve had some success with is John T. Reed’s Off-Tackle Return.
For us a good Punt Return has always been a little difficult to get setup, but one that has worked best for us has been the Wall Return. We have used it both when basing out of the Wide Tackle Six and the Gregory 6-3 defenses. Below is an example of the Wall Return out of a 6-3 alignment.
Our Punt Block attempts to attack every gap in hopes that one of our players is able to have a free run to the Punter. Below is an example of our Punt Block when basing out of the Gregory 6-3.
If your league observes ball carrier weight restrictions, but allows players over that limit to punt but not advance the ball, we like the following Punt Block.
Much like our Kickoff Return, we do not want to kick the ball to one our opponent’s best player in space. For that reason, when we are in situations where we absolutely have to punt we instruct the punter to angle the punt to a sideline to cut the field in half and lessen the amount of space that has to be defended.
Because we like utilizing Wedge Blocking, we also like to leverage it as part of our Punt Fake. Below is an example of a Punt Fake that we employ that we acquired from winningyouthfootball.com.
Our PAT Block looks very similar to our Punt Block when the Punter is over the ball carrier weight with the exception that we move our Mike inside the DE and CB on the Kicker’s plant foot side.
Our logic is that since many leagues award 2 points for a kick verses 1 for a run or pass, the chances for a fake are very slim.
If you are searching for additional help with your Special Teams, we encourage you to take a look at our Special Teams (Long Snapping, Punting, EP/FG) clinic, as well as Coach Parker’s site.