Teaching Stalk Blocking in Youth Football

Teaching Stalk Blocking in Youth Football

(Running Backs and Receivers)

 

Recently Coach Mike Rowe shared the video below with us outlining a nice teaching progression on how to teach Receivers how to block.  This video does a nice job of demonstrating a number of drills and coaching points that can be applied to the youth game.  As a new youth football coach, one of the the skills that I struggled with was teaching my Running Backs and Receivers how to block in space.  It’s a skill that I believe is difficult for young athletes, but one with lots of repetition can be learned.

 

 

Diamond DrillOne of our go to drills over the past several years to teach this skill has been the Diamond Drill that we orginally learned from Coach Dave Cisar at Winning Youth Football that we have since modified a bit for our purposes.

On the whistle, the Defender must run around the designated point of the diamond trying to get to the center of the diamond to try and touch the football.  The Blocker (offense) runs around the designated opposite (shorter) side of the diamond attacking the defender and keeping them from touching the football for 5 seconds.

Key Coaching Points:

  • Blocker needs to run his feet keeping a low center of gravity with his head up and helmet below the Defender’s chin. No Lunging!
  • Defender can use any type of move they want after rounding the designated cone, but should not be allowed to dive at the football.
  • Depending on the age group you are coaching you may have to play around a bit with the dimensions of the Diamond.

If interested in other drills for your backs and receivers, we suggest you take a look at another article we published covering Youth Football Drills for Running Backs and Receivers.  This not only contains another Stalk Blocking Drill, but has links to other valuable drill material as well.

 

 

Systematic Analysis to Attack Defenses

Systematic Analysis to Attack Defenses

Spread Offense RPOs

 

In the Systematic Analysis to Attack Defenses eBook Coach Mike Rowe and Coach Slade Singleton cover 13 of the most popular Run Pass Option (RPO) concepts in over 50 diagrams that have been used the last three football seasons at the high school, college, and NFL levels.  They diagram each concept versus different defenses and how subtle changes will be needed to keep having sustained success on the offensive side of the ball. All the plays will vary from complex to very simple depending on the run or pass scheme you like best.  They break down how to teach the offensive scheme to your players and play as fast as possible by giving concepts one-word play calls. Get ready to create some explosive plays!


Gaining an Advantage with 2-Point Concepts

Gaining an Advantage

2-Point Concepts

 

2 Point ConversionAre you a High School Football Coach who often struggles with finding a consistent kicker or maybe you are a Youth Coach whose league awards 2 points for passing when converting on extra point plays?  If either of these is true, you will want to take a look at Coach Mike Rowe‘s newest Course on Coachtube.com.  In the Gaining an Advantage with 2-Point Concepts Course, you will learn how to use 8 different formations that give defenses fits. You will also learn the top plays that Coach Rowe has run that have helped his Rocori Spartans score 80% of their 2-point conversions in the last 6 years. Here is what some coaches are saying about the course:

“Coach Rowe has done it again. Here is a course for the coaches who want to go for 2 more but need help in how to formation and set up defenses this is a must have course!”

“Another great resource from coach Rowe! He does a great job of going into great detail of his 2pt. concepts with diagrams and film breakdown. This definitely could be a game changer for your program.”  

High Speed Spread Football’s Review with Course Coupon

“What a great format! More coaches should do this!”

If interested, you can register for this Course at the following link:

Gaining an Advantage with 2-Point Concepts

 

Pin and Pull RPO eBook

Pin and Pull RPO

 

Pin and Pull RPOThe Pin and Pull RPO is a must have play if you run the Spread Offense.   In this eBook Coach Ron McKie describes how he has used the Pin and Pull RPO to help set multiple records in the running and passing game at Crestwood High School in South Carolina increasing their scoring average from 11 points per game to 36 points per game in two years.  If you are interested in putting defenders in conflict, increasing your offense’s productivity, and getting your players excited about football this eBook is for you.

eBook Outline:

Introduction: What’s This eBook About?
Chapter 1: Ask yourself these questions.
Chapter 2: What defensive front dominates your region/conference?
Chapter 3: Primer on Defensive Fronts
Chapter 4: Blocking Pin and Pull Against an Even Front
Chapter 5: Blocking Pin and Pull Against an Odd Front
Chapter 6: Running Back Rules
Chapter 7: Wide Receiver Routes
Chapter 8: Quarterback Reads
Chapter 9: Drilling the Play
Chapter 10: Window Dressing the Play
Chapter 11: That’s it

Here is what some coaches are saying about the eBook:

“Coach McKie does a great job breaking down the Pin & Pull. Clear & concise. No nonsense teaching. Thank you Coach!”

“Phenomenal course that teaches the Pin and Pull in a manageable, yet engaging, way. Easy to follow and implement!”

“Great information and very simple to understand.”

 


 

Dumcoach Clinic

Dumcoach.com Clinic

Series of Youth Football Clinics

 

Our Dumcoach.com Online Clinic on Saturday, 6/3 was a great success and we have now made the clinic recordings available for viewing.  This is a great opportunity to learn from several great coaches from the comfort of your home.  The cost for the clinic series is just $12.49.  If you are a youth coach and are not familiar with Clark Wilkins and the Dumcoach Forum, we highly recommend that you visit the site and look around.  We feel it is one of the best resources for youth football.  Be careful though it can become addicting!  Below is our Coach and Topic lineup:

Coach Topic
Bruce Eien Simple Passing Concepts
Clint Schumacher Developing Championship Parents
Dave Potter Turnovers by Design
Keith Magee Non-Contact Drills for the Offseason
Mike Rowe Installing Tempo at all Levels
Tito Correa Formational Designation

Click Here to Register:

Dumcoach.com Clinic

 

Youth Football Playbook

Youth Football Playbook

(Must have Youth Football Plays)

 

If you are a frequent visitor to our site you may have seen our article about Essential Youth Football Plays where we described both the Power and Counter plays and why we believe they should be a part of any youth football playbook.   We later followed that article up with a post describing ways to use formations to get more Power in the Power Running Play.  Recently we watched as several coaches shared their favorite Power and Counter plays on Twitter and we thought it might be worthwhile to gather all their tweets in one place and share with other coaches.

If you are interested in learning more about the Power and Counter concepts, you should take a look at our Multiple Ways to Run the Power Concept and Counter in the Youth Game clinics.

Tackling Circuit

Tackling Circuit

(Improving Your Youth Football Defense)

 

We believe that many of us would agree that the best defense in youth football is one that can tackle.  After getting the fundamentals of tackling down, we think that a tackling circuit is a great addition to any practice plan.  It allows you to get a maximum number of reps in a relative short period of time by splitting up into small groups and running multiple drills at the same time.  Concerning groups, we suggest that you create them with size and abilities in mind. Also, to save time and possibly even frustration we suggest that you know what the groups will be prior to your practice so that you don’t have to waste time splitting your players up.

If you are looking for drills to incorporate in your circuit, we recommend that you take a look at the following links:

Coachsomebody.com Every Day Drills
Glazier Clinics Tackling Circuit
Coaches-Clinic.com Tackling Drills Library
CLYFL Youth Football Drill Book
Winningyouthfootball.com

Teaching Skills

Teaching Skills

4 things you should NEVER do

By Greg Robinson

Program Setup Coordinator I Youth Football

 

Skills Training1.  Make a player feel bad about not successfully executing the drill/activity:

I wish I could give you a penny for every time a coach gets negative on kids. Have you heard these: “Come on Tommy! You’re killin us!” “We can’t win if you don’t catch the ball.” “You took your eyes off the ball!”

Remember, you are dealing with very fragile egos and confidence levels. Always be the encourager!

2.  Don’t assume the drill you are running is age or skill appropriate:

As an example, let’s say you are having the kids try to catch the ball before going out of bounds. This a very athletic task. If your players are only catching the ball 70-80% of the time just standing there, the success rate of trying to catch the ball heading out of bounds is going to be less than 50%. If you continue to permit this dropped pass rate at your practices, soon your players won’t even want to TRY to catch.

3.  Don’t worry about the details:

Yes, I think that is a double negative but you NEED to worry about the details. How do you get better at something? “Practice!” But make sure you are practicing the correct things. If you want your players to catch the ball at higher percentages, you must break down what happens when the player actually drops it. Are his hands or elbows too wide? What is he looking at when the ball comes to him? Are his pinkies or thumbs together? Is his confidence so low he is turning his head?

Do not continue to let your players fail at the drill without analyzing why they are failing. Break it down into small parts.

4.  Treat every player the same:

Shouldn’t I treat every player the same? Not in skill training. Every group you teach will be different. Very rarely will all of your players be at the same level. Do not make other players feel bad about their skills at the expense of trying to improve your best players. However, your goal should be to challenge every player, at his individual skill level. You can do this by splitting the group or making a drill more challenging for skilled players.

There is nothing wrong with telling your players that once you get good at this part of the drill (whatever that may be), you can graduate to more difficult steps/levels in the drill. Examples of making a football catching drill more difficult would be things like: catching with one hand, running a difficult route before making the catch, or doing pushups before the catch.

Coaching Addiction

Warning!

Prolonged Exposure to Coaching can become Addictive

 

Danger SignThis past weekend I had the pleasure of traveling to Minnesota to meet with Coach Mike Rowe and in the process, see his Rocori Spartans play in the State High School 4A Semifinals in US Bank Stadium.  The Spartans quickly found themselves down 14 points early in the 1st quarter.  With so many things going wrong they continued to fight to the point that they held the lead until the final 1:21 of the 4th quarter.   Having gotten to know Coach Rowe over the last 4 years, I have no doubt his team’s resiliency in large part was a byproduct of his Character Program.  The Spartans ultimately ended up losing and in defeat Coach Rowe perfectly summed up how I feel as a youth coach after a tough season ending loss.

“So proud of these young men and how they handle adversity. Came up short today, but the loss is not why I am sad. All I ever want is one more day to coach these kids and hangout with my coaching peers.”

Getting a chance to watch our young players grow, become more confident, and to learn to fight through adversity are some of the most rewarding parts of being a youth coach.  Adding in the opportunity to build relationships with other coaches coaching can become quite addictive.

Special Teams In Youth Football

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.

Kickoff

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.

 

Kickoff Return

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.

Punt 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.

Wall Return

 

Punt Block

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.

Punt Block

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.

Punt Block 2

 

Punt

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.

 

Punt Fake

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.

 

PAT Block

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.

PAT Block

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.

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