Coaching Youth Football Defenses
Coaching youth football defenses is the key to a winning youth football season. Many youth football coaches focus mostly on offense. Young inexperienced coaches believe offensive plays will win most of the games. Not true, if the other youth football teams does not score you will never lose. Make sure you coach defense with the same or more enthusiasm as your offense. Plus, many youth football players love defense over offense. The key to a successful pee wee football team is a strong defense.
“If your opponent does not score, you cannot lose. The worst you can do is tie” – Bud Wilkinson
Many little league football teams under the 6th grade will not pass more than 20% of the time. A large percentage of youth football teams will pass less than 10% of the time. Stopping the run, especially the sweep and off-tackle plays should be your key strategy coaching youth football defense. Your main defensive passing coverage should be man-to-man and be ready for the TE quick pass and a WR slant or quick fly. The majority of passes will be incomplete because very few teams have a QB & receiver combination that both can throw and catch on the same play. Plus the pass blocking for youth football teams is not very good. A strong pass rush from your youth football defense should be your best passing defensive coverage.
I personally prefer strong run defenses of the early football days like the 70, Gap 8 and 6-2 for youth football defenses for teams under 6th grade. Keeping 8 to 9 in the box will shut down most youth football offensive running plays. I also like to play my corner backs like outside linebackers since many youth football teams do not pass effectively. You can play CBs tight if you have an experienced safety to play center field just in case they actually complete a pass or break contain on a sweep play.
A big part of pee wee and little league youth football defenses is tackling. At the end of the day, football is really just about blocking and tackling. So while working on your defensive plays and formations make sure you a teaching proper form tackling. Coach how to tackle safely to reduce the possibility of concussions from poor tackling techniques. Safety first!
Coaching Youth Football Defense does not depend on even vs odd front youth football defenses but more about run vs pass defensive schemes. Stop the Run!