If you follow any youth coaching forum (as you are right now), ALL good coaches will tell you the same thing that the previous respondants said. Fifty plays is WAY TOO MANY! Here is my anaysis for 8 to 11 year olds (elementary school kids): 1. Find a series that is FIRST a run-oriented series with SIMPLE blocking rules (like G.O.D.) and has some pulling by an atheletic guard. Pulling is something that you can teach and that makes it fun for the kids while getting more blockers at the point of attack! 2. The series you pick should focus on the "off-tackle" area as this is the point of attack that is the hardest to defend for the defense because they will have the LEAST defenders here while you will have the MOST blockers (pulling linemen & lead RB blockers). Off-tackle is also an area where you can install simple "adjustments" to what the defense does to you while still being able to run the off-tackle play. 3. Your series should include only 5-6 plays out of your "base" blocking rules (e.g. G.O.D.). If you have 2 or 3 blocking rules you are going to confuse your offensive linemen! Now you work off of your "base" blocking rules when you run a pass, trap, or reverse play - but the basic blocking for most linemen stays the same. 4. The 5 base running plays I would recommend (run these to PERFECTION & you need nothing else): Power off-tackle Counter/Reverse (sometimes called Power Reverse) Inside Trap (w/ pulling guard) Sweep (if you have the speed to get outside) Wedge (looks funny, but a great play if you get the blocking down right!) 5. Now add a pass play (or maybe 2) into the mix - just to keep the defense honest 6. Run these 5 running plays and your pass out of your "base" formation (e.g. unbalanced Single Wing), THEN when you PERFECT them, add a 2nd formation/motion set (e.g. Full-Spin Single Wing - which is just the same base 5 plays but now with backfield meshing & motion). You can do MORE HARM to a defense by adding formation/motion sets than by adding more plays. The defense "thinks" you are adding more with the "formationing" & they start to "fly around" pre-snap trying to adjust to your new formations. While on offense YOU know really nothing new is really being done from an execution standpoint -SIMPLE! The Progression Now with all of this in mind, you have to teach in a step-by-step progression for these kids! Follow me: 1. Show the kids in a "Chalk-Talk" session - WHO & WHY (take off the helmets and sit down and explain it first.) 2. Walk through it - use coaches and dads to "show" the kids what you want them to do (HOW we do it!) - also, ask the kids "now Johnny you are our right tackle, who do you block with this 5-3 defensive front & why are you blocking him?" Teach the specific blocking technique(s) you want the boys to use & have them demonstrate it for you so you see that they understand all the steps. 3. Run through all the blocking techniques and rules at "half speed" against a "mock" defensive front (check for correct execution) 4. Run through again at "half speed" now including blocking shields & dummies at the various points of attack 5. If you feel confident of their knowledge at this point, you can now run your blocking schemes ("tags/calls") at full speed. 6. Eventually you bring the linemen & backs TOGETHER to run plays that you have worked on in "indy" sessions. For example, say your backs have been working on the installation of their Off-tackle Power play (steps, backfield blocks, etc.) and the line has also worked on the Off-tackle blocking (tags/calls) for that point of attack and BOTH units have essentially mastered their assignments. Now you can bring BOTH units together to see how they work TOGETHER to execute the Off-tackle play aganst a scout defense! Summary The problem is that coaches try often to be too "fancy" and show off what they know and this becomes a large playbook that the kids CANNOT execute with any success. Instead, coaches need to realize that these are very young kids with very short attention spans & limited memory capacity. So focus on the fundamentals of your base blocking scheme, blocking techniques, tackling techniques. the basic play steps using the progression model I outlined.
The new football season is just around the corner. I bet you want to rush into researching new offenses & defenses and all the multitude of plays that go along with these goodies. But don't forget the core football fundamentals.. Some of these are: 1. Completting a great coaching interview in front of your league Board (so you get that coaching job you want!) 2. Understanding how to recruit players 3. Continuing your football education - you can NEVER know it all! I have a football blog website that has several articles and links related to football. Feel free to research it in your quest to always become a better coach: www.coachingclearinghouse.com Also, let me know what you think about my football blog website as I want to always improve upon it. P.S. See the attached file that contains some great advice from a GREAT football coach of many years ago (funny how his advice will still rings true TODAY in youth football and in out "modern" society! - Someone once said, "the more things change, the more they really stay the same.")Successful_Coaching-Wilkinson.doc