Coaching Youth Fooball - Football Plays
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Johnp2

I Need Your Trickiest Play . . .

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Yesterday we got beat. We were thoroughly outplayed and lost 19-0. I can deal with this and have not problem stating they were the better team.

My problem was what occured in the waning seconds. With 50 seconds left, we were down 19-0 and the other team had the ball on our five yard line. The coach calls a time-out. At first I thought I was hearing things, or perhaps there was an injured player. Nope---he was frantically trying to get his team to score another TD. We stopped them. He then proceeds to run a hurry up offense just screaming at his kids to hurry it up and get the play off. He did this three more plays. The parents on my team were booing loudly at this, but he just kept at it. We stopped them, but his attempt nor our stop mattered. It's the lack of sportmanship that is concerning. Last season, this is the coach that ran an offensive play on us while we were in our defensive huddle (and was up big on us in that game too). We stood and watched as his player ran it unchallenged in the end zone. This is all within the rules, but very classless. For the first time in my coaching "career", I did not shake the coach's hand yesterday after the game. I shook all of his players hands and then walked back to my team.

Anyway, we play them again in our final game. To a man, I think we will be hard-pressed to beat them---they are just flat out good. However, I plan on pulling out ALL the stops, and ensuring they remember our team---win or lose. As George Costanza said, "You wanna get nuts? Let's get nuts!" ;-)

Consequently, I am wanting to know your nastiest, sneakiest, trickiest play you can think of (all within the rules of course). I'm talking about things that make "wrong ball", "players fall down barking like dogs", etc. look tame. Right now I have three really bizarre plays we are going to run (we have four weeks to prepare) but am calling on you to get creative and help me with some plays that are fun and definitely off the wall. We will go out in a blaze of glory when we play this team next and will flat out put on a show. ;-)

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This is all within the rules, but very classless. For the first time in my coaching "career", I did not shake the coach's hand yesterday after the game. I shook all of his players hands and then walked back to my team.
Funny, I was going to write a blurb about my experience yesterday with a funky coach. Different varation on the theme, I had a coach yesterday in my basketball game yell (at the top of his lungs) every 5 seconds all the things he felt the ref wasn't calling on my kids. He also encouraged his kids to pretty much whack and hack to get the ball. It was complete chaos, my kids were getting knocked down, my assistant starting getting wound up and telling our kids to pretty much push back, my parents were starting to make comments, my head was running and the kids weren't enjoying the game. Honestly, my first thought was to crank up our kids and tell them to get real physical, then start yelling out every single thing I felt the refs were missing. Wrong plan and fortunately my wife along with another assistant talked me through keeping my cool. I called a few time outs and asked the refs to get the game under control. We ended up playing our game, slowing it down and lost by 2 pts in the end.

I thought it was interesting that this guy was running solo. No assistants, didn't see him talking to anyone on the bench, he ran the show. Another good example of why it's important to have folks around that hold you accountable, especially in situations like these.

The worst thing I could have done yesterday is sink down to his level. I know my philosophy, I know what our style is and I know how I've coached the kids to play defense, no hacking only clean steals. It all comes down to the refs in this situation. They needed to take control, so calling time out and talking it over with them was my best solution, even though I felt like cleaning this guy's clock.

Consequently, I am wanting to know your nastiest, sneakiest, trickiest play you can think of (all within the rules of course).
I feel your pain brother, but my advice is check your motives. I get why you want to throw some junk back in this guys face, it never seems to work for me. I get worked up, start mouthing off, parents and assistant coaches get wound up and the kids suffer.

You don't seem like the kind of guy that would run a hurry up offense or run a play when the defense wasn't ready. I doubt seriously that you'd call time out and try to score with 50 seconds left if you were up 19-0. Those guys are jerks, they don't get it.

I'd review all the stuff this guy does and customize your defense. If it means being ready sooner, work on that in case he runs a hurry up. Nothing wrong with a few trick plays, just don't let this guy get inside your head. Play your game, get the ball touches in and be good sports, be the example. Your kids and parents will be watching you.

Ok, here's a trick play, "Too many kids on the field". Stack your kids to one side of the center except one, that player lines up right next to the center on the other side. QB comes up to center and acts like he's counting players and yells "Too many players on the field! Joe! Go off, hurry!". Joe is the single player next to the center, he runs towards the sidelines and when ball is snapped runs up field. QB rolls hard to that side and completes pass for the winning TD.

Good luck!

CRob

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Those guys are jerks, they don't get it. Nothing wrong with a few trick plays, just don't let this guy get inside your head. Play your game, get the ball touches in and be good sports, be the example. Your kids and parents will be watching you.

Coach Rob, first thanks for your play----I LOVE IT. Second, of course I won't let the guy get "in my head." We will play our game--and some. I never get caught up in the game and let my emotions get the best of me---trust me on that. I laugh to myself when I see this by other coaches (and even parents), which I see it all the time. I'm the easiest going guy in our league---the coaches, officials, parents all know this. I'm just wanting to have some fun with the kids and come out with some exotic, sneaky plays for the next time we face this team---and I promise a lot of people want to see this.

I would never do this against an inferior team, but when there is a superior team whose coach runs up the score on teams like he does---I think it would be fun to send him a little message, which we will do. Again, this is not mean-spirited, but instead more of an "bets are off" attitude.

In our first intra-team scrimmage, I called "wrong ball" (or we call it "coach I forgot the play"). The kids had an absolute blast with it---and there has yet to be a practice or game where they haven't asked to do it. I almost called it yesterday, but again will wait until our last game to do this against them.

Last season I made up a "whacky" play and in one game where we were behind I called it. It was called "Santa Claus". It's simple, you line up in spread formation, and once the ball is called, all the players look at the defenders in front of them and point to the stands screaming, "Look! There's Santa Claus!!" then the QB hands it off to a player and off he goes. It was well received by both teams/parents---so I have no fear with it.

We did call "coach I forgot the play" last year against a team whose coach I am good friends with. He knew I had designed the play (and liked it himself), but knowing this he caught on when I called it, and they rushed my QB. We both laughed about it.

Thanks again---I like the play a lot, I might modify it some but the foundation is pretty cool.

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One play I like is an end around pass to the WR...Not really a trick play but if you keep running the end around enough they wont be ready for the pass.

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I've tried that (end around pass). The problem I think is that with eight defenders on the field like we face, it's a little hard as there are ALWAYS going to be some players that stay home no matter what. The key would be to ensure he was 3 or four blockers in front of him. Granted, I have not practiced it that much.

I did think of one play, which I probably won't call as it falls along the lines of "unfair" as opposed with creative. I'm notorious for giving last minute instructions to the players once they get to the LOS. We really have our huddle down and have had 20+ seconds at the LOS so I often tell my QB, "Don't call the play yet" as I go around and say things to the players regarding their assignments. There is a key they know to ascertain if it is a "fake" or "real" instruction.

Anyway, one play I KNOW would work:

1. Team breaks the huddle and goes to the LOS.

2. As they get set I started yelling, "Hang on! Hang!" (Like I normally do.)

3. I go to a player and start talking to him, then look up at my QB and say, "Don't call the play yet!"

Of course that is my team's key, so the QB taps the Center, gets the ball and tosses it to a player.

As mentioned, I don't think I would call that, but it's fun to think about. ;-)

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We run a double pass that is usually good for a long play per game. Have a wideout take a few steps back after the snap and the qb throws him a backwards lateral. The wider you split the receiver the more difficult the reception but he's less likely to get sacked by the middle defenders. Have another receiver run a long flag or out on that side. Inevitably the defenders come in to pull flags and the other receiver on that side is wide. It can get shut down if the defenders play close to the los and react quickly. If we see them playing close, put two receivers over there and delay throwing it. The qb looks downfield and fake pumps then when the rush is on him he turns and throws the lateral. That should buy him time and the other receiver will have pulled the defenders off the los. You could have the double pass guy stand back a few yards off the los and pretend to tie his shoe when the ball is snapped and they'd probably disregard him.

This isn't a trick play per se but we have run a swingout pass with good effect. The halfback runs a wheel route and when he reaches the los the qb hits him. Prior to that the other receivers go long and the qb has to do a good job looking off and fake pumping, then turn and make a good pass to the halfback along the sideline.

Question: What kind of defense do the other teams play? Zone or man? I'm thinking against a zone you could run an Emory and Henry type play. Line up 4 players wide left or right. 3 are blockers on the los and 1 receiver behind them. Throw a screen to the receiver and unless they shifted the zone now you have more blockers than defenders on that side.

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Last year a team ran a number of off the wall plays against my sons team, unfortunately I only remember a few.

1. The coach asks the ref to spot the ball on the right side hash mark (close to the right side line). The formation was trips right (5-on-5) the QB puts a man in motion (biggest kid on team) and he sprints at full speed to the left sideline the QB snaps the ball with this kid in full stride going up the left sideline and makes a quick pass. Result was an easy TD. This guy was at full speed and the defense got smoked. This was similar to the plays they run in arena football.

2. The team lines up in a slip- t or whatever. The ball is slapped and everybody runs back into a tight huddle (who has the ball….??) and then everyone flares out of the huddle all looking like they have the ball. The defense was stunned. It was another touch down for them.

3. The last one was that the ball was handed off to the RB and he pretends to make a big deal about the ball to the ref. trying to show him something (pointing to the ball, etc….). Our guys thought there was a problem and stop pursuit. As the kid got closer to the ref he took off running down field… and another TD.

I thought that these were cheap plays, but have to give them an A+ for creativity. I personally would not run them with the exception of #1 which I will try next weekend. :o)

Cheers

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I thought that these were cheap plays, but have to give them an A+ for creativity. I personally would not run them with the exception of #1 which I will try next weekend.
I'm with you on the trick play deal, most of them are "cheap" and if a team consistently uses them, it takes the fun out of playing straight up football. I think a trick play every once in a while is fine and the kids usually get a kick out of it. Guess it's a good lesson to teach your kids, as soon as they snap the ball go pull flags unless you hear a whistle.

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I am on the fence with "trick" plays. We really do not have any "gadget" plays (heck, we rarely even run a reverse).

I personally don't see them as "cheap", though. If they work, and are within the rules, then more power to the team that executed them in my opinion. It's that old, "Fool me once . . . we won't get fooled again" adage. :-) That stuff does not bother me if a team tries it on us. I actually appreciate it and congratulate the coach on his creativity. Agreed though that these plays should not be a focus and only be allowed once the team has mastered fundamentals.

I also feel there is a time and a place for the truly "deceitful" plays. I would never run them simply because I can, and would never call them if we were leading. I taught the kids the "wrong play, coach" play last season. I did this when I started seeing some teams visciously running up the score on teams. I told myself I would run it if we ever were down by 40 points (which happens in our league) and luckily we never were in the position.

We did run it (and our "Santa Claus" play) against a friend coaching another team---"wrong play" bombed, and "Santa Claus" worked great. It was all in fun and no one became upset about it.

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I had a similar experience with a coach this past season. I coach in a league here in Pennsylvania where we play 11 v 11 Flag for 5-6 (Flag B) and 6-7 (Flag A). Last season, we played fourteen games and lost 1, and won two tournaments. This past year, I had a lot of the same kids and we won a lot more than we lost, but we did lose more this year than last year. One of those losses came from a team we beat twice last year. At no point last year did I run up any scores. The two organizations are cross-town rivals and have been since the early sixties. Anyway, he had run up the score to 21-0 on a week when my boys just didn't show up to play. I was upset but I kept it in. I will want to beat him next year but I must be craeful to not place any more significance on that game than I do on others.

As for trick plays, I have a one...but you need a decent passing game to pull it off.

1) The Old Statue of Liberty

Do I need to explain this one. Even if you miss the pass attempt prior to running this play, just make sure the prior attempt is a twenty or more yard throw. Then run the statue of liberty. You need the receivers to yell, "I'm open!" and the quarterback needs to be a good actor and have a big enough hand to grip the ball until the running back takes it and runs.

2)

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Thanks for your reply. Yes--we have the Statue of Liberty in our arsenal, and I'll call it at least once a game. As you mentioned---we usually throw a few passes first, then run it. I have somewhat of a different version (not like the "true" Statue of Liberty").

I put the kids in a spread formation. I have all the players run a route, the QB drops back to pass and literally cocks his arm back to throw. During this time, I have a player running down the LOS (like an end-around) and take the ball from the QBs hand while his arm is cocked back. We've had very good results with it. Thanks again!

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Gentlemen---I want you to know this is still on. We play this team again on the 21st of this month (our last regular season game). I announced to the team today next week of practice will be "hijinx week" and we are going out with a bang and have some SERIOUS fun. They are ALL looking forward it. I have about five "wacky" plays we will run, but any and all ideas are still welcome. We are going to put on a show. My only other alternative is to play my best players and give them the ball (and I have the best player in our league) over and over (this is what this team does). Or . . . I can let my kids show how "intelligent" they play as a true team, and how brains can beat brawn.

It'a going to be so much fun. This coach is even starting to run off new coaches in our league. See a snippet below from from the email reply of a new coach when asked how he did against this team. I did not tell him anything about what to expect prior to this, as I wanted his genuine opinion. It's guys like this we need to KEEP in the league, not the other kind. See below:

--------------------------

Aww, It was awful. Not the game, the actions of that coach. On of his players got hit in the mouth near our sidelines. The child was crying and in pain. He is yelling "Get in the huddle, toughen up!". Instead of pulling the flag, his team wraps up while "pulling the flag". Running a hurry up......(nice when you are well ahead). See, like I said when I first started. Guys that take this way too seriously make me not want to have anything to do with this. I'm gonna keep going, because it's about the kids. I'll worry about winning when Oklahoma calls me because Stoops has had enough. We try, we play fair, everyone on my team runs the ball. If we win, great, if we lose, fine. I have a couple of pistols on my team who were getting pissed at getting tackled and they started using stiff arms.....I said it loud enough that they started playing tackle too. I'm glad my wife was there to remind me why I vollunteered to do this. Like last week. I declined an offsides penalty to keep the game going. I'm not trying to lose, but having fun and setting an example of good sportsmanship and learning are the most important.

----------------------------

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Some irony here---our schedule has changed, and the only way I can face this team again is if we play them in the Chamionship--which we have a "so-so" chance of making. We have to go through last years' champ to do so (we are playing them for the first time on Saturday---they are a class team).

I won't pull out any of these plays on any other team---so am unsure if these plays will come to fruition this year. Regardless, after the 21st, I'll extol the plays we ran (or would have run). It's fun stuff.

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Some irony here---our schedule has changed, and the only way I can face this team again is if we play them in the Chamionship--which we have a "so-so" chance of making. We have to go through last years' champ to do so (we are playing them for the first time on Saturday---they are a class team).

I won't pull out any of these plays on any other team---so am unsure if these plays will come to fruition this year. Regardless, after the 21st, I'll extol the plays we ran (or would have run). It's fun stuff.

John,

I gues you never wnded up playing those guys again?

Anyone have any new trick plays. Rereading this post made me hungry for more...

BTW, my team this spring is not very talented. My son is the best on the team (and he has just average speed and catching ability).

Our team is 1-2 so far, our only win was on a last second hail mary pass. We got creamed this last Saturday by the one of the top 2 teams in our league 32-0. We didn't get a single 1st down in the game.

I need some trick plays to pull out to try and have some fun with these kids in the game.

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Some irony here---our schedule has changed, and the only way I can face this team again is if we play them in the Chamionship--which we have a "so-so" chance of making. We have to go through last years' champ to do so (we are playing them for the first time on Saturday---they are a class team).

I won't pull out any of these plays on any other team---so am unsure if these plays will come to fruition this year. Regardless, after the 21st, I'll extol the plays we ran (or would have run). It's fun stuff.

John,

I gues you never wnded up playing those guys again?

Anyone have any new trick plays. Rereading this post made me hungry for more...

BTW, my team this spring is not very talented. My son is the best on the team (and he has just average speed and catching ability).

Our team is 1-2 so far, our only win was on a last second hail mary pass. We got creamed this last Saturday by the one of the top 2 teams in our league 32-0. We didn't get a single 1st down in the game.

I need some trick plays to pull out to try and have some fun with these kids in the game.

Can you do a Center Sneak? we did that for a while until league band it. hike the ball get qb to push back..use your fastest guy to play center.

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Some irony here---our schedule has changed, and the only way I can face this team again is if we play them in the Chamionship--which we have a "so-so" chance of making. We have to go through last years' champ to do so (we are playing them for the first time on Saturday---they are a class team).

I won't pull out any of these plays on any other team---so am unsure if these plays will come to fruition this year. Regardless, after the 21st, I'll extol the plays we ran (or would have run). It's fun stuff.

John,

I gues you never wnded up playing those guys again?

Anyone have any new trick plays. Rereading this post made me hungry for more...

BTW, my team this spring is not very talented. My son is the best on the team (and he has just average speed and catching ability).

Our team is 1-2 so far, our only win was on a last second hail mary pass. We got creamed this last Saturday by the one of the top 2 teams in our league 32-0. We didn't get a single 1st down in the game.

I need some trick plays to pull out to try and have some fun with these kids in the game.

Can you do a Center Sneak? we did that for a while until league band it. hike the ball get qb to push back..use your fastest guy to play center.

Yes we've tried the center sneak, but the really good teams in our league put a man right over center on most plays, so it doesn't work on them.

We play the best team in our league this Saturday (better than the team that beat us 32-0 last week), and I am going to put in a trick play or two that I've seen posted here. The team we are playing is very well coached, and they hold their positions really well, so the trick plays must be quick and executed flawlessly to work.

So far I am going to try the statue of liberty and the run out of the huddle play. "Wrong ball" and "What's the Play?" won't work on this team.

I'd really like to use some other "bunch" plays where I put everybody close to the center and try something out of that, or use some trickery out of the trips formation.

Still looking for new ideas, and trying to think of something on my own as well.

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Hello all,

This is my first post here and I registered to share this trick play. I think ideally trick plays should be used for the back yard but it sounds like under circumstances where it makes sense and the kids enjoy it, why not. The trick I'm going to describe was actually used against us during a college game where I was playing.

Offense breaks the huddle comes to the line with two tight ends, no WRs. ( 11 players total) From the defense prospecitve it appears to be 12 players as two of the ends starts arguing saying "I'm in,... I'm in, you're out.. go go..." The "extra" player runs out to the side lines and is in motion as the QB calls the snap. As soon as the "extra" clears the DB the QB throws him a shuffle pass and he is off to the races down the side line. The Defense will start screaming that he was the 12 player but obviously this is the trick. This would clearly be something you might want to mention to the ref before the game.

Great discussion, Ty

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The center end around is going to be a play we utilize frequently. Kind of trick play in that it's unconventional. We've all see the center sneak but this one is different. Instead of going straight up the middle, the center takes the ball and heads down and slightly behind the line of scrimmage. He heads for the sideline and either runs or pulls up to throw. My limited exposure to it in practice shows me that it's a very dangerous play with many variations.

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I don't mean any harm, and I certainly don't want to step on toes--but, here goes--

if it feels wrong, it is. It is not about the play you call, but how well you execute it. Some of the trick plays are simply plays that take advantage of children's innoncence.

That said, the idea of misidrection/where is the ball is fair game and normal football.

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