TheSullinator

5 Simple Plays To Base An Offense Around?

4 posts in this topic

Hi, I'm coaching a 5v5 flag football team. Seven kids, all ranging from ages six to eight. So what I'm going to do, and I should've done this with my other teams, is just slowly incorporate more plays each week. I'm going to start with about 5 plays the first couple of weeks, and then adding in more plays as the season progresses.

What I need to know from you is what you think the best five plays to start out with are. I don't want to do a lot of passing, because frankly I don't think they're going to be able to. But what passing plays we actually run will be short.

Right now the two plays I plan on starting out with our a simple slants pass, and then a reverse handoff run. I'm not going to put simple handoffs into my playbook, because those are easy to work with. Not really a lot of teaching required there. I'm looking more for pass plays, and running plays that would require a little bit more in depth explanation, but yet fairly simple for that age group.

Any ideas?

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I'm more in the camp of coming up with 2-3 formations and building plays off of those, to keep it simple for your players. I've found that it's more about the execution of a play than the play itself. Teaching the players to execute good fakes or making sure your QB looks one direction before switching and throwing another direction type thing. FLOOD is a good pass play that usually works a few times per game. All the players line up right next to each other on one side of the ball. Everyone but the center runs slant routes across the field. The center takes a step back and runs the opposite way across the los. QB looks to the slants as if to pass to them, then dumps a short pass to the center coming across the opposite way. Worked well.

Some of this depends on the skill level of your players and how much time you have to practice each week. I know this doesn't give you actual plays, but I think you could probably scan through the plays section, pick a few formations and build on those.

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For that age kids, in my experience, you will benifit from getting the exhanges down first....center to QB and QB to RB.....if the kids can be quick and snappy with the center exchange and the handoff....get the ball as quick as possible to the RB and get the RB moving up field as quickly as possible, you will do well. spent lots of practice time with a line of kids behind the QB taking handoffs....a pile of balls next to the center, and repeat repeat repeat...working with the QB on his footwork and getting the ball delivered to the RB (deliver the bread to the gut).....and working with the RB's to recieve the hand off with the alligator arms...

We did straight run right, straight run left, sweep right, sweep left, and then put in a qucik short shovel pass.....those plays, along with your reverse (I actually prefer the fake reverse over the reverse) and the flood mentioned above and you should be set to go.

for that age, the quicker you can get the man with the ball moving north and south, the better......

If you have kids that are talented enough to pull it off, the quick pass out to the WR (bubble screen type play) is also a crowd pleaser.

Good luck.

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I'm not sure that telling you "build your offense around these 5 plays" is going to help you, its really going to come down to your own personal style and the kids that you have on your team.

Some of the material I have read recommends boiling what you do down to its simplest form, or 1 play, or one thing that you intend to do really well, then putting the building blocks around that to compliment it. In Tackle football this is often broken down to: The Power, Zone run, Read Option, jet sweep, or something similar, or it could be just a fundamental belief of Speed, spreading teams out/getting ball to fast guys in space, or we are just going to out power you.

I personally start my offense with: How will I get everyone the ball? For me, my smartest kid (and hopefully one of my better athletes) is typically my QB (he touches the ball every play, and in my league he is allowed to run so really don't want him devoid of athleticism), often my best Athlete (if its not the QB) lines up at essentially a TE slot as almost any route he runs will start closer to the QB (so the QB can get it to him easier), and on handoff plays it hits very fast and gets one of my faster athletes to the edge, My play that goes off this is a counter that after the QB fakes a handoff to TE he then hands off to running back going in the opposite direction (even on handoffs to the TE the QB then does a fake to the RB so the defense gets used to seeing the QB doing that).

So to get your first play consider the following:

You say you plan to build primarily on the run game, have you given thoughts to where you will put your best athlete? Think about how your opponents are likely to line up against you, what is a play that you feel pretty confident going against most defenses that is built on solid fundamentals of the game, particularly a play that works well with the type of kid you plan to put in this position.

For your Second play, consider how if you were on the defensive side of the ball, what would you do to stop play number 1. Lets say you have a TE around or a Jet Sweep as your first play, because of how quick of a hitting that play is, defensive players may vastly over compensate on the handoff motion, that a counter to the other side would be very difficult to stop. For the entire team both of these plays look identical, only difference is who gets the ball.

I would keep adding the other plays in this manner of thinking who you want to get the ball to and the areas of the field you want to attack. If defense spreads out and leave middle open you want to be able to take advantage of that, if defense condenses you want to be able to attack on the perimeter, etc.

As far as your passing plays go, sounds like you know you don't want to pass that frequently, have you given thoughts to the actual frequency? 10%, 20%? If you are going to only pass 20% of the time, i would structure your practices in the same manner (that you aren't practicing passing more than 20%) and that for every pass play, you have 4 running plays.

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For me personally when planning out the offense i tend to try to compartmentalize the plays as much as possible. If I point to "billy" and say block, then point at "johnny" and say Spiderman, all billy is worried about is blocking the closest guy, while Johnny knows he executes the one play that he gets the ball. On next play perhaps I tell Billy "Flash", and Johnny "block", In this manner my plays are bottlenecked by the QB, which tends to be the smartest player on the team (or atleast the one that will practice the plays at home).

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I hope this makes sense and helps. Sorry not more specific but I feel what you need isn't "here is 5 plays run them", but rather a methodology of how to narrow your already existing system/playbook down to 5 starter plays.


As a side note, I completely disagree that "handoffs are simple" at this age and strongly agree with cazador suerte around exchanges, getting kids to remove false steps and taking the handoff w/o hesitation and at full speed is something I spend a LOT of my practice time on all year long and even by the end of the year I still don't feel it's as crisp as I want ideally (granted I work with pretty limited practice time). Also a "simple handoff" right up the middle can often get some huge yardage against the right defense w/ the right runner, forces the defense to adjust which helps open up passes and runs to the outside, and it can also be a good play to help spread the ball to some of the kids not quite as quick, while still lulling the defense to sleep for the next big play.

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