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Explosive Single Wing Youth Offense

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Tactics, Techniques and Drills for Installing the Single Wing Offense

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Why Use the Single Wing Offense for Youth Football?

Coaching Youth Fooball - Football Plays

Coach Dave Cisar - Winning Youth Football

Series based football is what succeeds in youth football, not the 20 favorite football plays the coach has acquired from coaching or watching TV. If forced to coach something other than the Single Wing, I would use a series based offense that spawned from the Single Wing, which are the Dead T, Markham Double Wing and the Wing T. All are good series based offenses in their own right, but for youth football, the Single Wing has many advantages on each.

Consisting of a nose guard and two down linemen, the coach has the task of deciding who the outside two linemen are - Defensive Ends (DEs) or Densive Tackles (DTs). Often one of the Linebackers (LBs) has zone pass coverage responsibilities in effect employing 5 Defensive Backs (DBs). This is why the 3-4 is often referred to as the "nickel" defense. Having 5 DBs allows for random blitzing by one or more of these backs in order to maintain a sufficient pass rush. The 3-4 is susceptible to the inside run and is used primarily in situations where an interior run is not expected.

Why use the single wing offense?
Before moving to any system one has to ask, what is it going to do for me? Too many youth football coaches either stick with something because itís all they know or they switch to something that is popular in their league. Donít be a lemming, do some research.

The Single Wing has had unparalleled success across the country from Alaska to Florida. There is a small but growing group of very successful High School coaches running the Single Wing from Florida to California ( USA Today Top 20 Colton High). In 2007 alone, three Single Wing teams played in the Virginia High School State Finals. Menominee Michigan just finished up itís 3rd State Title in the last 9 seasons. Just because not many teams in your area are running it, doesnít mean it isnít popular elsewhere. Even a number of college teams today run Single Wing plays and formations, like Florida, West Virginia, Utah, Nevada and Arkansas to name a just few. In todays lingo many call it a multiple shotgun offense, but itís still the Single Wing.

We think the Single Wing Offense makes sense for a variety of reasons:

  • Many youth teams never adjust to the unbalanced formation.
  • Most teams give us numbers advantages before the play even starts.
  • Series based football at itís finest, each play looks like one in the series. no ďone trick poniesĒ.
  • Puts defenses in conflict, they have to pick their poison.
  • You have a simple answer for what defenses are trying to take away within each play series.
  • The snap is much safer, if we fumble the snap we have more room to recover.
  • The ability to snap to 3 different backs is incredibly deceptive.
  • The spin series is the most deceptive and least seen series in football.
  • The defenses are not used to seeing this offense.
  • Scout teams have a hard time emulating this offense.
  • Itís easy to pass out of with the offset fullback and tailback.
  • Fewer handoffs that often cause fumbles, fewer turnovers.
  • No pitch sweeps required to get outside, hence no pitches on the ground, fewer turnovers.
  • Ball control means less time for your defense on the field.
  • Excellent ďCultĒ support system.
  • Overwhelm your opponent at the point of attack.
  • No requirement to have a stud quarterback or big feature back.
  • All the kids get involved in the offense, itís team football at its finest.
  • Itís fun for the kids and the coaches.
  • It doesnít require lots of big or athletic linemen.
  • Great Blocking Angle System.
  • Itís flexible.
  • It maximizes the talent you do have.
  • It has unmatched power. ĖNo quarterback under the center for our pulling linemen to run into.
  • Easy to put anyone in to carry the ball during blowouts.

Selling the Single Wing
For the uninformed, there may be a bit of a selling job required to buy into the Single Wing concept. We were sold on it by viewing film of several very average skilled and sized teams just crush every opponent they faced. Watching Eric Strutz and his State Line Comets or a Todd Bross team score on every possession with average kids sold us on the offense. There is plenty of this type of film available through us. The records of the youth and High School teams that run Single Wing speak for themselves, itís not just my teams that are dong well with this system. Nearly every youth team we know of that is using this offense has done very well with it. The teams that have combined this great offense with a sound practice methodology and a solid defense, have done great.

To get your coaches to buy in, give them DVDs and videos of great youth Single wing teams in action. Ask them to form their own decision for themselves, as they say pictures are worth a thousand words.

My only regret is that we did not do this from the start, I am 100% confident those 4-6 and 2-8 teams I had back in the 90s could have been championship teams or at least 8-2, or 9-1 teams.

Clinics
You may want to consider putting together a coaches clinic of your own and rep the plays and drills with your coaches. Share your enthusiasm and confidence in this system, itís contagious. Our first year running this system went much easier than we anticipated. We have no restrictions on practice time in our city league so I took a small group of six returning players and experimented with the base football plays one month before practice started. We met one day per week for four weeks, which really helped to prepare me for the first day of football practice. We had most of the glitches worked out and now we had a group of kids trained so our other kids would have someone they could copy when they were learning the football plays.

I wish I would have had a DVD or clinic video, as we just had four pages of scribbled notes and a season of game film to work from. Prior to the season starting, we had a two-hour whiteboard clinic for the coaches and we watched some tape of Eric Strutzís State Line Comets youth team. On defense, we had a complete package that consisted of 4 pages of notes and our special teams were just one page. You guys have it all, the benefit of the combined experience of my aggregated 72 teams playing over the last six years (over 820 games) and the leveraged knowledge of over 100 of my coaches. You also get the leveraged knowledge of the fine group of very successful coaches from all over the country that have helped me with the material.

For 200 free youth football coaching tips or to sign up for Daveís free Youth Football Tips newsletter please go to: Single Wing Football

Copyright 2007 Cisar Management.


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