Why Use the Single Wing Offense for Youth Football?
Coach Dave Cisar
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.
use the single wing offense?
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 it’s 3rd State Title in the last 9 seasons. Just because not many teams in your area are running it, doesn’t mean it isn’t 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 it’s still the Single Wing.
We think the Single Wing Offense makes sense for a variety of reasons:
the Single Wing
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.
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 Strutz’s 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.
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