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Teaching Scheme vs Skills


KFMagee
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I've been coaching youth football going on my 32 season.  Local High School coaches always ask me to run their offense, which in the Dallas area is almost always simplified Spread.  I run more of a West Coast offense from the Wing-T, with my QB under center and lots of play action and mis-direction.  This is a large youth peewee league - 2nf thru 6th grade. 

We run Dive, Belly, WB Reverse, Toss Sweep, Lead and Crossbuck, along with QB Keeper off the Dive fake.  Our passing game in 4th grade is mainly TE Seam, Wback Cross, and X Slant/Post and a Flare pass out of the backfield.  Our Oline blocking scheme is GOLD (Gap - On - Linebacker - Double Team). 

We are in a pretty solid league, and we have smaller suburban kids who listen and hustle - we went 10-0 averaging 28 points a game and I usually pull all my backfield by mid-third quarter.  Why on earth would I want to run a HS offense in elementary school peewee football?  By the time my players gets to HS, the really good coaches there today will move up the ranks and be long gone, and the bad ones will be run off... I'd rather teach solid fundamental football rather than a system.  Anyone disagree with my line of thinking?

Football Director at PSAPlano.org), the largest Youth Organization in Texas
Head Coach - Plano Colts


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gumby_in_co
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Nope.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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chucknduck
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Is that even up for debate?

I've coached under high school varsity head coaches that I wouldn't even want as a bag holder coaching pop warner.  They didn't know basic shit...and they had some championship seasons.   🤷‍♂️


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Bob Goodman
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When you think about it, how much "scheme" do the players actually learn?  They'll be focusing on the skills even if you think you're putting an emphasis on scheme.  To the extent you think, wait a minute, the kids are supposed to be learning the scheme, mostly you'll just be fuzzing their focus.

The closest the players could be said to be learning "scheme" is their assignments, and while they do need to learn them, a lot of that is just the mental part of "skills".  Like if a LB is picking where to fill, is that bit of recognition "scheme" or is it the skill of reaction?


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CoachDP
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Posted by: @kfmagee Anyone disagree with my line of thinking?

No.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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33coach
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teach fundamentals. 
blocking, tackling, pursuit, love of the game. 

if you do that, and you have near 100% retention...you are doing your job no matter what offense/defense you run.

STC & TEs coach - Mission Prep HS
Newly Converted member to the Church of Saint Tubby


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Prodigy
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I do not disagree with your approach.

What's a little humorous about all of this is, the local high school coach will always encourage and want the local pee wee, pop warner or ayf programs to run what they are running...but does the high school coach run what he wants or does he think about what the colleges want him to run to prepare the kids to play at that level?

Also, while some HS coaches stick around forever at a single HS, I've seen a fair amount of turnover also.  You could be dealing with a different high school header every few years all depending on the program at the HS.  I don't think it's reasonable for a youth coach to run what the local high school is running just because...although, if everyone is in-sync and you live in a football town and have community and such, there's the possibility of young kids learning fundamentals as well as scheme that they can master over the years and when they start playing JV ball, they are already prepared and can focus on honing skills and learning new cool things instead of trying to learn a bunch of scheme stuff in the pre season.

If you show up for a fair fight, you are unprepared.


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ZACH
 ZACH
(@bucksweep58)
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Posted by: @kfmagee

I've been coaching youth football going on my 32 season.  Local High School coaches always ask me to run their offense, which in the Dallas area is almost always simplified Spread.  I run more of a West Coast offense from the Wing-T, with my QB under center and lots of play action and mis-direction.  This is a large youth peewee league - 2nf thru 6th grade. 

We run Dive, Belly, WB Reverse, Toss Sweep, Lead and Crossbuck, along with QB Keeper off the Dive fake.  Our passing game in 4th grade is mainly TE Seam, Wback Cross, and X Slant/Post and a Flare pass out of the backfield.  Our Oline blocking scheme is GOLD (Gap - On - Linebacker - Double Team). 

We are in a pretty solid league, and we have smaller suburban kids who listen and hustle - we went 10-0 averaging 28 points a game and I usually pull all my backfield by mid-third quarter.  Why on earth would I want to run a HS offense in elementary school peewee football?  By the time my players gets to HS, the really good coaches there today will move up the ranks and be long gone, and the bad ones will be run off... I'd rather teach solid fundamental football rather than a system.  Anyone disagree with my line of thinking?

I agree but I also over my 20 years coaching have learned to adapt a bit.  

 

Our high school runs an RPO gun style of offense and are really good at it.  My compromise is I'll teach our guys how to run power, counter, bucksweep, and maybe the zone plays, with maybe a read concept off of it. These are the core of their running attack.   Will we be in gun, nope...will the kids be able to block power, follow blocks, and be able to read zone blocking , yep. Soo that's how I get around with it. Nothing's better than having a high school staff promote your program to kids and families they know bc they trust you'll benefit them.

 

Ages 10 and under ide just be running power/counter and some straight ahead running plays with some spice. I think when the kids are middle school age the zone and gap concepts should be taught unless your high school is running something completely foreign to it. 

 

 

I can explain it to you, I can't understand if for you.


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DKTurtle
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The program I'm at is in a small town where the HS coach has been there 20 years. I won't run his system, but I will use his terminology wherever possible. 

Practice makes permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect.


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Seth54
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Posted by: @kfmagee

How do you run your crossbuck?


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gumby_in_co
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Kind of related. Had a conversation with last year's OC who moved to Montana this offseason. He is coaching in a league with many "special" rules. No unbalanced lines, no pulling . . . . stuff like that. He was talking about the motiviation behind these rules with a league guy, his response was, "A lot of coaches focus too much on scheme and don't teach fundamentals. These rules force coaches to focus on fundamentals."

I have so many problems with that 

Don't assume that because a coach teaches a scheme that fundamentals take a backseat.

Don't assume that because a coach doesn't have a scheme that he actually teaches fundamentals.

Don't assume that forcing a vanilla scheme forces anyone to coach anything.

What better way to teach fundamentals than within the context of a scheme?

Good scheme with no fundamentals is no better or worse than a crap scheme with good fundamentals.

By legislating mediocrity among coaches, you have just created the perfect incubator for "give it to the fast kid and stay out of his way".

 

It sounds to me that a bunch of daddy coaches were pissed about getting their tails kicked by a guy running UBSW or something similar and decided to kneecap him with rules.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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Coach E
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Posted by: @gumby_in_co

It sounds to me that a bunch of daddy coaches were pissed about getting their tails kicked by a guy running UBSW or something similar and decided to kneecap him with rules.

This

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.- Marcus Aurelius


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