Teaching Scheme vs ...
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Teaching Scheme vs Skills

Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 270
Topic starter  

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

Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 4773


When in doot . . . glass and oot.

Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 420

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.   🤷‍♂️

KFMagee liked
Bob Goodman
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 9730

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?

Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 18112
Posted by: @kfmagee Anyone disagree with my line of thinking?



"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

Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 358

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

Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 2531

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.