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Offense for 7U?  

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Coyote
(@coyote)
Bronze
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 187
3rd - 5th
Coordinator
September 16, 2020 12:01 pm  

Greetings Coaches, 

I was watching the 7U (the "Pee Wees" in our league) practice for a bit, last night, IMO the coaches at that level have the hardest job in our league.   

Got me to wondering, what offense do you /would you / have you run with kids from 5 to 7 yrs old?

Thanx

 

Umm.... why does that 6 ft tall 9 yr old have a goatee...?


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
Platinum
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 4148
September 16, 2020 12:08 pm  

We got in and out of Beast a lot because our snaps were about 60% over the season.

When we weren't running that, we were running something we call "Monster", which is based on what looks like a jet sweep with an inside hand off. So the "sweep" starts about a yard deep. Runner is taught "red light/green light". 

I guess we're running that now, but with more moving parts.

Most teams run "fast guy right/fast guy left". Still do and we're now in 4th grade.

Most "complex" offense was a side saddle UBSW with Jet sweep as a base play run by another team who still runs it. We still haven't solved that offense, but will get a chance this season. I feel like this is the year.

This post was modified 1 month ago by gumby_in_co

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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spidermac
(@spidermac)
Gold
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 2440
September 16, 2020 12:12 pm  

I have run DTDW with the Buck Wedge Series as the base...everything looks the same to the defense, and the boys only have to know how do do a couple of things.

None of them suck, they just haven't found what the kid is good at yet.


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terrypjohnson
(@terrypjohnson)
Bronze
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 281
United States
Head Coach
September 16, 2020 2:44 pm  

I would go with the scheme that you can teach the best.

Here's what's worked for me. In my first two years, I've run a Balanced Single Wing (it looked like Bruce Eien's Fat Formation if you need a visual) with my 8U's. This season, I've moved to a Shotgun Double Wing (same as BSW only RB lines up opposite of the strong side) and a DTDW with the backs already shifted (e.g. FB is offset to the strong side, WB is lined up ready to catch the pitch).

Most importantly, I'm using both SAB and GOLD (Gap - On - LB - Down) blocking. I've incorporated that into the play the call so they know which one to use (e.g. Laser tells you SAB to the left). If your kids don't know their left from their right, have them get opposite colored sweat bands. Last year's team didn't know what SAB Left was... but they knew they needed to take a Blue step when Laser was called and a Red step when Razor was called.

Keep us posted on how you do... best of wishes this season!

Coach Terry

Fight 'em until Hell freezes over, then fight 'em on the ice -- Dutch Meyer


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17398
North Carolina
High School
September 16, 2020 3:08 pm  

At 5-7, I'm not running a scheme.  There's no reason to.  I'm not facing a scheme.  

Depending on how limiting the rules are, I would do the following:

Teach my Center and QB the give and take of a safe, sound snap.  Teach my offensive line to down block.  Teach my QB and RBs how to exchange the hand-off.  Teach my Backs how to file in and block behind the play side.  Teach one cadence.  I doubt that I would vary in any of this: in other words, no other blocking scheme except down blocking; no other way to get the football to Backs other than a hand-off, no varying the snap counts.  We would not waste time on pitching the ball, passing the ball, or base-blocking.  Since "defenses" at that age level seem to think there's a requirement to putting 16 defenders in the box, I would have an outside play (Sweep).  I would also have an inside play (Wedge).  I would have an off-tackle edge play (Power).  And a misdirection play (Reverse or Counter).  If my QB is fast, then I'm adding a Boot.  

I will run from one formation: DW, Maryland-I or Bone and stick with that, unless I find that I'm a good enough coach to add another formation.  If I am, then we would add a Beast look, from under Center.

Scheme means absolutely ZERO at this age level.  Games are not or won or lost because of scheme, but because one team was horrible, while their opponent was merely bad.  Or one team was trying to do more than they had practiced well to do.  So on game day, they were snapping the ball over the head of the QB, the QB was pitching the ball over the head of the Back, the offensive line was doing the same thing in the game that they'd been taught to do at practice (just stand there).  Whoever wins is simply not as bad as their opponent.  And the worst team that day either doesn't rep, doesn't know what to rep, doesn't know how to teach a fundamental to rep.  In the land of the blind, it's the one-eye man who is king.  Or focus on the fundamental of aggression.  Or, you could do both.

--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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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17398
North Carolina
High School
September 16, 2020 3:23 pm  
Posted by: @coyote

I was watching the 7U (the "Pee Wees" in our league) practice for a bit, last night, IMO the coaches at that level have the hardest job in our league. 

Yes, and no.  Yes, from a standpoint of getting kids to listen/understand/execute.  No, from a standpoint that the coaches don't need to have Lincoln Riley, Gus Malzhan or Brent Venables-expertise.  The problem/frustration/conflict comes in when coaches are wanting to (or thinking they can) teach scheme at a level that doesn't really require it.  ("We can't get all of our plays in!") Then on Saturday, there's 12 fumbles, 6 over the head snaps and an innumerable amount of missed blocks between the two teams.  Teaching scheme is the least of their problem, but they act as if it's their greatest challenge.

Opening a locked door with a watermelon is a great challenge.  Opening a locked door with the right key is so simple that we don't even have to think about it.  If you are seeing frustrated coaches, and players who are in la-la land, then it's the RESULT of coaches being at a loss for how to proceed.  They are trying to open a locked door with a watermelon and blaming the door (or the watermelon).  They won't even consider ditching the watermelon.  They'll continue to try that all year, until the season ends.  Just maybe, MAYBE, the right coach will come along (ahem, "coyote") and ask them, "Hey guys, why are you trying to use a watermelon to open a locked door?"  Oh sure, they'll roll their eyes at you and ask, "So what would you use, Mr. Smartguy?"  And then you could pull a key out of your pocket and show them how that works.  Just sayin'.  (Even though their HC will just come over and nix it because when he played, they used a watermelon.  "The problem is with these kids.  They just won't pay attention.")

It's easy to think their job is hard when they are yelling all of the time because they don't know how to get kids to listen and be engaged.  Make no mistake about it, getting kids to listen and engage is a skill worthy of Lombardi and Walsh.  Pity that the youth coaches don't seem to think so.  They think, "These kids are just too young to listen," when they should be asking themselves, "What can I do to get them to listen?"

--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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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
Platinum
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 4148
September 16, 2020 3:44 pm  

@coachdp

Here's why coaching 7Us is HARD. It is physically exhausting. Mentally and emotionally, it fills my cup, but physically . . . wow. It's like you run 5 miles at practice . . . 5 steps at a time.

Ask Mahonz to tell the story of his "special teams baby ducks". "Follow me!"

 

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17398
North Carolina
High School
September 16, 2020 4:03 pm  

Lar, the focus for a 5-7 coach has to be on communication expertise, which is a focus on the words you use, how you use them, and how animated you are when you use them.  Can you "work the room?"  Can you hold their interest?  It's not about blitz packages and passing routes.  If you are dedicated to being organized, clear in your instruction, and holding their attention, then it's far easier to be successful because you will already have the most important tools.

I'll tell you a story about my first jamboree coaching 7-9s in my first year as a header.  We were standing in the end zone getting ready to take the field and I'd just given them my best motivational/win it for the gipper/fire and brimstone speech when I ended it with, "LET'S GO!!!"  As I started out towards the center of the football field to get a last minute instruction from the official, I turned and saw that my entire team was following me single file out to where the referee was.  I stopped and asked them, "Where are you going?"  One of my players spoke up and replied, "Coach, you said, 'Let's go.'"

First coaching note to myself: be very clear not only in my words but my intent.

--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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CoachDP
(@coachdp)
Kryptonite
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17398
North Carolina
High School
September 16, 2020 4:04 pm  
Posted by: @gumby_in_co

It is physically exhausting. Mentally and emotionally, it fills my cup, but physically . . . wow. It's like you run 5 miles at practice . . . 5 steps at a time.

Coaching ball is like that for me, even with high schoolers.

--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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ZACH
 ZACH
(@bucksweep58)
Diamond
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 9393
Coach
September 16, 2020 5:28 pm  

Beast is hella fun at any level. I enjoyed coach gregory double bull/bear package.

 

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


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Coyote
(@coyote)
Bronze
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 187
3rd - 5th
Coordinator
September 17, 2020 4:42 pm  

Coaches, 

Thanx, your comments are helpful and insightful.   Dave... I don't know if you always intend to, but you crack me up sometimes.  

Umm.... why does that 6 ft tall 9 yr old have a goatee...?


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Prodigy
(@prodigy)
Gold
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 2484
September 25, 2020 2:15 pm  

I started as a HC running the single wing.  I had a decent season followed by an absolutely horrific season and I was ready to hang it all up.  My youngest son was just old enough to start playing flag football and nobody wanted to coach flag (5-7).  I was strongly encouraged by my then-wife to coach flag...and it's the story of how I got my groove back...well technically I don't think I had a groove, but I started to find one.

We ran Cisars UBSW and did extremely well with it.  I believe that unbalanced and direct snap was banned at 5-7 that season...or maybe it was already banned and we ran it anyways because it was only flag.  There was no official scores or winners and losers but the kids sure knew who won.  I actually had a blast with the little guys.  They were every bit as enthusiastic and serious as their padded counterparts.  Heck, by the end of the season, many of the kids were making tackles when they couldn't pull the flags off of their opponents.  We were "x-men" blocking.  As already stated though, at this age group you're not really playing against a scheme.  What ends up happening (and this actually holds true for many older age groups) - is the play goes "fast kid left | fast kid right".  It doesn't matter if the line blocks or not, what you need is a successful center/QB exchange and a successful hand-off or toss OR a direct snap to the fastest kid.  But you're going to do everyone a disservice if you're not putting in the work to build the team, teach blocking and some sort of blocking scheme and some assignments.

With all of this said.  I coached in a format where there 8U ended up being the first level of tackle, meaning the following year the kids would move up to 9U together.
If we had a 5-7U tackle program, I would probably lay the foundation for the DTDW. 

I would probably change the order in which we installed the plays.  Much time would be spent on wedge.  10/11 Wedge (QB Keep) would be our first play, followed by 41/40 (FB Wedge).  Next play might actually be FB trap.  The last to go in would be power and counter and sweep.  We would work the motion and the toss daily...well someone else would because I would be working the offensive line.  The hope would be that midway through the season we could run power like the big boys.

Maybe I'm too ambitious but I think I could pull it off.  I have no doubt that it would be ugly initially, but I have learned some tricks along the way that should make it work.  We'd have a tremendous amount of fun with it all.

If I was primarily interested in just winning and not really developing the players all too much, I would probably run beast or UBSW.  I don't say that as a slight towards anyone.  I just feel that direct snap football doesn't develop the center or the QB in a way that translates well to any other system.   

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


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32wedge
(@32wedge)
Silver Moderator
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 696
Virginia
Middle School
Only / Head Coach
September 25, 2020 5:00 pm  

When I coached that age many moons ago, I used a double tight power t formation and ran sweep right, sweep left, FB dive, TE pop pass and bootleg away from the sweeps.  That was plenty for 5 and 6 year olds and it worked great.

 

If I coach that age again (I wish I had accepted the 5/6 year old team I was offered a couple months ago), I would run unbalanced single wing.  I would teach one blocking scheme, everyone blocking down to the strong guard.  We would run power strong and counter weak with the blocking back kicking and the FB leading on both, FB wedge at the strong guard, sweep with the WB blocking down on the defensive end and BB and FB leading around the edge, and I would probably install a pop pass to the weak side TE.  I would stick with those 5 plays, install a simple defense (6-2 or 5-3 depending on what stupid rules they have at that age) and spend my time teaching ball security, line blocking down, backs kick blocking and lead blocking, tackling, pursuit and contain on defense.  If we can hold on to the ball, tackle and block a little, we will be a tough team for anyone.


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Seth54
(@seth54)
Copper
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 23
September 25, 2020 8:51 pm  

We had a big turnout this year since some of the neighboring clubs are shuttered for the year so we have a C team with my 9U guys. It’s basically made up of 8 year olds who are first-time players, and they would definitely lose to our top 6-7 team(my club has 2 teams at that age group), so pretty similar to what you guys are seeing. 

The club wants them to run the same offset I formation that all the teams use as a base. So I have them running FB dive, TB iso, and a wing back counter that I would almost never call, except as a reward if that kid was blocking his ass off. 

if I had my druthers, I would probably run in traditional I formation with a wing back and base my offense off of double dive or what I know as FB and TB Belly. It’s what I did as a kid with a lot of success, we wedged the FB belly from day 1 and we cross blocked the TB Belly as we got older. It was a really nice way to run some incredibly simplified misdirection at a young age. 


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ZACH
 ZACH
(@bucksweep58)
Diamond
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 9393
Coach
September 26, 2020 10:50 pm  

The 7-9 might mite team I oline coach for runs an Double tight I form with basic I plays. We have 3 runs to each side and no pulling.  We block big on big. We won 26-6 today only running out off tackle lead and fb dive . The oc called and pass play, head coach called time out and over rules never saw that before but warranted. 

 

Best advice on this thread is coach potters. I'll take his advice on this to the bank any day.  

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


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