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Spread No-huddle

Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 322
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Does anyone have any good articles on spread no huddle communication?  I am particularly interested in the hand signals so we can play fast.

Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 4510

We're 100% "check with me" and never huddle. We run 3 offensive sets: regular, which I've dubbed "mega wing", Unbalanced Beast and 5 wide empty. Not quite "spread", but we run and pass out of all 3 sets without huddling.

We had an issue with a team with very loud fans who were obviously trying to drown out our play calls (hats off them, BTW). I came up with a hand signal system that will work for us, but I'm the only fan of it. If it happens again, we'll go with a hasty megaphone.

I don't want to give up our specific secrets publicly, but I'm willing to share what we do over PM.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.

Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 12408

There are 647 threads on this very subject. Nobody agrees about the best way to communicate for no huddle. Going fast is not so much about communication and more about how you practice. If you don't practice fast you can't play fast.

Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 847

Does anyone have any good articles on spread no huddle communication?  I am particularly interested in the hand signals so we can play fast.

Lots of different ways to do it.  My personal favorite is just yelling the call in and have the kids relay it--use "odd" and "even" to denote left and right, then name all your plays with codewords instead of calling them "sweep" or whatever.  The kids pick up on that really quickly and it's hard for opponents to figure out because they have to get themselves lined up..  Maybe signal pass routes with your hands yelling in the protection.  Then run a freeze play once or twice a series instead of trying to change snap counts.

Some teams just use a wristband with the formation, play, motion, and any tags written on it.  They yell in a number from the sidelines, everyone looks at their band to get the play (or maybe just their assignment on the play), and they go.  I've done that before and that's my 2nd favorite choice after yelling the play in, but making wristbands is a pain and you have to go through and make sure everything's correct on there, as well as on your call sheet.

Others have a system where they just signal in the formation, then they make a 2-3 word call at the line with keywords.  One word is the play, one tells the direction of the play (Gus Malzahn uses colors), and any other words are tags.  For passes, the word for "direction" would signal the protection, the play would be the concept, and the tags could be tags or a dummy word.

Hand signals can be whatever you want them to be, honestly.  To cut down on verbiage to communicate, try to layer information in your calls so that you can communicate 2-3 things with one word by making it something like girl's name means one thing, boys' name means another and the first letter tells the OL the blocking scheme.

If you want your kids to use hand signals, let THEM make the hand signals up.  When you teach something, ask them "ok guys, what are we going to use to signal this."  It helps build ownership and pride in the team.  Within a minute, they'll have thrown more ideas at you than you can keep up with.  Just pick one and go.  Ask the kid to repeat it if you need it or just yell the word in if you forget.

You can also use a body clock system for signaling in numbers: think of your body like the number pad on a phone:  Your head and ears are the first 3 numbers.  Your collar bone and sternum the next 3.  Hips and Belly Button are the bottom 3.  Belt Buckle can be "0."

There are tons of ways to do this.  The cool thing about focusing on No Huddle communication is that it forces you to get really concise and clear with your communication and your till don't HAVE to move at light speed if you don't want to.

Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 216