Winning isn't everything, but the will to win is everything. -- Vince Lombardi
I’ve read this article before and to be honest I don’t have the balls to try it. I also am a 5-4-2 kickoff return guy. I coach 12 & under so the onside is always in play and in fact, that’s how I came to the 5-4-2 look. We use to run a 6-3-1 but were getting killed with the onside kick. The 5-4-2 has worked wonders for us.
This is how I line my team up...the center is off set to the kickers right by a yard or so
X X -X X X
I ran this last year. It worked great! I was mostly concerned with Onside kicks, which is why I chose it. Only Onside I remember giving up was when a kid on the front line caught the ball and tried to run with it and got leveled... thus fumbling.
The key is to teach the kids to run full steam ahead and HIT THEIR MAN! If they do that and an onside blazes past them, they are keeping the kicking team at bay while the 3 receivers get to the ball.
I like this scheme, due to simplicity and the prevalence of onsides kicks in the youth leagues. also, you have less space between blockers and their men-that has to be good.
And every blocker on the return team knows who he is blocking before the kick and heads straight at him as soon as the kicker's foot touches the football. This increases the block rate percentage, thus improving the return and reducing risk of kicking team recovering the ball.
I am thinking of running this for the 8-2-1 KO return. The front two lines are 2 1/2 yards apart (depth from front line to second) and block from the middle out. Whoever gets the ball runs middle and the other two backs lead up the middle. If there is an onside kick the front line blocks the second line gets the ball.
E O O O O O O O O E
X X X X
X X X X
check out http://www.coaches-clinic.com/If any thing goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, we did it. If anything goes really good, then you did it. That's all it takes to get people to win football games for you. ~Paul Bear Bryant
We had one front line, not two. We taught to get out of the way. Couple opponents kicked their onside kicks as line drives directly at our front line, with the hopes of it bouncing off our kids and right back at them. It worked well for our opponents if the kickers aim was good because we had taught our kids to get out of the way and they didn't always have time to do so, thus bouncing off them. After a couple games like this, we taught them all to catch it if it comes at you (always use best athletes on KO/KR) and we were much more successful.
I use a 5-4-2.
But the 2nd row of 4 kids were within 5 yards of the front line. The front line was also taught to stand facing the middle guy. Exposing their sides, not their front.
Middle guy in Middle, next guy on Hashes, next guy on numbers. The middle guy was really the only guy i had to worry about in regards to line drive kicks. And he was a RB/OLB type kid with very specific instructions to dodge the ball and then go hit the kid that kicked it at you.
Basically we had 9 guys up, but did so with limiting our exposure to line drives.
Bridge Creek, OK