Onside kick recovery/return  


Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 3254
October 20, 2014 4:55 am  

We have a team that we are playing tomorrow who will live and die by the onside against us.  They will run one from the huddle up the middle and they will have more traditional spread out formation kicking over the first level.

We are looking at keeping our guys tighter until they break the huddle, but are there any good rules of thumb for the hands team when the other team is good at the onside?

Bob Goodman
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 9492
New Jersey
3rd - 5th
Asst Coach
October 20, 2014 7:38 am  

One bit of advice may seem obvious to you, but unfortunately is not in the club where I'm coaching: Don't have your front line receive team players toe their restraining line.  For no reason I understand, around here almost all the teams do that, which is no help under practically any circumstance.  Have that front line far enough back to give them a little more time to react, yet still be able to cover all the ground where an onside kick might be recovered.

Use a "poison" call from the sideline for short free kicks.  That is, if the kickoff just dribbles a short distance and is no threat to reach the receiving team's restraining line, yell, "Poison!"  That means, "Stay away from the ball."  But in case you accidentally call it on a ball that's still rolling forward and then looks belatedly like it could roll over the line, have another call to tell your team to go for the ball.  (If you think you can punish the other team by taking the chance to advance a short kick, then by all means skip the advice in this paragraph.)

Teach your receiving players to recognize how far the ball is likely to travel, so they won't turn around uselessly to play a ball that's going far past them instead of blocking.  Reps with a thrown ball can help with this if you're not good at placing the ball with your foot.  Teach them that the air is their friend, so they should try to play a chipped kick before it hits the ground.