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Punting in Youth Football?

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Coach Jeff
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Hey coaches,

What are your thought on punting in youth football? Do you punt: yes, no, sometimes?  If you punt, do you utilize a spread formation or more of a tight formation.

For us,if we are pinned back in our own end we will usually punt. Also, if my kids are a little older then we will punt a little more often. I will say that this past season we've punted probably 50% less than we did the past couple seasons. This generated mixed results. There were times where it payed off and there were some situations were it hurt us a little bit. Lucky, we were able to move the ball pretty consistently so we didn't have to think as much about punting.  Just want to hear your thoughts... 

Coach Jeff
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ZACH
 ZACH
(@bucksweep58)
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We only punt when we want them to have the ball... we baught into the Pulaski academy mindset

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


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Coach Jeff
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Yeah, I think I've punted less and less every season...lol

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Michael
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The worse the field position for you, the better the field position for them after the punt, obviously, so even when you're backed up, it's not necessarily a screaming do.

How many times do you get a team in fourth down and then are relieved when they punt?

Michael can not receive PM's, emails or respond to Posts. He passed away in September 2018. To honor his contributions we are leaving his account active. R.I.P - Dumcoach Staff.


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Coach Jeff
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Good point.  We've started to go for it a lot more than we usually do in years past.

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COACH JC
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Depends on our punter. If we have a really good one, we'll use him. If not, we wont.

Also, competition & flow of the game matter.

It's all about having fun.  But losing aint fun!


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jrk5150
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Actually, we've started punting more as I've coached older kids (still only 11-12) and better competition.  Of course...more means I punted 3-4 times in 8 games last year. But I think I punted 3-4 times total in the 6-7 years prior to that.  🙂

And both age and competition is an important factor.  At the 9-10 age group, it was a toss up as to whether we could execute the snap and punt and get the ball past our line of scrimmage.  And if we did, then we had to go cover the punt and tackle their best player in space.  No, thanks. The odds just weren't worth it. I don't believe it ever hurt us in those 6-7 years.

However, at my current age group (second year there), we actually have kids who can get the ball 20-30 yards down the field. So the execution of the punt is a little easier.

As for competition - at 9-10's we were rarely ever backed up inside our own 20.  There really wasn't much opportunity for that. If a team was good enough to drive down there, chances are they were going to score.  We didn't have too many games where we'd give up a 40-50 yard drive then suddenly stop them, and then not be able to move the ball ourselves. If they were good enough to shut us down, then they were good enough to score on us.  We just hardly ever played a team even up where we got stuck in our end. I can only think of one game where we were pinned deep (by a punt as a matter of fact) in those 6-7-years.

Currently, in the older age group and against consistently better competition, we are finding that we can give up a few first downs and then tighten up and stop them, and vice versa.  AND, we're running into other teams that can punt, so stopping them at the 50 means we still might end up pinned deep in our end. So field position is coming into play a tad more than it used to. Still not often. But at least now we practice it, LOL.


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patriotsfatboy1
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As kids get older and they can actually make it worth it, then we added punts. Prior to 7th grade, we never punted. In 7th grade we punted 3 times. In 8th grade, we probably punted 5-6 times.

I am not a fan. Half of the time, we don't execute well. We probably don't practice it enough to be good at it, but there are lots of other things I would rather be good at.

I love when our opponents punt. I also like it when they go for it. 😉


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Coach Jeff
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Great feedback coach!  What we do is we will line up in our shotgun formation and direct snap and have the QB kick it. This prevented a lot of returns.

Actually, we've started punting more as I've coached older kids (still only 11-12) and better competition.  Of course...more means I punted 3-4 times in 8 games last year. But I think I punted 3-4 times total in the 6-7 years prior to that.  🙂

And both age and competition is an important factor.  At the 9-10 age group, it was a toss up as to whether we could execute the snap and punt and get the ball past our line of scrimmage.  And if we did, then we had to go cover the punt and tackle their best player in space.  No, thanks. The odds just weren't worth it. I don't believe it ever hurt us in those 6-7 years.

However, at my current age group (second year there), we actually have kids who can get the ball 20-30 yards down the field. So the execution of the punt is a little easier.

As for competition - at 9-10's we were rarely ever backed up inside our own 20.  There really wasn't much opportunity for that. If a team was good enough to drive down there, chances are they were going to score.  We didn't have too many games where we'd give up a 40-50 yard drive then suddenly stop them, and then not be able to move the ball ourselves. If they were good enough to shut us down, then they were good enough to score on us.  We just hardly ever played a team even up where we got stuck in our end. I can only think of one game where we were pinned deep (by a punt as a matter of fact) in those 6-7-years.

Currently, in the older age group and against consistently better competition, we are finding that we can give up a few first downs and then tighten up and stop them, and vice versa.  AND, we're running into other teams that can punt, so stopping them at the 50 means we still might end up pinned deep in our end. So field position is coming into play a tad more than it used to. Still not often. But at least now we practice it, LOL.

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PSLCOACHROB
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It was always based on competition for us. We would install punt and always practiced it but rarely used it during the regular season. In regionals we would use it and you see it at nationals quite a bit. Had a team we should of beat handily at nationals keep it really close due in part to a great punter. With a good punt team you can beat teams that maybe without it you wouldn't. Anything under 5 yards and outside our 20 we would almost always go for it.


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Shaggyd99
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I’m moving up to the 12/13 YO level next season and have coached throughout the younger levels for five seasons…we’ve never punted.  That being said there were a couple times last season, with the 11/12 YO’s, where I thought we probably should’ve punted versus going for it on 4th and 8 from our own 30. 

For next season I’m toying with idea of quick kicks.  I’ve seen teams punt at this level and it’s almost the same scenario each time…ball goes 25 to 35 yards (low line drive type kick), the defensive team fields it with nobody within 10 yards of them, they make move or two and get like 20 yards on the return.  Net 10 / 15 yards.  Little to no advantage here IMHO.

I watched a team last year quick kick twice during a game.  The first kick bounced  / rolled / tumbled for almost 60 yards and the other pinned the opponent inside their 10 yard line (~40 yard kick).  Now that’s an advantage I’d like to explore.

Anyone ever quick kick?


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patriotsfatboy1
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I’m moving up to the 12/13 YO level next season and have coached throughout the younger levels for five seasons…we’ve never punted.  That being said there were a couple times last season, with the 11/12 YO’s, where I thought we probably should’ve punted versus going for it on 4th and 8 from our own 30. 

For next season I’m toying with idea of quick kicks.  I’ve seen teams punt at this level and it’s almost the same scenario each time…ball goes 25 to 35 yards (low line drive type kick), the defensive team fields it with nobody within 10 yards of them, they make move or two and get like 20 yards on the return.  Net 10 / 15 yards.  Little to no advantage here IMHO.

I watched a team last year quick kick twice during a game.  The first kick bounced  / rolled / tumbled for almost 60 yards and the other pinned the opponent inside their 10 yard line (~40 yard kick).  Now that’s an advantage I’d like to explore.

Anyone ever quick kick?

I can't think of a situation where I would quick kick.  If I have 3rd and a mile deep in my territory, I still feel that I can get a first down out of it. 


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jrk5150
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I think - don't know - that by "quick kick" he means kicking from a non-punting formation. So kick out of a "regular" shotgun snap or a toss or something like that. The D can't really put someone back to field it, they have to play you straight up.

When my son was on JV at his HS, they didn't have a punt team in place (JV wasn't really organized, was just the kids who didn't play Friday night showing up Saturday to play, but that's another story).  They would just have their QB kick out of shotgun to "punt". I can remember a couple of times he kicked it into the OL or the FB who stepped in front of him.  That's what happens when you have a kid who isn't a kicker kicking and don't practice it.  Of course, the coaches didn't care, nothing mattered to them except Friday nights...


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spidermac
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Our league has some goofy punting rules...but we punted probably 5 or 6 times last season...and they worked out really well...we have a couple of soccer players who can kick the snot out of the ball...and my son is a deep snapper for his HS team, so he has taught 3 or 4 boys how to do it, 2 of them are quite good. None of our punts were returned at all last season and all of them went at least 25 yards. We had one that went for about 40 after it hit and rolled.

On the flip side...we returned maybe 5 punts last year. One for a score, another inside the bad guys 20.

We also spent about 30 minutes a week on special teams, after spending about an hour an a half on it in pre-season...our special teams were really good last season.

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


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Shaggyd99
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I can't think of a situation where I would quick kick.  If I have 3rd and a mile deep in my territory, I still feel that I can get a first down out of it.

Same here, thus the reason we've never punted  :).  Ever keep track of how many times you actually got the 1st down versus loss of downs?  I haven’t not but it sure feels like we turned the ball over more than we made it!


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