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Punting in Youth Football?  

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Dimson
(@dimson)
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June 8, 2017 11:14 am  

We punted last year with 8U. It worked great until nationals when he booted it high into the air and got caught in a strong head wind. The kick ended up netting us a 5 yard difference, maybe. Keep in mind, this kid could routinely kick it well over 20 yards any other time we punted.


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KBurke24
(@kburke24)
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June 24, 2017 6:07 am  

We punted zero times last year. We never even practiced it. At this level its about chunk plays, and number of possessions IMO. Why willingly give the ball to the other team? More importantly, why take the chance of giving the ball to their best play maker (their punt returner)? We loved when the other team punted to us. You're telling me our most athletic player gets the ball in space, for free? AWESOME. Even if I knew it would net 30+ yards guaranteed, I would still take the chance to run one more offensive play than my opponent and try and break one. Also, we onside kick on every single kickoff. We don't try to hide it or anything, we put the ball sideways on the tee. Just my thoughts 🙂


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PSLCOACHROB
(@pslcoachrob)
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June 24, 2017 1:14 pm  

We punted zero times last year. We never even practiced it. At this level its about chunk plays, and number of possessions IMO. Why willingly give the ball to the other team? More importantly, why take the chance of giving the ball to their best play maker (their punt returner)? We loved when the other team punted to us. You're telling me our most athletic player gets the ball in space, for free? AWESOME. Even if I knew it would net 30+ yards guaranteed, I would still take the chance to run one more offensive play than my opponent and try and break one. Also, we onside kick on every single kickoff. We don't try to hide it or anything, we put the ball sideways on the tee. Just my thoughts 🙂

Not sure if you read this whole thread. Your thoughts are very common and for the most part on point in youth ball. Up until you actually have to punt. We rarely punted but were able to do so when needed. When we did punt it always worked in our favor except one time (we still won). Punting is for the playoffs against good defenses when you are backed up and a first down would be unlikely.


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MHcoach
(@mhcoach)
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June 24, 2017 2:22 pm  

At the Nationals over 4 years, all the good teams at 14U punt. Now I get the Coach Kelly(Pulaski Academy) concept & for the real younger teams I think that's way I would go.

That's not to say if I knew my team was a much weaker team than my opponent, that I wouldn't consider not punting. When we were at the small Private School we never punted & always On Sided. That was more of a numbers decision than anything else.

There always has to be a way to flip the field when you are playing a good team. Punting is the easiest, I have also seen Youth teams throw an interception on purpose.

Joe

"Champions behave like champions before they're champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners"Bill Walsh


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Dusty Ol Fart
(@youth-coach)
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June 25, 2017 5:53 am  

I agree with Joe.  While we dont always do so, we do when the alternative is giving up the ball near midfield.  Never Punt directly at the Deep Man, always angle to the sideline.  We practice this over and over.  I'll take 20 to 30 yards with no return.  As Joe indicates, flipping the field is a great weapon. Making your opponent go 70 and 80 yards as many times as possible lowers their scoring percentages significantly.  Unless they are blowing you off the field. 

8)

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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gumby_in_co
(@gumby_in_co)
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June 25, 2017 6:58 am  

I absolutely hate the play. Worst play in football. Something wrong with a play that's designed to give the ball away even if everything goes right.

However . . .

I've come around on punting a little after this Spring season. I still hate it, but realized that if you invest in a good punt play, it will minimize your damage. I watched film of every opponent and caught many games in person. Conservatively, I'd say that 40% of the punts I saw were blocked or returned for a TD or both. That never happened to us and we had a few that really flipped the field thanks to:

1) a punt disguised as a regular play
2) a good, low trajectory and angled punt
3) a turf field, a stiff wind and a little luck

I noticed that the teams with more successful punts did not line up in a traditional punt formation. Their punts were also disguised.

I still hate punting, but if you're going to do it, you might as well be good at it.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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mahonz
(@mahonz)
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June 25, 2017 7:43 am  

I absolutely hate the play. Worst play in football. Something wrong with a play that's designed to give the ball away even if everything goes right.

However . . .

I've come around on punting a little after this Spring season. I still hate it, but realized that if you invest in a good punt play, it will minimize your damage. I watched film of every opponent and caught many games in person. Conservatively, I'd say that 40% of the punts I saw were blocked or returned for a TD or both. That never happened to us and we had a few that really flipped the field thanks to:

1) a punt disguised as a regular play
2) a good, low trajectory and angled punt
3) a turf field, a stiff wind and a little luck

I noticed that the teams with more successful punts did not line up in a traditional punt formation. Their punts were also disguised.

I still hate punting, but if you're going to do it, you might as well be good at it.

I think its safe to say that winning the championship this past Spring was due to one really critical field position changing punt late in the game.

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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MHcoach
(@mhcoach)
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June 25, 2017 9:49 am  

I am firmly in the camp of younger than 12 don't punt, 12 & up punt.

As Dusty said angle the punt, have a great snap, & coach covering the punt.

At the HS level we haven't had a returned for a TD or one blocked in 5 years. The reason, we have many different fakes we run, so everyone worries about the fakes & forgets to rush.

Joe

"Champions behave like champions before they're champions: they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners"Bill Walsh


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davecisar
(@davecisar)
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June 25, 2017 10:05 am  

I am firmly in the camp of younger than 12 don't punt, 12 & up punt.

As Dusty said angle the punt, have a great snap, & coach covering the punt.

At the HS level we haven't had a returned for a TD or one blocked in 5 years. The reason, we have many different fakes we run, so everyone worries about the fakes & forgets to rush.

Joe

To win championships in competitive leagues- you need to punt IMO
Im all for punting above age 11 or so

The reason?
The FAKE PUNT
if you never punt, you dont ever get to use the second best play in youth football- the fake punt

If you fake punt, like Joe says- the D will rarely get a good return

Last 8th grade team I coached we lined up in punt formation something like 12 times
I think we punted 2 times- both out of bounds
I think we faked 10 times and made 9 of them- including one from our own 8 yard line

IMO its easier to get a first down out of a Punt Formation than going for it out of base with at least 1 defender out of the picture and possibly MANY MORE

We rarely punt, but when we do- we go out of bounds with it and we "Strategically" show we can punt so people know we MIGHT

I know jeff Mirets PSL teams filipped the field a number of times due to teams playing them tight- for the fake- at Disney

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.Winston Churchill


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PSLCOACHROB
(@pslcoachrob)
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June 25, 2017 2:24 pm  

We rarely lined up in a punt defense. We would simply drop the safety and play straight up base( usually c3 so the deep safey was no biggie really). We just assumed they would run a play or fake.


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Dimson
(@dimson)
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June 25, 2017 7:22 pm  

In AAU it makes sense to punt at the younger groups because there is no rush and if you have a kid who can boom it, you have a huge weapon for flipping the field. At 8U three is no one on the field so there is no chance of a return. At 10U there is no rush, so you can just kick it out of bounds easily. The only issue is, accidentally not kicking it out of bounds and getting an elite athlete the ball with a lot of space to run around.


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mahonz
(@mahonz)
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June 25, 2017 7:32 pm  

Coached a kid about 10 years ago who was a phenom kicker.

As an 8th grader he could make 30 yard field goals, KO to a point where ever I asked him too and the biggie....boomed punts with NFL hang time and distance.

I told his parents at the last Banquet to get him into kicking camps and he'd be a shoe in for a D1 Scholarship since there are so many good teams with bad kicking games.

He dropped out of HS his Jr year....to become... a model.  ::)

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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