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How to Level the Playing Field Against a Bully Team in Youth Football

A youth football coach using my system has a pretty good team but this week he plays the league bully. You know them, the team that hasn't lost in 3 years and beats everyones brains out every week. This team has over twice as many kids on their team as our hero.


This team played the bully team earlier in the year and got beat. His kids were so scared of this team that several of his kids left the game early with "stomach aches". Some parents even were telling his playerws how great this team was.


The bully team has its defenders in very unsound 2 point stances and they have the stud of the league sitting right in the strong side off-tackle hole. He also claims their defensive tackles were quickly penetrating his wedge play. He also has a very small and weak Wingback. He was asking me what football plays he should run out of the playbook, but I think he needed more than X and O advice.


This is the advice I gave him:


#1) They are jumping your snap count, use plenty of "no plays" to get them to jump, then they will sit on the count. That is the only way they are penetrating your wedge play.


#2) IF your kids get it down in practice, run some first sound wedge plays. The wedge works real well against kids in 2 point stances. See above as the defense will be sitting on the snap count.


#3) Crab block your Left End and Left Guard on every play but wedge ( and 31 trap). Rep the heck out of it this week using the progression in the book and have your best kid go against them live so they see it works.


#4) Don't get to the park until 30 minutes before the game and face away/stay away from the other team until kickoff. Less time to think about it means less time for your kids to frett.


#5) Be confident and talk in past tense terms of your success, when we score our 3rd TD, after we win, meet in xyz place. etc


#6) Aggravate the defense into making mistakes by using up every second of the 25 second clock on offense as well as before you call timeouts.


#7) Run the same play over and over again until they over adjust, overcompensate and get sloppy, then run the complementary play. Don't panic and go away from your game plan if at first it's not working.


#8) Don't kick deep and make sure your onside kick is great.


#9) Tell your parents to be quiet and stop helping intimidate your team.


#10) On the off-tackle power strong side, use your Fullback to block their stud Linebacker and have the Wingback block the corner, or double him and leave the corner unblocked and run it tighter, instead of how it is in your playbook. Or better yet, use the nasty/split tunnel call, block the Defensive End out with your Right End, Corner out with your Wingback and double team the Linebacker with your Blocking Back and Fullback, just like it shows you in your adjustments section of the book. Practice that adjustment and call it with a tag to the play like the book says.


#11) Make sure and play to the gun, those kind of teams make a habit of scoring right before half and at the end of the game.


#12) No big time rah rah stuff before the game, signs, banners etc, less pressure, less to think about.


For more youth football coaching tips or to sign up for Dave's free newsletter please go to:Youth Football


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Dave Cisar-


Dave has a passion for developing youth coaches so they can in turn develop teams that are competitive. His teams have won over 94% of their games in 5 different leagues. He is a Nike "Coach of the Year" designate and his book has been enforsed by Tom Osborne.


Clips of his 2006 team in action: Youth Football Plays


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