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Youth Flag Football Coaching Tips

author image William Machin
William Machin began work in construction at the age of 15, while still in high school. In 35 years, he's gained expertise in all phases of residential construction, retrofit and remodeling. His hobbies include horses, motorcycles, road racing and sport fishing. He studied architecture at Taft Junior College.
Youth Flag Football Coaching Tips
flag football coach holding football Photo Credit Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images


Typically, youth flag football teams have two or three standout players, quite a few average players, and a few who are enthusiastic but not gifted with physical ability. A coach can enjoy success by designing an offense that suits his players' abilities and by teaching his defensive players their particular responsibilities and how to play as a unit. Youth football is a growth experience, and the coach should make sure practices are organized and informative.

Football Classroom

The coach should hold regular sessions to discuss the game and make sure the players know what the line of scrimmage is, what constitutes offside and the difference between a good play and one that results in a penalty. The job of a youth football coach is to teach the basics of football, and this includes familiarizing players with the rules and discussing how the game is played.

Basic Offense

A youth flag football offense needs three basic plays: a sweep, a middle run and a pass play. The sweep is a running play that can be called to the right or left side of the field; the middle run can be called to either side of the center; and the pass play can be called to the right- or left-side receiver. These plays should be practiced against different defensive alignments until the timing is crisp and players know their blocking assignments. A coach can field an effective offense by keeping the plays and play-calling uncomplicated.

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Setting the Defense

The three areas where a defense is vulnerable are at the ends, over the middle and at the back, where the long pass is a threat. The coach should assign the team’s best athletes to play the defensive end positions, the team’s strongest player as nose guard and its fastest player at rover back. Conduct flag-pulling drills at each practice; the players must learn their assignments and techniques for getting to the ball carrier.

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