Youth Football Defense - Coaching

Youth football defense that are well coached and organized will win Championships.  Almost all Hall of Fame football coaches agree that Defense wins championship just ahead of Special Teams and then last, Offense.  If your youth defensive squad holds your opponent scoreless then the worst you can do in the game is a tie.  Hopefully your offense did not get of six points on a turnover.  But thats another headache.  :)

On my youth football defense, I personally run a Wide Tackle Six with a blitz package that shifts into a Gap 8 for goal line and a 5-3 for passing situations.  Here's an article I wrote on youth football defenses on my main blog CoachParker.org.

As team get older you can move defensive players out of the box.  Here is my general philosophy on football defenses to run for youth football age groups:   (of course there are exceptions mainly due to passing ability of your opponent)

Gap 8 / 70 / 5-4                - 6-8 year olds youth football teams
6-2 / GAM / 5-4              - 9-10 year old youth football teams
6-1 / 5-3 / 5-2 / 4-4         - 11 -12 year old youth football teams
5-2 / 4-3 / 3-4 / 5-5-1     - 12 -13 year old youth football teams

For years I did not focus on defense and perfected my youth football offense, but my defense kept giving up the big play.  I know defense is not as glamorous as offense but to win the big playoff games, your defense must be better than your offense.  

As of January 2011, I am studying the 5-5-1 defense. I like the fact I can shift my defensive players and play 10 in the box for youth football and back out defensive men for passing teams at older ages.  I ran some 5-5-1 ;ast season and your Free Safety of Fred must be a great Center Fielder defensive back and a smart but aggressive player.

Have a great youth football season and remember to Play for Fun and Winning is Funner!