Our 2003 squad was the best of a very large group of players a true “Select” team. We had no weak players on this team and most of the kids had played for us for 3-5 years. That particular season we had more athleticism and speed than any team we’ve had before or since.
Where do you put your weak players on this defense? With just 3 Down linemen you can’t pu them at any of the down linemen spots, linebacker? Safety? Corner? Those aren’t good spots to put them either.
Youth football coaching is about maximizing your talent within the context of meeting the rules of your league and developing players. Many leagues require kids to play via minimum play rules, we play our kids a certain amount of plays via a self imposed minimum play rule. Out thoughts are if a kid shows up to practice he should get some meaningful playing time in every game.
I’m a big fan of the 4-4 and 3-5-3 for very athletic “Select” teams, but for everyone else it makes little sense. You would have to sacrifice your offense and load EVERY weak player on your offense, significantly impacting its ability to score points.
Our 4-4 defense for “Select” teams won two USA TODAY National Titles for Canyon Springs High School, their DC coached for us for 4 years. Our defense for Non-Select teams has helped us get all our kids playing time, while shutting down the sweep, reverse and dive plays, the big 3 in Youth Football and helped my teams compile a 62-2 record. We use a lot of the Concepts from Canyon Springs USA TODAY title team in our 6-2, where it makes sens in youth football.
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