In youth level football, choosing the defense to run is an important decision for a coach. Offenses for youth tend to be ground-based, so as a coach, you need to figure out how to defend against the running game while not leaving passes open. Below are some ideas to help you with your defense game for youth football.

The first idea is to go big without sacrificing speed. In youth football, it is more important to have a fast defense rather than a large one. It can be tough to find the right player who is both athletic and big. If your defense is big but can’t move, they don’t do you a lot of good.

Remember to keep your players in the zone. It can be tricky to play defense man on man. Your players can tend to collide as routes are crossed. Instead, try to use zones. That way, your players understand their responsibility each play rather than deciding based on what the offense does. Zone play can help eliminate a lot of confusion on the field with youth players.

Next, allow your players to have ownership. As a coach, allow your players to name their position and plays. Doing so helps them to remember where they are supposed to be and what they are supposed to do better. When you assign something as a coach, the kids are less likely to remember it then if they came up with a name for themselves.

Last of all, always know information about the other team. With youth teams, three or four plays are used regularly. Try to find videos of your opposing team playing so you can get a good idea of what to expect. This will give the defense a great advantage over the other team because they will know what to expect and how to counter it.

Using the above tips, you can help your defense grow stronger. Try it with your team and let us know how it goes this season.

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