Author Topic: Youth option from flexbone  (Read 5288 times)

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Offline Jburk

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Youth option from flexbone
« on: December 10, 2010, 12:16:10 AM »
This coming year I'm planning on running a simplified version of flexbone at the 10/11 year old level. This is part of an endeavor on the behalf of the rocket program to start coaching the high schools system as much as we can. I was hoping that some of the other coaches on this forum could offer their thoughts on some of the ideas I have on implementing option with 10/11 year olds.

I come from a double wing back ground, so option football places me a wee bit out of my box.  :) But as I thought about it more, I wondered if I could incorporate some of what I know from DW. Here's my thoughts:

- 6" splits would prevent leakage and give the kids easier gaps to manage

- This would hopefully bunch up the defense making it easier to get to the perimeter

- SAB/track block to the backside, washing down the defenders away from the play

- Any defenders from the playside wing's inside gap to the backside would be track blocked, leaving the outside defenders to deal with the diving FB and option

- If the middle gets abandoned, or the other team starts to stack the perimeter, run wedge (similar to midline, but with wedge blocking).

- Pre call the FB dive with a "give" tag, and option with an "option" tag, making the play a double option and not a triple.

I'll attach a quick power point showing what I'm thinking. My hope is that I can make the outside veer not just the mainstay of our running attack, but the mainstay of the offense. In double wing the saying goes "when in doubt, run toss", that's what I'm hoping to do with the veer. Keep the number of plays small, and rep them over, and over, and over.  What I really like about SAB/track blocking is the simplicity of it. Also, I think that SAB is an easier block for a kid that age to make consistently vs trying to reach block an outside defender. I'd appreciate any feedback on the viability of this from some of the experienced option coaches. Like I said, I'm new to option football, so this may be way off. Thoughts?
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Offline Rich Kelly

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Re: Youth option from flexbone
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2010, 09:13:53 AM »
This coming year I'm planning on running a simplified version of flexbone at the 10/11 year old level. This is part of an endeavor on the behalf of the rocket program to start coaching the high schools system as much as we can. I was hoping that some of the other coaches on this forum could offer their thoughts on some of the ideas I have on implementing option with 10/11 year olds.

I come from a double wing back ground, so option football places me a wee bit out of my box.  :) But as I thought about it more, I wondered if I could incorporate some of what I know from DW. Here's my thoughts:

Coach a few things to consider befoe undergoing this, IF you are considering option of ANY type, you are acknowledging that you are willing to settle for very few plays, I'm talking maybe 3.  The younger you try to implement any offense that requires decision making, the more you have to be willing to settle on a MUCH smaller playbook, and yes there is an age limit to what age can pull it off.  10/11 is about the earliest I'd even try.

10/11 can be done, but before going forward, consider this

1) Flexbone is probably the hardest of the option schemes to pull off, it requires a specific type of player at almost every position, especially the QB and picthback/slot position. 

2) Option is an absolute time hog, with youth ball many players play both ways, to be successful I think you have to have the numbers that allow for specific players , to play offense ONLY, that way your QB's Slot's FB's can become the specialists that this offense requires...and oh yeah, you have to have enough for backups too.

3) It's difficult to run the OV from the flex.

4) OV doesn't work as well without the threat of IV

Quote
- 6" splits would prevent leakage and give the kids easier gaps to manage

WAAAAY too small, It will also prevent your dive back from being a threat.  Wider in option ball is better, the smallest option splits I have seen were 2 feet.  Remember the option formula (Distance = time, Time = decision making).  The further away the key from the QB the longer he has time to process what is going on. 

I've stated MANY times before that I'm NOT a fan of called dives, and option plays, it leave too many variables that can go wrong.  Option is meant to be reactive, to what the defense does, that's why it's so hard to defend.  By calling the play, you are removing that and basically guessing...just my take 

It's going to be tough enough to get a 10 or 11 yo QB to make the reads as it is, but now you are cutting down the distance from the pitch key by 1) splitting the end out, and 2) Using 6" splits.  My feeling is You are going to need a supercomputer at QB

Quote
- This would hopefully bunch up the defense making it easier to get to the perimeter

 I see what you are saying, but you also have to consider "what if it doesn't", option is played as a series, we runaway from the defense, we are going to attack where we can

Quote
- SAB/track block to the backside, washing down the defenders away from the play

Catch 22, need small splits to pull off SAB, but small splits are a no no in the option.  I think it would work till either the defense starts to rotate over the top, or they just align to force

Quote
- Any defenders from the playside wing's inside gap to the backside would be track blocked, leaving the outside defenders to deal with the diving FB and option

Be careful of twists on the outside, one that works really well is a 9 tech will force pitch with a walk up 7 will twist outside to take the pitch back, it's hard for the Wing to make that block.

Quote
- If the middle gets abandoned, or the other team starts to stack the perimeter, run wedge (similar to midline, but with wedge blocking).

Again, the splits come into question, small Wedge works great, large wedge is tough, trap might be a better option(no pun intended)

Quote
- Pre call the FB dive with a "give" tag, and option with an "option" tag, making the play a double option and not a triple.

Since you are familiar with DW, I would suggest pulling PSG, Or reverse out and have the BSG kick the end. this REALLY conflicts the Key. 1) He has to play his assignment, but he also has to deal with a pulling g.  You can call AYTHING off of it , give keep, this also sets up the trap play I mentioned previously.  It's more Wing T than Flexbone, but it get's the job done. 

Quote
I'll attach a quick power point showing what I'm thinking. My hope is that I can make the outside veer not just the mainstay of our running attack, but the mainstay of the offense. In double wing the saying goes "when in doubt, run toss", that's what I'm hoping to do with the veer. Keep the number of plays small, and rep them over, and over, and over.  What I really like about SAB/track blocking is the simplicity of it. Also, I think that SAB is an easier block for a kid that age to make consistently vs trying to reach block an outside defender. I'd appreciate any feedback on the viability of this from some of the experienced option coaches. Like I said, I'm new to option football, so this may be way off. Thoughts?

Coach I'd be glad to help you in any way I can, but again, I stongly suggest you reconsider running flexbone, possibly look at SBV, as many of us here have. 

good Luck
« Last Edit: December 10, 2010, 09:18:53 AM by CoachKell »
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Offline JrTitan

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Re: Youth option from flexbone
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2010, 09:59:39 AM »
I agree with Coach Kell,  small splits and track blocking does not really fit with the scheme.  Attached is the best summary I have seen which explains how to block each front.   Outside veer is a tough play to block without a TE.  Plays I would include in youth flexbone:
  • Inside Veer - triple
  • Midline - double
  • Rocket Sweep
  • Slot Counter
  • Lead/Load Option
  • Veer Pass
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Offline JP

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Re: Youth option from flexbone
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2010, 11:50:35 AM »
I used a "called" option series last season at the 6 year old level, and this season with the same team at 7.  We used TKO blocking and 0 splits.  We ran the normal power series double wing plays, but our base formation is Jack's "Nova" formation, so the QB and FB are about 3 yards deep. 

At the younger levels I think it must be much easier to call the give, keep, or pitch.  DE are pretty much drilled to either box or crash, and they usually do not adjust from those techniques during the game, so once you see how they are playing you just make the appropriate call (in our case usually "give").  With us calling the toss play the majority of the time the DE's are used to the FB kicking them out so we saw them trying to avoid the FB and he would look right past him even if the FB had the ball.  The FB would simply follow the pulling G and T up into the hole for usually an easy 4+ yards.  On the occasions we saw the the DE jumping on the FB we would call keep.  The play side LB would generally be conditioned to looking into the "alley" by the toss.  We would watch the corner to see how he was taught to play, generally he would play soft and protect the sideline telling us to call "keep".  Our QB was our 2nd best runner so he would do really well cutting up into the void left by the DE and cutting to the outside.  When we saw the Corner make some plays on the QB we knew we could call pitch.  The back side wing would go in motion very similar to our DW toss play but continue running deep to get into pitch relationship.  We did not use a traditional option pitch, it was basically our DW underhand toss.  Since the QB and WB were used to it we were almost 100% with it.  Getting the wing into the correct pitch relationship was difficult though, and that created some turnovers.  When we called the pitch and it was executed correctly it was an almost certain TD.   

I think you might consider still pulling your backside G and T, and keeping your TE's in.   The Middle linebackers may give you trouble otherwise.  Block it just like you would the DW toss play, the only difference is the FB is not kicking out the DE (he is the "give read") and the QB is not pulling through the alley he is occupying the corner by the threat of the keep/pitch on the perimeter.  That way the line does not have to learn new technique.

I am certain this would not work if it was up to the boys to make the decision.  They are too inexperienced and the DE would be on the QB too quick because of the tight line splits.  As a matter of fact the backside End did give us a hard time if he crashed down hard.  We never really ran a counter play in our 3 play option series to keep him honest, just the DW power series counters.   

I hope this helps

JP

Offline mahonz

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Re: Youth option from flexbone
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2010, 01:16:28 PM »
Jburk

Welcome to the forum and welcome to my nightmare.

I am the coach that has been coaching long enough that I bore easily so we ran the Flexbone with a group of 7th graders two years ago.

Coach Morris, JrTitan and Coach Kell were invaluable. I knew nothing about option football.

Well…it went pretty good. The problem was me. I had a hard time seeing stuff. We did spilt the triple portion of the read into two different play calls. One call was give to the TB the other was keep and run option with a WB.

You need a superstar tough guy at QB. Period. If you have that you are good to go. Be sure to train two at the same time. The QB will take some huge hits on occasion.

The counters out of this offense are so good they will quickly become bread and butter plays for you.

You must have a TE at the youth level.

We discovered that running option in our X Over formation worked well. You can run it towards X and away from X. Not sure why exactly but our rules for option ( Read man Pitch man ) seemed less complicated with X Over.

You need a couple of smart WB’s because their blocking rules change per the Read man Pitch man rules. Plus they need to be able to stalk block well.

I agree you don’t want the really tight splits. You have to be able to see stuff and you want the edge defender as far away from the backfield actions as possible. We used progressive splits.

You need the smartest kid on the team at the TE position. At the end of the day he has to remember and then execute a lot of stuff. When we ran option he was split nasty and climbs to the second level. When we ran dive he was split nasty and would kick out the DE. When we ran counter he would align zero splits and shoeshine for the double pull. When we ran wedge he would align zero again. Then we sent him out for passes.

I was warned time and again to practice our pitches daily to avoid turnovers. We did and had two bad pitches all season. Don’t ignore this.

Good luck. I am no master so I cant really be of any assistance. I found this offense a 10 on the 1-10 scale as far as difficulty. Its really good stuff once you get rolling as a novice I had some struggles.

Attached is our playbook to give you some ideas.  We ran OV only. Our inside stuff was wedge and trap. We outside zone blocked the OV which is a close cousin to SAB but different. I think you can still track block but open up the splits and get the TE split nasty so he can do his thing…which is a lot.

…or listen to Rich ( Coach Kell ) and run SBV.

Coach Mike
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Offline seeindouble

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Re: Youth option from flexbone
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2010, 01:24:49 PM »
I used a "called" option series last season at the 6 year old level, and this season with the same team at 7. 

We did the same thing, although not from DW. It's like I said in another thread, the option (preferably called), is the new reverse in youth football. I remember we ran it in flag a few seasons ago, and for some reason it took our QB a while to get it, but once he did, man was it dangerous. I recall a few of the plays actually looked like zone reads...

Offline Rich Kelly

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Re: Youth option from flexbone
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2010, 01:56:00 PM »
If you have a QB that can run, i say screw it and go from the shotgun, the reads are easier. 

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Offline Jburk

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Re: Youth option from flexbone
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2010, 03:10:46 PM »
Coach a few things to consider befoe undergoing this, IF you are considering option of ANY type, you are acknowledging that you are willing to settle for very few plays, I'm talking maybe 3.  The younger you try to implement any offense that requires decision making, the more you have to be willing to settle on a MUCH smaller playbook, and yes there is an age limit to what age can pull it off.  10/11 is about the earliest I'd even try.

10/11 can be done, but before going forward, consider this

1) Flexbone is probably the hardest of the option schemes to pull off, it requires a specific type of player at almost every position, especially the QB and picthback/slot position. 

2) Option is an absolute time hog, with youth ball many players play both ways, to be successful I think you have to have the numbers that allow for specific players , to play offense ONLY, that way your QB's Slot's FB's can become the specialists that this offense requires...and oh yeah, you have to have enough for backups too.

3) It's difficult to run the OV from the flex.

4) OV doesn't work as well without the threat of IV

WAAAAY too small, It will also prevent your dive back from being a threat.  Wider in option ball is better, the smallest option splits I have seen were 2 feet.  Remember the option formula (Distance = time, Time = decision making).  The further away the key from the QB the longer he has time to process what is going on. 

I've stated MANY times before that I'm NOT a fan of called dives, and option plays, it leave too many variables that can go wrong.  Option is meant to be reactive, to what the defense does, that's why it's so hard to defend.  By calling the play, you are removing that and basically guessing...just my take 

It's going to be tough enough to get a 10 or 11 yo QB to make the reads as it is, but now you are cutting down the distance from the pitch key by 1) splitting the end out, and 2) Using 6" splits.  My feeling is You are going to need a supercomputer at QB

 I see what you are saying, but you also have to consider "what if it doesn't", option is played as a series, we runaway from the defense, we are going to attack where we can

Catch 22, need small splits to pull off SAB, but small splits are a no no in the option.  I think it would work till either the defense starts to rotate over the top, or they just align to force

Be careful of twists on the outside, one that works really well is a 9 tech will force pitch with a walk up 7 will twist outside to take the pitch back, it's hard for the Wing to make that block.

Again, the splits come into question, small Wedge works great, large wedge is tough, trap might be a better option(no pun intended)

Since you are familiar with DW, I would suggest pulling PSG, Or reverse out and have the BSG kick the end. this REALLY conflicts the Key. 1) He has to play his assignment, but he also has to deal with a pulling g.  You can call AYTHING off of it , give keep, this also sets up the trap play I mentioned previously.  It's more Wing T than Flexbone, but it get's the job done. 

Coach I'd be glad to help you in any way I can, but again, I stongly suggest you reconsider running flexbone, possibly look at SBV, as many of us here have. 

good Luck

Wow, thanks coach. This is the kind of sobering advice and input I was hoping for, thanks. You give me alot to consider.
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Offline cyflcoach

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Re: Youth option from flexbone
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2010, 03:34:43 PM »
I've run midline and IV from under center and OV and Speed option from the pistol with kids 10-12.  As Coach Kell stated previously, it definitely requires an investment both in individual period reps and "live" reps to give the kids the opportunity to execute it effectively.  I have never been a believer in making a predetermined call for a dive, keep, bubble or pitch though, as those things are all possible without the need to teach the option game to your QB, IMO.  If you have good/superior skill athletes, you must also be prepared to coach them up on their mistakes, even when they take a "bad/wrong" read to the house!

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Offline Jburk

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Re: Youth option from flexbone
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2010, 03:44:51 PM »
I agree with Coach Kell,  small splits and track blocking does not really fit with the scheme.  Attached is the best summary I have seen which explains how to block each front.   Outside veer is a tough play to block without a TE.  Plays I would include in youth flexbone:
  • Inside Veer - triple
  • Midline - double
  • Rocket Sweep
  • Slot Counter
  • Lead/Load Option
  • Veer Pass

Thanks for the info, good stuff. I think I understand now why the tight splits wouldn't work. Although, I have to say when I see splits that wide, the double winger in me says "holy crap! look at those splits!"  LOL
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Offline Jburk

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Re: Youth option from flexbone
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2010, 06:13:20 PM »
If you have a QB that can run, i say screw it and go from the shotgun, the reads are easier.


I will have a QB that can run and a smart center who has experience with the pistol snap (this will be their third year playing together at QB and center). Being that the high school runs their flexbone mostly from a pistol set, this would be something I would really like to do. Some of the other teams in our program have run from a pistol set, as did we last year, however we struggled with snap consistency at times. The reads would definitely be easier from a pistol set I think, I just need to work on that snap. I'm gonna post some more ideas/questions later. Right now the wife is demanding that I take her out to eat.  ;D

Has anyone taken a look at Coach Pratley's pistol spread option material? His stuff looks really interesting and I know that he runs veer.
http://pistolspreadoption.com/index.asp
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Offline CoachSahd

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Re: Youth option from flexbone
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2010, 06:45:16 PM »
I will have a QB that can run and a smart center who has experience with the pistol snap (this will be their third year playing together at QB and center). Being that the high school runs their flexbone mostly from a pistol set, this would be something I would really like to do. Some of the other teams in our program have run from a pistol set, as did we last year, however we struggled with snap consistency at times. The reads would definitely be easier from a pistol set I think, I just need to work on that snap. I'm gonna post some more ideas/questions later. Right now the wife is demanding that I take her out to eat.  ;D

material? His stuff looks really interesting and I know that he runs veer.
http://pistolspreadoption.com/index.asp



What depth are you running the QB at?   A simple read/replace option on the LMOLOS is very doable and can go for big gains.  If you go with a TE or Two back set you can move the Read to the person over the Wing Back/ Slot and option there.  For passing a slide left or slide right covers all the gaps and the FB or TB takes the blind side LMOLOS.

QB depth should be no more than 3 to 4 yards, any deeper and your in Shotgun.   
« Last Edit: December 10, 2010, 06:56:31 PM by CoachShad »
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Offline jem

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Re: Youth option from flexbone
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2010, 12:13:56 AM »
This coming year I'm planning on running a simplified version of flexbone at the 10/11 year old level. This is part of an endeavor on the behalf of the rocket program to start coaching the high schools system as much as we can. I was hoping that some of the other coaches on this forum could offer their thoughts on some of the ideas I have on implementing option with 10/11 year olds.

I come from a double wing back ground, so option football places me a wee bit out of my box.  :) But as I thought about it more, I wondered if I could incorporate some of what I know from DW. Here's my thoughts:

- 6" splits would prevent leakage and give the kids easier gaps to manage

- This would hopefully bunch up the defense making it easier to get to the perimeter

- SAB/track block to the backside, washing down the defenders away from the play

- Any defenders from the playside wing's inside gap to the backside would be track blocked, leaving the outside defenders to deal with the diving FB and option

- If the middle gets abandoned, or the other team starts to stack the perimeter, run wedge (similar to midline, but with wedge blocking).

- Pre call the FB dive with a "give" tag, and option with an "option" tag, making the play a double option and not a triple.

I'll attach a quick power point showing what I'm thinking. My hope is that I can make the outside veer not just the mainstay of our running attack, but the mainstay of the offense. In double wing the saying goes "when in doubt, run toss", that's what I'm hoping to do with the veer. Keep the number of plays small, and rep them over, and over, and over.  What I really like about SAB/track blocking is the simplicity of it. Also, I think that SAB is an easier block for a kid that age to make consistently vs trying to reach block an outside defender. I'd appreciate any feedback on the viability of this from some of the experienced option coaches. Like I said, I'm new to option football, so this may be way off. Thoughts?


If you want to run zero splits and option... then run your double wing and and run option off the super power (Toss) action.  This can be done. 

If you want to run youth Flexbone then click the below link.  This is the best looking youth flexbone I have seen so far.  Notice Several things:  (1)  There is a TE, (2) The Triple is only to the SE side (which I would keep), (3) line splits are progressive, (4) you could add the OSV because you have a TE or just use belly plays instead and keep it simple at first.

I have been tempted to run this Offense and if I were running flex, this is what I would run... but I like something else better.

If I am running this flex... I am running Triple, otherwise there are better offenses for pre-calls.  The Triple is the point and one Triple play to one side can be taught to 11 year olds.  If you are not going to run Triple, then you can use your above formation by just running the double wing with an option every now and then.

http://www.infosports.com/football/arch/2415.htm

j
« Last Edit: December 11, 2010, 12:19:34 AM by jem »
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Offline Jburk

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Re: Youth option from flexbone
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2010, 12:51:57 AM »
After digesting some of the information and material provided, Here's some of my thoughts. I've drawn up and attached what I'm thinking in case I'm not explaining it right.

-If distance =time, and time equals decisions (thanks CoachKell!) I now know why the small line splits would be tough to pull off. So with that in mind I was thinking of progressive line splits of 1ft-2ft-3ft from the center out, with the slots lined up nasty splitting the distance between the T & TE.

-My thoughts were that nasty splitting both of the tight ends would place the DE even farther away, giving my 11 year old QB time to make decisions

-Trips is a formation that our high school program runs from as well, with the TE on the weak side. This formation presents some real possibilities IMHO for those of us @ the rocket level. Rocket toss sweeps, jet sweeps, and speed optioning the weak side might be nice, along with some quick passing possibilities to the trips side. Also, would it be the right line of thought to want to speed option to the weak side with the TE?

-With splits this wide, I think wedge would be off of the table. We'd almost be forced to trap the middle or run midline, right?

-Ideally I'd like to have this in a pistol set, backing the QB up from the line and hopefully easing the read.

-After reading through Big_Coconut's Spread offense, I REALLY like the simplicity of his "on-gap" blocking. This would be super easy for the kids to remember.

Anyways, this is what I was thinking. Keep it simple with only two formations; trips and base. Thoughts?

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Offline Jburk

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Re: Youth option from flexbone
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2010, 01:07:07 AM »
If you want to run zero splits and option... then run your double wing and and run option off the super power (Toss) action.  This can be done. 

If you want to run youth Flexbone then click the below link.  This is the best looking youth flexbone I have seen so far.  Notice Several things:  (1)  There is a TE, (2) The Triple is only to the SE side (which I would keep), (3) line splits are progressive, (4) you could add the OSV because you have a TE or just use belly plays instead and keep it simple at first.

I have been tempted to run this Offense and if I were running flex, this is what I would run... but I like something else better.

If I am running this flex... I am running Triple, otherwise there are better offenses for pre-calls.  The Triple is the point and one Triple play to one side can be taught to 11 year olds.  If you are not going to run Triple, then you can use your above formation by just running the double wing with an option every now and then.

http://www.infosports.com/football/arch/2415.htm

j


Interesting, thanks coach. I'm starting to thinks that maybe at the 10/11 year old level I shouldn't worry about running a true "triple", but rather focus on introducing the kids to option concepts, and run the offense with the terminology and motions of the high school program. Doing these things would prepare the kids for the next level in our program I think.
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