Zone Blocking For Youth Football Teams
There are many differences between youth football players and College, Pro and High School players. To say the difference is night and day would not do justice to how different they are. It would be like the differences in the beauty of Miss America and the 1,000 pound bearded lady at the State Fair.
College, Pro and even High School players practice 6 days a week and play their games on a 7th day. Most of these guys practice 20-30 hours each week, youth football teams practice from 4-8 hours every week. Pro, College and High School players have played the game for 7-25 years, they have the basics down, they know the game. Youth football players have 1-2 years of experience and many youth teams are made up of a majority of kids that have never played before. Most youth football players don’t know the difference between a 3 technique and a footstool. Pro, College and High School kids are 16-35 years old, they can move faster, control their bodies better and retain and process much more information than youth football players. Pro, College and High School teams cut weak players, they are the best of the best. The pros and college teams cut kids every day that were the best players in their respective youth and High School teams. Even the High Schools cut weaker players, they also send weaker kids to JV or Reserve teams.
Pro, College and even some High School players are being taught by coaches that coach for a living. Most devote 50-70 hour weeks to learning their craft and most have 10-15 years of experience playing the game. This compares to the amount of experience and time a youth coach can spend on developing himself as a coach, which for most doesn’t even allow for the time to go to a single weekend coaches clinic or the purchase of a single Coaching Book or DVD. The difference in the levels of coaching expertise is just huge, yet a youth coach with no experience with complex zone blocking is going to teach it to others?
In a nutshell Pro, College and even most High School teams are made up of great players athletically compared to the typical youth football player that will never play High School football let alone even sniff at College or Pro Football. Youth teams are made up of a very limited amount of players, you cant send the kids down to JV, Reserve or Frosh teams, and you can’t cut them. In fact you are going to play them, some probably will even start on your offensive line. While I have been blessed with talent on some of my teams, others had offensive lines that looked like the characters from the “Land of Misfit Toys.”
By the time the youth kids get to High School, most of the real weak players have already quit playing, realizing football is just not their game. But today on your youth football team, these kids are still playing, still trying to figure out how to play and if this is their game. At the youth level in most leagues, everyone has to play some and most often you are going to have some unathletic players playing offensive line. Thast playing, not being cut or sent down to another team.