A solid running game is great to have at the youth level, it allows you to control field position and chew up time off the clock. However there are times that even the best rushing attack can stall without atleast the threat of a passing attack.
Installing effective pass plays at the youth level can be tricky. There are four different passing schemes at the youth level:
Sprint-out or bootleg passing
Which scheme is best for your team? Well that depends on your offensive philosophy, but more so on your player personnel. Lets breakdown all four schemes:
Type of passing most commonly associated with passing plays in football.
Quarterback drops straight back from center, in the middle of the offensive formation
5-7 yard drop
Standard passing routes downfield, sideline routes, or passes to the flanks.
Requires the most arm strength from quarterback.
Wide receivers must be quick enough to get downfield.
Offensive line must be able to protect quarter back for 3-4 seconds or longer.
Quarterback must be able to stand in the pocket and make good decisions.
Sprint out (Bootleg) Passing
Quarterback attacks the flanks after receiving the snap instead of dropping straight back.
Gives the quarterback a choice of running or passing.
Popular option for teams with shorter quarterbacks or with weaker arms.
Allows quarterback to complete shorter passes.
Passes to the quarterbacks non-throwing side become more difficult.
Best for teams that only want a minimal passing game.
Quarterback will only drop 2-3 steps
Passes will only need to go 5-8 yards downfield.
Quick slants, out routes and curl routes.
Offensive line will need to incorporate techniques to keep defensive linemen's hands down.
Play Action Passing
Designed to complement the running game.
Use the same backfield, formations as your running plays.
Good passing plays to use if your running game is having success.
Will prevent the defense from stacking against the run.
Even if pass is not completed will force the defense to honor your passing threats.
Very effective at the youth level.
Practice timing is very important.
It is very important to remember that your offensive schemes, both running and passing should be designed to fit your team and the players on the field.
Many new coaches too often force their team to use schemes that are not designed for them, always take your players into consideration over what works for someone else.
I hope this gives you new coaches a glimpse into the offensive pass schemes your team could utilize. Soon we will be writing about the different passing routes and pass trees that can be used.
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