This is a common question frequently asked when a group of coaches get together for a social gathering. It doesn’t matter if you are talking about experienced coaches or rookies, everyone wants to know what every one’s favorite play is in youth football.
My answer is always the same, and it is not one particular play, but a type of play. My favorite type of play is a counter. It doesn’t matter if you have 5 year-old or 14 year-olds it is extremely hard to get young players to “stay home” and play responsible team defense. Everyone wants to pursue the ball carrier and swarm to the ball. When I am scouting an opponent’s defense and I see linebacker that does not respect counters, I know my team will have a big afternoon.
Speaking of scouting, one of the basic questions you need to answer regarding your opponent is what their favorite play is. If you log in each play during the game, you can enter it into your computer and find out what plays your opponent runs the most. It is also smart to see how effective his plays are. Many youth coaches fall in love with their playbook and try to run every play they have.
I have coached in games where my opponent is getting 7-8 yards per carry running off tackle against us and then this mental midget starts throwing the ball. Many times this happens when the opposing coaches kid is the quarterback or receiver. Make sure you check the roster of your opponent and see where dad’s kid is playing.