One of the biggest challenges a youth football coach faces is trying to keep the amount of plays that you teach the kids to a minimum. How can you limit the amount of plays you run, and still be effective? What plays would you run?
Last year we ran a relatively small amount of plays, but we ran them from a lot of different formations. I'm interested in what others have done in this situation, and how well it worked.
I tend to use quite a few formations when compared to most youth teams I've seen. Formations are great for creating confusion with youth defenses provided your kids are not too confused on their assignments to take advantage of it! My rule is that I must be willing to run at least 4 plays out of a formation before I will consider adding it to our offense. If you allow yourself to run only 1 or 2 plays from any particular formation, a competent scouting job by your opponent should result in their defense having an answer for you on gameday! One other thing to consider is what alignments are you attempting to take advantage of or what adjustments are you counting on the defense to make that will create an improved opportunity for success on that play from that formation. If the formation does not improve your chance of success substantially then I would argue that you'd be better off continuing to work on executing that play better from an existing formation.
My team (10-12 age group) utilizes these formations: I / offset I (King/Queen) / Twins/ Gun Cluster (openside trips) / Gun Bunch / Gun / Single Wing. Hope this helps and I look forward to more discussions! Thanks.
"It's not the will to win that matters - everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters."
Once we have those 8 plays down in our base formation then we begin to learn those plays out of similar formations. For example, if our base set is an I pro, we will learn to run these out of a twins set, two tight end set, power I, etc. We'll still run a lot of the same plays, we'll just change the look a little.