I also have your book, "Coaching Youth Football Defense, 2nd ed. Your books have been a huge help. I read them in anticipation of my first year as a Head Coach in little league football and have since compiled a record, including an undefeated season this year. Y'know, you are legendary amongst the youth league coaches on the net. I think your books are so helpful because it not a dry X and O treatise. You tell it like how it is in the real world. I also feel like I'm "hearing" you talk, and not like I'm reading a book.
Anyway, the books have been a huge help. Thanks so much! Both are excellent books. They make sense. He thought it was too vulnerable against the pass and break away runs up the middle, plus I think it was to unconventional for him. But, I was able to at least talk him into using the single wing offense for some of our plays. This worked especially well because most of the time our center was getting clobbered by a nose guard.
Although, most of our success was due to the fact that our Q-back was very fast running the sweep, and for the most part, playing "tag" to score touchdowns. Our final record was Not bad for a bunch of kids who never played tackle football before and a bunch of coaches who never coached little kids football before. A year wiser and able to implement your strategies. We only run the G-A-M defense. Works like a champ. We have had 3 shut outs so far this season and when we played a strong offensive team, the most points scored was We played 3 teams that have been averaging points a game.
Of those games, we went The scores being a win, loss, and loss. After the games were over, the opposing coaches were in amazement and didn't have a clue what we were running defensively. In fact, one of the opposing coaches told me that he couldn't sleep for 2 nights in a row just thinking about it.
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This guy thought we were doing something illegal because sometimes there were 10 guys on the LOS. When my assistants wanted to change up the defense, say to a or a 7 diamond, I would not let them.
I said, "don't fix what ain't broke. As for being weak against the pass, the results are mostly in. The kids love it when the opposing teams try to pass. They just eat them up. We also coached the kids and practiced on how and when to pick up a fumble and when to fall on it. In doing that, we scored a touchdown when my kid picked up a fumble and ran it 45 yards for a TD Head Coach was very pleased. Last year he would have just fallen on it. We also scored a safety this year for a total of 8 defensive points.
Last year we didn't score defensively. Additionally, we held two teams to no first downs for the entire game. Next year, I plan to get someone to keep better statistics. I predict a victory. We don't preach winning to the kids at this level because Mighty Mites is more of a training division and there are no playoffs, but the coaches and parents sure like it winning. Thanks for writing and publishing these books. I recommend them to coaches that need some direction.
I know I did.
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Just one more thing I learned about little kids football without reading it in your book found it in the book after the fact and its kind of funny but needs immediate correction. A lot of times the offensive linemen make initial contact with their man, then turn around and want to watch the play. Most of the time the guy that they made initial contact with, makes the tackle in the backfield. I have told the kids that if they would sustain their blocks instead of turning around and watching, they can watch the RB run for a touchdown instead of watching them get tackled in the backfield.
They like that idea and it seems to work most of the time now.
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As I predicted, we won. Our defense scored a touchdown by interception and we also scored another safety. That makes 16 points scored defensively this year. After talking to the head coach of the opposing team after the game, he informed us that their "star" running back almost gained yards this season. I think the coach thought he would get it against us. Well, we shut him down and the one and only first down they got the whole game was due to us jumping offside on a 4th and 4.
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In fact, the "star" was the kid that got caught in the end zone for the safety. When I first started I was, like all coaches, lost. I searched everywhere for info about coaching. I finally found your book on some web site and promptly ordered it. We spoke about your son, my Navy career and, of course, football. You were very generous with your time and helpful concerning my new football team. Anyway, my New Canaan, CT Bulldogs finished this year and our first play-off game is this Saturday against the Danbury Trojan's who have, in the past, made it to Florida.
Honestly, I am not using the single wing but more a knock-off of Coach Freeb's offense. We stop the run and absolutely love it when they throw!
More importantly I learned the lesson that it's not how you block but knowing who to block that really counts. We spend a lot of time on the "freeze" in practice and make sure everyone knows who to get. Currently the Panthers are 3 - 1 for the season. The gap-8 is working great.
I really like the way it stops the run, and the fact that the defensive line get in the backfeild quickly. John, thank you for the defesive help this year. Our first string defense has only allowed 6 points per game in our four games so far this year.
We are half-way through our season at this ppoint and we have all ready played the real tough teams. Thank you for the Gap - 8. With your books as the backbone of my coaching strategy we compiled a very sucessful record. It is interesting to note that I came across your website a year ago when I was scanning the Internet looking for information on the single wing. I was on a reference material hunt about this great offense, and having grown up in Menominee, MI, home of Coach Ken Hofer's single wing, I wanted to learn more. In someways it became an obsession. Along the way I came across your materials, I studied them, noted how much of a contrarian I was, how fascinating to learn you are an advocate of the offense for youth football.
After collecting other direct snap books through inter-library loan, trading video tapes, bookmarking websites, I came to the realization that I needed an outlet for my newly acquired knowledge. This past summer, I threw my application into the local Pop Warner coaching circles. To my surprise I was chosen as a head coach. I did not have a son playing, he's two years old, nor did I play high school football, but I wanted to give coaching a try.
I felt like it was my responsibilty to show the Green Bay area that the single wing was alive. I immediately poured over your two books formulating my plan. This became more than a hobby of researching the single wing, it became the responsibilty of a whole team of young players. It sounded great to me. Next I needed to figure out which version of a direct snap offense I wanted to use. After e-mailing back an forth with a few new coaching friends across the country I decided to give the direct snap, double wing with an unbalanced line offense a go.
I figured I wanted to spread the work load around, so two wingbacks seemed the way to go. With the help of a coaching colleague and the Tierny and Gray book, our 10 play offense was ready to go.
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My assistants were on board with everything I had in store. They must have thought you were coaching this team instead of myself at times because I referred to you and your techniques so often. The important thing was they were sold and we put into motion our plan. Both the offense and defense created a great deal of havoc over the course of the season.
I was approached many times about our offense, because most football people in the area have heard of Menominee's single wing it's 1 hr north of Green Bay and often play area teams and asked where I was from. I admitted my background with a smile. We scored points, averaging 28 points in our 5 victories.