Coaching the Spread
Various little league and high school coaches often request info from me regarding how to install a spread passing game. As such, I thought the most beneficial thing I could do for those interested would be to commit a few very basic concepts to paper. In turn, coaches can visit my site (as you are doing right now) and click on the pdf file underlined above here (“Coaching the Spread”) for information that will guide you through a short collection of very elemetary route packages and concepts that can get your young quarterback headed in the right direction in a spread system.
Please bear in mind that I tried to simplify these to the “nth degree” and in doing so I removed many of the more complex elements of the packages that spread teams at the collegeiate level often utilize. For instance, instead of implementing an “X option” (slant, hook or fade) on the backside of certain routes, I simply have the X run a basic slant. Obviously you can feel free to take these overall route concepts and tweek them or even overhaul them as much as you like. I want want works best for you and the kids you are working with. I’m simply trying to encourage eager coaches to move forward in their desire to latch onto a spread system because I firmly believe that the many variations of the spread have gone a long way in recent years toward making this game we love more exciting today than maybe at any point in history.
A few things to consider when reviewing these materials:
- Rule #1: Don’t feel obligated to use all of these packages, only what the kids are comfortable with.
- The packages attached above have been designed with a universal application in mind. In other words, the QB always has a chance to deliver the ball (and usually pretty quickly) to a target against most basic coverage types (Zone, Man, 3, 2, 1, 0 etc.) that you will see.
- As your QB matures, it will be your chief responsibility to help him learn the weaknesses of various coverages and along the way help him understand where he can go with the ball against that specific coverage within these packages.
- At the youngest developmental levels of play it will often be enough to merely tell the QB before the snap what receiver (or two) to key on. Don’t overload him.
- Running Game: Be sure to have at least one basic running play for each of these spread formations to help compliment the enclosed pass plays. No matter if you use (for example) a draw, a zone or an option, choose running plays that (a) are already in your arsenal and (b) that the kids are comfortable with and that © can be run from these formations.
- An easy running play to install for the 5-receivers “empty” formation is a QB draw.
- Notice that all of these pass packages either put the QB in a position to take the snap and get rid of the ball quickly, or to take the snap and find security by rolling out. Be sure he is aware of this.
- Pass Pro: Pass protection schemes can get very complex with a concept for just about every situation (zone protection, slide protection, man protection, big, 5-out, etc.). As such, with younger kids it’s often best to simply implement a version of what you already use (and what they already know) into these spread schemes. Keep it as basic as possible.