Help with my 7-man team!

2 09 2009

Hi. I bought your 7-man package yesterday and wondered what you would suggest. I am coaching 5th/6th graders who have athletic ability but have not played together. How many plays would you suggest I introduce to the team and from what book would you suggest I pick the plays? What defense would you suggest to run? Thank you.

The Ninja Speaks:

You’re off to a good start. For your first game, I would suggest you have no more than 4-6 plays that the team knows very well. You can always add motion or flip the play to add variety, but the opponent will most likely have trouble with even 5 well executed plays. Each successive week add 2-3 plays, while reviewing the existing ones. If you can come up with a creative way to get them to learn the plays off the field, that will help (competitions can be useful in this regard).

On defense, keep it simple. A cover 2 zone defense is a good start. You keep two men deep, one linebacker plays the middle of the field, two men rush (if permitted), and two men play the flats (5-10 yards deep on the flanks). The biggest challenge you will have is to get the players to stay in their zone. Work on this in drills during practice.

You can try man defense if you think you have an athletic edge over the other team, but zone may serve you better for now.

The Ninja hopes you are helped.