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Gap-Air-Mirror Defense for Youth Football reader success stories, Part 3


I purchased your football books a couple of years ago, and just purchased your clock management book today. I have been an assistant coach for the last four years, and this year the head coach left and I took over the head coach position. I have implemented your system (single-wing and gap-air-mirror) and your approach fits my style. We are 2-0 and have outscored our opponents 89 to 7. The 6 was scored on us on offense on the sprint-out run pass (the ball hit our receiver in the face mask and bounced up and the defender ran it back for 6). So I wanted to give you some good feedback, great advice, and wanted to ask you a question. Your books are the best. I think I have all of your sports related books and you have done a great job. FYI – the last two teams I coached after reading your books on Football and Baseball won their league championships.David M. GuidaHi John:

 I want to thank you for your web-page. I am a second year defensive coach and have been given the task of looking after the DB's for our team. I must let you know that I am e-mailing you from Canada and judging by your experience as a coach you must have some knowledge of the Canadian game. If not then here are a couple of things you should know:

- there are 12 men per side on the field.

- our field is much wider (~ 15-20 yrds I do believe) than yours.

- we are allowed to have more than one man in motion at the line.

- we only have 3 downs therefore we throw much more.

These few factors alone make it much more tougher for a defence to cover the field. I just wish to say that I love your philosophy with regards to zone defence and the futility of teaching it to youth. I am coaching minor-bantam players (13-year olds) and I was originally doing what you stated not to. I tried teaching them all sorts of backpedaling drills and the like as well as zone pass coverageand got away from the meat and potatoes of good fundamental football, like proper tackling form. We have now switched back to straight man and concentrate our practice time on learning our basic assignments and stickingto them. Again thanks for simplifying my approach and putting me on the right track. Although your rules are different in the U.S., youth football players are the same all over with regards to learning.


John Quagleini

North Winnipeg Nomads Football Club

Winnipeg, Manitoba


Coach Reed,

I am a youth football coach from Houston and we have been running the GAM since our kids were 7 yrs old. It has been a wonderful defense and has led to many championships.

Mike Patrick

Coach Reed,

You are the Man!!!! Results are the best barometer. Our Mighty Mite team (Havasu Blue) 9-0!!! Scored 265, 26 allowed. GAM Defense, is hands down the best possible youth defense. I hope the other coaches in the league don't find out about it. It wasn't an easy sell, at first. Other coaches wanted more from DLine (swim move, bullrush, etc..) you know, the macho stuff. I think the other coaches were hoping it, and me, would fall flat on our butts... The Head coach was with me 100% and 2 games later we were all one big happy family. Thank you Sir. Everyone involved with our team had a memorable season.

Coch Bob Stidd

Lake Havasu Pop Warner

I am in the middle of re-reading each of your football books (for the third time by the way) this off season. I wanted to say “thank you” one more time. You absolutely saved me as a clueless rookie coach and last year, my 2nd season as a coach; our 3rd and 4th grade team went 12-0 (10-0 officially since a couple were pre-season scrimmages we set up as coaches) easily winning the championship. The team we beat in the championship had not lost in the previous 3 seasons and had averaged over 35 points a game all year. We shut their offense out and scored 4 touchdowns of our own. In a very competitive league, 7 of our 10 games the “mercy rule” went into effect. My minimum play players (we had a very large roster, so I have a bunch of them) were able to see as much or more game time than my starters because of that. That made us heroes to the parents of the younger kids. Needless to say, we had a blast and we can't wait for the 2007 season to begin.

Thanks again,

Coach Thayne Harrison

Coach, I haven't e-mailed you in about three years, so I thought I'd give you an update on where we're at. About three years ago my son asked me to coach again, this time on his staff. He had just taken over a group of kids that over the previous three years had a combined winning % of .321, were giving up in excess of 30 points a game, had never made the playoffs, and were the laughing stock of our Pop Warner Conference. My son asked if I would be the D coordinator. I immediately began looking for information about solid run D as I had noticed watching my Grandson play the previous three years that nobody passed much. I found your site, read your books on the GAM, coaching youth football D, and clock management.

During the first year I e-mailed you with a problem we were having with the off tackle play. We were 0-3 at that point and giving up 33 points a game. Your response, which I might add was the best thing that could off happened, was, “you're not coaching it right.”

We went back to work, fixed things, and turned our season around. I'm happy to tell you that since that point we have pretty much mirrored your philosophy on organization of practices, to repetition of everything we do, and we have reaped many rewards. These same kids have complied over the last three years a combined wining % of .727, made the playoffs all three years, made one Championship-game appearance, they give up right around 9 points a game, have created 68 turnovers, and are 6 - 0 in post-season bowl games. I wanted to send this to let you know you were right we weren't teaching the system right, and to say thank you for your help, and the great books. Thanks Coach...

Rod E. Sorenson

Victorville, CA

I am a youth football coach and last year I ordered your GAM defense book. I read it and agreed it would be a great defense in youth football. I had my defensive coach read it and implement the defense this year with our Jr. Midget Team. I must say it worked out better then we both thought. We outscored our opponents 220-18-if you can believe that.

Anyway, the GAM worked so well other coaches on our other teams will be installing it next year. Offensives just did not know how to adjust to the defense, not that it would have made any difference if they did. I was very proud of our team this year as we took the Regional Pop Warner championship. .

Thank you for your putting forth a youth football book that relates to youth football.


John Nigro

Jr. Midegets

South Valley Grizzles

San Jose, CA

Dear Coach Reed,

I want to thank for your role in my team's championship this season. I coach second and third graders and adopted the G-A-M Defense and the Single Wing as discussed in great detail in your books. Although I am a former player on a nationally ranked defense in I-AA football, my background clearly did not prepare me to coach youth football.

Last year, before I had read your books, my team did not win a regular season game, but this year we took a less talented team and won the championship. We went from 0-7 to 7-2. With little team speed, we used the Single Wing with great success. It allowed us to control the clock with long, sustained drives and the G-A-M allowed us to hold all but two opponents to 6 points or less. Most of the teams we played had more speed and talent, but our scheme and some tough, disciplined kids resulted in a storybook season. Your books warned me of many of the pitfalls of youth coaches which made me flinch as I reflected on the previous season, but it guided me to preparing for success this season. What a year! Thanks!

Brian Sulc

Mr. Reed,

Just finished a 9-0 regular season and am headed into the playoffs using your modified single wing offense and gap air mirror defense. Last year I went 8-1 using the same systems, but they get better as I get to know them more and learn to innovate. People think I'm a football genius.

I know I'm just smart enough to know I need help and to find where to get it. Great work on your books!

[subsequent email] It got better. We won the league championship with a record of 12-0. The single wing offense averaged 34 points per game, even given a rule that we switch out the starting backfield when ahead by 24. The gap air mirror defense held our opponents to an average of 7 points per game. In the championship game, our blocking back (my son) broke his arm and couldn't throw. However, we had scouted the opponent's 4-4 defense and every player knew who to block for the off tackle, so we easily ground out an 18-8 victory on the ground. The kids are close knit and confident, and all of them are going on to try to play the best sport in the world in high school. I'm particularly gratified because last year, when our team went 8-1, I tried telling the other coaches that my offense didn't have a quarterback, and they laughed at me. Now they're asking me for advice.

Thanks for your help.

John Phelan

I was the defense coach for a 5 & 6 grade Grid Kids team. We used your defensive principles, adjusted for our rules, and crushed teams defensively. Great Defense!!!!

Jim Puryear

Mr. Reed,

I wanted to thank you for your help and update you on the season. We ended up at 7 and 2 and took second overall. If we would have won or tied the second last game (lost 18-12) we would have played for the championship.

I ended up using the interior defense line in the GAM defense as the way to sub and get the 16 play minimum we needed. I took 4 players and taught them how to submarine on every play. It worked really well and at times we subbed all 4 at the same time.

Thanks again for your help.


Mr. Reed,

This is my first year coaching the kids, junior football 11-13 in Western Wa. I have been on staff at the high school for 2 years now working with the freshman football team. When the head coach of my sons junior team asked me to do defense, i put in our high school 40' defense and it got us 4 wins and 4 losses, 6th seed in playoffs.

I put in your 10-1 defense in 1 day, day before our game and our kids were excited about playing the 3 seed, and were confident. I know 1 day is tough for kids to learn a new system, but the basics were easy;

the opponent plays a wing t with one fullback, wings on ends, one te, and one w/o. I put 3 corners in to jam wings and w/o on los, and had my athletic end on their tight end jamming him on line. They were told to jam as long as possible then release if they got by into man coverage. 4 lineman stayed in gaps rushing hard, two tackles spying qb hips, and two ends spying fb hips. We put in two stingers on each side, controlled rush to outside shoulder of fb, and if they see wing release hard outside they jam in. One middle lb, our best athlete spied fb all game. It was great, we won 8-0 with a saftey and td (missed xpoint)

they got 2 first downs all day and rushed for maybe 15 yds and passed for 20 yds (one pass which was 1 first down).

On to round 2!


Coach T

Mr. Reed, my name is Bob Morin and roughly six weeks ago I sent an e-mail to you about my 5th and 6th grade team from Poland, Maine winning its first two games of its innaugural season 22-0 and 30-0. Well, the season is now over and we are the only undefeatead team in the league. we finished with a record of 6-0-1. We averaged 25.4 points /game while the starting defense gave up only 2.85 points per game. Overall, the defense gave up on average 6.5 points per game. Great Stuff!

The starting TB averaged three thouchdowns(would have been more but we have a twenty point rule) per game while the starting BB averaged 4yds per carry.

I can not say enough about your books and the GAP Air Mirror Defense. Again, GREAT STUFF!!! I plan to use both again next year when I move up to coach this group in the 7th grade. Thanks again for all you do.

Bob Morin

Mr. Reed,

I have used your books & articles with much success in the past few years in youth football. [We went] undefeated last year…

Paul M. Bonaccini

Traverse City, MI

Mr. Reed,

Just finished a 9-0 regular season and am headed into the playoffs using your modified single wing offense and gap air mirror defense. Last year I went 8-1 using the same systems, but they get better as I get to know them more and learn to innovate. People think I'm a football genius. I know I'm just smart enough to know I need help and to find where to get it. Great work on your books!

John Phelan

Mr. Reed,

I purchased your "Coaching Youth Football" and "Single-Wing Offense for Youth Football" books back in 2003. Much success followed (we were 27-5 between '03-'05 (lost championship in '03 at 9-2, won championship in '04 at 11-0)). I have given you credit for our success in many circles. I played for 11 seasons but quickly learned a player doesn't necessarily make a coach.

Ashley R. Bolton

Huntsville, Alabama

Incidentally, I've always been a big fan of the Gap-Air-Mirror and have always had it in my defensive repertoire.

Mr. Reed, I'm a first-year head coach of a 5/6th grade youth football team in Poland, Maine. I have read your single wing offense for youth football and your GAM defense for youth football prior to the start of our inaugural season in a league with seasoned football programs.

I introduced both the single wing and GAM to a group of 23, ten- and eleven-year olds, 19 with no prior playing experience. To date we have played two games and won the first 22-0 and the second 33-0 against teams that were expected to beat us.

The books were very informative and were a great help in helping me manage the team while the introducing the single wing and GAM. My assistants were somewhat reluctant when I first mentioned the offense and defense I wanted to run but all four are now believers in the system.

Most important of all is that the kids love playing the single wing and are having fun doing it. Their confidence level improves with each win and they now feel that they can compete with any team in the league.

Thanks for the hard work and providing information for guys like me with no football coaching experience. I found that it helps level the playing field a bit when facing seasoned coaches. I would not have known where to begin without the information without the books you have written. Thanks, Bob Morin

Hi Coach,

I got "roped" into being head coach for my son's Pop Warner team here in Pittsford, MI. I had never coached period and only played a couple of years of high school ball. Needless to say, I went searching for some guidance on the web and came across your site. I purchased "Coaching Youth Football", "Single Wing Offense for Youth Football" and "Gap Air Mirror Defense for Youth Football". I have done a lot of reading since early August!

Pittsford is a small rural community, so I have a total of 17 players on the team. We have been practicing since August 3rd, but had never had a live scrimmage untilthe first game of the season this morning. We have 10 plays total. Really 5 plus the mirror image the opposite way. We have only run the plays against air. The G.A.M. defense the same way. The kids had never gone up against a live offense. We had only stressed assignments.

[Reed note: this team should do half-line scrimmages, that is, the right side of the offense goes against the left side of the defense running only plays that go to the right side, then repeat with the left side of the offense going against the right side of theh defense. They can and should also do 7-on-7 to practice passing and pass defense and 9 vs 8 to practice only the run game.]

As our first opponent we had the team that won the league last year.

At halftime we were up 32-0 and the referee came over and explained to us the Pop Warner mercy rules. My assistant coach said he had never been on this side of the mercy rule before while coaching Pittsford football. Pittsford has been kind of the laughing stock of football around here!

So, we stop them on defense again (they never got a first down). We take over on our 40 (Mercy rule). Under the mercy rule we could no longer pass, or run outside the tackles. So, we run the wedge! My son goes 60 yards for a touchdown! The final was 44-0.

Most of the time my 4 down lineman had a hold of the quarterback or running back during the handoff. The [opponent] had no clue what we were doing on offense. They were yelling at the[ir]kids to "play harder," "hit somebody," etc. It reminded me a lot of what you wrote in your book.

Thank you,

Jeff Wendt

Dear Coach Reed,

I…wanted to write and thank you for your help. I took on a team of 8/9 year olds this year and after reading ALL your books I installed the Single Wing and the Gap air Mirror Defense.

I am the new guy on the block and got 4 assistants (none my brother or family unfortunately) and from day 1 they claimed the kids would never get this. I stayed the course and tonite we had our first game against a historically very tough local team. The outcome?

Maranacook Black Bears 34- Gardner Tigers 0

We led 28-0 at the half. I put in all my bench players and they still scored once. They also allowed only 1 long sweep of 60 yards due to my weakest player standing there and watching it go by. None the less, one of my LBs ran the kid down from behind on the 5 yard line—awesome effort. The second stringers then held for no gain on 4 plays and we took a victory kneel down to salt away a 34-0 win. I am so excited for the kids.

The coaches for the [age] 10-11 kids were there and came up to me after and said they could not believe we played an entire game with long snaps and had none missed. I told them that it is because we do it at least 60 times every practice.

Well, they are all sold on the strategy now and I am thankful to you for your wisdom. I keep re-reading the books and always find stuff I can use. I did throw in a TE flat pass which worked 1/3 times, but I needed to have SOMETHING original! My son plays LE and DE and has boxing down to an art form. He had 1 reception, 7 tackles, and a fumble recovery in the game, so I am a proud Dad as well!

Thank you,

Rick Morand, Head Coach

Maranacook Black Bears

Manchester, Maine

Our team participated in a big season opening jamboree at Boise State this past weekend. Our scheduled opponent beat us last year in a regular season game 36-0. We had numerous injuries and a near riot between the coaching staffs. They are considered one of the 3 best teams out of 38 going into this season and they were undefeated last year. We were nervous to say the least because of last year and because we were running a new offense. Everyone (except our wives) have said we're nuts for running the single wing. Most of the comments centered on the direct snap, which they said will never work and the lack of a quarterback. To make matters worse, the head coach's son, our snapper, broke his arm in a scrimmage two days earlier (he had over 1200 snaps) and was out. Our back up snapper was less than stellar and had maybe 300 snaps.

In the eight days of practice preceding the jamboree, I taught the boys 6 plays from the right formation: sweep, off-tackle, wedge, wing reverse, sprint out pass and post pass. For the jamboree, I scripted 6 plays for each of our 2 tailbacks. The format of the jamboree was each team gets 6 minutes of offense with no clock stoppage. Offense starts from the forty yard line. If you score or don't gain 10 yards in 4 plays, you go back to the forty and start again. The offense scored on the 4th play with the first tailback and I switched tailbacks. The offense then scored on the 3rd play. We ran two more plays and were ready to score again before time ran out. On the defensive side, the head coach has implemented a modified gap-air-mirror defense. In 6 minutes, our opponents gained less than 5 net yards with no first downs. Our opponents were shell shocked. Our boys were ecstatic!!

So far so good, first game in two weeks. Thanks coach!!


PS The back up snapper was perfect.

Hi Coach Reed -

I have purchased your instructional books on coaching youth football and won our city championship using your philosophies - thank you!

Thanks for your dedication directed at coaching youth football. The guys I beat weekly think I'm a genius thanks to you.

Tim Russell

Hello Mr. Reed;

I never did follow-up after our successful season last year (6-1), but we did email in the middle when I had a question about defending a passing-centric team at the Rookie level. Your advice was right-on and we ‘stopped their key play' and forced them to go to what they weren't comfortable with...running. I don't expect you to recall that, but thank you for your books!

Thank you, sir!

Kevin Gaines

Colorado Springs, CO

Coach Reed,

I have several of your books including Coaching Youth Football 3rd edition. By the way, I used the gap 8 defense last year and had 6 shutouts in 8 games! One game we gave up a kick return for the only score and the other was a sweep for a TD by the fastest kid on the field. I love your books!

Thank You,

Craig Smith


I just wanted to give you a testimonial on this defense. I was the defensive coach for a Pop Warner football team in Fairport NY. The level was mighty Mite –ages 7, 8 9. We were the new team in the league , the league had expanded from 2 team from Fairport to 3 teams. 99% of our kids had never played tackle football and the 1% who had, were castoffs that the other two teams did not want back. I installed your Gap -8 defense for a number of reasons but mostly for its simplicity. Needless to say we won every game and really shut down most team's offensive playmakers. Coaches would repeatedly try to run up the middle and could not believe that we could stop them. Up until the last game we only surrendered 2 touchdowns in 6 games. Our last game was against a very fast and very talented team that if we went player for player we should have never had a chance. In this game the gap 8 had 4 goaline stances and stuffed them each time. The game ended in a tie 7-7. I believe very strongly in this defense and I would recommend it to every youth coach. Thanks for making our season a very memorable one.

Daniel D. Wetzel

Indirect Sales Manager

Upstate Markets

PCS- 585-230-0065

Dear Mr. Reed:

I have been coaching youth football for five years and in 2004 I took over as head coach of a team that went 1-8 in the previous season. I had high hopes of turning the program around for 2004. Well, with all my good intentions our team had the identical record as in 2003. I felt I did a disservice to those youngsters who came out for the team to learn something about football and what it meant to be part of a team. I vowed that I would take some pro-active steps so we would not repeat the same mistakes as in the previous seasons. I attended coaching clinics, spoke with other coaches and read some books. Two of the books I read were "Coaching Youth Football and Gap, Air, Mirror Defense. We finished with a 9-1 regular season record and lost the semi-final play off game to the team that went on to win the championship. We finished first in scoring and our defense did not give up a rushing touch down until our seventh game against the other team that went on to play in the championship game. One of the first things I remember from your books was the comment, "If anyone is running a 5-3 defense in youth football does not know what he is doing". That person was me. We went to GAM defense, rehearsed our offensive plays against various defensive formations so everyone knew who to block and had great success. There were many things to be proud of from the 2005 season. In 2004 one of our starting running backs had only one touch down. In 2005, our second string back field, 4 separate players, accounted for 7 TDs. Our league requires that every player have at least 5 plays in a game and we carry a 40 player roster. I believe having a well organized, clear and simple program was the key to our success. Your books were instrumental in creating our program and formulating our game plans. Incidentally, I had our assistant coaches read the same books, they were a great group of guys that all bought in the program and enjoyed their various roles.


Gene Allman

Orchard Park, NY Little Loop Football.

Mr. Reed:

Yes you may quote me and on 12/22/2005 our team was awarded the second place trophy in their division.


I have been coaching youth football for 6 years. My primary responsibility has been offensive play calling. We have had some success running the GAM but did not use it consistently.

Last year I took my first head-coaching positioning back down in the 7-8 year old division. I spent the off season studying the GAM and asking many questions. It was obvious that it would be difficult for any team to establish a sophisticated offense at this age. My strategy was to focus our strength at defense and make the best of field position to give the offense as many chances as possible in these shortened games. Dedicating my strongest players to defense was hard at first thought for an offensive person like myself. But I understood your philosophy and put it into play. Fortunately, at this age group, this league allows me to be on the field the entire season so you can really see where the break downs are happening and can coach/correct in between plays.

Wow, did it work! Our starting defense only allowed 1 touchdown (by the way we fumbled the ball inside the 10) in 11 games.We held 4 teams to no 1st downs and 3 more to only 1 first down. After a 25 point advantage our league requires that the strongest 6 players are removed. 2nd team defense did well also and we had 7 shut outs and several interceptions.

We made it to the super bowl undefeated. Unfortunately we did not win the big game partially due to some uncharacteristic [lack of] discipline by my linebackers and due to my inability to call a stunt we had been using all year successfully to help stop strong off-tackle teams. I look forward to developing the GAM further with these same players next year.

11 – 1 record for kids who have never played before was more than impressive. Thanks for the guidance.

Shane Geringer

Camarillo Roadrunners

Pee Wee Division – Team BLUE

Pacific Coast Youth Football League <>


I just came across this email exchange we had back in September. I have to tell you of the success we had as a result of your input. I wrote to you after we had lost our first 3 games. After getting your reply and doing as you said – getting the linebackers to not back up and to attack the LOS, and making the wedge play more of a key in our offense, things really came together. We only lost one of our subsequent 6 games (and that one we should have won, but for a couple of let-downs when we had minimum play kids in). We had two shut-outs and outscored our opponents 123 – 46 over the span. The line started playing more assertively with the wedge blocking mentality, and the wing reverse started clicking as the off tackle and sweep worked better. It went for 4 TDs over the six games (and the fake reverse went for two.) The season became a success.

Anyway, I just wanted to close that circle with you and say thanks so much for responding to me. I believe your response factored greatly into salvaging our season.

Happy holidays,

Mark McDermott

McDermott & Associates

9607 N. Copper Ridge Trail

Fountain Hills, AZ 85268


(480)837-7476 fax


I would like to add to your collection of success stories. Last year (2004) I took over a pee-wee youth football team, ages 7 to 10 years old. Although I purchased your book “Coaching Youth Football”, I did not fully implement it. I opted to stay with more conventional formations I had coached before. Needless to say, my roster was all first year players, and we went 2-8.

This year, I additionally bought your book “Single Wing Offense for Youth Football”. I decided this offense complemented the talent I had returning, and against my assistant coach’s advice, we went with the Single Wing Offense this season. All I can say is WOW, what a change. We not only went undefeated (11-0) and won the championship; we lead the league in scoring, by putting up 320 points for the year. We only had five plays, and our top three running backs averaged 14, 12 and 11 yards per carry. The plays were simple for the kids to learn, and by the end of the year they were running them to near perfection. After a few games, opposing teams knew what we were running, but still couldn’t stop us. I found at this age group, the defenses had a hard time adjusting to the strong side, and as you know that spells disaster for them.

Defensively, I also went with the GAM. I modified it some, and usually went with three down lineman and two middle LB’s, but this was due to the fact I had more speed than size. The defense worked well, and we led the league on this side of the ball too. We only gave up 44 points all year, and didn’t even get scored upon until the sixth game of the season.

Granted, I think we would have been successful this year running a number of different schemes, but I also believe your systems were a huge contributing factor in us finishing undefeated. I highly recommend your books to any coach (new or old), that is taking on the challenge of coaching youth football.

Jason Hunt (Hanford, CA)

Head Coach

Hanford Pee Wee Steelers

2005 All Valley League Champions

I am writing to give support for your GAP-AIR-MIRROR defense. I was thrust into a head coaching postion for 10-12 year olds due to the existing coach not being able to fulfull the committment. I researched on line and came across your book and ordered it. I had helped out last year with running the defense which was a mandatory 5-3 per league rules. It looked like something I could implement based on my limited experience and never having played football.

What a success! My team went 9-1 and won the Rocky Bowl Championship. We allowed a league low 51 points. The concepts were excellent and your book was easy to follow. Thanks, lookign forward to next year.

Mike Kouwenhoven, Billings, Montana.


I wanted to thank you for putting together excellent coaching books. I just finished my third year as the defensive coach for my son's youth football teams. I bought Coaching Youth Football before his first season of tackle football. I wanted an aggressive, but disciplined defense and the GAM seemed to be a good fit for what I wanted to do. I have made some slight adjustments at various times to fit our personnel, but overall we have followed the setup you describe. I bought the Gap-Air-Mirror Defense for Youth Football book before the 2005 season. We moved up to a higher age group and I wanted the additional detail this book provided. It was very useful.

Here's few statistics to show the success that our team has achieved. A large part of it was due to the defense.

2003: County Championship, 8-1 record, 152 points scored, 40 points allowed, 1,713 yards gained, 615 yards allowed.

2004: County Championship, 9-0 record, 181 points scored, 6 points allowed, 2,201 yards gained, 491 yards allowed.

2005: County Championship, 10-0 record, 178 points scored, 18 points allowed (only 12 by the defense), 2,354 yards gained, 614 yards allowed

Thanks again for the books. Studying the defense, reviewing tape, and working with the boys on tackling and individual responsibility in a team construct really helped them to be successful.

Scott Shelton

Dear Mr. Reed,

I decided to coach youth football after assisting for a season and seeing a number of things I thought could be done better. I thought I might be selected and started to research the type of offense and defense I was going to play.

After reading a number of articles on the single-wing offense I came across your web site and purchased "The Single Wing Offense For Youth Football" and "Coaching Youth Football". One of my assistants had purchased your GAP Air Mirror Defense For Youth Football. I read all of the books several times over the summer and implemented the single wing and GAP Air Mirror.

Your books were fantastic!! You covered everything from the actual plays to the problems with parents and assistants and I experienced them all first hand. Our D Team (6,7,8 year olds) had the best season in the 12 year existence of the program. The team was 8-0 which was a first. Although we only had 2 exceptional athletes (starting tailback and fullback) we were able to score 36 touchdowns and gain almost 1900 yards in 8 games. Due to parent pressure (why isn't my son carrying the ball) the starting tailback and fullback did not play in the second half or not at all in several games. The defense was exceptionally well only allowing 6 touchdowns all year. There were 4 shutouts and in 3 of the games the opposing offense had a negative total yards for the game.

I attribute the success to your books and the detailed instruction you provided. Although I had played football as a youth I was not prepared to coach until I finished your books. I would highly recommend them to anybody. Thanks very much for a great set of "instruction manuals"

Nick Carola

Amston, CT

Hi John.

I ordered your book and my son's team converted almost exclusively to GAM defense by second game of the season.

We won the mini-bowl (championship) for the 10 year old Jr. Pee Wee classification in our league of 32 teams.

After beating their heads against our big 4 in the gaps and getting killed by the d ends and the people lined up outside, our opponents generally tried to pass on us, without much success. We never blitzed all season. The defense really works. Thanks for a great approach. I need to study the offense and look at putting in some of that for next year.

Best regards,

Roger Andersen

Coach Reed ,

We are currently 8-0 with 2 games left to play in our season thanks to your advice. This is my first year as DC and I picked the GAM defense after reading your book on youth defense. I must admit, I was a little worried installing this defense with 7/8 year olds, but they caught on fast and believe in it. We have allowed only 5 TDs in 32 QTRS and some of those were coaching mistakes. I took your book on GAM DEFENSE to practice every day and I must say it was pretty easy for the kids and coaches. Success breeds confidence. Thanks coach and I'll let you know how we finish up the season.

Coach Dave , DC ,

Fullerton JR. Mighty Mite Titans

Fullerton Football

I'm writing back to let you know we won those last 2 games of the season, including our Bowl Game against a previously undefeated team, to go 10-0 and finish UNDEFEATED. Thanks in great part to your book on GAP-AIR- MIRROR-DEFENSE for Youth Football , we were able to stop teams from scoring that last year would have run allover us. We only allowed 51 points in 10 games with 5 shutouts and that was our 1st year with the GAM...with a rookie coach! Your books ( I have 3) are a lot more than X's & O's. They are complete guides to Winning at the Youth Level with a "COMMON SENSE" approach that is very rare in youth coaching. Thank-you for helping us see youth coaching for what it should be and more importantly ...ALL THE THINGS YOUTH COACHES SHOULD NOT BE DOING. Jack, thanks.

Dave Wenderlich




Coach John,

Just a short note to say thank you for your writings that I've discovered over the last year. Because we have adhered to many of your strategies, our team has just finished their regular season, undefeated .... 6-0.

This is a Pop Warner Pee-Wee team, in Traverse City, Michigan that I have been fortunate enough to coach for three years now

We are on our way to the Championship game this weekend...... I'll keep you posted.

Paul M. Bonaccini

Vice President, Investments

Raymond James & Associates

522 E. Front Street

Traverse City, MI 49686


Please go to part 4