Reader success stories about Single-Wing Offense for Youth Football
Posted by John T. Reed on
I don’t know if you remember me but I first purchased your Single Wing book back in 2002. I am the Offensive Coordinator for Santa Clarita Christian High School in So Cal. We are an 8-Man team. Back then I converted your “Single Wing Offense for Youth Football” book for the 8-Man game and we, in fact, communicated a bit by phone and email at that time. You were a great help. We just won the CIF-SS 2008 8 Man DIV 1 Championship in the State of California (state championship) for the first time a few weeks ago basically running your offense. Since we put it in some 6 years ago, we have never had a losing season, been to the CIF–SS play-offs every year, and to the Championship game twice. (2003, 2008) and, as I say, just won the ring!
The year before we put this offense in we went 0-9, THEN….. 5-5, 11-2, 9-3, so on and so forth until this year winning it all. As a result of these past years’ successes I have been asked to speak at several 8-man clinics and been contacted by many coaches across the country about the Single Wing for 8 Man. I always direct them to your book about the Single Wing as a place to start. I also had the good fortune to speak with and order materials from the great John Aldrich and Ken Keuffel.
Over time I have put in many variations to suit our particular needs. Some work and some don’t, but to this day the core of our offense still is Sweep, Wedge, Power (Off-Tackle). Even at the High School level, if these three plays are run properly almost any team can have a winning season as you well know. I really get a kick out of the NFL Wildcat version of the Wing as I’m sure you have as well. You talked about this “contrarian” formation years ago and how it would work at any level accordingly. Bet we will see even more of this in years to come. Until it’s no longer contrarian. Wouldn’t that be something!
We have not communicated in many years, but I felt compelled to email you now and thank you again for your amazing book on the Wing (just ordered the updated version) as it led us this year to the CIF Championship, our ranking as the #1 8-Man Team in the State of California and #6 8-Man team in the country on Max Preps/Cal Preps. [The Calpreps rankings show Santa Clarita Christian at 19th but some of the teams above them are 6- or 9-man football teams.]
P.S. I didn’t know you had a book about 9-man single wing flag.
How did I miss that?? Our Jr High kids play 9-man flag.
I’m sure it’s on your site. I will order.
Santa Clarita Christian High School
Reed Single Wing reader wins second California Varsity high school state championship in a row
We just went back to back and won the CIF-SS 8 Man DIV I Championship again this 2009 year. In addition to that one of our seniors Collin Keoshian is going D-1 with a full ride at BYU. He’s been running the wing at TB for 3 years now.
Thanks again for the great Single Wing offense you designed. Its still our base offense.
Santa Clarita Christian High School
2006 Pop Warner National Championship using Reed’s Single-Wing Offense and GAM defense
My name is Tim Ailes, I contacted you a couple years ago about our team from Flagler County, Florida that won the 2006 D-2 National Championship by using the Single-Wing on offense and the GAM on defense. Yes it was Pop-Warner and I contacted your in early 2007 to let you know how successful we were with a lot of your ideas. Our Head Coach was coached in college by Rex Ryan so we tried to coach a physical style of football and it was amazing the compliments we used to get. by no means am I trying to take credit for this, all the credit should go to our Head Coach and the players, I was an Asst. Coach on this team, My son was the Power Tackle...
I emailed you 8 months ago when I ordered your books in Afghanistan. I took over a team that hasn't won a game in two years, and only scored 1 touchdown last year. Many of the players and parents refused to comeback. I am left with 17 kids and we only had 3 weeks to put your Single Wing, and GAM in. We had no live action except half offense vs half defense like you suggested. Ok, that was all the negative.
Today we won! 38-0. I had 3 kids over 100 yards, one with 300 if you include his 60 yard pick 6. On defense we held the team to close to 100 yards negative offense I don't have exact numbers until I watch the video. We had 6 fumble recoveries and turned the ball over ZERO TIMES!!!!
The game was mercy ruled before the end of the 2nd quarter. This is where its a continuous clock and the losing team stays on offense. Its 28 points for Mercy rule. It was 25-0 so the next TD n conversion gave us 32 and then we had the pick 6 to give us 38.
I could not have done this without your books. I bought all of them except clock mgt. I will get that one soon. Thank you so very much Coach. You made me look like a genius, and my kids look like world beaters, but I'm just an enlisted Air Force Dad with an young team of mostly first year players.
I also forgot to mention we were 4-6 passing for over 60 yards. The two incompletions were drops.
God Bless, Gabe
So, now comes tackle. 8 to 11 y.o. level. I admit I don't know enough about it to head coach a team, so I run defense for a coach that didn't know anything either, but insisted he was a pro. He wouldn't let me try anything or change player assignments. Needless to say, we were losing game after game. Frustrated , I was searching for a better plan. We were running a 5-3 when I found your GAM [DEFENSE] book. (http://www.johntreed.com/…/gap-air-mirror-defense-for-youth…)
After losing enough to put us out of playoff contention, the head coach conceded to my weird ideas. I ran your GAM defense, with only one week of preparation, and we held the no. 1 team to 13 points for the game. We lost 7 to 13. Our best game of the season.
In the following off season, I purchased ALL of your football books. (http://www.johntreed.com/collections/football-coaching-books)
I read and re read your books 3 times each, in their entirety, in preparation for the next season. The club that I coached for was a very backwards one, and they would not allow me to head coach at the same level as the previous year. So I went Down a level and coached my younger sons team, 7 8 and 9 y.o. kids. I put in a hurry up, no huddle, single wing offense and the GAM defense, applied the time management book, and some contrarian tactics as well. We won 5 of our 7 games that year, the best anyone had done at that club in 5 years or better. Meanwhile, the other coaches were trying to tell me that " its neat that your gimmicks win games, but we play tried and true football". They only won 1 and 2 games for the season.
The next season, my son and I move up a level, and so do a bunch of the players from our previous years team. Again, I am blocked from coaching that level by "politics", so I work it out with the head coach that I will be offensive coordinator. In the first week I turn to the head coach and tell him that we are going to go to the championship game this year. Needless to say, he wasn't a believer. With the exception of a tie during regular season, we won every game that season, including the championship game. We beat athletically superior teams by as much as 3 touchdowns.
My youngest son was one of the long snappers, I got him his reps and he didn't have a bad snap all season until the second round of regional play, 11 games straight, and everybody laughed when I pulled out the lawn chair. I was as fair as I could be with all the kids, I had 4 offensive backfields with long snappers and changed long ends with them. I had 20 kids that could run the ball or receive that knew every play because of your books.
The best part of this is, and probably why I am no longer coaching for them, I never played football. I did not watch it on TV, I can't quote stats about this years Bills team, nothing. But that football team I coached for won the first championship that organization had seen in better than 10 years at any level. During the course of the year, I heard things like "that will never work", "you're ruining the kids for their next coaches", "you should be running what the high school runs". I had many arguments with the organization, so since my sons were borderline with weight, I chose not to coach, and my sons are not playing. This year, the coaches that have the kids from that team, haven't won yet. They are not using your books.
Dear John Reed,
I contacted you in 2003-2005 to purchase your football books (offense, defense, etc.) and use them for Pony football (12 year olds). I recall calling you and describing the resistance from my coaches and parents -- especially since I was trying to teach football to over 42 players including two girls.
I was pushed out of coaching [hereinafter League A], due to a conflict with the new football director -- his words --'that isn't football' -- he subscribed to a playbook and the I formation - the playbook had over 30 plays! I asked that we create a B division to handle so many players and let them play football. He disagreed. So I contacted [League B] football league (must play and no weight restrictions), and the first year we fielded 1 team and all the players (over 30 of them played) the next year [League B] expanded to 4 teams, and eventually to 6 teams…
[Our local] High School football team just won its third Maryland State Public school 2A State Title, and 4 consecutive years in the final. Over the last 4 years, many of the dominant football players on these teams got their start with [League B] football and the principles I used from your books in the first season (single wing, GAM defense), many of the other League B] youth teams also used your books. The two leading players on this years State Championship team both have Division I football scholarships -- but I want to reemphasize that many of the [second league] starters usually 5 to 7 of them on the starting offense or defense) go their start with [League B] contrary to the [League A] youth football program -- the old I formation and 30+ plays in the playbook!
[Reed note: After my first year of head coaching freshman football at our local high school, my freshman players did spring football under the JV coach. After one or two days of spring football, he came to me wide-eyed and thanked me and my staff for doing such a great job of preparing the players for the next level. He said, “These kids are already where last year’s JV team did not get until three games into the season! Your guys know how to practice, how to study film, they understand the game! I can’t thank you enough!” I have also gotten that from other high schools after my kids moved up. The reason is my books are not only about the gimmick of the GAM defense or the single wing offense. They are mainly about basic good football play and cocahing. I always use and advocate contrarian approaches because they give your team an advantage, but the main reason my books work for my readers and my former players work for higher levels is my readers have a far better understanding of how to coach football (or baseball) than the vast majority of those coaches who have not read my books. One of my youth readers applied for a local high school job. The board doing the interviewing including a former very experienced high level coach. When my reader was asked how he would handle various offensive plays on defense, he recited the stuff from my GAM book. He got the job. The experienced coach interviewer subsequently told him he got the job because he understood basic football defense, and had the right answers for difficult offensive plays better than any other candidate.]
I've ran the offense now for two years and the first year my team won the conference with a 7-1 record and we lost in the semi-final game 1-1 playoff
Last year we were undefeated with an average of more than 50pts a game in the first round of the playoffs we won 80-6! It was 60-6 at halftime!
The next round we were 44-0 at halftime
And the championship we won 44-14!
I used the warp speed offense with wrist coaches and I shuffled the long side guard every two plays.
I just wanted to take a moment to say, thank you for taking the time to produce such USEFUL resources for youth football coaches. I have coached youth football for 4 years now and despite my best efforts in exhausting all resources available, I have found nothing that comes close to offering such instructive and practical guidance as your books!
I purchased your Gap-Air-Mirror Defense for Youth Football book 3 years ago. As you indicate in your book, other coaches and parents were immediately skeptical. I took my lumps and stayed the course, just as you recommended. By week 2 the skeptics were quieted as we had boast 2 shutouts! We finished that season with the number 1 defense in our league and lost in the second round of the playoffs in overtime.
Year 2-The skeptics never quit…..however they were again hushed by the results, as we made our way to the league championship and proved the GAM defense was not a fluke. We lost the championship in a real heartbreaker 12-6. But again, we claimed the number 1 defense in the league.
I took over the head coach position this past winter and with that, I decided to run your single wing offense as well. I wasted no time in purchasing your Single Wing Offense for Youth Football immediately. Once again, I caught grief for what was considered by many as, more of my eccentric coaching methodology. Having become somewhat immune to this type of behavior it did not bother me nearly as much as it had in past, or perhaps I am becoming callused. Long story short we finished this season with not only the number 1 defense 3 years running, but the number 1 offense as well. The cherry on top was taking home the championship in our 7-0 season!
Offense-Total Points Scored-276-Average per game-39.4
Defense-Total Points Allowed-54-Average per game-7.7
It is my theory that our success started with confidence at the top. Once the coaches believed in the system, the kids believed in the system. With that, the players to take ownership of the team. Further, the simplicity of both systems helps our coaches focus on fundamentals to instill proper technique and safety, which I personally believe to be our greatest obligation at this age. Your books also provided us a trouble shooting guide, which we found very helpful in fixing problems vs. covering them up. I believe all of this helps our kids down the road and better prepares for Friday nights.
I am well aware of the fact that every coach has his own style and knowledge base to draw from in what and how they coach/teach, it makes sense. But, for what it is worth I would recommend your books to anyone. Just not anyone in our league!
Again, I thank you for what you do.
Don't think I ever gave you a report on our season. Faith Academy of Marble Falls. First year in 11-man football after 10 in six man. We adopted the single wing and got info, and most important, philosophy from your books. Result, we went 11-1 in Texas TAPPS league. Thanks, hope you do some more writing on football.
You may find this interesting. I have been a high school coach in Texas for 37 years, spending time in every public school classification this state has to offer, (even one, class B 11 man which no longer exsists). Retired, took a job as a private school which played 6 man, we moved up (even though we still don't have the recomemded number of boys) to 11 man football this fall. To prepare I RE-read your clock management, read your Youth Football, Contraian Football (extremly helpful), 10-1 defense, and single wing books last summer.
We went 11-1 won our district (first year I have ever won 11 games) and went two rounds into the private school Division III (smallest division) playoffs. Your books were extremly helpful, I found after 40 years in coaching, your Youth Football concepts more helpful than ideas I have picked up from college coaches.
Most of the schools we played were bigger. We have 103 students and we beat schools with enrollents of 400, 300, and 700 students, and again it was our first year to play 11 man ball. Thanks for your help. Keep me informed if you publish more books.
havae been listining and studing under good and great coaches since my junior year in college (1968) and I must say that you offer a fresh prespective. I have enjoyed and gained a great deal. THANK YOU.
I enjoyed the playbook I purchased years ago…. Just so you know I won a number of championsips.
I've been coaching football and watching every level for a long time now and have noticed that many of your ideas are being used. For instance sideline play calling with poster boards is just a spin off of your magna doodle. Warp speed tempo? Chip Kelly must have bought your book. The ducks look like a team you would coach.
I used the place kick punt this year on varsity and the other team was lost. We pinned teams deep with the quick kick on third down. All that stuff inspired by you.
I have read the GAM book over and over and I have tried to find stuff on the 10-1 to no avail. I can't seem to figure out why the GAM would not work at the high school level. The concept is sound and innovative. Every D has risk. I think it would be a great D for Varsity or at least combined with something else. I used it at the freshman level and it worked well.
Thanks for your time coach
I was able to locate your single-wing training manual on-line and implement the offense in 2008 with our 8th grade team. We followed all of your steps word for word, page by page and took our team which went 2-6 the previous year to a 5-3 record, while averaging 28 points per game. As our son and team all advanced to high school, I took the offense to our youngest sons team (4th graders) last year and with 24 kids, 12 of them brand new to full contact football we went 6-3, losing our play-off game in the last minutes 12-7. This year we had 22 kids return and as of this email we are 7-0, while averaging 39.7 points per game. We have also had 8 different kids score Touch Downs this year, our team set a goal to go 10-0 and win the Super Bowl of our division.
I can not thank you enough for the fantastic coaching material and training approach for implementing the single-wing offense. The power, misdirection and pass options of the system make our team very hard for defenses to stop. We will continue to evolve the offense and develop our kid's skill level every year until they move to the next level of high school. I would strongly recommend the Single-Wing coaching system to any youth coach that wants to run a productive offense, which gets first downs and touch downs and wins games. Thank you Coach Reed for the time and effort you have put into creating this system that has put our Team on a Championship path for years to come.
Coach Lance Ortiz
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
You have my consent to use this comment above.
Good Morning Mr. Reed,
I coach youth football in the Dallas, TX area. In 2011, we won the 8 yr. old league championship using both the Single Wing & GAM. We had the highest scoring offense & the best defense in the league!
"Henderson, Steve G." <email@example.com>
In case you were wondering who I was, I thought I would fill you in. I have bought and read a number of your coaching books. Last year was my first year coaching, so I turned to a good friend of mine to ask for guidance. He gave me one of your books, and I liked how straight forward your material was. I bought others, read them and put my knowledge to use on the football field. As a first year coach I wasn't given much credit, and I used that to my advantage. Our team went on to win the championship. The runner up team was running Dave Cisar's SW-just FYI.
This year I'm coaching another peewee team and will have 2 of my sons on my team. Needless to say, I'm excited for another season.
Thanks for "friending" me on facebook Coach.
Carlisle Bannister posted on Facebook
I want to thank John T Reed for publishing his books on coaching football. We had all rookie coaches who were coaching 19 rookie players. Not one of our players had ever played before. We purchased the books for the coaches and implemented the single wing offense and the gap-air-mirror defense. We followed the books and we ended up winning the 7 year old championship our first year. We were told that we were the first team from our league that has ever won the title with 100% rookie players. We never could have done it with out following the suggestions from the books.Thank you again so much!
am not sure if this email will ever find its way to you, but I wanted to say how much I enjoy your insights on life, coaching and business. I coached youth football and baseball for 8 years (my son is a sophomore now) and I loved your coaching books and recommended them to many guys coming up that I mentored. Sadly, some parents in my affluent area ”just didn’t get it” and it was a source of encouragement and confirmation that I wasn’t out of line expecting discipline, teamwork and allocating playing time based on merit. Not only did I learn a lot from your books, but it was a pleasure reading the no-nonsense way you delivered the message (maybe that’s my military upbringing). I especially enjoyed the way you described how some coaches miss-assess talent and quoted those pages countless times to other coaches that were new to youth football. Now that I am done coaching it is gratifying to see my Pop Warner kids thriving in high school and the way they light up and say “hi Coach” every time I see them. I am toying with the idea of coaching at the high school level some day when I have more time and will be sure to purchase your books on that subject if I decide to take the leap.
Needles to say, I am going to purchase Succeeding, read it, and then give it to my 15 year old son as a gift for Christmas.
Thanks for your advice this season. As I said before, this is my first year as head coach on any team. I purchased all your books and followed them to the best of my ability.
We won the league championship game 25-0. Your SW, GAM, and Warp-speed no huddle really work. So many people were complimenting me on all "my" innovations this year. Glad to see your books have not penetrated into my league yet. The coaches of the team we played in the championship were so freaked out the first time they lost to us that they totally chucked their entire offense and defense for a new one just for us. I think this is on your list of stupid youth coach mistakes. Needless to say we crushed their 1-week-practiced O & D with the [your] strategy that we installed on day 1.
[Reed comment: Actually, my books have penetrated Grena’s league. He read them. I think my books are rapidly approaching the optimum situation for my readers: every league has one Reed reader. Consequently, he is often, like Grena, the league champion. For my income, everyone in the league reading them would be better. But there will always be many who claim you “can’t learn how to coach from a book” or who lack the guts to use contrarian approaches in spite of their obvious advantages. And although selling more books is nice, I like being part of championship seasons, too.
One other thing. In youth football, first-year head coaches often do not score a point or win a game all season. So for Coach Grena to not only do better than all zeros but with the league championship on his first try is pretty amazing.]
Thanks for your books! I am just wrapping up my first year as a head coach and used the GAM defense and your single wing Offense. We are undefeated and best of all the kids have had a blast. I have had 3 referees come up and ask me where we came up with this offene and silent snap, they cannot believe 10 year olds can get pull this off. What they don't know is it is actually easier. thanks
Mark Wade from Facebook
I am not trying to be a "kiss ass" but, you are the best. Not only have I learned coaching techniques from you, I've learned communication skills as well.
My boy got a full ride to play football in college. What he learned in 8 years I coached him in youth league came out of the John Reed books. I did everything, exactly, how you instructed. He played at the highest level of High School football, and still to this day says our youth league practices were better organized.
I will pass your "Full Scrimmage" lesson on to all of our coaches.
Take care and God Bless,
This year I ran your single wing formation (with a silent snap) converted for 8x8 Pop Warner Flag with 6 year olds and we went undefeated against teams with superior athletes until our our Bowl matchup against a one loss team and then we lost 6 to 0. We had a lot of issues in our final game with the refs not knowing the flag rules and to top it off I basically blew the game by not following your advice by running a double wing goal line set from the one yard line instead of just staying with the single wing alignment and running an off-tackle or sweep play. My son who plays center snapped it over the tailback's head because he was more concerned about helping everyone blocking straight ahead. The running clock ran out and we lost, however it was still a great season. I can't wait to coach these same kids in tackle next year!
Clark F. Christensen
From my Facebook page
…really liked the GAM alignment,…[we got] gashed on the off tackle play. [We] did follow the GAM plan for the interior line, and you are right in your book, our interior lineman gave up practically zero yardage on many wedge attempts as well as almost every other effort to run inside. Some say that GAM's problem is that you need linebackers in case of breakthrough. I can see this is patently false. There will be no breakthrough if the kids stay low as they are told. We simply dominated the interior as there was a huge pile up every attempt to run inside.
Our problem, however, was off-tackle. Instead of following the GAM alignment v. Single Wing, [we] tried to adapt…"stack" …. We did run 4-4 stack with some success in other games, but we needed something different for this undefeated Single Wing team. So we had the two corners off the LOS, playing like linebackers in stack defense. The idea was to stunt these four stacked players, and with two playing off the LOS, we were hoping that it might confuse the offensive lineman as far as who to block, instead of just lining them up on the line. Made sense. But it didn't do the job. Their guys downblocked on our tackle, and managed to entangle and/or kick out the other four players to the outside of the tackle, creating a big breach between our tackle and them. ([We] also had the Middle Linebacker over on the weakside, instead of in the middle, for fear of a reverse. So he was no help). We were down 20-0 at the half, and were getting whooped. Our kids were dejected, and frustrated. Some were crying and feigning injury. The good news is that just before halftime, having read your section on adjustments to stop off-tackle, I suggested…simply move our tackles over a bit, toward the C gap, and instruct them to play in the gap. This worked very well. [Reed note: This is the GAM-T adjusment explained on page 32 of the current edition of my GAM book. This is a slight adjustment—maybe two or three feet, but it transformed this game.] Maybe we gave up a little strength on the wedge, but they weren't trying it anymore, having been stopped in the first half on that. They kept going off tackle, and we totally shut them down in the second half. We were a brand new team. Our "hurt" kids suddenly weren't hurt anymore. The offense could not get that breach off the tackle any more. And our kids regained their confidence and got fired up, playing for pride, and hitting them real hard. The game ended 20-0, with our offense driving, and on their one-yard line last play. A bunch of their kids were crying now. (Not that we wanted to see that, but their coach said post-game we were the hardest hitting team he's ever faced). They actually celebrated like crazy when time ran out, and we didn't score on that last play. The feel of it was that it was a second game, and we had really won the second game. That was largely the result of the change we made with our tackles. Once we shut down their off-tackle play, their achilles was broken. Our kids felt so confident, after that second half, that they are begging for another chance to play them. [Reed note: I also wrote a book on offense, namely the single wing, the offense this opponent was using. The first play in the book is the off-tackle play. Our line captan make a line call before every play. That line call idenifies the location of the defensive tackle. We do that because the blocking sceme at the hole is different. There are three such blocking schemes. Had a reader of mine been on offense in this game, when the GAM defense team moved their tackles out, his line captain would have started making a different line call and we would have changed the blocking to reflect the new DT location. Those two books of mine: Gap-Air Mirror Defense for Youth Football and Single-Wing Offense for Youth Football, are the two most detailed offense and defense books ever written. This game experienec is the perfect illustration of how the detail in thoes books helps you win—details that took me years to experiment with and work out.]
Coach Reed -
We just won a game with the warp speed no huddle! Unbelievable! The most incredible part was that we ran the EXACT SAME PLAY over and over. We have a very new team and inexperienced coaches, so we are admittedly weak on assignments for different plays.
We had decided to go in to the game with only four plays. Then, at the end of every quarter we started warp speed no-huddle with ONE end-around running play. 8 yds. 0 yds. 5 yds. 2 yds. 18 yds. -2 yds. 15 yds. -1 yd. 3 yd. 11 yd TD. We had some very upset coaches and parents on the other side - some trying to tell the refs that we can't do that. I am sure you don't advocate only one play, but it worked against a team we were clearly not supposed to beat!
Thanks for the book and all the articles!
11-12 yr old - Seattle, WA.
Doug Jones (you may use this and my name)
We're having trouble getting backs to sustain their blocks. Any drill tips?
Response to Troy from Reed:
1. start the block later so it does not have to be sustained. That is, time it up better. Maybe take a more circuitous route to the block. That may result in the defender not seeing it coming which makes the block much easier. Maybe have another guy trade blocking assignments with the back for that purpose.
2. It is not a drill that you need. It is an butt chewing and maybe a benching. In 2004, my H.S. freshmen wide receivers decided blocking was beneath them. I told them they were mainly blockers, not ball carriers or pass catchers. I pointed out how many plays there were in a game and how few called for them to get the ball. “You are blockers on 90% of our plays. Yet you act like you have no interest in blocking. Start blocking effectively or I will replace you.” They did not. I did. I replaced my entire WR corps with backup fullbacks. The backup fullbacks blocked their asses off because they preferred starting at WR to sitting on the bench. One of my WR decided to block when I gave him another chance and he won his position back. It was funny to watch the game films. He would doggedly whack some cornerback over and over until the whistle. The cornerbacks were surprised at first. Then they got pissed because no one had ever done that to them before. But my WRs kept it up because they were more afraid of me than of the CBs. Opposing coaches asked what my magic trick was for getting my WRs to block so hard and keep it up until the whistle. “Chew their butts if they don’t. Replace their butts if they still don’t.” A high school coach I worked for said the bench is the coach’s best friend. Use it.
Your suggestion that a drill is needed indicates you have misdiagnosed the problem. It is not that they don’t know how. The problem is they do not want to do it.
What you emphasize, you achieve. What you tolerate, you encourage. What you demand, you get.
Bear down on them until they either do it right or quit the team. About 98% of the time, they will do it right.
Tell the kids that if I get another report that they are still not doing their main jobs—as blockers, I will personally come to wherever you are and give them all the biggest noogies they ever had.
Coach ’em up,
It worked. Thanks again! It was definitely more #2 than #1.
Thanks for the book - it has been recommended to me through several individuals all over Texas that run the single wing in youth football.
Thanks Jack I've purchased 7 or 8 of your great books and refer to them often. Football for real dummy's made easy thanks!!! for making me look great and know, REALLY KNOW what I'm doing!
[My son] grew up hearing me "preach" your single wing gospel. He often heard me say "the book says" when referring to your Single Wing Offense for Youth Football. We were a very successful team using your philosophy. He has carried that with him to the high school level. He received his National Championship ring last week.
Danny Adams #41
Jr. LB / LS
St. Thomas Aquinas High School
2008 National Champions
Joe Adams ( Danny's dad)
Weston Warriors Youth Football League
I am writing this e-mail just to say that I have found that the philosophies and schemes outlined in your football books DO work. I have coached youth football for 11 years. I own all of your football books, and everything you have written is practical and applicable at the youth level. I have not necessarily followed everything verbatim as you outline it in your various books, but sometimes I have tweaked things here and there to fit our personnel. We have never won a championship, but we have been to the playoffs every year except one, and that year we had 14 first year players on a squad of 28. Our teams have beaten vastly athletically superior teams many times over the years. I think that you are 100% accurate in your analysis of the capabilities and limitations of the typical youth football team. I look forward to the next book you publish.
Dear Coach Reed,
I just wanted to take a moment and say thanks for your insight and strategy.
I am a coach in Windsor Colorado. My coaching partner actually ordered your Single Wing Offense Book and he let me read through it. I am very fortunate that he did because it really helped both offensively and defensively. And the bottom line, it did it with a 3rd-6th grader's perspective.
Beyond the success that we had on the field concerning wins and losses (which was very good by the way), it helped eliminate many rookie coaching mistakes. As coaches, we often refer back to what we learned in high school, or college for that matter, without realizing that it all started in elementary and middle school. There is a difference in attitude, maturity level and even work ethic. This book does an excellent job of preparing you to coach this age level.
This being said, it is much more than a book of coaching philosophy. It is mixed with actual strategies that are simple, yet effective in achieving the "whole picture" of coaching success at this age. We never had a disgruntled player or parent, we never had a losing season and everyone played equal time both offensively and defensively all year. We are very proud of these accomplishments and your book was very instrumental in the process.
Thanks again coach Reed!
Hello Mr. Reed-
My coaching partner and I ordered your book about 4 years ago. We've had tremendous success with your system. I am a huge fan of yours and I feel very fortunate to have learned from your system.
Thanks for helping me understand this great offense. I have built a pretty nice playbook and have implemented some motion from the wing back in a different formation. Last year was our first year using it and our team was a lot better because of it.
Thanks again, Kurt Hahn
Yes, you can quote me. As I had told you, before I ever read your book, in 2007, I'd instituted a rudimentary version of the single wing with my Anklebiter team (ages 5-8) after reading an article about Brian Sipe's single wing college team in USA Today last year. We had zero speed that year and 4 football players but 25 kids in uniform, and still managed to win two games and four preseason scrimmages against teams in other leagues.
This year I moved up to the PeeWee division (10-12 year olds) as the off. line coach and asst.off. coordinator to my brother. The team had not won a game in 4 years (!) and had scored their first touchdown during the previous season. Midway through our season, I discovered your book. After reading your Single Wing Offense for Youth Football book, talking to you on the phone, and applying several of your ideas, we lost only one game and won our Superbowl—the first time the Wolverines had ever done so at any level.
We had very good talent, including a quarterback who could legitimately throw 30 yards and 4-5 guys who could run routes and catch. We used your advice and kept the plays to about 14. We ran three [offensive formations] though.The single wing (we had particular success running the foxtrot [Reed note: foxtrot is a line call for double-team blocking the off-tackle play when the defensive tackle aligns inside the offense’s outside tackle] which went for a touchdown that was called back for phantom holding the first time we ran it and a couple more long plays later on including one in the superbowl.), a double wing, and a traditional single back pro set.
Your advice proved to be invaluable in everything from how to block (that was huge and the most valuable tool we could institute as my brother and I studied your offense) and through how to run a practice. Thanks again. Next year, we intend to run many more single-wing plays, as our quarterback will probably move up, but our star running-back returns.
Thank you very much. I bought John’s coaching, single wing, GAM defense, and contrarian offense books and my teams have gone:
2006 4-4-1 (purchased Johns books here)
Wanted to drop you a quick note as I am a big proponent of the Single Wing and your GAM defense. I began coaching youth football two years ago (3-4th grade tackle) and am the GM for 3 other age group tackle programs that fall under my organization.
I put the single wing and GAM in two years ago with a team of 16 players of which 14 had never played football before. We only won 2 games that first year,
However, our 2 wins were by over 30 points and our losses were by an avg. margin of 2pts. In addition to head coach I am the offensive coordinator. Had I run the D we would have won most of those games.
I am proud to say that this year my team won the league championship with a record of 8-1 and we won our conf. with a record of 5-0. The league is extremely competitive. My team was the youngest team in the league as I have 14 of the 16 boys returning for next year.
Our Single Wing dominated teams as we averaged 33pts/game. Our GAM defense allowed an avg of 6.6pts per game. We had 5 shutouts in 9 games. 4 of them were in a row.
I have all of your football books and the time management book was instrumental in our Superbowl win back in Nov. We won the game 26-21 against an undefeated Cowboy team that beat us earlier in the season 29-26.
As a former Army Airborne infantry officer I take great pride in being prepared and putting my teams in a position to compete at the highest level.
Your insight and experience have helped me in 2 short years to take a program that was floundering to one that is now being considered one of the best-run programs. Thanks for your help.
I have been using the single wing offense and GAM defense for the past 4 seasons (10-11yrs old) and wanted to give you an update for this season. Over the past 4 years, our teams have compiled a record of 28-4. Our 2008 season ended just last week with a record of 7-1. [Reed note: This league has no playoffs.]The one team that beat us is undefeated and won our game with a score in the last 30 seconds of the contest. We scored a whopping 230 points while only allowing 40. Five our our wins were shutouts. The off-tackle play was our bread and butter and the wedge and tailback dive ( a play I put in to compliment the buck lateral) provide excellent gains as well. Defenses rarely shifted to our unbalanced line so the Wing Reverse was rarely used. We implemented a flanker streak with great success and scored at least one touchdown per game in the air. Occasionally we ran a balanced line with double wingbacks to slow backside pressure, but just changing the formation from right to left was more than sufficient to have our way with most defenses. I also installed a trips formation to spread out the defense. From this formation we threw a quick slant to the blocking back who was out wide and still ran the ball on a tailback dive and off-tackle (we were able to pull the inside tackle to make the trap block). [Reed note: It is unusual for a youth team to have player athletic enough to pull on the line.] In addition, we found that releasing the Long End on the run sprint pass worked much better than the BB due to the fact that he usually got lost at the LOS and the LE was rarely covered. One final thought—I would like to recommend to your readers how important it is to develop the blocking skills and assignment of the O-line. Too many youth teams just put the big slow kids up there and tell them to block, but never really coach the position. [Reed note: I and many other coaches start outcoaching QBs and backs but end up coaching the line because we eventually figure out that’s where the game is won or lost.]I have built all my teams around my lineman and what they are able to do and I have had some great assistant coaches who have made that possible.
Defensively we were very impressive. Pressure from the guards and tackles usually prevented a play from even getting started. This was pivotal due to the fact that we did not have the athletes at LB that we have had in the past. Our DE's were solid all year with the exception of our one loss in which the reverse hurt us. Late in the year, I discovered that one of my ends made an outstanding MLB but I did not have the experience to replace him full time at end. Had I to do it all over again, another DE would have been developed. Opposing offenses only had 2 choices, pass or go wide and we both know that most youth teams are not very good at the pass. Disciplined ends and hard hitting corners were key to our containment success.
I just wanted to say thanks again for all the help I received from your books. I will be ordering more as I prepare for the next level of coaching.
A couple years ago I bought your books and installed your offense and defense. We did not immediately win the championship, but I stayed with it. Last season, I was asked to coach an all-rookie, 5th grade team in my league as they had a boost in enrollment and were in desperate need of a coach who was dumb enough to take over a team of kids that the other coaches did not claim.
We lost every game against vastly more experienced and talented teams BUT, with patience and attention to detail and realistic expectations and goal setting, and encouragement and still more patience we began to move the ball, then we started to score, and then we became competitive in games.
This year, 15 of 17 kids came back and in our second game, on the third play from scrimmage, our tailback went 75 yards for a touchdown running unbalanced left, off tackle. We won 37-12. Then we played a HUGE team the following week and put the game away with a 17 play, 70 yard drive. Our 65-lb tailback had 40 carries! We won this past weekend against a 4-1 team with ball control in the ice and rain. Their under-center offense yielded them 8 fumbles. We had only 2. Their bad exchanges and our 1/1, 45 yards, 1 TD passing day was the difference in the 14-12 win.
Our opponents refuse to respect the unbalanced line even when we run "power" 35 times in a game! They always over-play the wedge once we rattle off a 20 yarder on the opening drive. Our "jump pass" to the weak end is never covered as they often put 10 in the box on us. We even added a "double wing" style pulling guard to your offense to really seal off the LB pursuit.
Our GAM defense is improving dramatically each week as we get more confident and more aggressive. We have had some breakdowns when QBs scramble and on trick plays and passes to 5'10" 11 year old TEs, but the 20-yard sacks and the complete destruction of our opponent's blast and sweep plays more than make up for it. It's great fun.
Coach, we are now 4-2 and with a win we'll be in the playoffs! We've already blown out a team that beat us 40-12 last year. Several coaches have remarked that we run an "unsophisticated" and "simple" offense that is somehow beneath the standards of [our league]. I tell them they are absolutely right and that I run it because I am a dumb coach. One coach who sneered at us has not scored in 5 games! Go figure. Anyway, I recommend your books to everyone I know who is not in our league!
There is no way I can express for you the joy these kids and I experience when we knock off these bigger, faster, more experienced teams with ball-control offense and play-making defense. Coaching enables me to stay involved with the sport I love and the life lessons we learn about teamwork and effort and attention to detail are immeasurable.
Thanks again for writing your books!
Troy Grice (6th grade, Division 3)
I am a first year coach and your books have been a huge asset to me and have given me much confidence. When I googled youth football, I saw your article on the 10 most common mistakes that youth football coaches make and realized that I would have made 7 of the 10. I read your other articles and then ordered your books (everything but the clock management so far). Thank you very much for the energy that you have put into your work. You have had a big impact on all of the parents and kids on my team.
Today I am ordering two more copies of your Single Wing book for my other offensive coaches -- there is simply too much good, insightful information in there for them not to read it first hand . . . and I need them on the same page.
Again, thank you for the excellent publications. I have all the other football books now, some in multiple copies.
Your Coaching Youth Football was an excellent read. The best $29 I have ever spent. Thanks to your books, we faced the single-wing offense last year twice out of eight games, I was the OC so I had no control over the 5-3 we were running to defend the SW. Needless to say, we were crushed on the D side of the ball both games.
By the way, we will be running the GAM in our Mitey Mite PW league. Thank you for writing these books. They have really helped me and to what I have seen on the field, they have helped a lot of other coaches too.
I have your books on single wing offence, air-gap defense, youth football and contrarian football... excellent stuff! In our spring league in Victoria, British Columbia Canada, we took a team that was 2-11 last year and finished 8-3, with pretty much the exact same players.
Keep up the good work!
Thanks for the quick reply. I know you hear this all of the time but your book is awesome. There is nothing out of it that I would change. I am only a second year coach at the 9-10 level and last year when I ran that [single wing] formation after going 0-3 know one could stop it, even when they knew what was coming.
It just reaffirmed that keeping it simple was the key for the coach and the players.
Thanks for the help. George Connell
[Your books] are awesome - best books on coaching I've ever read.
I plan on buying all your football books now!!!
I didn't realize what an "idiot coach" I was until now.
THANKS for slapping sense into me!!
I'm switching over from the veer & spread to the Reed Single Wing.
2 months ago (spring ball) I had a single wing (with fullback) run against my 5-3-3 and I didn't know what it was and my defense suffered a slow, grinding defeat. The coach running the SW was Coach Mohns of Saguaro High School, Scottsdale, AZ.
I've read and used your football techniques for the past 2 seasons and
haven't lost a game (first time in program history). You wouldn't believe the hell I got for running the GAM defense the first year. Even 3/4 of the way through the
season when we were allowing the opposing offense about 20 yards per game, I
was still hearing about it. I even had coaches from higher levels trying to
run their offense against it during practice (as if they could teach the
offense a "better" play in one practice to outmaneuver GAM). Their
frustration was palpable. The next year I ran into two of our biggest
rivals who were running a version of it. I imagine that since they've all
taped our single-wing offense this past year, I'll probably see it in our
My Weston Warrior 105lb team won the league championship this past season www.westonwarriorsfootball.com <http://www.westonwarriorsfootball.com> . It would not have been possible without the Single Wing and John T. Reed! Our boys, collectively, are the "poster children" for the Single Wing.
We are not fast, not strong, and not street tough, but we are Champions!
Ifirst read your book in the summer of 2004, and ran the single wing exactly how it was explained in the book, we were 8-3, and made it to the semi finals.
Fast forward four years, I have a completely new crop of kids, (and parents) and no son on the team. I could sense the apprehension from the start, as I lined up our kids in "Monster Right" formation, the kids love calling it that. After three weeks of practice we had eight plays, 16 actually, going left and right. We went to the inner city for a pre season jamboree, first play "Monster Rt. off tackle trap" goes for 18 yards, second play, "Wedge" goes for a touchdown. Now the kids (and parents) are beginning to believe, we score again, the opposing coach is going ballistic calling our offense illegal. The head ref., an old timer, says to me with a smirk on his face " I guess he's never seen a single wing before." And that is the beauty of it. They can't defend what they can't understand. By the time they get scout film on us, which is one week prior to when they'll play us, there's no time to teach a demo squad how to imitate the single wing.
Last story, I'll make it quick. We get to the Championship game by beating the most physical team in our league, Pembroke Pines Optimist,16-8. The team we are playing in the finals are the Plantation Wildcats, a very athletic, tough, well coached team, and we get to play them on their home field. At halftime it's still 0-0. To open the third quarter we squib kick, to keep it away from their stud return man, and recover a fumble on their 35yd line. We go "warp speed no-huddle" to take advantage of the momentum swing, and grind it down the field to score on a wedge play. They come out throwing and we intercept, now we go "huddle-slow down" you must read John's Clock Management book, too. They never get the ball back and we end the game 8-0, by taking a knee, our "Victory" play.
If you do not compete in the South Florida AYFL, I strongly urge you to read all of John's football books.
If you do compete in the South Florida AYFL, do me a favor.....don't!
Weston Warrior 105lb 2007 Champions
Dear Mr. Reed,
Thank you. I'm just coming home from a victory party for our 10/11 year old youth football team. We won the league title today with a team mixed with kids who on two levels last year were a combined 0-8, 4-4. This is my third year coaching, and having read and studied your books on offense, defense, youth football and clock management, you are a huge part of this championship too. It was a battle at times with other coaches who fought me on many aspects of the game (I believe and follow your theories on the game because they are logical and they work) regarding offensive philosophy and time management, but it paid off.
Just one example: today we beat a team 6-0 who was 9-1, had scored 200 points in ten games, but by controlling the ball on our offense we kept their offense off the field. We knew how to shut them down while on defense, and on offense had two long drives of almost an entire quarter each, both starting on our own twenty, that ended in one touchdown and the second leaving them on their own 7 with 9:00 left in the game.
They had an explosive offense with the two fastest backs in the league. At one time in the third quarter, on 4th and two in our own end with my head coach screaming at me to punt, I lied and told the refs we were going for it. In our league punts are dead ball plays, no time runs during them beacuse they are not live. We went to the line after an injury timeout, ran twelve seconds off the clock trying to draw them offsides, and with one second on the play clock called timeout and then punted. At the end of the game those twelve seconds came in handy as we were able to run the clock off with three kneel down plays at the end of the game, the last snapped at 24 seconds on the clock on third down (we run on 25 seconds a play) to end the game without them getting a chance to touch the ball again. The other coach was furious the whole drive because we ran every play at 24/25 seconds, and ran off the last 4 minutes of the game.
If I had the time to, I could cite many other examples of how your books helped us to win all season long and today. We had a team that was the third seed in the playoffs (I gave you our last year's records) and knocked off the one and two seeds to win the title. Thank you, thank you, thank you again!
BANC Raiders Junior Division
I have enjoyed and learned a lot from a few of your books. My experience and study has taken me a long way from a guy who wanted to help my fraternity's flag football team not get embarrassed to currently being an assistant for a small college football team. How I have gotten from there to here has been quite a journey.
In 2004 I was stationed at Camp LeJeune and was able to be an assistant for the 10th Marine Regiment football team. I adapted the Gap Air Mirror defense and your Single Wing offense to the 8-man tackle football league that the base ran that fall and winter. As an assistant I experienced many of the frustrations you have as an assistant, but I was able to see promise to both systems at that level where I was coaching 18-40 year olds.
In 2005 I deployed to Iraq and was out of football except for the books I read during my deployment. Yes, I did ship some of your books to myself.
In the 2006-7 Camp LeJeune base season I was fortunate to be able to be the head coach of the 10th Marine Regiment's team. Fortunately the base had gone to an 11-man league using high school rules. I was very fortunate to have an assistant who I developed a great working relationship with. Even though the defense is designed for youth football I made the Gap Air Mirror our primary defense that we ran all over the field with only slight adjustments used in obvious passing situations. I decided to use this very simple defense because I was very limited to the amount of effective practice time with a team of active duty Marines and Sailors. Since other teams in the league would have the same limitations, I didn't expect to see an effective option attack or passers that were very effective in the passing offense. These assumptions proved to be correct. The defensive unit was very effective and left other teams and coaches scratching their heads. Nothing got through the middle, our defensive ends rarely gave up containment, and when they thought the pass was the answer the QB was often sacked or running for his life, resulting in a lot of interceptions. While we did have good players, the scheme made our defense seem all-world We ended up with 4 shutouts, 9 wins and 1 loss, in the base championship game. The team that defeated us had good players, good organization and huge unit support that was key to their success. They ran a very effective option attack. I had scouted them very little as I didn't expect to see them in the championship game. Preparation for that championship game was lacking as operational commitments had me and my battalion in the field the week of that game and I only returned from training 5 hours before game time.
I wish I could have ran the same defense at the Semi-Pro level where I was an assistant the teams in that league were even less organized than the base league, but alas as an assistant I wasn't calling the shots. But I think it would have been very effective at that level as well.
I am now stationed at The Naval Academy where I am able to be an assistant to the Sprint Football team (formerly known as "lightweight football") and am loving every minute of it.
James J. Sheasley
My name is Jeff Bateman, I coach little league football in Lynchburg Va. This year I put in the single-wing and the GAM defense.I coach with my uncle who has been coaching for over 20 years. I ran the offense and he ran the defense. I change some things to make the offense my own but I left the key points in place. We scored 283 points in 10 games, the defense only allowed 25 points in those games. My 1st string tailback rushed for over 1100 yards and scored 21 touchdowns, this kid was only 8yrs old. Thanks to you parents and even other coaches are asking what I’m running. I can’t wait until next year when I put the spin series in. Thanks again and you made a believer out of me!!!!!!!!!
I wanted to send this email to personally thank you. Because of your publications I went from rookie coach to county champion and undefeated in 3 years.
Three years ago I was approached by a close friend of mine to take over as offensive coordinator for his son's 5th & 6th grade team. I accepted without a second thought, until a few days later when I realized I didn't know as much about coaching youth football as I thought I did. I immediately started internet searching mainly looking at the Wishbone and "T" formations when I stumbled across an article in which you were commenting of the effectiveness of certain plays. The more I read the more interested I became. I purchased your single wing book and talked to the head coach about his thoughts. He said to run with it. I had a parent approach me early in the year to question using the single wing saying it hasn't worked since the thirties. His son scored 33 touchdowns from the tailback position that year. I never heard anything else from this father.
The first season was not bad we were 8 - 5 and were competitive in every game. The biggest compliment we received was from a head coach that said they knew exactly what we were going to do but just couldn't stop it.
In year two we had to start over with new guys and we had growing pains at first, but when we got everyone to believe in the system everything came together, we finished the year 11 - 2, our single wing averaged 27 points a game.
Year three we finally had 12 returning players in our system and it was off to the races. We had a tailback with 3.4sec speed in the 20-yard dash and 2 blocking backs that loved contact. This was the first year of a combined county league. We saw every type of defense you could imagine and were able to exploit it using only 5 plays all year long. Most teams stacked up to stop the outside rush so we just ran the wedge and off tackle until they pulled it in, once they did that, it was over. Our team was the smallest team in the league, sometimes being outweighed by over 1,000 pounds, we averaged 22.5ppg on offense, and our defense yielded 5.5ppg. We went 11 - 0 and won the first Caldwell County Youth Football League Championship.
My point is this: I have most of your books, we have incorporated your system 100%, we focus more on conditioning than hitting, and teaching the basics. I cannot think of ANY better investment for the youth football coach. Several of the smaller teams are copying our style. The high school coaches have praised us and the refs have admired the effectiveness of the no huddle, silent offense saying very few teams can accomplish this without numerous penalties.
Again I want to thank you for helping us achieve this goal.
Steve Phillips, Granite Falls, NC
You do have permission to reprint this email.
Just an update, The mimosa mustangs are 6-0 thanks in large part to your philosophy on coaching youth football. We have won all of our games by a combined score of 139 to 25. We run your version of the 8-2-1 defense and have shut out 3 opponents this year and have only allowed four touchdowns all season in 24 quarters of play, and have held 3 of our 6 opponents to 0 or negative yardage for the game. The most yards we have given up in one game is 98 yards. We also run your warp speed no huddle. With that we have achieved a dominant 4 to 1 play differential, average 40 plays a game compared to our opponents running 15 offensive plays a game. They can't score if they don't have the ball. Our football team has had drives of 15, 8 and 10 plays several times this season. I have never seen a youth team sustain a 15 play drive ever, until this year, thanks to the warp speed no huddle. Also, we run the single wing offense, and have owned not only time of possession but yardage wise we average 250 to 300 rushing a game. Now, we do have some pretty good talent, but if we were running the I formation or the wishbone or any other conventional offense, I doubt we would put up those kinds of numbers. We have had 8 different players score touchdowns this season. Furthermore, what has contributed to our time of possession dominance and our offensive play dominance is the fact that we kick on sides every time, and for the season we have recovered 62% of our on sides kicks. We recovered 6 out of 6 on sides kicks in one game this season and recover at least two a game. The funny thing is, we don't even get cute with it. We don't care if the opponent knows where we are kicking it, we pretty much tell them where we are kicking it, and they still can't stop it! The ball bounces really funny when it isn't perfectly round, and this approach is just devastating to the opposition. We have seen as much as 10 guys on the front line of the return team and still recovered the kick. More defensive notes, we have had 32 pass attempts against us this season, they have completed two, and we have intercepted 9. The rest have fallen to the turf for an incompletion, due to the 8-2-1 man to man pass coverage. Just wanted to thank you for your books! I see that you have a book on coaching youth baseball, I can't wait to buy that in the coming months, maybe santa will bring it to me for christmas! Thanks again Jack, your a youth football genius!
I purchased your books on the single wing offense, youth defense and GAM 3 seasons ago. I would like to provide this third installment to my yearly updates. We just finished our 2007 season with a 7-1 record. Although we did not pile up the points like we did last year, we were still effective. I must add that we did move up a division this year and faced much better competition. I coached 8-9 yr olds the first two years and this year we had the 10-11 yr olds. We averaged over 20pts per game with a season high of 48, and did so using only 4-5 plays from a playbook of 12 in each contest. The wedge was a consistent gainer but it did not go for big yardage but 2-3 times. The off tackle was our bread and butter and most of our points came from it. The wing reverse was only effective when defenses shifted somewhat to our unbalanced line. At times we shifted to a balanced line and ran the off tackle to either side. The first time we did this, the play went for 40 yards or so and a TD. We were also able to pass a little more using the sprint pass and a flanker streak. However; I switched the run sprint pass receiver most of the time. The long end and WB would run this route or the flanker would run a Q route. The main reason for this was the BB's inability to get out in the flats fast enough. We threw for touchdowns and extra points and a few 3rd down conversions. I did tweak your version of the single wing occasionally to spread the defense and then ran the wedge and a TB dive with consistent success against defenses that stacked the line of scrimmage to stop our power running plays. One of the greatest aspects of the single wing is BALL CONTROL. The other team cannot score without the ball. Most of our scoring drives were at least 5-6 plays and several were more than 11 plays. I plan on passing a little more next year and maybe doing some more tweaking, but the information in your books have been outstanding and everything that we have done has been a direct result of the principles and tactics that you have taught me through them.
Defensively we were OUTSTANDING with the GAM. Of our seven wins, 5 of them were shut outs and most of the teams we played ended up with negative yardage. The only difficulty we had was with a team that ran a spread offense. They were not able to effectively throw against us but we did give up chunks of yardage when we really needed a defensive stop. I must admit that part of the problem with this particular game was too much coaching the week prior - that will never happen again. Teach them their responsibilities, line em up and let em play. All but one of the teams that we played did not even come close to being able to handle the pressure that our boys applied play after play. Disciplined Defensive ends, aggressive linebackers, athletic corners and MLB/safety and tenacious lineman are too much for almost any offense to overcome.
Over the past 3 seasons, I have built our teams around our defense and relied on the tried and proven single wing to propel us to victory. These systems are easy to teach, troubleshoot and the kids love it. Our teams have a 21-3 record which includes 1 undefeated championship season and two second place finishes.
Thanks for your contribution to our football success!
Coach Al Johnson
I just wanted to thank you for your influence on my success as a youth football coach. I coach the 9-10 team in a rural community in South Carolina. Before we took over, this team was the perennial doormat of the league, and the designated "W" on everyone's schedule. Now, thanks to Coaching Youth Football, three seasons later, we are one of the most feared teams in the league. Last season we finished 10-1 and lost in the league semifinals game in double overtime. This season, we're off to another great start (6-0). We run the tight, 0 line splits double wing and the single wing. Defensively, we run your GAP-Air-Mirror defense. We have four shutouts thus far.
Last week we played a very talented team that had our double and single wing scouted and defended well. We were down 6-0 in the 4th quarter, then we unleashed the "Crunch" package with a direct snap. We marched right down the field and scored easily! We secured the extra point, and won 7-6. It amazed me how the other team NEVER adjusted to our unbalanced line, with all of our backs lined up behind them. We had a 7-3 advantage at the point of attack!
I am amused at how the coaches scramble to stop the on sides kick. Many burn timeouts or spend the entire half-time period trying to stop it. LOL! Once again thank you, for all you've done for youth football coaching. Your book has been a godsend for me, and most importantly has given some pride and self-esteem back to a small community that WAS conditioned to being the laughing stock to the other teams we play with a much larger population.
Sanford Williams, Honea Path, SC
Jack, we talked about 10 years ago, My dad and I were coaching a youth football team in Radcliff Kentucky. We have read all of your books, and currently implement your 8-2-1 defense. We are currently coaching together in New Orleans La, and are 3-0, and are allowing on average 4 points a game through three games on defense, and curently we average right around 30 points a game on offense, with the single wing. I just wanted to catch up with you, and let you know you have had a huge impact on my coaching philosophy, we basically have copied everything that you do, with good success! By the Way we have recovered 5 out out 9 onside kicks!! Everyone around the league asks me "Why do you kick onsides so much?"...I feel like saying, are you watching? If you watch our game you will see why!! 5 out of 9!
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
I just wanted to give you an update on our latest Single Wing Success. Last year I put the Single Wing offense and 8-2-1 defense to work as a rookie youth football coach. We went 6-2, finishing 3rd in the division. We averaged 30+ points per game while only allowing 6.
This year my policy was: "If it aint broke don't fix it." The only thing I had to change was emphasizing the snapper position more. Last year we had many problems with the direct snap, but not this year. I was able to add a few wrinkles to the offense to exploit what defenses were trying to do to stop us, but the formation worked like a charm. It was POWER running all season and a stingy defense that led us to an 8-0 record and the league championship. We scored on every running play in the playbook and even had some success passing the ball. Our boys had a blast this year and our coaching staff is thrilled. There is one high school in our area that runs the single wing, but other than that, we are the only ones. I love it when teams line up against us in a T formation or I formation. Our defense just pins their ears back and ATTACK with a vengeance. If anyone thinks that the 8-2-1 defense is weak against the pass - FORGET IT!! We had a few completions against us for small gains, but we intercepted several and even ran some of the picks back for touchdowns.
[Reed note: I now recommend my GAM defense over my 8-2-1 which was my first 1992 defense. The GAM is my new much improved version.]
I really appreciate your coaching books. I recommend them to any coach that wants to keep it simple and WIN. Of course that doesn't go for anyone that may play us...
Coach Al Johnson
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!
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.
I had the pleasure of coaching a 5-7 year old (90 pounds max) tackle football team this year. This is the first year we have offered tackle football for kids this age, so I was starting from scratch. This also was my fist go a coaching tackle football. You can tell by the uniforms that I am a huge Penn State fan!
I read your book at least 3 times and ran the Single Wing offense. I had 27 kids on the team (more than any other team) and each kid had to play 7 plays. We were also the only team with 5 year olds (8). Here is our team and record: http://www.wkya.org/Football/Football%202006/Football%202006%20Tackle/Football_2006_Tiny_Mite_Tackle.htm
I spent the first 3 weeks of practice conditioning, teaching stances then teaching proper blocking and tackling technique. I used a mattress as you suggested in your book to break them in. It worked great. I also used what was called “FIT” drills. We taught them how to wrap up on a stationary team mate. We did this for every kid numerous times. That really paid off; for the most part we tackled very well. The defense was limited by league rules. You could not line up on the snapper. You had to have 6 on the line and you could not blitz the linebackers inside those six.
The last week before our first scrimmage (Jamboree) I put in the offense and defense. I only had 3 plays in before our first scrimmage(s).
In our league, the defense was not allowed to line up on the snapper, so I didn’t run the wedge very often. I was too easy to gain 5 yards, I felt like I was cheating. We executed the Off Tackle and the Wing reverse incredibly well. All the practice we put in teaching them how to block really paid off. Once they got over “those guys on the other side really want to tackle us,” no one could stop us, we seemed to score at will. I think our team was more prepared than most, so we had the edge early. Running the same formation for all the plays really enabled us to get a lot of plays in as well. It killed me sometimes that it would take opposing coaches 2 minutes to get a play in. At this level each team was allowed to have 2 coaches on the field. I could get off a play in 20 seconds with no problem at all. One formation at this age was definitely a plus.
We had one more week before our first regulation game and I added the Sweep and a little twist to the off tackle play. I called it “One Left.” “One” was the Off Tackle play. All I did was take advantage of the defenses overloading the right side of the formation and had the BB block to the left (hit the first guy you get to) and the tailback run straight up off his block just to the left of the SE. It was a quick hitter and we always got at least 5 yards and we also score a couple touchdowns with that little twist.
I also practice passing to the flanker (Hitch Pass) if he wasn’t covered. I only allowed that when I had my stud out there, the minimum play kids could not catch.
I used the flanker as the “minimum play” position as you recommended so the Sweep was not very effective. It was very effective when I put a stud out at flanker. Many times 20+ yards. I also played small guys (50 lbs) at the Short Guard, Long Guard and Inside Tackle positions to help the defense out. Only a couple times during the season did the LG and IT get over powered, they were good enough to hold their blocks long enough for the play to get past them.
As the season progressed, I added a couple more plays.
All Hook pass
Buck Lateral run pass.
We did not execute the sprint-out run-pass very well. I’ll take the hit on that one. I had a left handed TB and we ran the offense from the right formation all year. It was hard for him to get set and make a good throw. We tried it a couple times though, just to keep the defense “honest”. I had to change out the SE and LE to run the All Hook pass. My two primaries could not catch. I did have kids that I could have put there from the start, but that would have left the defense too weak, so knowing that we would not pass much I opted to “even it out”. Having a left handed TB was a huge advantage running the wing reverse though. When the WB executed correctly we never once fumbled the ball. The Buck Lateral was probable the most fun play to watch evolve. I called it in short yardage situations. My TB sold the play great and the whole defense thought we were running a dive. My BB was off to the races. I also would have him run out to the left if the defense was overloading the right side.
We were the only team in this age group to use the shot-gun snap. [Reed note: The single wing offense uses a long snap not a shot gun snap. In the long snap, the snapper looks through his legs during the snap. In the shotgun, the center looks at the defense during the snap.] None of the other teams even tried it. My primary snapper was a 7-year-old girl. She had great hands and on average we only botched 2 snaps a game. That was quite impressive I think. [Reed note: if the long snappres get 1,200 long snops befor ethe first game, you generally only have a couple of bad saps in the first game or two then no more the rest of the season.] I found and worked with 3 snappers during our conditioning. That really paid off. She was sick and missed 2 games and my back-up(s) did great. The only time she had trouble was in our second game of the year. We “traveled” to another field and they used the wrong size ball. My fault, I should have insisted on using the K2. They didn’t stop us, we stopped ourselves in that game. At this age I lined up the TB about 3 ∏ yard back instead of 4 1/2 to 5 like you recommended. They were more comfortable there.
I chose not to participate in the post season tournament because I knew the other coaches would not follow minimum play or not have those kids show up. I could not do that to my kids. We always followed minimum play and I never asked a kid to not show up if we were playing a better team. Another thing I was very proud of was that fact that we started with 28 and ended with 27. That was one of my goals; I didn’t want to “drive” kids away from tackle football.
I practiced shifting the formation to the left at the end of the season, but I didn’t do it in the game. That was the biggest learning point for me, especially when we played teams for the 2nd and third time. That would have really helped keep the defense honest. Chalk that up to being a new coach.
We wouldn’t have had the success we did without your books. I emailed you once before and thanked you for putting football in “layman’s” terms for me. Your books are great. I’ll be “moving” up to the 8&9 year old division next year and plan on adding the “Spinning fullback,” if they can do it. We will also run the Gap-Air-Mirror defense. I watched that division some this year and I think we will dominate with it.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Single Wing Offense is a great book to read and study if you love football. I like how Reed uses common sense and keeps it simple for the kids. He uses minimal play calling and does not over analyze anything. Examples include: Not having to mixing it up on pass/run; Trying to confuse the opponent will usually backfire and only confuse your offense; The number of offensive plays should not max the age of your oldest player. A lot of mistakes that most youth football coaches make are revealed with an explanation. Im going to buy his other youth football books after finishing this book.
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 inaugural season 22-0 and 30-0. Well, the season is now over and we are the only undefeated 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 touchdowns(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.
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
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!
My name is Lewis Whipple. I’m currently a Head Coach for a Jr. Pee Wee team in the Nor Cal Federation.
I purchased your books. It’s been awesome, my hat’s off to you.
I was first introduced to the single wing nearly ten years ago by a coach named Jim Marengo, it was an awesome offense. So when I got the opportunity to be the head coach this year I jumped all over the chance to install this offense. Let me tell you nobody believed in this offense, my own coaching staff as well. Seven games into the season are currently 7-0 and have outscored the other teams we’ve faced 34 td’s to 1. They don’t have a clue to what our formation is. Four of our seven games, we’ve scored on the first play of the game with the off-tackle play. We rarely get an opportunity to run any play other than the off-tackle or wedge. It’s been unstoppable.
Also another funny thing, you wouldn’t believe how many officiating crews that come up to me and ask what type of offense I’m running. Some of them have never seen it before!
Single Wing Offense is a great book to read and study if you love football. I like how Reed uses common sense and keeps it simple for the kids. He uses minimal play calling and does not over analyze anything. Examples include: Not having to mixing it up on pass/run; Trying to confuse the opponent will usually backfire and only confuse your offense; The number of offensive plays should not max the age of your oldest player. A lot of mistakes that most youth football coaches make are revealed with an explanation. Im going to buy his other youth football books after finishing this book.
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
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 until the 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 the 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.
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 lineawesome 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!
Rick Morand, Head Coach
Maranacook Black Bears
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.
Thank you for the great books on coaching youth football. I ran a wing-T in high school and I wanted to used that for my son’s team, but I thought that it was "too" much for ages 8-9, so I purchased your book on the single wing offense and I was pleasantly surprised. I wanted to keep it simple for the boys and I got what I was looking for. We were able to post a 6-2 record and the boys (and myself) learned a great deal about football and we had a great time. The parent of my 2 star players (they have been playing pop warner since age 5) tells me that her two boys had learned more about the game than all previous years combined. Your books helped me to convey what I understood about the game to our team. We only ran 5-6 plays on offense - The wedge and wing reverse were our big gainers and the off - tackle and sweep were consistently productive. We only threw about 6 times all year. I made the hitch pass into a quick slant and it worked a few times. I also brought the flanker in as a short side wing back to help block when teams began to blitz from that side. I would also like to reiterate your thoughts on the snapper position to anyone who wants to implement this offense - The snappers need a lot of reps or it will cost you. It cost us 1 game late in the fourth quarter.
I also purchased your book on Coaching Youth Football Defense. We ran the 8-2-1 and we were dominant and aggressive because the kids understood their relatively simple assignments. If we were hurt by anything it was over aggression and over pursuit which cost us a few big plays that beat us. Parents from other teams were asking me before games to have my boys take it easy on them - Yeah Right...
To sum it all up - I could not have been more pleased with my first head coaching job. Thanks for the instruction in your books, they are by far some of the best that I have ever read. When I played ball in high school and college - in particular, high school - We had some great coaches and won 2 state titles. I credit much of what I know to them, but now I will have to add you to that list. I am looking forward to another great year in 2006!
I have been coaching single wing for the past two years in the 7-9 and 8-10 age group. I grew up in the 70's playing single wing football and our teams always had success. In the past two years our team is 20 - 2.
Thank you for this book. It truly inspired me and the boys that I have been coaching. Some other coaches thought that I was old fashioned, but I knew that it would work. I proved it this year by going to the Championship game at the M & T Bank Stadium in Baltimore and winning against an undefeated team to take the Central Maryland Football Title.
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.
McDermott & Associates
9607 N. Copper Ridge Trail
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
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 coachs 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 couldnt 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 LBs, 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 didnt 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)
Hanford Pee Wee Steelers
2005 All Valley League Champions
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 website 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 exeptionally 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"
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
We worked in practice on the things you stressed below linebackers attacking the LOS; and better execution on offense, especially the wing reverse and came away with a 27- 0 dominating victory. The wing reverse went for 2 long TDs; and the defensive shutout was led by our linebackers who made numerous plays for negative yardage.
Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to my plea for help!! The kids (and the coaches) are now very excited to keep the roll going, and theres a lot more faith in the systems.
Feel free to use me as a testimonial J
Head Coach Fountain Hills (AZ) Condors (Pop Warner Mighty-Mite level; 7-9 year olds.)
McDermott & Associates
9607 N. Copper Ridge Trail
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
quote me one more time, The Ponca City Cardinals are now "STATE CHAMPIONS", and will play for the Super Series National Championship in their Age and Division, due to implementing your strategies.
I have bought and read four of your books now on coaching youth sports. Since i have started using your knowledge as a basis for my coaching philosophy i have had great success coaching football and baseball. We won the conference championship in football using the single wing. Coaches laughed at us , literally until we beat the socks off their team and then they tried to emulate us the next week.
You mentioned that you would like to quote me about our success. Please do, I'm known as a John T Reed disciple around here, I get laughed at about that also. But if you want some good information about our success let me fill ya in.
My first year coaching youth football (10-12 year olds) we went a miserable 0-6.
I vowed that it would never happen again, so I began to read everything i could about youth football. I bought three of your books for football and used them. The next season the other coaches in the league said we "went from the outhouse to the penthouse!" We were Conference Champs. Undefeated in Conference play. Breezed through the playoffs until we got to the superbowl. We ended up losing to a great team, that we had beat earlier in the season. We beat them 20-18, then they ended up beating us 20-19. No shame in that loss.
Here is what i learned from you that made all the difference in the world.
1. We learned how to stop a sweep
2. We had no losses of the ball on snaps,, the entire season
3. We had no losses of the ball on exchanges,, the entire season
4. We threw no interceptions , the entire season
5. We were the best team in the league by far at running between the tackles.
By the way, your GAM is illegal in our league. I have a great modification for it in leagues that outlaw it.
Give me a call when you get a chance,, i'm sure your a busy man, but i know that you would love to hear a few of the specifics that happened when other coaches saw our offense.
I'd love to tell you about themand that is just our football team. Our baseball team had a great season also.
I just wanted to say thanks. Your very descriptive yet concise writing style allowed me to incorporate the single wing and beat the snot out of our competition. I am the offensive coordinator for a youth tackle team in South Florida. I coach 13-14 yr olds 135lb max. Most of our players come from a very affluent area, and therefore are not "natural" athletes.They suffer from TMTV, (too much tv). I implemented the single wing last season, we played a jamboree in August in the heart of Miami, and marched down the field on every team we faced. Opposing coaches were stymied. We went 9-3 and to the playoffs (lost in round one) even after losing our stud TB in week 5. We begin practice on July 11th , I just ordered another copy of your book, I gave our Peewee coach my original.
Weston Warriors Football
Thanks for being my 'silent partner' in developing an outstanding football team last fall. My 5th grade team played in a league where we don't know who is on our roster until 3 weeks before the first game of the season. Also, league rules require that skilled players (in our case, TB, BB & WB) can only play 2 quarters in any one position, so my backs really need to understand exactly what all of the backfield is doing, alll of the time.
My offensive coordinator and I followed the Single Wing playbook to the letter and the results were fantastic! In a league of 6 teams we went 7-2 (we lost one league game 14-12 and another 8-6) and won the championship game 18-6, outgaining the runner-up 201 to 63 yards in the championship game. Oh, the defense only allowed 35 points all season and 3 of the 5 teams in the league did not score against us (we use a slightly modified GAM).
My main thought is that I can't emphasize enough how important it is in a offensive scheme to keep it simple and run the play over and over again until the kids can do it in their sleep, as you have emphasized. We started the season with 5 plays and finished with 9. Every man needs to know exactly what they are doing on each play. I also appreciated the simplicity of the blocking schemes as well and the necessity of the line to understand that they have to work together. Rarely did we have penetration problems.
Thanks for your time and effort to write some fantastic coaching books. My fellow coaches, parents and players all salute you!
5th Grade Buccaneers Head Coach
By the way, your books are great!!! You have been an inspiration to the Northeast Rhode Island Pop Warner Football League. Robert Souza
Found your book on gap,air,mirror defense last year about this time and realized it was the defense we were trying to teach our players the previous season. The head coach (defensive coordinator) read it after I did and it became our defensive playbook. We had 3 shutouts to start the season and allowed less then 6 pts per game in midget division-175 lbs, and up to 14 yrs. old. Some of these kids can really play and we've had fun watching them excel in high schools around orange county the past 3 years. We adopted your single wing offense and found that the clarity of each play was much easier to coach. The experienced kids picked up the advantages right away, the first year kids caught on much quicker then past years teaching a multitude of sets and plays. For the most part we let the tailbacks call the plays by just defense recognition. We lost 1 game during the season to very talented Inglewood team by the score of 7 to 3. The game film identifies the lack of scoring was our inability to sustain blocks with our highest rated players. Still we were inside the 20 four times, 1 made, 1 miss on field goals, 1 interception, and a turnover on downs. Anyway thanks for info and insight, we believe we can be competitive with any group of kids with these schemes. There is 1 extra play,(blast), we found extremely effective when the lb's are playing off 3 or more yds off. We doubled both interior tackles and sent the bb right thru the open gap at the lb with tailback 1 step behind. We were most effective in gap between snap and LG or LG and IT. If you want to any other feedback to your single wing we used give me a ring.
I was lucky enough to be an Offensive Tackle on the 73 Notre Dame national champion team and a starter on 75 team. Rudy was our most famous senior teammate and some soph named Montana was a backup at the start of season. Thanks again. Pat J Pohlen 800-779-8273
I am sorry that it has taken me this long to getting around to writing you. Our season ended in late November and time has flown by since then. I have coached this group of kids for 6 years. Last year, you may remember, we began to run your single wing offense and had our best season ever, finishing 9-1 as league runner-up. The 2004 season was a storybook year. Continuing with the single wing we outscored our opponents 231-43, finished 12-0, and won the Metro Youth Football Championship in the 11 and 12 year old division. I must say that, when executed properly, your version of the single wing is nearly unstoppable. Most teams failed to adjust to our unbalanced line and those who did usually over adjusted allowing us to exploit their back side. Our bread and butter play was the off tackle. When our blocking backs did their job the play always worked. One great play that we used catch a team off guard was a modification of the wedge. We snapped the ball to the blocking back and the tail back faked like there was a low snap and he ran to the strong side. The blocking back stepped forward, towards the line, hesitated for a count, and then passed to the short end. After a long series of running plays this play was always open. Our only disappointment was the wing reverse. We just couldn't get it to work this year. The back side end would get us every time. In summary I am truly grateful to you for sharing your knowledge of the game with coaches like myself. The youth game is about much more than winning, but if the kids can get all of the good lessons and win then the experience is just that much better.
You can "quote me" and use me as reference whenever you need. As for the reverse...I will take a look at some tape to see exactly what we were doing and maybe get back to you. One thing that I forgot to mention that I owe you credit for is the idea to limit the number of plays in the "playbook". In past years (before I found your system) we had dozens of plays and would add new ones each week. This year we ran only 10 plays, but we could execute all 10 in our sleep. Most of our opponents ran a greater variety of offensive plays, but you could clearly see that some of the players did not know what to do...they were overwhelmed by the amount of plays that they had to learn. Your idea is so obvious, but 90% of youth coaches never realize how they handicap their teams with too many plays. Thanks again for all of your help. Without you and your book(s) our team's success would not have been possible. Deane Cheatham Richmond, VA
John T. Reed Coaching Books
If you are reading this evaluation of John T. Reed Coaching Youth Football books, they are Outstanding!!! Save yourself the time and effort and just order all of his books right now. Once you read one of his books you will want the next one, and so and so forth. So fill out the order form, check all the boxes and get them in the mail. Dont make my mistake and order them one at a time. Johns books gave me the tools to establish successful football program. The books encompass all facets of youth football from, are you cut out to be the coach to the awards banquet. His techniques allow children to learn and become successful football players no matter their age or skill level. Success translates to fun!!!
Go Single Wing!!!
Kennewick Grid Kids
Here are some of your ideas from coaching football that I used.
The lawn chair for snapping tryouts and practice worked great. The only problem was the full size lawn chair was too tall. This made the snap to be too high for the younger boys. I found a beach lawn chair; which has much shorter legs, it was the perfect height. Then I tied a 4 1/2 yard string to base of the chair to keep the exact snapper tailback distance at all times.
To all the neigh sayers of the direct snap, it works. It is easy to teach and boys love doing it. They dont have any preconceived notions that it cant be done. They dont know any different!!! They think its fun. Its just like playground football. Before you know it half the team is snapping the ball during the pre practice arrival time and begging to be the snapper. The only people that do not like it are the adults. You will have the detractors. Stand your ground and stick with it. The greatest feeling is the handshakes you will receive from those same detractors at the end of your first scrimmage.
The trashcans were a great addition to our practice equipment. I purchased four Rubbermaid 32 gallon cans for $9.00 each. I let the boys name them and I spray painted the names on each can. One was even named Wally after Wally Pip. They made great linebackers, defensive ends, boundary markers, offensive and defensive lineman. The biggest advantage was they stayed at home. No trashcan ever ruined a teaching moment by leaving its assigned area because it knew which way the play was going.
Fake Reverse Wedge
A twist on the wedge play that we found useful was calling fake reverse wedge. Our reverse was so successful that teams really focused on stopping it. So we put in this small wrinkle. We snapped the ball to the fullback while the wing and tailback showed reverse. The wedge was already a success. It just added another level of frustration for our opponents.
Paying Players to Play
We give award decals for touchdowns, Shutouts, leading in tackles and assists. All the boys get an equal number of Tiger Paws based on team efforts i.e. touchdowns, extra points and shutout quarters. Then we give out additional Paws for individual achievements. As the season wore on four boys would get the majority of those individual decals. Nothing wrong with that they earned them. We came up with an idea on how to spread the wealth and motivate lesser players. We started giving out award decals during practice. Instead of our traditional game Paws we gave out smaller Stars. My assistant coach and I packed the stars in our pocket. When a player did something notable in practice they were immediately given a star. It allowed us to single out and encourage players that may not have had as many opportunities to display their skills in game.
They carried more power than we expected. One practice my assistant coach awarded the entire first team offense with a star for the stellar execution of a sweep play. At the end of the play we switched from offense to defense. Most of the boys received their star as they transitioned to their defensive position. I saw one boy who was crying. I asked him what was wrong. He was upset because he was yet to receive his star and thought he was not getting one. I assured him he would receive his star. As my assistant coach was placing the star on upset youngsters helmet he turned to me and said, I didnt know these things were so powerful. You might be thinking the upset child was one of the weaker kids we were trying to encourage. On the contrary it was one of standout players. I believe the stars had the desired effect.
We utilized the huddle more than we should have. At first we tried to huddle like this
Snapper, Guard, Long Guard, Long Tackle
Short Guard, Short, Tackle, Blocking Back
Tailback, Wing, Long End
It seemed easy enough. If we ran strong right everyone was where they needed to be. It was a smooth transition lining up strong right. If we ran strong left the snapper went the ball and the long side of the linemen followed him down the line of scrimmage. The only problem is you have to devote some practice time to those movements. We didnt get enough huddle reps in practice. So, when game time arrived we were a mess. To the boys credit everyone just found a spot where they could see and hear thus forming our playground huddle. We went with the playground or Bunch Huddle for the rest of the season. Opposing teams had little idea, which way we were going to lineup.
A funny thing developed when the boys broke the huddle. The concept of left and right was not to clear to all the boys. We would call play that was designed to go strong left and on some occasions one or more of the boys started out of the huddle in the wrong direction. This turned out to be a real win fall. The opposing team would move their defensive players to the wrong side of the ball and when our boys would get to the correct side of the ball the opposing team was outmanned. At times I would be forced to shout the alignment aloud to get the boys moving in the right direction. I was worried that I was giving the defense an advantage but it had little or no effect on the outcome of most plays.
Go Single Wing!!!
Kennewick Grid Kids
I own all your football books and they have helped me tremendously.
I coach 7 and 8 year olds and every book has provided me information that contributed to our teams success.
I can not begin to Thank You enough!!!
Sent you an email earlier in the year and thought I would give you a follow up.
Finished our regular season 8-0 with a combined score of 219 to 18. See attached scores. The Single Wing and the 10-1 have obviously worked well.
Your instruction on game preparation has also been extremely important to our success. After scouting one of our opponents this year, I knew that if they lined up in the same defense against us and we correctly executed the off-tackle that we would score on the first play. Guess what? They did and we scored on the first play, Right Formation - Off Tackle.
First year head coach here for a 13-14 year old age group team. Implemented offense from your book, 'Single Wing Offense' with guidance from the 'Coaching Youth Football, 3rd Ed' book as well.
A 7 - 4 season with a playoff berth. Outscored opponents 231-110. 1255 rushing yards. 434 receiving yards. 257 yards kick return yards. Started with a 4-4 stack which evolved into the Gap 8. One game away from championship but inexperience as a post-season coach revealed itself.
Great book! Great season! Thanks, Jack!
We finished the season 11-0, outscoring our opponents 337-54. Pretty good for a 9-10 year old team. We had good players that were made great by the single wing and the 10-1. Thanks again.
Subject: Re: Offense
I just wanted to say that this year I had purchased four of your books, single wing offense, gap air mirror defense, time management and coaching youth football. I had decided to put in your offense at the beginning of this season but I decided to go with the spinning fullback offense since I had two fast running backs. We did ok with it but when I decided to change the offense so one of my rivals would be caught off guard, your offense put up so many points it made me a believer of the warp-speed offense. We came in first in our league and won our bowl games. I figured that your offense was just too simple to put in that the other team could figure it out easily, but I was wrong. We ran off tackle so many times in a row that I couldnt believe the other team could not stop it. I just wanted to say thank you for your books.
Coach Tom Ravita
Richmond Hill Wildcats
Subject: Re: Thank You for a Great Season!!!
This was my first year as head coach. After reading the articles on your web site I purchased your books and implemented the single wing offense. Our team was 8 and 1 on the season and played in the superbowl.
Thank you for the books and the online assistance. They were key to our great season!
Tigers D Squad
Kennewick Grid Kids Football
I don't know if you remember me, but 3-4 years ago we spoke over the phone many times and I bought several of your youth coaching books. To get to the point, I just want to thank you for giving me the foundation necessary to win a youth football championship in a very competitive league. Your organizational materials gave me and my staff a flying start that would have taken us years of trial and error to accomplish on our own. Also, your suggestion to run the single wing turned out to be sound advice. We took the league by storm, averaging 8.5 yrds per play over the past 2 seasons.
This season was the payoff for us, going 11-0 and outscoring our opponents 334-28. We beat a perennial power in the championship 28-0. If you remember, four years ago, you spent hours on the phone with me trying help me win a ball game. It took 6 games to get that first victory and we ended up 3-7 that first season. 2001 we were 6-4 (my first as head coach) then last season went 8-2. Even as we went into our playoff run this season, I referred back to your books regularly to make sure we continued to stay on track.
RE/MAX Northwest Realtors
206-948-5590 Mobile [Note: Although Pettigrew has my Single-Wing Offense for Youth Football book, he started using the single wing after reading the Coaching Youth Football book but before reading my Single-Wing book. The single-wing offense he used is an amalgamation of various approaches to the single wing.]
I have been waiting to get through the 1st half of the season to give you an update. After winning the championship last year and going 13 and 0, we had a great off season getting ready for this fall. This season we are currently 6-0. In 6 games, using the single wing we have scored 260 points. Thats 43.33 points a game. Defensively using the Gap-Air-Mirror we have given up 6 points! Thats not an average, thats the total for the season! They scored on us with 5 seconds left in the game. The competition is good. They all have the same talent. They just spin their wheels trying to look like the NFL. Funny thing this season I have noticed a few copy cats tryin to do what we do, buthey just cant get all the way there.
Lee Perry, Scorpion President.
Jack, Last night the Blue Star Cowboys Midget JV team finished a fantastic 9-1 season and you deserve a great deal of credit for the team's success. I have coached this group for the past 4 years and we have done O.K. We beat the teams that we should have beaten, and we lost to the teams that we should have lost to...usually finishing with a winning season but a loss in the 1st round of the playoffs. I knew that we needed to do something different if we wanted to improve. Your book and the Single Wing Offense was the answer! We have decent talent but are almost always smaller and slower man for man than our opponents. This year (10 games) we implemented your system and outscored the opposition 258-68. Last year with basically the same personnel we ran the "I" formation and averaged 10 points per game. Even though we fell short last night to a very tough team (city champs past 4 years), we were able to move the ball and score twice against their starters.
Throughout our ten game season no one could stop our offense.
Here are my 7 favorite benefits to your system:
- No Huddle- Speeds up things and allows for more plays. Often the defense is confused and caught out of position. Never any delay penalties.
- No Snap Count- We had ZERO off sides penalties.
- The Wedge- After pounding the off tackle time and time again, we busted the wedge for long TD's twice this season and several other good gainers.
- Number of Plays- The ol' K.I.S.S. theory. We had 10 plays and our players could execute them blindfolded. Last year we had over 30 plays...Stupid!
- Off Tackle- We ran this play for nearly 1000 yards this year. No team could shut it down. If they started to the sprint run pass would always keep them honest.
-Un-Balanced Line- I will have to admit, when I first read your book, I did not believe that the majority of teams would fail to adjust to the formation...but you were right! Eight of the 10 teams we played NEVER adjusted to our unbalanced line. Amazing! The most popular (although very unsuccessful) method to defend us was for the defense to place an extra man on our weak side and have him try to run down the tail back from behind. They may have caught us 4 times all season!
-The Flanker- Using your advice, we often used this position as a spot for our "minimum play" guys. We spread them out as wide as they could go and guess who usually came with them? In most cases it was one of the better players on the defense. In one particular game, one of the best players in the league (certainly the best player on his team) covered our flanker every single play. It was like playing chess and trading a pawn for a queen! The only tackles that guy made were 20 yards down field.
Some advice to other coaches- Be ready for some skepticism from parents, coaches and even your kids when you introduce this system. Stick with it...Walk through it over and over. Trust me. Once they get it...it works! Remember the definition of "Insanity"- doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
John, I'm one of you disciples. I'm been coaching youth football for four year, but this year is my first as a head coach and was eager to try your methods I coach the Mighty Mite level. I have your books, Coaching Youth Football, Football Clock Management, and have read them numerous times, each time picking up something new. Thank you for the straight forward no "BS" approach to youth football. I run the single wing & the no huddle warp speed offense. I'm amazed at how easy it was to install & how fast the kids picked it up. I had concerns about the code system, but the kids get it, we never run the wrong play! In our first two games we have out scored our opponents 49 -0. (21 - 0 & 28 - 0)
In our first game we had the defense so confused they burned all three of the time out in the first four minutes of the game, the coach also had trouble getting his minimum play players in the game. He had to wait until the beginning of the third quarter to get them in. We have a mercy point rule in our league. Once you score 18 points you must take out 9 of your best players, in both games I had to pull my "studs" out on the first drive (score) in the third quarter.
After our second game the opposing coach came up to me and said how impressed he was with our kids, they are disciplined & in tremendous shape. He said that we had them on their heels all day, our no huddle was run so well his kids all wanted to be taken out of the game due to confusion & exhaustion. Thanks again. Can't wait until your next book! John Perry
Several months ago, I purchased two of your youth football publications (Single Wing Offense For Youth Football and Coaching Youth Football, 3rd. ed.). I purchased the books in preparation for my first year as head coach of an 8-9 year old "Jr. Pee-wee" football team. I have been involved with our town's youth football organization for the last several years but, have never participated in any offensive game planning. Therefor, my first priority was to decide what type of offense would be most suitable for me (as a first time head coach), and most suitable (easiest to learn) for the 8-9 year old age group.
I was amazed at the simplicity of the Single Wing Offense described in your publications but, like most of your other readers, was still very hesitant to initiate such a contrarian change in our organization. After much consideration and a second reading of each publication, I decided that the contrarian approach made too much sense for me NOT to consider its implementation.
After only three short weeks of practice, we had our first "pre-season jamboree" where we outscored our opponent by twenty-four points for a (30-6) final. Two things to consider:
1) we played for only thirty minutes and...
2) we ran only three offensive plays for a total
of 225 offensive yards
Needless to say, we were the talk of the day in our organization, especially because our flag team was the only other team to "win".
You mentioned in your publications that you encourage comments from your readers. After seeing, firsthand, the success of a contrarian approach (specifically your Single Wing Offense), I felt compelled to drop you an e-mail.
North Providence, Rhode Island
I LOVE your books. I've been coaching Pop Warner for 11 years. Last year was my 4th season as a head coach. We went 7-1. That's more wins than I had in the prior 3 seasons COMBINED. I started reading your books 2 seasons ago. This last season I fully bought into the things you were saying. The end result was a trip to the playoffs. I'm now a disciple of the single wing and a huge fan of the 10-1. Every time I speak to a 1st year head coach in our association, I sing the praises of your books. "Buy them!!" I say. I hope they do for their sake. Because if they don't, The AVENGERS will make their lives a living hell should we meet on the playing field.
Thanks in advance for all the continued success I fully expect to enjoy the rest of my coaching career. Keith James
Thanks again for your knowledge. Your book has made my coaching life easy and fun. This year I coached the 11-12 yr olds and we went 9-1. Our league has a 120 lb restriction. (Any kid over 120 could not run the ball and had to play on the line between the tackles.) My team had one kid over 120 and every team we played had at least 6 kids over 120. The only team to which we lost 6-14, had 10 kids over 120. I had 3 kids quit my team after the first 2-weeks of practice because their father, uncle or brother told them we would not win a game because of the offense/defense we ran and our size. Two of the kids asked to rejoin the team after our first 3 games. I said no.
Running your kick return blocking scheme we ran back four kick-offs for touchdowns. Our most successful play again this year was the fake reverse. We scored 4 out of 11 times. We also scored 4 out of 11 times on a spinning fullback play that I found on-line. It's a variation of the fullback lead play except on the snap of the ball the fullback turns around and takes a blind handoff from the running back. The fullback then runs off-tackle, while the defense is tackling the running back who ran between the guard and tackle. It was a good short yardage or goal line play. Thanks, Vince Icenogle
A very finely crafted single-wing treatise with the perfect philosophy and detail needed (and rarely found) in youth football publications. It tells exactly which play to use with each age level, what kind of kids should be assigned to each position, and what path routes to run against both man and zone pass coverage. The book also contains a chapter on each of the 12 basic plays and a detailed practice schedule for the entire season. Herman Maisin, Editor, Scholastic Coach and Athletic Director Magazine
Also I wanted to thank you for getting me your single wing offensive book as fast as you did. My team was struggling all year. None of my players had played before and talent was limited. I had one exceptional player and the rest were hit and miss. I went through three QBs in my first three games first one went down because of an injury. So my backup played the second game and in actuality he was my third best QB but I wanted my second best QB to play another position to try and get a more talented kid on the field.
Anyway the kid I put in as my backup continually would not keep his hands open on the snap and would fumble often between the center QB exchange. I was not running the single wing at this time. I was using an I formation offense. I had used it for 4 years and I have had success with it. So anyway after the second game which my backup fumbled too much I had finally had enough time to get my third QB (more talented QB but needed at another position) enough reps at QB to take over. He did so and we played a better game but continued to have trouble scoring. I had read your first book "Coaching Youth Football" and by the third game I would use two single wing plays to confuse opposing teams. The two plays were the seam buck and the reverse. I noticed how easily my kids picked the plays up and I was snapping the ball directly to my running back eliminating the QB. We rarely had a penalty when we would run it and I never had to worry about a fumble or my split ends lining up off the line. So for our forth game I decided I would use it more often and ordered your single wing book. Needless to say I ran Seam buck and reverse for the entire first quarter and half of the second until they stopped it. Also I was just yelling the plays from the sideline in a numbered form (we had not worked out the play call for no huddle because I had not planned on using it over and over again but I was taking what they were giving me and they kept lining up wrong so I kept telling my kids to "run it again"). In that amount of time we were ahead 21 to nothing. Then I switched back to my I formation offense and tacked on another 3 Touchdowns. The next week I had your book in hand and we were off and running winning our next two games with a combined score of 77 to 13. I might add the first three games which we lost with a combined score of 14 to 98 (we did play the eventual league champ who only allowed 12 points all year and the runner up in the first three weeks of the season) But in the last three weeks we won with a combined score of 120-13 using the no huddle and the single wing. It was a great turn around and I sure will use this offense next year and as soon as the holidays are over I am buying myself a gift called the "Gap-Air-Mirror Defense for Youth Football" Jonathan R. Vrabec
I received your Single Wing for Youth Football book last week, and have already reaped some nice benefits from it. I'm the Off. Coordinator for a 7th grade team. We had been running the double wing with increasing success, but our QBs have been dropping like flies, so we'd been running more and more direct snap plays. I had been running from a crunch formation with some success, but made some changes in the formation to the single wing that you described in your book this past week. I didn't get to the section on the fake reverse until the end of the week, and I had our tailback try it once in practice (I only told him and the wingback). He is the only kid who I'd trust to do this, he is a good athlete and cool under pressure. He ran 60 yards untouched in practice but the head coach flipped out! He was ripped that the kid was hot dogging, etc. and only calmed down a bit when I told the coach that I had told him to do it. I didn't try it again in practice but the first time I tried it in our game this past Saturday, it went for 50 yards (the tailback is a converted lineman who finally got chased down by the safety). We ran it again at 4th and 6 from the opposing team's 15 yard line, untouched for a touchdown. Everyone was going nuts! I think that the coach has calmed down a bit about the play, especially since I told him that the single wing old timers gave it their stamp of approval. I have nearly all of your youth football coaching books and I'm always able to gain valuable insight and information from them. Thanks. Rick Davis
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John T. Reed
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