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Coaching Youth Football reader comments part 1

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.]

Best Regards,

Vincent DiGioia

Coach Reed,

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

I have been able to use your guidance in Coaching Youth Football, (4th ed.) in a rec league that bans single wing/double wing and gap-8 defenses. Our 8U rec team was undefeated, going 10-0 en route to the regular season championship and Rotary Bowl win.

We only allowed 3 scores and 10 first downs all season, with a hybrid gap-[air]-mirror. I applied as much of your well thought out approach to the game to our season and it clearly paid off. The success, as you know, lies in the details....

Kevin Eidell

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.

Hey John,

First off your website is awesome as are your books. I have read "Coaching Youth Football" cover to cover about three times and recently ordered the "Contrarian Edge" book to get ready for next year when I may get a shot to head coach.

Funny but I coach in Vacaville, CA currently which you talk about numerous times in your books. Small world I suppose. Didn't realize you were so local.

Well anyways again thanks for all your refreshing ideas about coaching football on the youth level. Now that I've read your books I consistently see coaches who have not read them on the other sideline taking a pounding because they refuse to implement at least SOME of your ideas. They are the teams that usually have one or two fast kids and continually run Sweep left and Sweep right even though it's been stopped every time in the first half. And although we're running out of a heavy Double Tight formation they put their safety 25 yards down the field, and sit in a 5-3 with their corners rolled back waiting on a pass that will never come while we kill them for 8-12 yards a carry. It's pretty funny.

Jason Brisson

Hi Jack,

…the Pee Wee Falcon's owe you a debt of gratitude as well. …I ordered Coach Reed's "Coaching Youth Football" and "Gap Air Mirror Defense for Youth Football" books. As you can read below we only let up 36 points in 8 regular season games and 12 points in our 2 playoff games. We recovered three onside kicks this year thanks to coach Reed's suggestions! You have … contributed greatly to our success this year. Thank you for your books and websites!

Last year I signed on to help out as an assistant. As you can imagine I was in for a rude awakening as to how complicated a sport football is to coach. We did not have much success finishing the year 0-8 at the Varsity level. This year we went 7-1 in the regular season outscoring our opponents 146-36. We lost our first game 10-0 to a team that finished their regular season 8-0 and were the number one seed in the playoffs. I blame myself as a first year head coach just not having the [double wing] offense firing on all cylinders for that first game. After that first game we beat most of our opponents by three scores only with me taking my foot off the gas towards the end of games. Our league rules state that a Pee Wee team shouldn't beat another team by more than 24 points. We won our first playoff game 20-12 to advance to the Finals. On Sunday we beat the team that knocked off the number one seed 14-0 to win our Division Super Bowl!!! This season we rushed the ball 275 times for 1657 yards averaging 6.03 "tough yards" per carry. I can't fully express how grateful I am that you gave this rookie head coach the tools necessary to teach his kids how to play like champions. Thank you for all of your help and support.

Yes you may quote me. I love your GAM defense. I heard lots of yelling from Offensive coordinators! I told my assistants many times this season that I love hearing opposing coaches raising their voices! Thanks again for all of your help. We wouldn't have had this level of success without your contributions. Your books are a great resource for youth football coaches...especially rookie head coaches!

Paul McConnell


Fellow USMA [West Point] ('92) grad (and 150s [Army intercollegiate 150-pound limit or sprint fooball team] player) here.

First, I want to send you kudos for your books. I coached my son's 4th grade and 5th/6th grade teams and credit your books for helping/counseling me as a youth FB coach. Although I did not run a single-wing offense, I ran a contrarian offense that followed many of your principles: direct snap to the running back, minimize passing (even/especially on typical NFL passing downs), signaling plays in to the QB, etc. In season 3, we saw many teams running the direct snap, while in season 1, none were, and we'd often hear comments from the opposing team suggesting we were crazy for doing it until they were too busy figuring out how to stop it. In fact, most teams incorrectly identified it as a shotgun formation, which I guess it might look like if you're used to watching the NFL on Sundays.

Additionally, I avoided the typical coaching mistakes that I saw other coaches making. We had a combine during the first week of practice (no pads allowed anyway), which allowed us to position players by strengths/weaknesses vs. casting (where they looked like they should play). I had a pre-season parent's meeting and covered the importance of little Johnny learning one position well to set him up for success in doing the basics (blocking/tackling) vs. trying to learn/play many positions which would just encourage doubt/hesitancy which would put him out of position and make it hard for him to block/tackle successfully. I limited the parents on my coaching staff to two (myself & one close friend who I could trust not to fall into the typical parent traps) and recruited some younger, successful football players from work to round out the coaching staff.

It's amazing what crazy ideas parents will accept when their kid is on a winning team. We went 21-1 over those three seasons, and it was my first time coaching youth football. We lost the second-to-last game to a very good team because of a fumble which gave them one more possession and 6 more points than we had. Perhaps if we would have been playing the GAP-air-mirror D, for which I have your book, we would have won that game, although our D had many, many shut-outs, and in most games held the opposing teams to one score or less. I had parents of our football players suggesting that I coach their kids' hockey teams, although I've never played organized hockey. If you would have written youth hockey books, I might have considered it!

Sure, you can use my comments. I think I've probably bought all of your books…but the two I used the most were the base Youth Football book and the contrarian offense book.

I bought the GAM book, but I had a really good D-coordinator (the other dad), and his D was so dominant in all but our second to last game. He also reminded me today that there were restrictions placed on us that prevented us from deviating too much from the norm—linebackers had to play 3 yards off the ball and couldn't move forward until the ball was snapped, linemen had to be on the LOS, etc. We played a symmetrical 5-5-1 and occasionally slipped a linebacker up to a 6-4-1, which was one of our forms of a stunt; the other method was just to stunt the linebacker on the snap.

I don't have your book in front of me, but there's an offense where the QB/RB lines up in the middle and has a half-back on either side of him (power-T?). We found the timing to work better if we moved the halfbacks a yard behind the QB or the QB in front of the halfbacks (can't remember which), so it looked almost like a wishbone, except instead of a fullback in a 3-point, we had the QB/RB in a 2-point receiving the snap. After we had installed our offense, at some point I caught a HS game on TV late at night in a hotel room that was running out of this formation, so I was bummed to learn I had not invented it. I still don't know what it's actually called. Believe it or not, we were running a triple-option by the end of the 3rd season. After the first season, the league scrambled most of our returning players to other teams; we had the least number of 6th graders than any other team and most of our new 6th graders were first year football players. However, they gave me back my two QB/RBs (mistake, my two best athletes) and of course my and the other coach's kids. I turned out that the new 6th graders were pretty athletic and thanks to having never played a down, didn't have any bad habits, learned our contrarian offense quickly because they didn't have to re-learn, etc.

You're right. With leadership comes disciplined teams, and disciplined teams with decent athletes can beat undisciplined teams with better athletes in my opinion. Of course, disciplined players look like better athletes when they're winning and undisciplined players don't have a chance to showcase their better athletic ability. I heard lots of complaining from opposing team parents that thought we had a stacked team. (Maybe they didn't notice my 65 lbs offensive guards.) With respect to typical parent conflicts, I think what I found was that winning forgives everything; if you're winning, it doesn't matter if Johnny's playing OG or HB; he's having fun.

Again, thanks for your advice/counsel I found in the books. It was invaluable.


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." <>

Fantastic books on youth football. Thanx a million for keeping my coaching mistakes lower! {I'm still making them,but fewer}

Ray Landstrom

Dear Coach Reed,

I have the Coaching youth football, GAM and Coaching Youth Flag Football books. I just finished my first season of 5 on 5 NFL flag (7, 8 and 9 yr olds) with a record of 8-0. We outscored our opponents 273-32. 20 of our opponents points came during the super bowl after we had established a 36-0 lead.

What I gained from your coaching books that helped my team become so dominant was that we did not do purely conditioning segments. We had two practices per week of 1 hr and 30 minutes. While our opponents where jogging around the practice field we were running plays full speed ( about 3 per minute) with the kids not on offense for the particular play on defense. We also did this without flags for the first hour of practice, 2 hand touch was the norm. Come game time our offense was so precise parents would come to me after games and just say "I can not believe how much you have taught my son". I had eight kids on my team. All scored TD's during the season and 7 put points on the board for us in the super bowl. My kids never got tired during any game, including one day we had only 5 players make it to a game we played against the team with the fastest boy in our division. They were spent after 40 minutes of pursuit sideline to sideline, but they were able to stay with him throughout the game. Also, we always started the game with a hurry up no huddle offense. This led to our team normally scoring within the first couple of minutes of first possession. We would go to no huddle throughout the game and just kept our opponents on their heels.

I am very exited about the upcoming tackle season. I will be the defensive coordinator for our 9-10 yr old team. I will be installing the GAM which our HC is very exited about.

Thanks for sharing your experince and insight with the rest of us!

Best Regards,

Gus Sanchez


I just wanted to comment on your book. After having coached high school football for nine seasons, I took leave from a true passion of mine to concentrate on work and family. As my oldest son came of age he told me he wanted to play football and asked me to coach his team. I had never coached young kids so I dove into everything I could read on coaching kids with no football experience. I read several books but yours is the one I came back to time and time again. I especially want to comment on the special teams section. I fully implemented your methods from day one when it came to special teams. Bottom line: In two seasons of using your special teams schemes, we gave up zero touchdowns, returned several kicks and punts for touchdowns, recovered several onsides kicks, and averaged well over a 20 yard switch in field position on punts. On a special note, we won our first game because of a blocked punt and a punt return for a touchdown. This was due to the obvious lack of attention to special teams on our opponent’s behalf. Thank you for taking the time to write this book.


Mike Austin

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!

Steve Brewster
Bulldogs Coach
Rome, Ga

I hope all is well for you! I wanted to get back to you about my coaching experience this season. I written to you once before and have been reading your football books for years, one "coaching youth football I've read at least 5 times". My experience using your techniques has been tremendous,we blasted all of our opponents, the middle school team I coached this year average 40 points a game, giving up just over 2 per game. Coming from the rec level I hesitated to use these techniques thinking its to simple how can this youth info work at this level. Thanks man, if been a hell of a ride so far.
Scott Dunn
Glen Allen, VA

Hi John,

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.

Happy Holidays,
Dave Roper


I read your book and used many of the defensive principles outline in the book. Youth football is taken very seriously in Cincinnati and we won the Greater Catholic Youth League – – for 3rd grade going 10-0. Our league feeds into the Greater Catholic League – Moeller, St. Xavier, LaSalle, Elder. For the most part I ran your defense and was laughed at early on when I showed people your defense before the season. We gave up 28 points (only one touchdown scored with the first team in) and scored around 340 points.

Thank you for a great book – it made our season.


Dick Lynch
St. James 3rd Grade Head Football Coach
P.S. Our average score was 22-0 at the end of the first quarter – I would have been hung in effigy if I didn’t call off the dogs and play kumbiya (sp?) football.

John, we are 8-1 for the regular season going into the playoffs first seed, we scored 209 , only allowed 33 points [using the GAM].

David H. Whitt from Facebook

Hi Coach

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.

Best Regards

Gary Grena
[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.]


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,


Your books on football coaching are fantastic. I've had them for 5 years now and still learn things each time they're read. Great antidote to the nonsense that passes as coaching these days. Thanks!

Shawn Frasier

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!

Buddy Hicks


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.

Bob Hughes
Shoreline WA

Thank you very much. I bought John’s coaching, single wing, GAM defense, and contrarian offense books and my teams have gone:
2005       3-4-2
2006       4-4-1 (purchased Johns books here)
2007       7-2
2008       8-1

Larry Rollings

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.


John Sivilla

Coach  Reed

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.

Al Johnson

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.

Bernie Lyons

Hey Coach, thanks for Coaching Youth football!
I was a rookie coach and thanks to your book went 11-1 and almost ran the table losing only to the eventual county champions. We kept them to their lowest score of the season tho and were just a little out of sync. but c’est la vie! the rest of the season was a roaring success!!!

Bob Winstead

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 publicatoins. I have all the other football books now, some in multiple copies.

Hi John.

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.

Mark Langseth

I have your books on single wing offence, air-gap defence, 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!

Dave Wong

Hello John,
I just finished reading your Coaching youth football & coaching youth football defense. I loved both books. I have dozens of word documents with drills, notes & information. I would make it manditory reading for all coaches in my association if I could. I'd make it mandatory for ALL football coaches
except that then, there may no be a winner if everyone follows your suggestions.
Again, thank you so much.
Todd Wood
Elgin, Il

Hi Coach Reed-
I have enjoyed your books over the years and have used the no huddle (with your play calling board) for three years. I'll never go back, the improved conditioning and amount of plays we run are a big advantage. I will try it without a cadence this year at the varsity level.
Thanks and keep up the great work,
Dylan Shelley

[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.
Matt Thornton
Chandler AZ

Used your defensive system last year, went 7-1 (from a previous 0-7 season). Such common sense, it's remarkably refreshing and effective. Thanks John.

Brian C. Costa

Coach Reed,
I was reading through all of my John Reed books tonight and was amazed. I had forgotten how much I learned from you. I guess this is a long overdue thank you. I purchased my first book in 1996 after a hard season. I had made a decision to not coach again, because of some bad expereinces, even though our team had made the playoffs. In the off season I found your book, Coaching Youth Football, and read it in one day. I instantly knew it was different than the other coaching books I had read. I changed my mind that day about coaching, because I now had a true guide on how to coach a team right. I was resolved to implement the majority of your ideas. I can never thank you enough.
Today, I am the head coach of our 8th grade team. I am a coach in the Gwinnett Football League located in north Atlanta Georgia. Our league has around 250 teams and 5,000 boys. We have been very successful. We will pass 200 wins this coming year with less than 20 losses. Since I read your first book we have had 10 undefeated seasons and been to 10 county championships. But best of all, coaching youth football is my passion and always will be.
Your books are by far the most relevant material on coaching youth football, and I believe in them. I recommend them to every coach I talk to about coaching. Thank you for educating me on your common sense approach to coaching football. I would enjoy talking to you someday to compare notes.
Rod Dollar

Mr. Reed,

Thank you for providing information and a forum for the youth coach. I coach a 5th grade program in University Place Washington, outside of Tacoma. UP Viking football is associated with the Curtis High School program and we enjoy use of a 4A stadium most of the time for home games. The program is grades 4-7 and I ran offense my first 4 year run and am now head coach of the 6th grade after haveing the same kids in the 4th and 5th grades and going 17-1 with two championships. I have talented kids and our program supports the coaches and lets the coaches coach. I thank you for helping me be a better coach by helping me understand the few really important things that have to be done to be successful. We practice a lot of tackling with in struction. We run 10 running and 6 passing plays from 4 formations. A few have motion. Last year I got 11 of 25 kids in the endzone for touchdowns or extra points. Most of the time we sub 11 kids on defense every 4 plays. Simply because we practice the simple stuff over and over. We put kids in spots they can do what they do best. Last years championship game I did not pass once and we won 18-0. When we do pass we complete 65 percent of our passes. Yes we run the crunch series, thanks to you. I helped our 4th grade offense which was 0-3 to run the crunch series and they went 5-3 and won the championship. Simple stuff over and over. We never go on two. Next year we will run the fill sweep which will introduce pulling for our guards. Also we will introduce a wildcat snap series. The coaches I coach with read your books and your website and put what you offer to use. The tough thing for me is I have the talent to run the spread shotgun option,  but if I could I would run the double wing. That is what is great about football. Thank you again and I hope you have great success in all you do.  

Sincerely, Pat Tobin

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 opponents.

Walter Sheehy

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 philosphy 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!
Bill Robbins
BANC Raiders Junior Division

My name is Jeff Bateman, I coach little league football in Lynchburg Va. This year I put in the  singlewing 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!!!!!!!!!

Please go to Part 2