- Defense

Is the 5-3 Or 4-4 a Better Defense For Youth Football?

Running the correct scheme on defense, while coaching youth football, may well determine how much success your team will have. If you do not put your players in the right spot, chances are they will not have much fun or success.

A new inquiry we received was ” Is the 4 – 4 Stack OR Base 5 – 3 A Better Youth Football Defense? The inquiry is repeated lower in this post. In that respect, there are many different styles of defense to implement when running a pee wee football squad, nevertheless a coach should be practical on what type of scheme to install. At the real immature ages almost all teams cannot throw the football, thus you will want to run a basic defense that can shut down the running game. Below is the inquiry from our client.

I manage a pop warner football team comprised of 9-10 year olds. In 2009 we used the 5-3 and finished the season with eight wins and only one loss. Over a nine game schedule we allowed on seven touchdowns. The advantage of using the 5-3 is you overload the line but can also get your reserve players into the middle of the defensive line three players at a time. This helps you meet any minimum play requirements. I am thinking of changing to the 4-4 defensive scheme since I have two returning star players at OLB and 2 very good players to play the inside linebackers. I have returning defensive ends, but no returning defensive guards or nose tackles. I was wondering if teaching gap responsibilities in the 4-4 defensive scheme is too difficult for youth football players? As I stated above, I have eight players returning from last season’s defense so when my starters are on the field as one unit we should be pretty good. I’m afraid if I use the 5-3 again I will not have one of my studs at a linebacker position. I know I can make him a strong safety or a monster and rotate him to the strong side, but I’m wondering if using the 4-4 may be a better option. Any help, thought or ideas will be appreciated.

My first reaction is if you went 8-1 and only allowed 7 touchdowns, why the heck would you change? I would much rather add a few wrinkles to my established defense before I would change the base scheme? I would put extra work into the team that beat you, but any returning players would remain in the positions they played last year. I think the 5-3 is one of the best defenses you can run with new players.