Know Your Pop Warner Roster…Now!

By FirstDown PlayBook on Jun 25, 2023
#1 Tool For Youth Football Coaches

Like it or not, your Pop Warner roster is what it is. Odds are you can’t go draft or recruit another player to bolster your youth football roster. Your neighbor’s kid who is friends with your kid…that’s your roster.

Okay, that is not so bad. However, from a strategy standpoint, you should look at your roster BEFORE you decide what offense or defense you are planning to run.  Here are some basic questions to ask yourself:

NFL Coaches On 12 Formations To Consider For Your Youth Football Offense

Do we have a Pop Warner quarterback that can threaten a defense with his or her arm? The odds are that 99% of the time the answer is no if you coach youth football, but it’s worth finding out.

Why? Because if you happen to have one, then the defenses will line up totally different against you than they will vs a quarterback who is only a run threat.

Next question. Do I have a Pop Warner roster full of larger more physical players or are they small and quick? Let’s face it, they are all pretty small at this age but everything is relative, right?

Your style of offense should lend itself to mis-direction and a perimeter attack on offense if you are smaller. A power philosophy will suit you better if you have bigger players who will struggle with skills like pulling.

The same applies for defense. If you have larger players, then a 6-2, with six hands in the dirt may suit you better than a 4-4, which fits a roster dominated by linebacker and defensive back body types.

How experienced is your Pop Warner roster? This will also play into the decision making on a couple of things. It should affect the decision on how complex your plays and defenses are and also how many plays and defenses you run. Never forget that you must teach position core fundamentals first.

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As you can see, the questions to ask are not rocket science. However, they are important ones to consider. So slow down right now and take a hard look at your youth football roster. You will be glad you did. It will prevent you from having to change your offense or defense mid-season.

Matt Leinart On FirstDown PlayBook