The Trap Play – The Giant Killer of Youth Football Plays
The mistake many of us coaches make is we stop asking questions or doing research once we get a so called answer to a question. Most of us take the easy way out, especially if it validates our preconceived notions. I’m here to tell you there are hundreds if not thousands of very successful youth football teams all across America pulling and trapping all the way down to age 6. I personally coached an age 6-8 team and we pulled and trapped very well. Not as well as Ross LeGrande, Ross is from Ohio and his age 7-8 team was the best looking trapping team I had ever seen. His team was the master of running the off-tackle and blocking back trap. In many of the games I saw of his Championship teams, they ran just 3 plays, the off-tackle, trap and counter and by golly the trap made up about 40% of their snaps.
Many of the guys that e-mail me tell me that the Blocking Back trap out of the Single Wing Offense, what we call “31 Trap”, is one of the best if not the best football plays they run. Don S in Maryland averaged nearly 20 yards a carry with it last season for his age 8-10 kids. It is one of my all-time favorite football plays, yet many people think you have to have a bunch of Einsteins on your youth football team to run it. That is simply not true. I’ve seen film of hundreds of youth teams pulling and trapping well as well as have personally coached 5 different youth football teams that had zero problems doing so. Keep in mind, I’m the offensive line coach and I never played offensive line at any level and we probably practice less than you do.
The trap is a great football play for a whole variety of reasons. In our offense we like to double team block defensive tackles. We rarely have the size or athleticism on our offensive line to move anyone very well one-on-one, so we like to use double team blocks and wedge blocks. Once that defensive tackle starts getting moved backwards with double teams and wedge blocks, he starts coming real hard, real fast and real low, if he doesn’t we are going to steam roll him all day. Once he starts coming hard, we just let him come through free and BAMMO he gets clobbered by a pulling guard coming out of nowhere and it usually means a huge gain for us.
SO WHAT DOES THE Defensive Tackle DO NOW? Should he play it slow and get blown back by double team and wedge blocks all day long or should he charge in real low and fast and get blindsided by a pulling guard with a full head of steam, hmmmm, quandry. This has been a great tactic for us when we play a team that has a very dominating defensive tackle that is eating our lunch, we trap him a few times and man oh man does he slow down, the brakes come on. Then when he slows down to “read” the play he gets steamrolled by our double teams and wedge blocks, what’s the poor kid to do? He ends up playing tenative and our problem is solved.