Pre-Snap Movement: An Aid to Offenses; A Curse to Defenses

20 Sep

The thing we don’t see a lot of in youth football at the Senior-level is pre-snap movement which is too bad considering the advantages it creates for offenses.  Maybe coaches feel it’s too much for a 12-14 year old to remember but we disagree.  We think its two things: fun and lethal.

On offense, we want to create the illusion that we’re very complex when in fact we’re very simple. We work our magic by running a few plays from a variety of looks that we create through various pre-snap movements.

We believe that we will be difficult to defend and, at the same time, we won’t overload our offensive linemen or our Quarterback with too much to remember as the teaching remains the same each week.

For us the benefits of pre-snap movements are as follows:

1. Simplifies the defense – It causes defenses to make multiple checks prior to the snap which can force them to play mostly base defense. This helps our O-line.

2. Motion Causes Emotion – Movement makes defenses tentative because they’re not sure what will happen next.  For most defenders, it forces them to think, and when they’re thinking, they’re not as aggressive.

3. Prevents the defense from matching up their best defenders on our playmakers – By changing up where we line up our “go-to guys”, we prevent the defense from getting their best defenders on our biggest offensive threats.

4. Creates opportunities for our playmaker – Moving our playmakers around can create touches for them in a variety of ways. This is a way of making sure that our playmakers touch the ball enough in order for us to be successful.

5. Allows for Multiplicity – Movement will give us an opportunity to run our plays from a variety of formations and looks, which allow us to exploit a specific weakness in the defense.

6. Gain leverage on defenses – We can get an extra player to the point of attack by motioning or shifting. We can also get to unbalanced formations to cause problems for defenses.

Manipulating a defense is the main goal of any pre-snap movement, be it a trade, a man in motion, or a shift.  The idea is to “change the picture for the defense” before the ball is snapped and get them thinking because, as we know from experience, when a defense is thinking, it’s stinking.

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