Utilizing the Pursuit Drill in Youth Football

Defending the Power Play in Youth Football 

There are two key elements to successful defensive football. The first one is tackling which is drilled daily, in one form or another, by almost all teams. The second element is pursuit. A defense must be great at flowing to the ball and getting multiple players to the ball carrier. When there are multiple defenders attacking the defense has an increased chance of not only making the tackle but also creating a turnover.

The number one was to drill and emphasis pursuing the ball to your defense is to run the pursuit drill daily. In this drill the defense will learn the proper angles they need to take to get to the ball carrier. In addition, by doing this drill daily the team will be completely clear of the importance of pursuing the ball.

The concept of the pursuit drill is very simple. The defense will set up in their base alignment. On the snap the ball the defense will touch their chest to the ground to simulate the play and the coach will signal the direction that the ball carrier went. From there each defender will take the correct angle to get to their cone.

The most important part of the pursuit drill is teaching the players the correct line to chase the ball carrier down. The best way to do this is by setting 5 cones on the sideline space every five yards and assigning players the cone that they need to get to.

Utilizing the Pursuit Drill in Youth Football

Pursuit Drill 4-3 Defense

Pursuit Left

(See Also) The 4-3 Defense for Youth Football 

Pursuit Right

Pursuit Drill out of the 4-3 Defense

Pursuit Drill for 3-4  ( DL #’s are the techniques the DT are playing)

Pursuit Left

Pursuit Drill Left out of the 3-4 Defense

Pursuit Right

Pursuit Drill RT

(See Also) The Slanting 3-4 Defense for Youth Football

Pursuit Drill 3-3 Stack Defense

Pursuit Left

pursuit drill football

Pursuit Right

Team Pursuit Drills

(See Also) 3-3 Stack Defense for Youth Football 

Coaching Points for Utilizing the Pursuit Drill in Youth Football

A key coaching point is to ensure that players are fulfilling their responsibilities before pursuing the ball. It is not included on the diagrams but it’s critical that the players who are responsible for cutback, reverse, and contain fulfill their responsibilities. The player who is responsible for this varies from team to team but it’s critical to assign a player this job and ensure they are completing their assignment.

The first few times that a defense does the drill they will be trying to remember the exact cone that they run to but slowly the angle they take will become natural. This is the goal of Pursuit Drill. When a play breaks defenders will naturally take off at the angle they have practiced at during Pursuit Drill. While they will need to correct this based on how the play is happening, the initial departure angle will put them in a position to make the play.

(See Also) Tackling in Youth Football 

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Setting the Strength on Defense | Aligning to the Spread 

Defense’s for the longest time have always set the front to the Tight End and with a four-man front that sent our 3 technique to the Tight End. Some coordinators swapped weak and strong defenders and even rotate secondary based on strength.

Youth and High School Integration

The goal of this article is to explore and discuss the relationship between the local High School and the local youth programs. What is exactly the role of the local Youth program in regards to the local High School program?

Offensive Play Calling Strategy for Youth Football | Art of Play Calling

This article provides you with a breakdown of our Offensive Play Calling Strategy for Youth Football. In youth football many coaches just call plays based on what they think or hope will work.