WYC 065 – Youth Football – Jason Hahnstadt talks Getting Players to Commit to Each Other

What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Jason Hahnstadt shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Jason Hahnstadt is the creator of The Pro Style Spread Offense website, blog and podcasts. He has been a passionate football coach since 1999, and in 2014, he began writing about offensive football strategy. In this time, he has coached in many different programs and have seen many different styles of offensive football. From his experiences, he created a complete offensive system called the Pro Style Spread Offense. It sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. It is just everything he knows that really works. It is simple to understand and can be installed with any level of team. He has created an eClinic with all the details on how to install this system with your team.

Website: prostylespreadoffense.com

Facebook: /prostylespreadoffense

Twitter: @prostylespread

Listen Now:


Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link


‘Hey Joe, go Joe, Attaway’ – Coach Hahnstadt

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Coach shares a story of making a tough decision to play a junior over a senior, then 2 days later the junior got hurt. The lesson he learned was to make playing decisions more on a week-by-week basis rather than permanent.
  • A-ha moment – Learned from Andy Lambert at Trinity – You can always control your attitude.
  • A-ha moment – Learned from Frosty Westering, Pacific Lutheran University coach – If you focus on winning, it can be a lose-lose situation.  When you win, you become overconfident therefore you cannot achieve your potential; when you lose, you become discouraged and again cannot achieve your potential.

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • Be honest, and always positive when teaching. And get buy-in that they agree when something needs to be improved.
  • Fun games:
    • Fox and hound – Hounds have the football, foxes chase them, if fox tags you, you have to give them football
    • Relay races
    • Four-corner tag – All the kids start in a corner and run to the middle, then you yell out a corner number, and the kid from that corner has to tag the other 3 kids in 10 seconds.  You see some great open-field juke moves with this.
  • Steps – You cannot progress to the next step until they master the current step. Walk through it, then run through it, then add competition, then add the whole team.

Self-Confidence and teaching kids to achieve peak performance

  • The key is to get them to focus on the process not the outcome
  • Practice the key situations.  Practice is the key to building confidence

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding

  • Establish routines and processes and hold high expectations
  • Couple of key rules: Pay attention, don’t use foul language, treat others with respect
  • Recognition – They bring all the levels together and will recognize kids who did something special.  They also have sessions where the team recognizes fellow teammates.  Part of the process is the player who is recognized has to ‘accept’ the compliment and say thank you.  Then the team affirms the compliment ‘Hey Joe, go Joe, Attaway’, then 3 claps.

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • Jason coached a kid who got in some off-field trouble.  Jason kept pouring into the kid and really helped guide him out of trouble.

The One that Got Away

  • Jason’s biggest regrets from games is as a player – he let the fear of failure motivate him, and he regrets that approach

Best Stolen Idea


  • Asking for commitment: When running team sprints, Jason asks each player to raise his hand when he’s ready to give his absolute best on the next sprint.  Raise your hand when they are committing to their teammates that this will be their best effort.  They don’t run the next sprint until they are all raising their hands.


  • Website: prostylespreadoffense.com
  • Blog, and eClinic with all the details on how to install this system with your team – it works at all levels!
  • Also has a bubble screen package
  • Includes Champions Manifesto by Scotty Kessler

Parting Advice

  • Your planning and preparation is everything.  Have a minute-by-minute practice plan and be prepared for things going wrong.

Ready to be an Awesome Youth Coach? Sign up for our free weekly newsletter: