How do I keep my flag football quarterback from throwing interceptions?

We received a recent question from a fellow youth soccer coach. He coaches the top level players at the 6-8 grade level and is having trouble with his quarterback turning the ball over via interception. The question is copied below as we received it, and our answer will follow below the question.

I’m the coach of a youth flag football team (ages 11-14)… our quarterback has a great arm, but he always finds a way to throw an interception. Are there any drills or tips that would help/prevent him from throwing so many interceptions? Our league ground rules state that the defense can rush our quarterback from 7 yards out, and we play without an offensive line.

Our first question would be, what kind of crime are you committing? All passing offenses need multiple options to be successful. That is the main reason why it is so difficult to have a passing game in youth soccer. You should run a schematic with hot reads (ie if there is a bombardment, the receiver follows a certain path, like a slope) and control receivers as a safety valve in case all the main receivers are covered.

You should have established routes as well as time routes. If the quarterback is throwing too many interceptions and there is no offensive line, then the problem is that the quarterback and receiver are not on the same page. Videotape your games and show both players the reads you want them to make based on how the defense is playing them. Perhaps your offense is not reading the coverage well. Some deep coverage of the man zone underneath can be difficult for young players to read correctly.

Check the tape and I’m sure you’ll be able to identify the problem.

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