How To Organize Your Depth Charts

Written By: Chris Haddad
Updated: February 12, 2024

Organizing your player’s depth can be overwhelming and exhausting to manage if you don’t have the proper templates in place.

While it may not seem like a big deal on the surface, every player should know where they stand depth-wise. At a bare minimum, every coach should have awareness of which players are next to go in, in case a player gets injured or is absent.

In the heat of the battle, coaches can often forget or panic when substituting players in. Having an active, weekly depth chart helps to alleviate a lot of the personnel headaches on game day.

Here are some of the reasons we like to use depth charts. Also, we have a free template for you at the end of this article!

Building Confidence In Backups

Everyone on the team needs to know exactly where they stand and where they contribute to the team.

For backups, if they know that they are #2 on the depth chart, they can strive to work to be #1. As a coach, you can use this depth chart to remind players that they are number 2 for a reason and that if they want to get to #1, there are certain things they need to work on.

For instance, if a backup running back wants more playing time, you can show him the depth chart, and remind him why #1 is playing over him. They may have more speed, and quickness, or might be a better blocker.

Use this opportunity to work with your backups to build their confidence, that way there is not a big difference between the starter and the backup.

If they need more help blocking, set up drills before or after practice to increase their blocking skills. Do not write off backups, as they may see the field and you want them to be just as prepared as the starter.

Missing Players On The Field

Injuries in football happen. It’s the dirty part of the game. If a player comes off the field, you want to know, immediately, who needs to go on.

Most coaches who don’t have a depth chart, will just look at the sideline and send a random backup in, who may not know what they are doing. This happens more often than not as coaches just panic in the short time they have to send a player on the field.

Having a coach or a parent who has the depth chart handy can help you be more organized, amid an injury that forces you to go to your backup.

Uncover your opponent’s offensive and defensive tendencies so you can easily build a game plan.

Inside You’ll Find:

  • Strategies to pick apart defenses
  • How to identify player weaknesses
  • How to save time in your weekly breakdowns

Minimum Play Requirement

If you coach youth football, there is often a minimum play requirement. Having an up-to-date depth chart can help you determine who has played and who hasn’t played.

We’ve seen coaches use our depth charts by putting check marks next to the players who have fulfilled their requirements of minimum plays. The last thing you want to do is lose a game because all of your players didn’t play.

We recommend printing this depth chart out and having it with you at all times. If you have a locker room, print it out and hang it up so the players can see exactly where they stand on the team. Have tough conversations with your backups and motivate them to try to get that number 1 spot.

Download Your Free Depth Chart Template Here

As promised, above you can find a free depth chart template that will allow you to organize your team’s positions.

About the author 

Chris Haddad

Chris Haddad is the founder of vIQtory Sports & high school coach for over 12+ years. He has been featured as an authority on Hudl, Bleacher Report and countless other football-centric platforms. Chris continues to study and provide valuable content for those looking to learn more about the game of football.