Training Offensive Linemen to Stay Low – Part 2

4 Jul

We found the item below on a message board and it seemed a perfect fit to our series of articles on training OL to stay low.  We edited the piece and added comments found on the board at the backend.


“Twelve Perfect Blocks” is a combination “chute/warm up” drill.  We skip stretching/calisthenics and go straight to this drill.  Although the drill is hard work, the kids all show up for it.

To start, match the entire team to partners of equal size and ability and have them face each other on any yard line, so long as there is enough space for a coach to so long as there is enough space for a coach to walk between them.

Have the kids assume their blocking stance. At each end of the line is a coach holding a 10 foot section of heavy 3/4 inch PVC pipe. It is held over the line, about six inches above their helmets.

On command, the players drive block each other until they either tie or one drives the other back. They must do this TWELVE TIMES IN A ROW. It does not count if anyone’s helmet touches the poles. They go until they’ve done it twelve times without touching the pole — hence, the name “Twelve Perfect Blocks”.

At “six” perfect blocks, make the players change partners.  You don’t want kids always grabbing the same partner as they may conspire together to “goof off” and just make it look like the’re blocking one another.

Or some kids, in order to get the drill over with, will deliberately lose and allow themselves to be driven backwards so that their helmet never hits the pipe.

How you deal with these “slackers” is your choice.

The drill achieves the same thing a “blocking sled” or “chutes drill” does except it it’s more real world and includes more bodies.

The drill also conditions the players to sustain a 12 play drive, something stretching and calisthenics do not.

The drill saves time for those of us with short practice seasons because it’s three drills in one.

No one is excused from the drill.  Therefore, linemen and QB’s, ends, and running backs are all EQUAL.  Everybody has to learn how to block and block perfectly.  An imperfect block means “go again”.


I’m not sure I understand the PVC. If it is positioned 6″ over the
helmets, is it there only to insure that they don’t stand up when they fire

Yes.  They can’t stand up to make their block and they must stay under the pole while making their block. The pipe is right over the line between the two rows
of players.

Does the player not touching the pipe constitute a perfect block?

Correct.  But none of the players can touch it. If one touches it, they all do it over.

 Or are you also looking at base of hands being driven into chest plate and
arm pits?

No.  This is not policed.  That’s the “drawing pistols” drill.  You can stand behind them though and police their stances.

How far back do they have to drive opponent?

Preferably into the next county.  (Added: But to the whistle is demanded.)

The coaching goal is to place the player in the “drive” position.  This is the same position one assumes to push start a car. The head and shoulder are ahead of the hips, the back is low, the arms are driven straight out and the power is in the legs.


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