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What’s The Most Important Thing You Teach (Part 3)

19 Oct

You see it all the time: offensive linemen watching the play instead of finishing their blocks.  The result is generally unfavorable for the offense.

As an O-line coach, I cringe at the sight, especially if the o-linemen in question are kids I coach.  I don’t expect to see it with my kids because I spend so much time teaching them to finish their blocks.  For me, after 3-point stance and form tackling, it is the third most important thing I teach and the first most
important thing I want my linemen to learn.

In my approach to teaching O-line play, there are three phases to a drive block:

— the initial contact
— the stalemate
— and the finish

I know of other line coaches who break it down even further but for my purposes and at the level I’m coaching, three phases makes it understandable to my kids.

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What’s the Most Important Thing You Teach? (Part 1)

29 Sep

In terms of technique, what do you think are the most important things you teach your kids?  I’ll pause to give you time to consider your answer.

Time’s up.

For me, it’s a simple question to answer when I consider that I’m not only preparing my kids for game day but for competition at the next level.  The next level for my kids is high school.  So, in this context, the most important things I teach are the 3-point stance and form tackling.   And, as an O-line coach, I would add one more thing that’s position specific: to finish their blocks.

Why you may ask would I rank the 3-point among my Top 3 things to perfect?  It’s simple:  everything starts with the 3-point.  If it’s wrong, then chances are that everything that follows will be as well.

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Traits of a Good Offensive Lineman

26 Sep

Effective offensive linemen in our program have the following characteristics:

1. Attitude:

A good attitude in an offensive lineman can’t be over-emphasized. A player with a good attitude can be taught what he needs to be successful. A player with a bad attitude will have a negative impact on the entire offense. A player has to be selfless before we can develop unity on the offensive line. Once we develop unity we can create an identity. Once we create an identity, then we can establish tradition. It all starts with attitude. “We work the hardest; we’re known the least. But who cares? For we are the reason.”

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Pass Blocking: Moves and Countermoves

14 Aug

Former NFL OL Ricky Siglar discusses pass blocking.  A little long winded but some good stuff in there.

Part 1:


Part 2:

Training Offensive Linemen – Video

5 Jul

I know we seem to be focused on the offenive line these last few days.  It’s just what we coach.  Here’s some video on the subject:

Three Basic Types of Blocks from ClubHouse Gas:

Advance Fundamentals:

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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.

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Training Offensive Linemen to Stay Low – Part 1

2 Jul

Once upon a time, at a Coaches’ Certification Class, I was asked how to train O-linemen to stay low at the snap of the ball.

At the time, my best answer was to not train them to play high.  Everyone looked at me like I’d farted.  But now that I think about it again, it’s still my best answer because it’s exactly what many of us youth coaches do: we train kids to play high.  For lack of equipment, we routinely use stand-up dummies or players in a two-point stance to teach blocking techniques.

The key to playing low on game day is to get low during practice.  The following drills may help you and your players.

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Zone Block or Not?

15 Feb

So you just watched some college or pro team run crazy through an opponent using a Zone scheme and you’re thinking you want to do that.  Why not, it sure looks simple with everybody stepping to the playside.  But before you do, consider this: it isn’t simple!

Zone Blocking is sophisticated.  It requires two things that are scarce at the youth level: time and skill.  Time to teach it and rep it and the kind of skill that comes from experience with and hopefully mastery of basic blocking technique.

If a kid can’t Drive Block, he can’t Zone either.

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